Why do Indians have red dots

The majority of Indian women put a red dot between their eyebrows. The red dots signify their martial status — married women put a red dot, while unmarried girls put a small black dot on their forehead. The practice of putting a red dot on the forehead is primarily related to Hindu mythology.

It is believed that after marriage, the primary duty of the woman is to take care of her kin and kith. The red dot, in one hand, symbolizes the good fortune of a married woman, and on the other hand, it reminds her to uphold the sanctity of marriage.
At one point of time, every married woman used to religiously follow this norm. However, with the passage of time, the thinking of people has changed dramatically. In the present day, women are educated and financially independent. Some of them do stringently follow the tradition, but for most of them, putting a red dot has become more of a fashion statement rather than a religious custom. Apart from red dot, women prefer the wear dots of different colors and styles, depending upon their clothing.

The red dot also helps the Hindu woman or stand out in the crowd. In India, every religion is associated with some characteristic features. For instance, Muslim women compulsorily cover their face with a veil whenever they venture out. Likewise, the red dot on the forehead of a woman denotes that she is a Hindu.
In addition to women, Indian men also wear red dot. Again, this tradition is purely related to Hindu religious beliefs. Normally, after the performance of some rituals or religious ceremonies, the red dot is put on the forehead of men. Also, during festivals like Holi, Diwali, Dusshera and Raksha Bandhan, Indian men wear a red dot on their forehead. Whenever, men go for a long voyage or setup a new business venture or kick-start an important campaign, then too the red dot is placed on their forehead as a mark of good luck.

Priests, monks and saints also put a red dot on their forehead. It is believed that between the eyebrows is present the Ajna Chakra or the third eye, which is the center of spiritual energy. It is also called the Guru’s (teacher) seat. By putting a red dot at this point, the monks and priests pay respect to their Guru, and seek their blessings to activate the Chakra and overcome the inner ego.