“Srila Prabhupada Applying Tilaka” – video made by Haldhara Dasa
Nectar of Devotion: “In the Padma Purana there is a statement describing how a Vaisnava should decorate his body with tilaka and beads: “Persons who put tulasi beads on the neck, who mark twelve places of their bodies as Visnu temples with Visnu’s symbolic representations [the four items held in the four hands of Lord Visnu—conch, mace, disc and lotus], and who have visnu-tilaka on their foreheads, are to be understood as the devotees of Lord Visnu in this world. Their presence makes the world purified, and anywhere they remain, they make that place as good as Vaikuntha.”
A similar statement is in the Skanda Purana, which says, “Persons who are decorated with tilaka or gopi-candana [a kind of clay resembling fuller’s earth which is produced in certain quarters of Vrindavana], and who mark their bodies all over with the holy names of the Lord, and on whose necks and breasts there are tulasi beads, are never approached by the Yamadutas.”
The Yamadutas are the constables of King Yama (the lord of death), who punishes all sinful men. Vaisnavas are never called for by such constables of Yamaraja. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam, in the narration of Ajamila’s deliverance, it is said that Yamaraja gave clear instructions to his assistants not to approach the Vaisnavas. Vaisnavas are beyond the jurisdiction of Yamaraja’s activities.
The Padma Purana also mentions, “A person whose body is decorated with the pulp of sandalwood, with paintings of the holy name of the Lord, is delivered from all sinful reactions, and after his death he goes directly to Krishnaloka to live in association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.””