A Message from HH Bhakti Vikasa Maharaj

ASK BVKS | October 21, 2011 |

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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… Expand>

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 remember from your previous recorded lectures where you mentioned you observed that devotees are increasingly basing their krishna conscious activities on hearing kirtans, taking prasadam, being part of social groups and social networking sites and other related things like festivals etc. and not much on philosophical study and/ or intellectual application on the message being presented.

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I believe these are very/ most important as Srila Prabhupada himself set an example by encouraging to study his books closely and ask questions as well as leave no stone unturned in challenging the faulty hypotheses presented by the scientists. As I understand ,as the scientists are very organised in their activities, one of the purposes ISKCON was created (As detailed in ISKCON'S Mission statement) was to organize the devotees globally to take on this global challenge and influence the policy makers towards good governance etc.(Ex. of SP
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From the perspective of lofty goals entrusted to us by His Divine Grace, my estimation is that we are not even close to challenging the might of scientific or governmental establishment.OR we have lost that vigorous spirit when His Divine Grace was personally present alongside us. I have observed that in a recent meeting at Mayapur, the GBC members have listed the above as challenges facing us as an organisation.

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Question:

Is it acceptable for a girl, whose parents don’t arrange her marriage, to arrange her own marriage by meeting different men and working it out like that? 

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāśa Swami:

According to Manu-saṁhitā it is the duty of the father to marry a daughter before her first menstruation.

And Manu also says that after, I think it’s two menstrual periods or maybe three, if the father hasn’t done that, then the girl can arrange her own marriage.

The emphasis is very much on what they nowadays call child marriage. Śrīla Prabhupāda recounts that his eldest sister was almost 14 and she was not married, and that their mother was so upset that she told their father that: “If you don’t marry her right away I’m going to drown myself in Ganga.“

Śrīla Prabhupāda’s first child was born when his wife was 13. Nowadays it’s called child abuse.
So, it’s acceptable according to śāstra. You’ve asked according to śāstra. I’ve answered according to śāstra.

Gradually it’s become accepted within Indian culture that girls go to school, and then they have a career, but still there is idea that parents should arrange the marriage. But that’s breaking down now.

Still, maybe most marriages in India are arranged, but it’s breaking down. Thousands and thousands of marriages are negotiated on the Internet. They have sites shaadi.com. Shaadi is Urdu word for marriage. Muslimmatrimony.com is an Indian site.

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