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Discussions specifically related with the various aspects of practice of bhakti-sadhana in Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

Wearing amalaki or lotus around the neck? -

Revati - Wed, 05 May 2004 12:00:59 +0530

In his Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu, Srila Rupa Gosvamipada has mentioned the wearing of Vaishnava-marks as one the 64 item of devotional practice and has its eternality from Padma Purana:

ye kantha lagna tulasi nalinaksa mala ye bahu paricihnita sankha cakrah
ye va lalata-pholake lasad urdhva pundras te vaisnava bhuvanam asu pavitrayanti

“Those Vaishnavas that wear strings of Tulasi, Amalaki or Lotusbuds around their necks, who wear the marks of conch, disc and so on their shoulder and whose foreheads are beautified by vertical Tilaka, swiftly purify the world”

Extracted from the commentary of the verse 82 of  SRRS

Can someone answer me, which kind of Vaisnavas are those who wear Amalaki or Lotusbuds around their necks and marks of conch, disc around their shoulders?

Advaitadas - Wed, 05 May 2004 13:00:58 +0530
Havent seen the lotus buds or Amalaki but my Guru's brother was sometimes wearing conch and cakra-tilak around his shoulders. It is prescribed by Haribhakti Vilas, although Vaishnavas more often write the name Ra-Dha on the chest with tilak.
braja - Wed, 05 May 2004 17:55:12 +0530
Hmm. Wouldn't this refer to the lotus seed rather than the bud? I have seen japa mala made from lotus seeds--they are quite beautiful. A necklace of buds would not last long unless they are dried, in which case they would be quite impractical, even painful, to wear.

And wouldn't "akSa" more naturally refer to rudrAkSa, eleocarpus ganitrus, rather than amalaki? Monier-Williams lists both terminalia belerica and eleocarpus ganitrus for akSa, however terminalia belerica is not amalaki. It is bibhitaki, another of the three common fruits that make up triphala churna. Amalaki is emblica officinalis.

Reminds me of the description of "gunja-mala" in the Cc. The BBT refers to this as a garland of conchshells; Dimock calls it a garland of gunja flowers. Common experience tells us that this is a garland of berries.
Radharaman - Sat, 08 May 2004 16:49:00 +0530
An old friend of mine was with ISKCON for a number of years without taking diksha, when the time to do so came he went to Puri and took diksha from a guru there who he said was in the Advaita parivar, his guru told him to wear a mala of lotus seeds instead of Tulasi around his neck, I cannot remember the reason why.