Hello I am hoping someone can put my curiosity to rest.
Now this might be an ignorant question but I have wondered about this for a long time without knowing who to ask.
When I worked in a shop about ten years ago a gentleman came in who I believe was a Hare Krishna. He appeared to be chanting under his breath and didn't speak to me directly at any point.
What he wanted to do was touch my forehead and mumble something (prayer?), his thumb might have had some sort of powder on it. Now since he didn't speak to me I didn't know what he was doing or why so jerked my head away and backed off. He simply continued to chant, turned around and left the shop without saying anything else.
My questions are 1) What is the significance of touching someone on the forehead like this? 2) Is it normal practice to do this without explaining what you're doing?
The reason I believe he was a Hare Krishna is mainly because of his style of dress. It is conceivable this is a wrong assumption but I don't believe so.