Hindu Council of Australia has compiled a list of Hindu Icons that Hindus may wear on their body and which have spiritual significance. This list has been made to remove confusion among non-Hindus about what is sacred to Hindus.
Hindu Sacraments worn on the body
Hindu icons all year round
Scared Hindu icons that can not be removed
- Nose stud – essential for girls during puberty, can not be removed for one year.
- Yajnopavit/Janaue – essential for boys after their Yajnopavit right of passage, once worn can not be removed and worn again without extensive rituals (not even during swimming lessons)
- Sindoor/Mangalsutra – essential for married women. Removal is not permitted while husband is alive.
- Choti/Shikha – small hair tail for boys during a right of passage.
- Pagdi (Turban, A cloth wrapped around the head) – touching or removing it is disrespectful. It can be removed for a short period in privacy, like when having a shower and must be worn as soon as possible.
- Sivalingam (Veera and Adi Shiva people, Lingayat) or other Hindu Gods as pendant in a necklace.
Sacred Hindu icons that can be removed by the wearer
- Bindi – optional for women and girls, it can not be removed by others.
- Bangles worn on wrists by women – a cultural item
- Kondhani – a bracelet made of black thread worn around the waist
- Anklets (Pahjeb, Payal) – a metal bracelet worn on ankles
- Ear rings/studs for boys and girls in some families
- Gem stone on rings for special effects of planets
- Hindu Sacraments worn on Special Occasions
- Tulsi Mala – A necklace of Tulsi beads. During special religious observations.
- Teeka, Tilak, Vibhuti – essential during Hindu prayers, optional otherwise
- Mehendi/henna/turmeric – essential when getting married or when a close family member gets married, optional for married women during karva chauth day. Henna is a fast colour (looks like a emporary tatto) that takes a week or more to fade away
- Men are not allowed to cut their hair during Sabramalai month (Mid of November to January 14/15)
- Rakhi – a special bracelet worn on special festival day of Rakhi.
- Kajal/Surma (dark black eye ointment)
- Raksha/mouli – multi colour thread bracelet as a protective icon during special days
- Gajra – a flower arrangement by woman at the back of there hair.
Hindu icons in a Hindu home
These icons have to be treated with extreme respect and should not be touched or removed without the owners consent.
- Rangoli, Toran, Aum and Swastika – optional display inside or outside the home.
- Home shrine
(Originally Published: Hindu Council of Australia)