By Swami Harshananda
Puṇḍra literally means ‘religious mark’.
Popular scriptures like the sectarian Upaniṣads and the purāṇas ordain that every person must wear a puṇḍra or a religious mark on the forehead and also on other parts of the body. This puṇḍra may be tiryakpuṇḍra like the bhasma or vibhuti or urdhvapuṇḍra like the nāma worn by the Vaiṣṇavas or even just a tilaka.
- Tiryakpuṇḍra is worn crosswise.
- They are the followers of the Viṣṇu sects.
- Tilaka means circular mark.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore