One of the important rituals associated with Vaishnavas is to put on the “marks of Vishnu” on the body everyday. This consists of putting the “Urdhva Pundra” and the “Mudras”. The Urdhva Pundra Dharana (putting on Urdhava Pundra) consists of using the Gopi Chandana and applying the same to 12 parts of the body i.e forehead, lower abdomen (center, left and right), chest, both arms, the neck (center, left and right), lower back and below the neck at the back.
The Gopi Chandana is made of a special soil available near Dwaraka in Gujarat. If Gopi Chandana is unavailable, plain water can also be used but putting on the Urdhva Pundra is compulsory.
Similarly, the 5 mudras have to be applied to the 12 parts mentioned above. The 5 mudras are Shankha, Chakra, Gada, Padma and Narayana.
The ritual of putting on Gopi and Mudras is followed especially by Madhvas.