If Vaishnava Symbols are not Permitted in Job, Should we quit job or look?

If Vaishnava Symbols are not Permitted in Job, Should we quit job or look?

A devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:

“Hare krishna prabhu,  i work at ………………….,  nd i  hav tulsi beads on my  neck 4 abt a year now.  Now the thing iz  they want me to remove them, nd  i told them that  i won’t remove them  AT ALL.    Nd   i waz  promised a dismisal.  Pls tel  me wt to do. Should I remove beads or go out of job”


This is the problem faced by many devotees in their job.  In Many companies, the Vaishnava Symbols are not Permitted in Job.  Vaishnava Symbols mean Sikha, Tilak,  the traditional  styled dhoti,  kanthi mala, etc.

In India and many countries, there is a rule in Government offices:  The office is common for all religions.  So, the staff should  not have  religious signs and they should not preach their religion in the office campus.  Performing  homa/ yaga is also prohibited in offices.  This is to avoid religious unrest between the staff who belong to different religions/ paths.

(Why many sadhus grow hairs in head, beard, moustache but Brahmanas and Vaishnavas shave? READ HERE!)

In some religious countries,  Vaishnava appearance is strictly objected. Most of the companies in the world have some dress codes and uniforms. For example, the police personnel should not have long hairs. They should have a close cut of hairs and wear uniforms all the time.


So, the following  devotees can remain in Vaishnava appearance all the time:

(1) Who are involved in deity service

(2) Who are staying in the temples,

(3) Who are retired

(4) Who are unemployed

(5) Who are house wives,   OR

(6) Whose school, college, office, or, company permits them to wear  religious signs.

(Why do the Symbols of one Sampradhaya differ from others? READ HERE!)


However, those whose office / school/ college/ company objects their Vaishnava/ religious appearance may adopt the following:

(1) They may go and frankly discuss with the highest authority in school/ college/ office/ company and request him to permit you to wear TILAK,   KANTHI (TULASI) MALA,   SIKHA, etc.  Try your best to convince them.

(2) If they do not permit, get their consent only to wear KANTHI MALA around neck and assure them that you will skip dhoti, tilak and shika.

If they do not accept your request at all, come to office in the dress code expected by them during office hours.  After coming to home, change to vaishnava appearance.

(3) As far as KANTHI (TULASI) MALA is concerned,   I think, it is like wearing a chain that will not be the violation of the rules.

(4) It is stated in ‘Padma Purana’:  “Either during morning ablutions or bathing or eating or at any state which is clean or unclean, Tulsi mala has to be worn always; that means mala should not be removed under any circumstance.”

(5) It is said in “Vishnudharmottar” : The Lord says that one who wears the beads made out of the wood of Tulsi in one’s neck, even if he is untidy and ill- charactered, will undoubtedly attain Me only.

So, as said by Padma Purana,  Tulasi mala should not be removed if you are an initiated devotee.   You may skip other external signs in the work spot if they object and go in their EXPECTED DRESS CODE, but, TRY YOUR BEST TO GET SPECIAL PERMISSION TO WEAR TULASI MALA ALONE AROUND NECK.

(Why Krishna wears a tilak that marks Tulasi and His own Feet? READ HERE!)

Or, You yourself hide that mala using a high collar shirt closing all the buttons of shirt while at work.

Generally,   wearing work uniform and also wearing tulasi mala alone will not look odd for your authorities.

They may not have objection as Kanthi mala is hidden inside the Shirt Collar.

However, if you are initiated and your company objects wearing Kanthi mala also , Consult your guru and get his special permission for going to job without kanthi mala.

Because, you are wearing karmi dress as they said.  But, if they do not allow atleast this kanthi mala, it seems so peculiar, as it is hidden into the shirt.  So, they should permit.

(What to do if Kanthi mala or Japa mala are damaged? READ HERE!)

However, 99.9% of the employers will permit wearing Kanthi mala and hiding that using a high collar shirt. You wear it, but, don’t show outside. Simple.

If all your efforts fail, do not wear any symbols including Kanthi mala. Wear them when you are at home.  Because, external appearance is secondary. Only the internal surrender is required more in devotion.

If you are externally look like a Vaishnava, but internally not pure, it is a cheating. Compared to that, quitting external appearance for job and being pure internally for 8-10 hours a day will be better.

If you are not initiated, you can postpone wearing Kanthi mala and other symbols till you get initiation IF THE COMPANY/ INSTITUTION OBJECTS.

But, remember, initiated devotees should wear Kanthi mala all the times. though they are in unclean conditions.

However, Both initiated and non initiated devotees may skip other vaishnava symbols  IF YOUR EMPLOYER/ INSTITUTION DOES NOT PERMIT THEM EVEN AFTER MANY OF YOUR EFFORTS TO GET THEIR PERMISSION.

(Will dying wearing Gopi Chandan and Kanthi mala takes one to Vaikunta? READ HERE!)

Kanthi mala is compulsory for initiated devotees. However, if the need arises to remove, do that with the consent of guru.  You can compromise ONLY DURING WORKING HOURS in the outlook recommended for serious  Vaishnavas.

If they permit, wear them happily if you like to appear so.

Then about quitting the company.

In case it is a corporate job or Government job that is difficult to get alternate one, manage a advised above.

In case, it is an ordinary job that can be got anywhere else, you can quit that company/ firm that does not allow Vaishnava appearance.

Hope you are clear about what to do if Vaishnava Symbols are not Permitted in Job.


Author: RAJAN

RAJAN from Tamil Nadu, India, a Life Patron and an Initiated Devotee being in ISKCON for nearly three decades, serves anonymously to avoid Prominence and crowd as an insignificant, Humble and Neutral Servant for all the devotees of Krishna! He promotes Social media forums and this blog-website as e-satsangha (e-forums) blessed with Lakhs of followers, to give Spiritual Solutions for all the Material Problems of the devotees since 2011! He writes friendly and practical tips to practice devotion (i) without hurting the followers of other paths, (ii) without affecting the personal and career life, and (iii) without the blind, superstitious and ritualistic approach! He dedicates all the glories and credits to his Guru and Krishna.

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