The Tripundra is a significant Hindu emblem used by Shaivites, or Lord Shiva devotees. Tripundra is a tilak that consists of three horizontal lines drawn on the forehead with Bhasma or sacred ash. A red dot or Bindu may be superimposed in the center. Some Shiva devotees also draw Tripundra’s three ash strips on the sides of their arms.

Through the three lines, the Tripundra depicts the three heavenly energies of creation, sustenance, and destruction, while the ashes signify the purifying and burning away of Anava (ego), Maya (illusions), and karma (actions/deeds). The dot represents the ascension or sharpening of spiritual perception.

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