I have seen in many pictures and temples that there is U symbol on forehead of lord Hanuman and other gods and some people also use it. I came to know that it is called vrindavan. But what is its significance? What does it mean?

  • That is the Vaishnava way of doing tilak..Its called the Urdhapundra..
    – Rickross
    Feb 8, 2017 at 12:04
  • The shape represents the shape of Vishnus lotus feet. You can read more here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urdhva_Pundra
    – Aditya K
    Feb 8, 2017 at 18:45
  • @aditya wikipedia articles cannot be considered fully correct. Is there any reason given in any veda or shastra?
    – AMahajan
    Feb 9, 2017 at 8:07
  • Its not a U its a close resemblance to Y, The U represents right foot of Shriman Narayana (origin of Ganga) and Y represents both feet of Shriman Narayana Charanau(feet) and the vertical line is the lotus where those feets rest.
    – Yogi
    Feb 12, 2017 at 10:55

1 Answer 1


It's not called "vrindavan" but Vaishnava tilaka or Urdhva Pundra, see at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilaka and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urdhva_Pundra

Vaishnavas use that sign to consecrate their body, to mark the body as a place in which the Supreme Lord Vishnu resides as the Supreme soul (Supersoul) called Paramatma. It also shows that the person is dedicated to Lord Vishnu as his devotee. And it is also a sign of recognition of different Vaishnava sampradayas (traditions) because each tradition has different sign of tilaka.

It is mentioned in some scriptures such as the Vasudeva Upanishad, see at http://nitaaiveda.com/All_Scriptures_By_Acharyas/Upanishads/Sri_Vasudeva_Upanisad.htm

It is intended to uplift one's spiritual life as stated in the Vasudeva Upanishad, text 8 and 9:

As there are three Deities (Brahma, Vishnu and Siva), three vyahrtis (Bhuh, Bhuvah and Svah), three metres in the Vedic hymns, three sacred fires, three times, three states of being, three atmas, and three letters (a, u, and m) in the sacred syllable Om, so Vaishnava tilaka has three parts, which correspond to the letters in the sacred Om.

A person who chants the sacred syllable Om goes upward (urdhva). That is why Vaishnava tilaka is called `urdhva-pundra.'

  • What are the three atmas? Feb 12, 2017 at 4:21
  • @SreeCharan I don't know. :) Word atma can mean different things per the Sanskrit dictionary. Feb 12, 2017 at 4:24
  • What is vasudeva Upanishad?
    – Yogi
    Feb 12, 2017 at 10:56
  • @Yogi It's one vedic Upanishad. It belongs to the Sama Veda. It has been quoted in the books written by some Gaudiya Vaishnava acaryas such as Jiva Gosvami in his Sandarbhas. Feb 13, 2017 at 1:45

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