From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

dood tilaka[edit]

wtf, i thought it was called a bindi, tilaka, never heard of it.

some passage[edit]

I'm very doubtful about the following passage - "In the ancient West similar marks were used by Mediterranean worshippers of Helios, worshipers of Eli/El/El_(god)-Yahu / Yahu Theos / Wasu Theos (Jews, see Book_of_Revelation 7:3, 9:4, 14:1, 22:4), Christians (seen from some frescos of Jesus and early saints), Pythagoreans and other Helios worshipers."

I've never heard of these "Yahu Theos" and "Wasu Theos" characters. Are they some relation to "Yahweh" and Jesus? What is the evidence for tilakas among these worshippers? What are these fresoes? What are tye passages from Revelations supposed to prove? It's not a history book. I hope the source of this 'knowledge' is not Stephen Knapp's website. User:Paul Barlow 11:28, 3 June, 2005 (UTC)

new additions[edit]

It seems to me that this page is not so much about the tilaka, as about some odd attempt to prove that Christians and others used the mark, and yet all the links to so-called examples of western/mid-eastern "tilakas" seem completely invisible to me. Yes, there's a kind of U shape on the forehead of the Christos Pantokrater image, but the obvious explanation of that is that it's a stylised portrayal of a furrowed brow. There is no evidence given here of any written or archaeological historical material supporting the the existence of such tilaka-like motifs. There's no reason why there shouldn't have been such symbolic marks used in ancient religions, but I don't see any evidence fot it here. User:Paul Barlow 13:28, 5 June, 2005 (UTC)

on new additions[edit]

Paul, I feel somehow out of place to teach here. Wiki is a great idea but its greatest advantage - democracy - may at times turn into its greatest disadvantage when self-appointed experts decide what should be published and which sources are respectable on the basis of their own limited experience of the subject. I see it as a pattern appearing on Wiki, not that I speak only about you.

But since you expressed doubts, tell me how much study of ancient history did you personally undergo? How many books on ancient cultures, archeology, etc. did you study? How many icons did you see? What about that book by Keel and Uehlinger? If you'd take time and effort, you'd find this sign all over ancient world, from Celts to Maoris of New Zealand. Sure, there is not much specific research but evidence is out there. Do you disqualify it just because it's not online and so you cannot see it?

Pantocrator images are several (not just that one I put a link to) and most of them have this sign (although this one is the best recognizable I could find online; if you give me your email, I can send you much better version of Daphne Pantocator). Surely it's not just a stylized brow since there is also that little triangle down and big circles above eyes continuing from the upper part of both lines. Same like on icons of early saints (I gave links to few examples). If you cannot see them from the scans, what can I do? I cannot take you by hand to museums. If you know anything about the Shroud research, you'd have heard about Paul Vignon and his 'Vignon marks'. These marks are puzzling to experts but they use them to validate authenticity of those icons (that they are not recents fakes). Ask some Shroud scholars for more.

I guess you have no idea of hindutva. But even if you think it a negative phenomenon, why to disqualify book photo scans posted on a 'hindutva' site? What if those same scans would be on a university site? But they are just scans of what is available in museums. Anyway, they are just _examples_ which I could find online, representing many others.

I don't want to go on and on. Please don't take this as an ad hominem attack. It may be hard for you to let people interested in the subject check all the resources themselves and continue their research from there. Isn't it a purpose of encyclopedia to provide leads to information? Why to censor the little available knowledge on this subject important in understanding the ancient history of spirituality?


Jan, the concept of 'self-appointed expert' applies to you just as much as to anyone else. This encyclopedia is supposed to be as authoritive as we can make it, and that excludes what is referred to as original research, which is essentially a euphemism for "idiosyncratic personal theory or fringe belief". I quote:
untested theories; data, statements, concepts and ideas that have not been published in a reputable publication; or any new interpretation, analysis, or synthesis of published data, statements, concepts or ideas that, in the words of Wikipedia's founder Jimbo Wales, would amount to a "novel narrative or historical interpretation".
I think your assertions, unless properly supported count as original research in this sense. Have you seen those images on Knapp's website? They are obviously not accurate photos of real objects. They come from a tatty old book, presumably from a Hindutva publisher (and yes, I have an idea of what Hindutva is!). He gives no proper sources. The pictures have obviously been manipulated. They bear no resemblance to any actual Greek, Roman, Egyptian etc images I have ever seen in any photographs or in museums. Knapp believes that the whole world was once Hindu. That is a very fringe belief, one that clearly comes under the exclusions indicated above. If you want to contact me or send me any images, my email is Paul B 13:48 6 June, 2005 (UTC)
I can only find one source (elsewhere mirrored) for the reference to the mysterious Wasu Theos, and that's a Vaishnaivite website. There are no references elsewhere, and since we are to take this as a version of the name of an Egyptian deity, why is there a Greek word at the end? It is clearly not established knowledge Paul B 16:00 6 June, 2005 (UTC)


If original research is equated with fringe belief then all researchers pursue beliefs. Original or not, there must be a proper methodology with peer reviews to make it a science, no?

Re scans on Knapp's site - unfortunately I have no access to the original pictures and the sources given to check. So I can't claim they are manipulated. I got an opinion from a knowledgeable source that they are not authentic. However, there are many other sources (frescos, etc.), only hard to find online. Few examples:

Pantocrator and few other frescos mentioned:

Byzantine frescoes and the Turin Shroud, Lennox Manton

The Cappadocian frescoes and the Turin Shroud, Lennox Manton

Paul Vignon, "Le Saint Suaire de Turin devant la science, l'archologie, l'histoire, l'iconographie, la logique", Paris 1939.

Quoting next two pars in "Original research":

"Original research is research that produces primary sources or secondary sources. Primary sources present information or data, such as archeological artifacts; photographs; historical documents such as a diary, census, transcript of a public hearing, trial, or interview; tabulated results of surveys or questionnaires, records of laboratory assays or observations; records of field observations. Secondary sources present a generalization, analysis, synthesis, interpretation, or evaluation of information or data.

"Original research that produces primary sources is not allowed. However, research that consists of collecting and organizing information from existing primary and secondary sources is strongly encouraged. In fact, all articles on Wikipedia should be based on information collected from primary and secondary sources. This is called source-based research, and it is fundamental to writing an encyclopedia."

What I did was just "collecting and organizing information from existing primary and secondary sources" since I didn't:

- find these artifacts myself

- invented the term tilak

- came up with a theory

If I find an artifact, photograph it and put the photo online, it's original research and is not allowed. But If my friend _collects and organizes_ it and publishes it in Wiki, it is encouraged... Does it make sense or am I missing anything? Where is any peer review?

Hindutva as 'a fringe belief': in which sense? Marginal? There are many people supporting it. Radical? Many of its ideas are radical but not all are necessary wrong.

The British worked for a social, political and economical domination by proving the superiority of Western culture. They had to make Vedic culture look later than and possibly derived from Middle Eastern cultures. Their new discipline of indology discredited not only the Vedas but the genealogies of the Puranas establishing the timeline. They made Buddha a historical anchor and thus the kings before Buddha were left without any historical basis. There was nothing scientific about that.

Hindutva is a way to restore things to pre-British stage. It is a paradigm. One cannot live without a paradigm. One person may have a Western modern paradigm, other may have a Hindutva paradigm. Then they may accuse each other of being fringe.

Here are some examples of Western science's attitude to unknown phenomena: On the other hand, these cases present no threat to 'Hindutva science' which recognizes subtle phenomena.

Wasu Theos: Actually the Egyptian version is 'WS' as Egyptians used no vowels. (Just like Hebrew Tetragrammaton YHVH can have various readings.) It refers to Theban worship of this deity. There was sustained interaction between so-called Indo-Europeans, the Semites and the North Africans. The ancient Egyptian cities, like their presiding deities, had Egyptian, Greek and Semitic by-names.

Here is one online reference:

Greek inscriptions in Egypt - another possible source:

Btw, there is no agreement about etymology of 'theos' (generally translated as God). Here is one differing opinion:

"Theos is not etymologically related to Zeus (nor to Latin deus 'god'). The Indo-European root of theos is most probably *dhes-. The same root becomes fes- in Latin and appears there in words like festus 'festival', 'solemn', and feriae (from *fesiae) 'holiday'. The original meaning of the root seems to have been approximately 'holy'. As far as I know, the word theos is never used as a proper noun, neither for a god nor for a human" [Prof. Jerker Blomqvist].

I'm sending you the bigger Dafni Pantocrator by mail.



Gaurangaji, if you look closer, the links you've removed show tilaks on icons, some better than others. So they are not off topic and should be back. Re the Helios link: the horses on one mosaic actually have disc-like tilaks of Helios! 8) -- Jan/VEDA

These are the three links I removed below - I've looked through them but any direct link to tilak in this connection seems doubtful? Is there any relevant research by anyone to back this up - like an article on 'tilak in Christianity?' - that would make a great link. Ys, Gouranga(UK) 18:13, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

I removed all the "other cultures" links -- here's why[edit]

It's pure kookery. No one outside a small circle of "Vedic" scholars has seen or commented on tilaka outside India. Furthermore, the proponents don't make any allowance for the possibility of independent invention. For example -- and to use an example that could have been cited, and wasn't -- Roman Catholics mark the start of Lent by attending mass on Ash Wednesday and receiving a smudge of ashes on the forehead. Indian influence? No, the forehead is a great billboard.

If the proponents of this theory can produce any support other than "Vedic" scholars and original research, that is, proof that reliable sources and respectable scholars consider it a valid theory, we can include it. Zora 20:12, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, on those icons one can see tilaks, best on Dafni Pantokrator. See also 2-part Manton's document which proves that these are real signs found also on Turin Shroud. I'm not aware of any specific research but it should be prompted by these artifacts, imho.
Who's talking about independent invention? The thing is that these signs are common to most monotheistic traditions, in India and outside, without any trademark claims. And no, tilaka is _not_ a 'smudge of ashes', it's a carefully made design worn all the time, not just during some festivals. --Jan/VEDA

Tilak and bindi should be merged[edit]

Both of them has lot of common information and bindi should be redirected to tilak. Is it not? Mlpkr 19:46, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
I think I suggested that once and Ragib, whom I greatly respect, had something wise to say against it. I don't remember what, but ... I wouldn't want to do anything without consulting him. Zora 20:53, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
As I understand it, Bindi refers only to the dot or circular mark, worn mostly to show if a lady is married - whereas Tilak refers to a wide range of markings worn largely with some religious or spiritual significance in mind? Looking on the web I found these definitions:
If that's the case bindi could become a sub-section of tilak, or the two could be left seperate? Regards, Gouranga(UK) 21:39, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Not really. Madhuri Dixit pictire you deleted had non circulr bindis. The picture we have in bindi article Image:ModernBindi.JPG also have non circulr bindis. Any thing sticker is called bindi, the thing that is applied with paint or kumkum is called tilak or bindi. Men's tilak is never called bindi. South lanugaues telugu and tamil always mention tilak or pottu or bottu. I guess bindi is hindi word. Mlpkr 21:44, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Zora, I put my feedback for your question at [[1]] on bindi page. Mlpkr 21:54, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
As a concensus could we say then that a bindi is something worn only by women, that is put on for social or decorative purposes; whereas tilak is worn by both men and women and is mark you make for religious or spiritual purposes? (as per other discussion) Ys, Gouranga(UK) 21:57, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Agree on that bindi is worn only by women and for decoration, disagree on that tilak is only for relegious purpose. It is even used after winning a election, a war or a game. That is called vir tilak. There is no bindi word in our place, only hindi speaking people say bindi. We call the one that women wear as tilak or bottu, and the one men wear as namam. Mlpkr 22:02, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
The tilak has "more" religious significance than the bindi and is also used to welcome people- like raj tilak- putting a tilak on a king, or the vir/vijay tilak. So it marks "auspicious" occaisions and is used to anoint victors/leaders/prominent personalities, which has religious connotations.

Also please note there is no "vir bindi" nor "raj bindi". Apart from hindi speaking Bindi is used as a term for the women's forehead "dot" decoration even in the west now. Your region may use tilak or bottu, but that does not make it the widespread use of the word. You can mention in the article that your region has a seperate word. Haphar 11:20, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

The problem is that both articles lead off with "bindi, not to be confused with tilaka", or "tilaka, not to be confused with bindi", indicating the two are entirely different concepts. The articles should be written in such a manner to indicate that, while there are very real and subtle differences, there is still substantial overlap in the concepts. FellGleaming (talk) 19:23, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Tilak vs. Tilaka ?[edit]

The article is titled "Tilaka". The text states "(pronounced tilak)", yet the article never uses "tilaka", only "tilak". That would seem to imply that "tilak" is the phonetic spelling. This seems confusing, if trivial. Is there a logical explanation? Or did I miss something? 03:23, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Tilak is the phonetic spelling you are quite correct. It is usually written as tilaka when translated - having a silent a - similar to many other words of Sanskrit origin. I believe it is the way Sanskrit letters translate into English - the letter ka can mean both k and ka according to the context. For consistency it should really read as Tilaka throughout. Regards, Gouranga(UK) 16:16, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
indeed in sanskrutam the ending "a" or "am" is pronounced (so tilaka or tilakam) whereas in many north Indian languages, the ending is chopped off.the original word and the pan-indian one is tilakam or tilaka. tilak is a regional variant and should not be used.for example, "Swastika" is Swastika in sanskrutam and pan-Indian languages, but in Hindi and other north Indian languages it may be pronounced as "Swastik". (talk) 00:26, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
The Sanskit word is tilaka (तिलक) and in Sanskrit the final a is pronounced. Hindi speakers often omit pronouncing the final a so the cases where it is spelled tilak were probably entered by Hindi speakers. Buddhipriya 16:31, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

File:Tikaonhead.JPG may be deleted[edit]

I have tagged File:Tikaonhead.JPG, which is in use in this article for deletion because it does not have a copyright tag. If a copyright tag is not added within seven days the image will be deleted. --Chris 07:08, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Article Mishmash[edit]

Recent edits have made the article a mess. We have one section claiming there are 4 types of Tilaks, another claiming there are six 'varieties', then a third section claiming there are 19 types. This material is overlong, confusing, self-contradictory and in some cases, poorly sourced. Anyone want to contribute here before I go in with a hatchet? Fell Gleamingtalk 21:48, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Tilaka, Tripunda and Urdhva Punda[edit]

@ Welcome to wikipedia. Please see wikipedia's content policies and guidelines, particularly verifiability policies. According to reliable sources, Tilaka is both a welcoming tradition and Tripundra/Urdhva Pundra. Please do not remove sources and sourced content. I have moved your image into gallery, but retained the earlier image as it better and shows the Tilaka tray and welcoming context. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 11:49, 2 February 2016 (UTC)