PuNdra is an abbreviated form of the word Urdhva PuNdra means the wearing on the forehead the symbolic mark in the shape of the Lord’s Lotus Feet with white clay. The best ornament for the body is Thiruman Kappu. This should be applied with great humility, thanking the achAryA and Sriman NArAyanA for their mercy. One should be really proud of the fact that he is a servant of NArAyanA. He should be highly enthusiastic to wear the Thiruman KAppu for the reason that it reminds him of the servant-master relationship (sesha-seshi sambhandam) eternally existing between himself and the Supreme Master Sriman NArAyanA. The ThirumaN Kappu worn by a SriVaishnava has to have the two white lines and the yellow or red line at the center, housing the Divine couple, who are never separated.
Thiruman (White lines) is sported using the white clay. The white clay that we purchase from the shops or from temples nearby comes majorly from Thirunarayanapuram, Thiruvahindrapuram, Ayodhya and few other divya kshterams where this white clay is found. The Yellow or Red line in the center- Srichurnam is basically prepared from turmeric and rice. One should be careful while buying Srichurnam as several varieties of Srichurnam are available at different retail outlets, some of which are made from Maida flour and chemical dye, which may not be suitable for certain types of skin, while there are also shops and outlets selling Srichurnam without adulteration,
If one is interested to prepare Srichurnam on his own, here is the method to prepare it. This method of preparing Srichurnam has been carried forward for generations:
- Step1: Take few pieces of Gundu Manjal/ Turmeric (Not Kasturi Manjal), as shown in the picture above. In this case, lets take 8 pieces of Gundu Manjal
- Step2: One small tumbler(azhaaku) of rice. (8:1 Ratio – Manjal:Rice)
- Step3: Soak both the Manjal and Rice in water for 8 hours
- Step4: After 8 hours, filter out water completely
- Step5: Start crushing it coarsely by using stone (idi kal) or by Mixie. While doing this (The consistency will be similar to preparing adhirsam maavu)
- Step6: Powder the mixture to make it finer/smoother
- Step7: Use a thin(melisu) Veshti/cloth and filter out the granules.
- Step8: Again make the mixture even finer, by grinding it in mixie. Repeat step 6 and 7 until it becomes finer
- Step9: Mix crushed ‘edible camphor’ (pachchai karpooram) with the powdered mixture.
- Step10: If you need to prepare red Srichurnam, mix vengaram (a variety of alum) / padikaaram (alum), salt and lime.
- Step11: Dry it in a place where there is no direct sunlight on it and transfer it into a box.
Note: For yellow Srichurnam skip step10 and for red Srichurnam step 10 has to be followed
For significance of Thiruman Kappu, kindly visit: http://anudinam.org/2013/07/04/significance-of-thiruman-kappu/