What's the meaning of the Tripundra »


This page is about the meaning, origin and characteristic of the symbol, emblem, seal, sign, logo or flag: Tripundra.

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Tripundra, believed to be a spiritual symbol in the tradition of Lord Shiva, consists of three horizontal lines and a red mark (usually dot) on the center line. The lines are made with the sacred ash (from the remains of the sacred fire) and the Tripundra is usually put on the forehead. Tripundra can be applied on other parts of the body too, like the hands or chest.

It is believed that whoever marks this symbol on their body is cleansed of all sins irrespective of whether they follow any other virtues or understand them. The three lines are a representation of three intentions of man, namely, Kriya shakti (power of work), Iccha shakti (power of the will) and Gyana shakti (power of knowledge). These are the 3 forms of Lord Shiva – Maheshwara, Sada Shiva and Mahadeva, hence the name ‘Tri’ meaning three.

As life is defined by three stages created by god – creation, sustenance and destruction. The tilak (red mark) on the center represents the unity of energy and matter and that mankind has to go through all the 3 stages of life. All the sins accumulated in this life and the previous can be removed by applying Tripundra.

The sacred ash, also called as the Vibhuti is an ornament of Lord Shiva.


Graphical characteristics:
Symmetric, Open shape, Colorful, Contains straight lines, Has no crossing lines.

Category: Religious Symbols.

Tripundra is part of the Hindu Symbols group.

More symbols in Hindu Symbols:

More symbols in Religious Symbols:

Religious symbolism is the use of symbols, including archetypes, acts, artwork, events, or natural phenomena, by a religion. Religions view religious texts, rituals, and works of art as symbols of co… read more »

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