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Twelve Places on Body to Wear Tilak – After Remembering These Twelve Forms of Vishnu Residing In the Body

Staunch Vaishnava devotees wear tilak on twelve parts of the body. It is believed that Vishnu in twelve forms resides in these twelve parts of the body. Twelve forms of Vishnu residing in the twelve parts of the body are:
  1. Keshav resides on forehead
  2. Narayana in belly region
  3. Madhava in heart (chest)
  4. Govinda in throat (hollow of the throat)
  5. Vishnu on right side of belly
  6. Madhusudan right upper arm
  7. Trivikram in right shoulder (in some texts it is ears)
  8. Vaman in the left belly region
  9. Shridhar in left arm
  10. Hrishikesh in left shoulder (if Trivikram is for ears then both shoulders are believed to for Hrishikesh)
  11. Padmanabha on upper back
  12. Damodar on lower back.

Thirteenth Spot - Note some people also put a tilak on the tuft (hair) and it is dedicated to Vasudeva.

The twelve mantras to be chanted while applying Tilak are

  1. Om Keshavaya Namah
  2. Om Narayanaya Namah
  3. Om Madhavaya Namah
  4. Om Govindaya Namah
  5. Om Vishnuve Namah
  6. Om Madhusudanaya Namah
  7. Om Trivikramaya Namah
  8. Om Vamanaya Namah
  9. Om Sridharaya Namah
  10. Om Hrishikeshaya Namah
  11. Om Padmanabhaya Namah
  12. Om Damodaraya Namah
If tilak is applied on hair tuft then the person should chant Om Vasudevaya Namah.

This method of wearing chandan is strictly followed by Vaishnava devotees.

Normal Hindus usually apply tilak on forehead and on throat. The tilak applied by Hindus daily is a straight line or a dot.

There are no strict rules as to wearing tilak on body parts. It is left to the devotee to decide.