Tilaka – Krishna and Radharani

Q. It may sound a simple question but it is very much a great question for my neighbour’s childrens to whom I gave picture of Radha Krishna. They ask why Krishna himself wearing His Lotus feet mark on His forehead and Srimathi Radharani is not wearing tilaka on Her forehead, if she is a great devotee of the Lord.

I am also very much eager to know the answer to this question. So by your answer only, I think I can satisfy the children to a greater extent.

A. It is great that you are preaching small kids. At RadhaGopinath Mandir also, projects like fun school etc. are being conducted for them. Kids are innocent, pure and can be easily moulded to pure Krishna consciousness doctrines.

A devotee of Krishna decorates the body because it is a temple of God. The tilaka worn by devotees in the Hare Krishna movement indicates that we are in the disciplic line from Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. As you know, the upper part of this tilaka, shaped like the prongs of a tuning-fork, represents Lord Krishna’s footprint, and the leaf-shaped part on the nose represents a leaf of tulasi, Krishna’s favourite plant. The two lines also represent the walls of a Radha Krishna temple, and so the space between the lines is Radha and Krishna’s abode. For other Vaisnavas the two lines may indicate Brahma and Siva, and the space between the abode of Vishnu.

Why Lord wears tilaka?: In Krishna book at chapter 17 entitled “Lord Krishna’s Daily Activities”, Srila Prabhupad writes “Lord Krishna would immediately sit down and meditate on Himself. Krishna is Krishna Himself. Therefore, He was teaching us”.Thus, Krishna is supreme personality of Godhead. So, He puts his own tilaka with His Lotus feet mark on His forehead as nobody is supreme to him.

Why Srimathi Radharani does not wear tilaka?: Srimathi Radharani’s complexion is like molten gold(Tapta Kanchan Gaurangi). Srimathi Radharani wears tilaka but it can not be seen because her complexion is of same colour of chandan tilak. Thus, Tilaka remains hidden with her complexion.