PIONEERING THE WAY
Srila Prabhupada Impacts Mexico (Part 8)
SRILA PRABHUPADA INSTRUCTS HOW TO APPLY TILAKA TO THE FOREHEAD
It is said in the Padma Purana, Uttara Khanda:
"After initiation, the disciple's name must be changed to indicate that he is a servant of Lord Visnu. The disciple begins marking his body with tilaka (urdhva-pundra), especially his forehead. These are spiritual marks, symptoms of a perfect Vaisnava."
(Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 1.208, Purport)
Early in February 1975 in the main hall of the Mexico City temple, devotees from all over the world assembled for the initiation ceremony. They came from South America as far away as Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, and also from Central America, El Salvador, Guatemala, from North America, USA, Canada and other countries.
The ceremony was conducted by H.H. Paramahamsa Swami, and H.H. Hridayananda Goswami was also helping Srila Prabhupada by translating into Spanish. One by one the devotees were called by their civil name and they would come before Srila Prabhupada offering their prostrated obeisances. Maharaja would translate as Srila Prabhupada would ask the candidates the regulative principles. The time came for the architect Mauricio from El Salvador to be initiated. He came before Srila Prabhupada and offered his obeisances, at which time Srila Prabhupada noticed that he was wearing a tilaka mark from the beginning of the nose, across his forehead right back to his sikha. Srila Prabhupada turned to Hrdayananda Goswami and asked him to explain that tilaka should be marked from the nose till the beginning of the hair. Maharaja did so and then Srila Prabhupada asked the regulative principles and then handed over the tulasi-mala to the architect and at the same time he said, "Your spiritual name is Mahabhagavata dasa." Mahabhagavata dasa took his tulasi-mala beads, offered obeisances to Srila Prabhupada and sat back for the conclusion of the ceremony.
Mexico City, February 1975
SRILA PRABHUPADA REMEMBERS GAURANGA
It is said in the Bhagavad Gita:
"The thoughts of my pure devotees dwell in me, their lives are fully devoted to my service."
After the architect and others were called, one person from the U.S.A. came before Srila Prabhupada and offered his obeisances. Srila Prabhupada asked him the regulative principles and was surprised because he answered in English. He turned to Maharaja and said, "Oh, he speaks in English! Oh, he looks like Gauranga." This was because the devotee was white and had blue eyes. Then Srila Prabhupada handed over the mala and at the time said to him, "Your spiritual name is Jaya Gauranga dasa." Then Jaya Gauranga dasa took the japa mala and sat back down.
Mexico City, February 1975
Rama Govinda das
(R.G. Bhakti Prapanna Parvata Maharaja)