I just want to know what is the importance of Tilak and Chandlo in Swaminarayan Religion?
The tilak is adorned by male satsangis on four parts of their body using Gopichandan (a yellow paste sanctified by the Gopis, which is found on the banks of the Lake Gopi in Dwarika). It is impressed on the forehead, chest and both the upper arms.
The forehead is the symbol of knowledge. The soul resides inside the heart. Almighty God Supreme resides in the soul, it is for this reason that a tilak is made on the chest. Our strength is characterised by the arms, thereby applying tilak on the arms utilises our strength in performing good deeds.
The benefit of having a tilak mark is of very great value. It protects you from worldly bondage, whilst maintaining the body as holy as the temple of God. It destroys any sins committed during the day. With out it, acts such as reciting the name of God, performing sacrificial fire and the study of scriptures are not accepted by God.
Sacred sandalwood offered to Shree Krishna and sacred kumkum offered to Shree Lakshmi are to be applied as tilak and chandlo by male members of the Swaminarayan Sect to identify them as members of the Swaminarayan sect.