Hare Krishna Hanumat Preshaka Swami Maharaja,
Please accept my humble obeisances, all glories go to Srila Prabhupada and Gauranga!
Maharaja, I was thinking the other day of giving bad impressions in Krishna Consciousness, Prabhupada, I think stated somewhere we should wear Tilak 24/7 even in our Karmi Clothes and at work, etc. But I was wondering, if I'm stuck with the material half of my family in the City Mall, and my little brother and sister are screaming and trying to wrestle with me on the resting benches<img alt="" src="http://hps-d6.monkeywarrior.com/sites/all/libraries/ckeditor/plugins/smiley/images/17.gif" title="" /> <img alt="" src="http://hps-d6.monkeywarrior.com/sites/all/libraries/ckeditor/plugins/smiley/images/a11.gif" title="" />, I have a visible Sikha, Tilaka, bead bag, etc etc, I think people will often see the 'Hare Krishnas' as some crazy typical biblical brainwash satanic cult or something crazy; all the chanting and marble deitys and books(Forgiveness! No real offenses!!) Thats how I sort of viewed it when I first came in, then the genuine authenticity and goal of the whole thing sunk into me: Krsna Prema Bhakti. Then I was like "Oh! Wow, I get the whole point now! Theres steps, a practical process, etc.."
So should I just wear a hood to cover the sikha and wipe off Tilak in Public scenes to avoid making bad impressions on people? With Tilak on, people tend to treat me oddly enough, or sometimes make fun of me in public .. I just don't want to, scare them away from the movement <img alt="" src="http://hps-d6.monkeywarrior.com/sites/all/libraries/ckeditor/plugins/smiley/images/15.gif" title="" />
I often worry too if people will threaten me with violence too; I know it's probably rediculous to worry about, but o I react if I get some people coming up to me with fists or weapons, am I supposed to just be like Ahimsa, or run away, run away?
HpS - ASA -- AGTSP! Esteemed Bhakta Reilly. For Sankirtana, I think Srila Prabhupada siad that marking the Tilak with water was O.K. Personally, I think that you are right in many cases. People don't understand it and they have a bad impresssion. On the other hand their ignorant reaction is one thing and their spiritual benefit is another.
Many different aspects.
It also protects us, no? Because we are wearing it people won't approach us for materialistic reasons. So, I would say that the important thing is to be always hearing and talking about Krsna and Tilak is good if you can do it. You can even wear India dress rather than Dhoti and then it may not seem so strange.
What do Gopal and Sri Hari Das say?