I would like to know about whether Tripundra is mentioned in any of the Smritis?

Does any Smriti talk about Tripundra? Does any Smriti ask Brahmins to keep Tripundra?


There is mention of importance of tripundra in Puranas. An example is given below.

The Lord said thus :-"O excellent-faced lady, a person who applies Bhasman is on a par with my son Ganesa. What is repugnnant to them should be eschewed. A householder who is devoid of Brahman (Vedic knowledge) and who does not wear the caste mark Tripundra falls into the depths of hell. All his holy rites of worship, charitable gifts and holy ablutions are in vain like the Homa performed in the ashes."

Linga Purana II.18.60-62

Hence, in the course of all holy rites, the learned men shall wear the caste mark Tripundra.

Linga Purana II.18.63

I am not sure if Tripundra is a caste mark as claimed by the translator J.L> Shastri or sect mark of the Saivites.


It is mostly not mentioned in the Smritis but widely mentioned in Puranas and some Upanishads. But while searching I found that it is mentioned in the Sankhayana-grihya-sutra Adhyāya II, Khaṇḍa 10:

  1. Every day in the evening and in the morning,

  2. He establishes the fire (in its proper place), wipes (with his hand the ground) round (it), sprinkles (water) round (it), bends his right knee,

41. (And puts fuel on the fire with the texts,) 'To Agni I have brought a piece of wood, to the great Jātavedas; may he, Jātavedas, give faith and insight to me. Svāhā!

'Firewood art thou; may we prosper. Fuel art thou; splendour art thou; put splendour into me. Svāhā!

'Being inflamed make me prosperous in offspring and wealth. Svāhā!

Thine is this fuel, Agni; thereby thou shalt grow and gain vigour. And may we grow and gain vigour. Svāhā!'

  1. Having then sprinkled (water) round (the fire),

  2. He approaches the fire with the verse, 'May Agni (vouchsafe) to me faith and insight, not-forgetting (what I have learned) and memory; may this praiseful Jātavedas give blessing to us.'

[7[2]. He makes with ashes the tripuṇḍhra sign (the sign of three strokes) which is set forth in the (treatise on the) Sauparṇavrata, which is revealed, which agrees with the tradition handed down by the ancients, with the five formulas 'The threefold age' (see above, I, 28, 9), one by one, on five (places), viz. the forehead, the heart, the right shoulder and the left, and then on the back.]

  1. He who approaches the fire after having sacrificed thus, studies of these Vedas, one, two, three, or all.

Since this scripture is a Dharma Shastra, so the answer is YES.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .