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Why Kumkum is not offered to Lord Shiva?


Kumkum is not offered to Lord Shiva in some regions and by some Hindu communities. There are numerous such items that are not offered to Lord Shiva the list includes water from shankh (conch), tulsi leaves, turmeric, flowers like kaner, ketaki, kevada and lotus, akshat (uncooked rice), and Til (sesame).

Why Kumkum is not Offered to Lord Shiva?

The reason for not offering Kumkum is that Shiva represents masculinity and virility.  He is Purusha.

Kumkum is prepared by mixing slaked lime with dried powdered turmeric, which turns the rich yellow powder into a red color.

Turmeric is associated with Devi – Goddess – Prakriti. Thus it is offered to Maa Parvati but not to Lord Shiva.

Kumkum is also a symbol of Saubhagya and marital bliss. Shiva is vairagi – one who is detached and not part of society.

why is shiva not smeared with kumkum

Kumkum, mixing kumkum in oil, and smearing kumkum is not practiced during Shiva puja in many regions in India.

It must be noted here that such beliefs are not part Hinduism. It is purely regional and community based. Not all Hindus follow such rules.

For example, turmeric is not used by some Hindu communities because Shiva represents virility. Turmeric is feminine and therefore it is not offered to Lord Shiva. But in Maharashtra Khandoba, manifestation of Shiva, is worshipped mainly using turmeric powder. Temple of Khandoba are smeared with turmeric powder.

Again, Hanuman is Rudra Avatar, a manifestation of Shiva. The most important offering to Hanuman is Sindhoor.

Such beliefs are therefore purely regional and a Hindu can use his/her discretion.

Shiva is Bholenath (simpleton) he is pleased even by a drop of water. But the water should be offered with utmost devotion and without any selfish motive.