Hare Krishna Mahamantra

हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण, कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे || हरे राम हरे राम, राम राम हरे हरे||

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Importance of Vaishnav Tilaka and how to wear it

Anyone who wishes to acknowledge the simple truth that “I am Lord Krishna’s servant” can wear tilaka, the clay mark devotees wear on the forehead and other places on their body. You may not feel you have much devotion to Krishna, but you’re not prohibited from wearing tilaka, because it’s a sign that you’re trying to be His devotee. What’s more, the qualifications for being Krishna’s devotee soon develop in a person who learns the art of wearing tilaka.
Srila Prabhupada putting tilaka
Why decorate the body?
A devotee of Krishna decorates the body because it’s a temple of God. Instead of decorating our body as if it were the self, or destroying it, or despising it for its filthy emissions, we can respect and care for it as a residence of the Supreme Lord. The soul lives within the body, and so too does the Supersoul, the Lord. As a house is built and maintained for the pleasure of its owner, so “our” body is meant for the pleasure of its real owner, Lord Krishna. Decorating the body with tilaka pleases Him.
Putting on tilaka helps remind us we belong to Krishna. And when others see a person wearing tilaka they are not only reminded of Krishna but relieved of sinful reactions.
When we wear tilaka on our bodies, the Lord protects us from all sides. When Srila Prabhupada gave a disciple the name Tilaka Dasi, he told her that Tilaka meant “victory personified.”

When to wear tilaka
Although you can put on tilaka anytime, the best time to apply it is after bathing or showering. Wearing tilaka is especially appropriate during your puja, or worship, at home. When you’re worshiping as a family, everyone can wear it, or at least the person offering arati (the pujari). You can also wear tilaka when you visit the temple or attend festivals like Rathayatra.
An important time to wear it is at death. Either before someone dies or just afterwards, if you apply tilaka at least to the person’s forehead, he or she will obtain eternal benefit. Of course, death can come anytime, and so it’s wise to wear tilaka always.
You may feel shy about wearing tilaka publicly, but don’t jump to conclusions about what others may think. They may be intrigued. 
Srila Prabhupada told a story about a factory in India where most of the Hindu workers were accustomed to wearing tilaka. When their new boss, a Muslim, told them that whoever kept wearing tilaka would lose his job, the next day everyone except one man came to work with forehead blank. So then the owner called a meeting and announced that from then on this one brave man would be the only person allowed to keep wearing tilaka.
How to make tilaka
ISKCON devotees generally make their tilaka from a cream-colored clay called gopi-candana, obtained from a sacred lake near Dvaraka, Lord Krishna’s ancient city on the west coast of Gujarat. Krishna’s greatest devotees, the gopis, once visited this lake. You can most likely obtain some from your local temple or supplier of devotional items. If not, clay from Vrndavana or any other holy place is fine. You can even use potters’ clay. According to the Hari-bhakti-vilasa, a book by Srila Sanatana Gosvami on Vaishnava practices, any kind of earth may be used for tilaka, especially earth from a riverbank or from beneath a tulasi bush.
Put a little water in the palm of your left hand and move your block or ball of tilaka clay briskly until you get a smooth paste. As you do this, chant Hare Krishna, or if you like you can recite a mantra from the Padma Purana. You can find this mantra in a purport in the Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 20.202).

How to apply tilaka
Apply tilaka with the ring finger of your right hand. Make a mark — about as wide as the space between your eyebrows — from the root of your nose to your hairline. Now use another finger, perhaps the little one, to make a clear space in the middle to form two vertical lines. If these lines come out crooked, you can straighten them with a third finger. If your forehead is bumpy, you can develop your own way of applying the clay. Now make the leaf-shaped mark, which should extend from the base of the lines to about three quarters of the way down the nose.
After marking your forehead, apply tilaka to eleven other places on your body, as shown on the facing page.
As you apply the tilaka, recite the appropriate names of Vishnu listed here. Om kesavaya namah means “O my Lord Kesava, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.” So as we mark our bodies, we chant twelve of His holy names.
If you can’t find the clay to make tilaka (or if your wearing tilaka wouldn’t sit well with your boss), you can go through the same procedure using only water. Use water that has bathed the Deity or pure water you’ve sanctified by chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. By chanting the names of the Lord and applying the invisible representation of His temple, you’ll be protected and spiritually inspired for a Krishna conscious day.
Tilak marks on different parts of body
Summary of the steps used while wearing tilaka:
Put the water in your left hand, and rub the hard tilaka into the water, creating a wet paste out of the clay. Begin by putting your ring finger of the right hand into the clay, and starting between the eyebrows, bring the finger straight up to the hairline, making two straight lines. It should look like a long, narrow U-shape. Then use some more tilaka to make the marking on your nose. 

As you apply the tilaka to your body, chant the following mantras:
forehead: om keshavaya namaha
belly: om narayanaya namaha
chest: om madhavaya namaha
neck: om govindaya namaha
right: belly om vishnave namaha
right: arm om madhusudhanaya namaha
right: shoulder om trivikramaya namaha
left: belly om vamanaya namaha
left arm: om shridharaya namaha
left shoulder: om hrishikeshaya namaha
upper back: om padmanabhaya namaha
lower back: om damodaraya namaha
Take the remaining tilaka and wipe it on the back of the head, on the area of the shikha, and chant om vasudevaya namaha.

Learn how to wear vaishnav tilaka by watching this video:

Also read few more related articles:

Learn how to wear Dhoti in Vrindavan Style

Learn how to play kartal

How to offer bhog to Krishna and about Krishna Prasadam

*** Hare Krishna ***

Famous vegetarian personalities and their thoughts

It is commonly heard that being vegetarian is getting trendy these days. People adopt a vegetarian regime out of curiosity, for health benefits, on embracing of a new religious belief or out of mere kindness towards animals. Historical truths show that being vegetarian has always been a lifestyle for some communities around the world. Some recognized communities that have always had a vegetarian way of life hail from India. There have also been some inspirational and famous die-hard vegetarians all over the world who have always sworn by their natural green intake. Here is a collection of names of popular persons across the world that prefers a green diet.
Famous personalities who were vegetarians
In fact, important figures in history have thrived on a plant-based menu for hundreds of years. What is to be learnt from famed vegetarians in history?

1. Pythagoras 
This Greek scholar, known for his math theorem lived over 2500 years ago and ate a meatless diet, called the "Pythagorean diet" until the word vegetarian became popular in the late 1800s. He said “as long as men kill animals, they will kill each other. He who propagates the seed of murder and pain can never reap joy and love.”

2. Leonardo da Vinci 
Born in 1452, this Renaissance man was famous for his study of mathematics, aerospace, engineering, art, etc. His vegetarianism has been credited to reading about the life of Pythagoras. He said, “My body will not be a tomb for other creatures.” So intense was his love for animals that he would liberate animals from meat markets.
Da Vinci - Vegetarian Thoughts
3. Percy Shelley 
English author Percy Shelley may have become a vegetarian to be as different as possible from a father he hated. In 1813 he wrote “A Vindication of Natural Diet.” In this he dared the flesh eater to “tear a live lamb with his teeth and, insert his head into its vitals and slake his thirst with the hot blood.”

4. Mary Shelley 
Another English author, Shelley is famous for her work Frankenstein and was a practicing vegetarian. She made the well-known monster of her classic book a plant-eater and wrote for him that “my food is not that of man, I do not destroy the lamb to flood my appetite; acorns and berries afford my sufficient nourishment.”
Vegetarian Quote

5. Mahatma Gandhi 
Gandhi turned to civil disobedience to lead a forceful movement for India’s independence. One of his powerful teachers was a Jain philosopher who stressed non-violence (ahimsa) to living things. Gandhi wrote that “to my mind the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. I should not take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body.”
Mahatma Gandhi - Vegetarian Thoughts
6. George Bernard Shaw 
Author of Pygmalion, Bernard Shaw received the Nobel Prize in Literature in the year 1925. He says his vegetarianism is due to the influence of Shelley and towards saving money on food during his lean years. He is most famous for saying “animals are my friends and I don’t eat my friends.”

7. Isaac Bashevis Singer 
He became the second vegetarian recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature (after Bernard Shaw) in 1978. Adopting vegetarianism in 1962, he explained that “when you slaughter a living being, you slaughter the Lord."

8. Dick Gregory 
The 1968 US Presidential candidate is known for his humor and political activism. He wrote that “Martin Luther King taught us all nonviolence. We were told to extend nonviolence to the mother and her calf.”

9. Paul McCartney 
Few living figures are as well-known as this Beatle who continues to perform music worldwide. He is known for his dedication to animal rights. He has done many ads for PETA and narrates a video with the famous line that “if slaughterhouses had see-through walls, everybody would be a vegetarian.” 
Quote on Vegetarianism
10. Albert Einstein 
Recognized worldwide, Albert Einstein embraced vegetarianism toward the end of his life. He believed that man was not born to be a carnivore and he said forcefully that “nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution of a vegetarian diet.”
Albert Einstein - Vegetarian Thoughts
11. Mike Tyson
A retired American boxer, he is the world champion in the heavyweight list. Mike Tyson vouches for a wholly vegan diet. He regrets that he was not a born vegan.

12. Amitabh Bachchan
He supports People for Ethical Treatment towards Animals (PETA) and meticulously promotes the 'Go Green' campaign. He has been a strict vegetarian for quite a substantial part of his life.
Vegetarian - Amitabh Bachchan

Given below is a list of famous personalities, both past and present who adopted a vegetarian way of life.
Alice Waker - Vegetarian Thoughts

Name of PersonalityProfession
Leonardo da Vinci    Artist
Amos Bronson AlcottTranscendentalist
Confucius       Chinese Philosopher
Albert Einstein        Physicist
Aristotle            Thinker
Plato            Thinker
Pythagoras        Mathematician
Socrates            Thinker
M.K. Gandhi   Indian Leader
George Bernard ShawPlaywright
Sir Isaac NewtonScientist
Leo TolstoyWriter/Author
Mark TwainWriter/Author
Michael JacksonSinger
Benjamin FranklinUS Political Leader
Henry FordEntrepreneur
H G WellsWriter/Author
George HarrisonSinger
Charlotte BronteWriter/Author
Charles DarwinNaturalist
Bryan AdamsSinger
Dr APJ Abdul KalamScientist
Rabindranath TagorePoet and Painter
Paul McCartneySinger

Name of ActorCountry
Pamela AndersonCanada
Jim CarreyUSA
Amitabh BachchanIndia
John AbrahamIndia
Casey AffleckUSA
Gillian AndersenUSA
Alec BaldwinUSA
James CromwellUSA
Tobey MaguireUSA
Lisa EdelsteinUSA
Joaquin PhoenixUSA
Brad PittUSA
Alicia SilverstoneUSA
Billy WestUSA
Cristian BaleUK
Julie ChristieUK
Sadie FrostUK

Name of AthleteSportCountry
Adam MyersonCycling       USA
Greg ChappelCricketAustralia
Martina Navratilova    TennisCzech Republic
Sachin TendulkarCricketIndia
Mike TysonBoxingUSA
Nice Vegetarian Thoughts
A plant based diet is increasing in popularity and in some countries is well over 10% of the population. Many celebrities serve as role models for this movement. The positive impact of the expanding plant-based movement is a bright spot for the world.
The lists given above may be long but they shall always be incomplete. Many celebrities and commoners are turning towards vegetarian diet perpetually. It helps make you hale and hearty and animal friendly.
The only difference exists in your mind - Be Vegetarian

Also read related important posts on vegetarianism:
Vegetarians who eat from food chain like McDonalds etc:

Offering food to Shri Krishna before eating – Krishna Prasadam

Previous article may also be helpful that tells about how understanding knowledge in Bhagavad Gita can help to solve problems of life:

Different Types of Vegetables

*** Hare Krishna ***