Glory of Bharath  »  Sama Vedic Upanishads -XIV
This Upanishad explains what UrdhwaPundra (the sign worn by Vaishnavites) is and the rules for wearing it.

The God like sage Narada saluted Lord Vasudeva and requested him, "Oh God, please teach me the rules of UrdhvaPundra (the religious mark of Vaishnavas which is vertical and points upward)".

God Vasudeva addressing him told as follows:
The Brahmachari (unmarried student of Vedas) and Grahastha (householder) after reciting the following prayer: "Oh God who holds the wheel, mace and conch, Oh Achyutha who is staying in Dwaraka, Oh Govinda, Oh Lotus eyed one, please protect me, who has surrendered to you." should apply UrdhvaPundra in his forehead and other 12 places with his pure finger (finger next to the little finger) reciting either the Vishnu Gayathri or the 12 names of the Lord viz., Kesava, Narayana, Madhava, Govinda, Vishnu, Madhusudana, Trivikrama, Vamana, Sreedhara, Hrishikesa, Padmanabha and Damodhara.

The Sanyasi should wear the UrdhvaPundra with his fourth finger on the head, forehead and chest chanting the Pranava (Om).

Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are three in number: Sthoola (macro), Sookshma (micro) and Karana (cause); are three worlds above: Bhoo, Bhuva and Suva; are three Vedas: Rig, Yajur and Sama; are three states: waking up, dream and sleep. The UrdhvaPundras are three viz., Aa, Uu and Ma. These UrdhvaPundras are full of Pranava and full of the letter Om. That one pranava has only become any. The Lord of the 'Om' takes you above. So you have to wear UrdhvaPundra.

That sage who wears four things upward viz., stick, bravery, yoga and UrdhvaPundra would reach the high status of salvation. This stable knowledge would reach me naturally through devotion.

- October 11
- December 09

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