Urdhwapundra , [ the annointment of gopichandan on the forehead ] has to be done in carrying out every VEDIK karma like japa , homa yagnya tarpana pooja etc . without these the karma remains imperfect and impure annuling its effect.
All the annointments [ dwadash naam ] should be vertical in a upright manner . vertical pundra , signifies the flow of antahshkti [ internal spiritual force , ojas ] upwards in the body signifying his upward journey towards heavens .
Satvikas are the one who desire upward moments ie urdhwasrotas . RAjasik [ manushya ] are Arvaksrotas ie they like to direct their life force in downward direction . that means they misuse their energy to face defetas and disappointments . animals are tiryaksrotas that means their energy or life force moves in horizontal directions . they ever remain in ignorance . with neither progress nor descent .
the pundradharana in a way is first step in guiding the life force ., devotees wearing a vertical mudras , tilak chanting the names of Vishnu assure themselves a place in higher realms . This increases their satvik nature and helps their sadhana.
VIJAYDASARU says those who anoint themselves with a urdhwa pundra [ urdhwa means vertical ] he need not perform any other karma at all , all his actions guarantee a Vishnu sthana .
Never one must wear a tiryak pundra , ie horizontal pundras In varaha purana it is enumerated as one among the 32 aparadhas [sins ] while performing pooja .
what material should be used to annoint ?
GOPICHANDANA should be used .
Gopichandana is found in DWARAKA . it is the soil where Krishna has walked upon in dwapara . it is white in colour .
Padmapurana says , just like dwaraka , gopi from srirangam , simhadri , prayaag is also acceptable .
In one of the smritis and sangraha , it is said that , soil , gandha , bhasma , water all the four can be used for Pundradharana .
so this may lead to confusion that bhasma from siva temple may be also valid . to avoid this confusion acharayaratna grantha clarifies ,
when performing japa in jalashaya [ rivers , tanks or ponds ] pundra dharana should be with water , while sitting for homa or havana , homa bhasma should be used for pundra dharana for japa post agnikarya oupasan ,after the pooja gandha [ sandal paste ] should be used for the pundra dharana , and while in pilgrimage , soil should be used for pundra dharana , and at all times gopichandana remains the best for pundra dharana .
Gopichandana should be used with nirmalaya teertha to form a paste in the palms . Nirmalya teertha is the water obtained from the first bath of the LORD’s murty or shaligrama after removing previous days’ alankara [ offerings of sandal tulasi and flowers etc ]
Three tie gayatri , three ties pranava and three times ashtakshara should be used to prepare the paste . This will give vishesha sannidhi of Lord in the sadhak , This will form the armour , kavach like protection to the devotee .
Firstly gopichandana should be offered prayer ,
” dwarkakshetrasambhute sarvapapahare shubhe
krishnamaata: namastubhyam gopichandan te namaha ||”
then Draupadi devi’s prarthana should be offered for protection
” shankhachakragadapaNE dwarakanilayachyut |
govind pundarikaksha raksha mam sharaNagata ||
twelve pundra [ naams ] should be worn with the chant of keshava etc names .
Bramhanda purana says , in shukla paksha it should keshava narayana etc , in krishna paksha it should be sankarshan etc twelve names to be used while annointing .,
- Fore head , leaf 4 inch
- stomach centre shape deep shikha 8 inch
- chest shape lotus flower 8 in
- neck front jambu phala 4 in
- stomach right deepa shikha 8 in
- arm right leaf 8 in
- neck right janbu phala 4 in
- stomach left deep shikha 8 in
- arm left leaf 8 in
- neck left jambu fruit 4 in
- back lower jambu fruit 8 in
- neck back jambu fruit 4 in
- additional on head leaf 4 in
- right breast srivatsa 2in
- left breast kaustubha 1 in
except little finger all other fingers can be used to put the pundra .
angushtha thumb will give prosperity
madhyama middle will give longevity
ring finger will give good food
forefinger tarjani will give mukti.
All the pundras should contain empty space in between wherby LAXMI NARAYANA stays there to grace the devotee .,
ALL the castes should wear the Pundra . one who sees a man with a pundra dharana on the forehead , even if he is chandala , it will give relief from sins . so chandalas can also wear a pundra dharana .
Pundra means one which exhibits discipline . Pundra is Vaidik chinha [ mark ] .
PUNDA is lethargy inertia , one which removes this is PUNDRA , ” pundam rahayatiti pundram ”
SO wearing a pundra is extending discipline to the body by discarding lethargy .
Most of the people think , horizontal indicates SHAIVAITE and verticla indicates VAISHNAVAS
Vertical is sign of vEDIC Study . horizontal is a symbolism . vertical pundra is not symbolism to represent a sect .
EVEN SHAIVAites also on the day of upanayana wear a vertical pundra only to enable the vedic study and then superimpose tripundra to reinforce their sect .
SO Pundra vertical is not sectarian but disciplinary .
Vishnuteertha has said PUNDRA is ” Bramhanadi kramena tu ”
Our outer Pundra follows the nadis inside the body .
The flow of energy in our body is from muladhara to sahasrar. In the stomach region flow is tripartite in the form of IDA PINGAL AND SUSHUMNA ,
thus there are three large pundras of the shape of lighted wick . as it recahed anahat it magnifies into a lotus , arms form the daily instrumenst for such kundalini rise thus two in the arms , as it reaches vishuddha it spreads into all the four directions and thus four in the neck and finally it converges to agnya there by into the sahasrar thus twice on the head pundra is worn to get samputikarna , as the kundalini has to rise from muladhara , a formal push is required so a pundra in the back is also worn . Placing LORD in every chakra and requesting a flow is what chanting of Keshav namaa and finally vasudev mantra enables the samputikarna in sahasrar .