Hindus across the world are known for wearing different types of marks known as tilak or tilaka or tika on their forehead. A tilak is generally worn on the centre of the forehead where the Ajna Chakra is located on the space between the eyebrows.
People wear tilak routinely everyday and especially on the days of important puja or rituals. The tilak or tika is usually made of materials like sandal wood paste, turmeric, kumkum or holy ash.There are different reasons associated with the application of a particular type of tilak depending on the occasion and deity worshipped. It is also based on the caste system, where in people from different castes traditionally wore different types of tika.
The significance of different types of tikas however are related to the nature of the material used like :
Sandalwood paste which symbolises purity, calmness and tranquility
Kumkum which is red in colour and signifies power, vigor
Turmeric which is saffron coloured denotes fortune and prosperity
Holy ash or vibhuti represents dedication ,devotion and commitment
Tilak is generally worn in between the eyebrows where the Ajna Chakra is located. This chakra is also known as the Third Eye Chakra and represents the sixth sense or the knowledge of intuition. This is the eye of deeper knowledge. The knowledge that gives the power to distinguish reality from illusion. When tilak is worn on this region of the forehead, it activates the Ajna Chakra thereby leading the individual alert and active. Hence people wear tilak on a day to day basis and also on festivals and doing puja so that they can help the flow of energy in the body to higher levels.