By Swami Harshananda
Vairāgis literally means ‘persons of renunciation’.
Vairāgīs or bairāgīs are religious ascetics of any of the Vaiṣṇava orders. They wear white clothes and apply urdhvapuṇḍra on their foreheads, made of white clay and red pigment. They generally wear their hair as a crown and may also grow beard. There are several sects and sub-sects among them.
- Urdhvapuṇḍra means vertical religious mark.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore