I read some where that Narada Purana says a Brahmin should wear a Urdhvapundra (for Vishnu) and a Kshatriya should wear a Tripundra (for Shiva). Does the Narada Purana say it is absolutely necessary?

I am a Kshatriya and feel closeness to Sriman Narayana, I would love to put on a Urdhvapundra on my forehead. Can I do it?

Please cite your sources.

Thank You!

Hari Om

1 Answer 1


Different texts give different rules.

The padma purana says anyone can wear urdhvapundra including ksatriyas

ऊर्द्ध्वपुंड्रं तु सर्वेषां न निषिद्धं कदाचन । धारयेत्क्षत्रियाद्योऽपि विष्णुभक्तो भवेद्यदि १७।

The vertical mark (Urdhvapundra) is recommended for all. It is not prohibited. A kṣatriya etc. also, if he is Viṣnu’s devotee should have it.

( Padma purana uttara khanda ch 225 )

And similarly other texts like Shiva purana and devi bhagavatam states that the tripundra too can similarly be worn by any one, not just Ksatriyas.

ब्राह्मणैः क्षत्रियैर्वैश्यैः शूद्रेरपि च सङ्‌करैः । अपभ्रंशैर्धृतं भस्म त्रिपुण्ड्रोद्धूलनात्मना ॥ १३ ॥

This holding on of ashes is not prohibited to anybody; the Brâhmanas, Ksattriyas, Vais’yas, S’ûdras, mixed castes, and the vile classes all can use this Bhasma Tripundra

(Devi Bhagavatham 11.13.13)

So in the end, based on whatever sect or scripture one is devoted to, any tilaka can be worn irrespective of varna.

  • Thanks, What about the Narada Purana verse though, is it to be ignored (I think 1.18)? Commented Apr 19 at 3:34
  • 1
    The Kshatriya incarnations of Vishnu are always shown with a Urdhvapundra, so I doubt the Narada Purana verse. Commented Apr 19 at 3:36

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