Thiruman also known as Naamam is the holy mark applied by the followers of Sri Vaishnavism, usually on their foreheads.Some Telugu Brahmins and those who accept Lord Vishnu as their beloved god would willingly apply this holy mark on their body.
This is considered as a sacred symbol by the followers of Vaishnavism, especially by the Brahmin – Iyengars, and in ancient times, those Vaishnavites who didn’t apply the sacred Thiruman on their body, would be neglected by the other Vaishnavites.
The two Iyengar subsects, Thenkalai and Vadakalai, used to wear the Thiruman in different ways. Iyenger Priests serving in the Vishnu Temples, would compulsorily wear the Thiruman on various parts of their body.The sacred Thiruman is regularly used by Iyengars, and it forms part and parcel in their lives. But in the present day life, some people are disinterested to apply the Thiruman on their foreheads, due to the fear of being teased by others. But still now, strict Iyengars who consider Lord Vishnu as everything for them would apply the Thiruman regularly without fearing about others.The details about Thiruman and the various methods of applying it, is clearly given in various Vaishnavite texts.
Sri Ramanuja, who was a strict follower of Vaishnavism, used to regularly apply Thiruman on his forehead, and in his pictures also he would be portrayed with Thiruman. Applying of Thiruman, would please both Lord Vishnu and Ma Lakshmi, since it contains Tulasi, turmeric and various flowers.
Apart from Iyengars, some other sects of Hindu people, like Chettiars and Naidus would also apply the Thiruman on their foreheads. Most of the pilgrims who are travelling to the Tirumala, would willfully apply the holy Thiruman on their foreheads, would keep chanting the wonderful names of Lord Vishnu, and also would frequently raise their voice, by shouting,”GOVINDA, GOVINDA”.Though the world has achieved a lot through advanced technology, but, without the grace of the god, we cannot do anything in our lives.
“OM NAMO NARAYANAYA NAMAHA”