Q. Why do some members wear robes and saris?
A. In the ancient Vedic culture a person dressed according to his or her social and spiritual position. Following those traditions, women who live in Hare Krishna communities wear saris and men wear robes called dhotis. Married men wear white, and unmarried men wear saffron. Men living a monastic lifestyle shave their heads and leave a tuft of hair in the back, called a sikha. This is done as a sign of renunciation and surrender to Krishna, as well as for cleanliness and simplicity. The sikha is also a sign of accepting the premise that God is a person and not merely an impersonal force. The clay marking on the forehead signifies that the body is a temple of God. The clay comes from sacred rivers in India.