Vaishnava Culture: Observing Chaturmasya

                                                                  Q. Some devotees say the Caturmasya Vratas are not something that Srila Prabhupada gave much emphasis to. According to our scriptures, as followers of ISKCON and practicing Gaudiya vaisnavas are we obliged to observe Caturmasya Vrata to some extent? What are minimum standards that we should strive for? What are some additional standards that may be reasonable to strive for? What are the benefits?
                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                  Q. What is the significance of wearing Tulasi and tilok? Why should one fast in Caturmasya? Why do men wear shikas? Why should one offer food before eating it? [Editor's Note: Caturmasya is the four months of rain, from July to October]