Adventures in Humility

News, Views, and Chews on spiritual issues.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Important to wear tilak

I was reading Caitanya-Bhagavat today and I came across a verse from Mahaprabhu where He states that it is very important to wear tilak. This took place during His pastimes of being a schoolteacher, and he would shame and (lovingly) embarrass any of his students who had forgotten to put on his tilak that morning before arriving for class. He said that it was proof that they hadn't completed their morning duties properly (sandhya-vandanam) and sent them back, only allowing them back into class when they had worn their tilak. He further said that the forehead of a brahmana on which tilak is not present is like a crematorium. So it is very important to wear tilak.

I remember an incident where a lecture program was due to be held in a non-ISKCON venue, and the lecture was by a visiting ISKCON swami who had been invited. When I arrived at the venue and greeted the swami before the program was due to start, he looked at me joyfully and exclaimed, 'Oh! You have got a nice big tilak!'

So wearing tilak is the sign of a devotee. It 'marks' one as a devotee of Radha-Krishna. It brings joy to Mahaprabhu. It brings joy to the Vaishnava sadhus. That is all that is necessary, the blessings of the Vaishnavas.


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