Should Women Put Thirteen Tilakas?

ASK BVKS | August 29, 2011 |

English;

Question:

Like my previous mail regarding entering temple during period, this also I have heard from wife. And she says as others are putting 13 tilakas, so she is.

In any of Krishna lila or Chaitanya lila pictures, it is visible on forehead of any female character like Yashoda mataji or gopis, but it is not visible on their necks or hands.

Also up till before last 2-3 years, I did not see or hear matajis putting all tilakas. But now since 2-3 years, I hear from my wife.

Is it that traditionally all devotee matajis were putting 13 tilakas? What is Srila Prabhupad's and Guru Maharaj's instruction in this regard? In 'Beginner's Guide to Krishna Consciousness' it is not mentioned whether matajis should also put all 13 tilakas.

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I am going through Srila Prabhupada's books, letters etc. and trying to properly understand His Divine Grace's attitude to 'welfare' activities, especially, hospitals, schools and feeding the poor. I came across a quote below and I would like to understand it properly as I thought of it as a potential quote for misinterpretation for presenting the idea that Srila Prabhupada wanted welfare activities;

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>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Rupanuga  –  Los Angeles 1 July, 1970

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"We, on the other hand, are rescuing the most fallen members of society among the young people and giving them new life of spiritual or highly desirable qualities, such as honesty, cleanliness, truthfulness, morality, like that"

"If they give us financial help in this matter of human welfare activities, we are prepared to save or rescue their entire population from the clutches of ruin and degradation of all sorts"

"By our mutual combination I am certain that we can improve the entire humanity to the point of spiritual understanding and thus automatically eliminate the basis for wars, poverty, disease, inequality, insufficient supplies of foodstuffs, and so many other problems that plague our so-called civilized societies." [This would only be possible if everyone became Krishna conscious, so this statement probably supports the fact that Srila Prabhupada is asking for help and facilities for preaching Krishna consciousness and not for just distributing prasadam without any preaching]

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2) There is a statement above; "..and practically we are demonstrating that they have given us foodstuffs in India and we are distributing them daily to not less than 500 men, and if they would give us more we could also increase more and more." … This can be taken to mean that Srila Prabhupada wanted prasadam distribution. How are we to understand it? Or is it that Srila Prabhupada just wanted Prasadam distribution in some places eg. Mayapur. Or perhaps prasadam is being distributed but in the temples only as Srila Prabhupada wanted?

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