Is Wearing Krishna Pendant/Ring & Chanting with Tulasi mala Compulsory?
Question from a devotee (Name hidden):
Hare Krishna, prabhu…I have some questions… 1.chanting is better by tulashi mala after take bath. Is it acceptable if we chant by counting machine or fingers or not after take bath? 2. What’s about chocolates? Is it strongly prohibited in bhakti life? 3. Sometimes we use key ring or others with picture of krishna. is it right to use as we r not always clean but it’s always with us. Thanks prabhu….
It is not required to touch the tulasi mala only after taking a bath.
Even if you have cleaned your hands well and brushed your teeth, you can chant using tulasi mala.
In the case of married devotees, in case they had involved in physical relations the previous night, they should touch the tulasi mala only after taking full bath.
(Why do the Symbols of one Sampradhaya differ from others? READ HERE!)
It is better to chant using tulasi beads itself.
However, during travels or in office, if you are unable to chant using Tulasi mala, you can chant using counter machine or fingers.
The initiated devotees may please use the mala chanted and given by your guru because, your guru has imparted Krishna in that mala. It will be more effective. In unavoidable situations, they too can chant using counters or fingers.
But, the best mode is using Tulasi mala because Tulasi is with us taking us closer to Krishna.
A devotee should add the blessings of as many vaishnavas and devotees as possible. So, when we chant using Tulasi mala, the blessing and support of Tulasi Maharani and Guru (if initiated) will also be there in our chanting process.
(What if my company objects Vaishnava Symbols like Tilak, Sikha and Kanthi mala (Tualsi mala)? READ HERE!)
If Tulasi mala can be used in any place- even in your office/ company to chant whenever you have some free time in the middle.
However, it should not be used in the place where death happened, in toilets/ bathrooms, etc. We should not keep that the bag containing Tulasi mala on bed or floor and it should be kept on a cloth or paper or on a shelf where our feet does not touch.
As far as chocolates are concerned, they too contain caffeine that is an additive. Chocolates, though sweety and creamy in taste, they are additives.
That is why, the devotees are advised to avoid chocolates.
Alternatively, there are some delicious sweets like coconut cakes, Groundnut cakes, Milk cakes, dates, etc. You can take them. You can offer them to Krishna and then honour them.
(Is reading Garuda Purana, Mahabharatha and keeping Krishna Pictures wrong? READ HERE!)
I do not find it necessary to keep Krishna always with us in the following forms:
(a) Keeping devotional ring tones. I do not have them because even when we go to toilet or bathroom, the phone rings a devotional song in toilet. It can be avoided. Some use even Gayathri manthra as ring tones. It is very offensive as it should not be publicly circulated. Even recording the Gayathri Manthra and selling it is offensive. It should be heard only through a guru and sung secretly closing the hands that is holding the mala used to chant Gayathri Manthra.
(b) Keeping the finger rings and pendants with the pictures of Krishna and other gods is also not necessary. The fingers will be used even for rubbing the body parts, touching some hidden parts, body cleaning, etc.
(c) Wearing T-Shirts with Krishna pictures printed. Though these things act as advertisements, they too are unnecessary as shirts become impure with the sweat and dust.
Why should we show our devotional orientations outside like this?
(Should Krishna devotees perform Puja for new house or vehicle? READ HERE!)
We should show our devotion in our activities and decent approach.
A devotee should be satvic, kind, steady, pleasing and an example for others to follow.
Gandhiji wore no religious symbols. He followed dignity in all his dealings with everyone including the British authorities. That is why, he is still respected all over the world.
For us, the devotees, the three important and simple ornaments are enough:
(1) Chanting mala (2) Tilak (3) Tulasi mala (Kanthi Mala) around the neck.
THE BEST PLACE TO KEEP KRISHNA IS: YOUR HEART.
Bhakti is an internal phenomenon. Wearing Krishna Pendant/Ring does not certify that we have advanced in devotion.
These external symbols like Tulasi mala, wearing Krishna Pendant/Ring may give you the mood of a devotee while being a sadhaka (Practitioner).
(Procedure to wear Kanti (Tulasi) mala around neck! READ HERE!)