Satsvarupa dasa Goswami: There was once a factory in India where all the workers were Hindus and mostly Vaishnavas. The Vaishnavas had freedom, therefore, to wear their Vaishnava tilaka to work, and they also displayed other Vaishnava paraphernalia. After some time, however, the factory went to new management and the new proprietor was a Muslim. On taking over the business, the Muslim owner declared that he would no longer allow the workers to come to work wearing Vaishnava tilaka. Most of the workers obeyed, and on the given date announced by the owner, they appeared at the factory without their tilaka.
One employee, however, thought that he would take his chances and depend on Krishna, so he went to work wearing very clear, white Vaishnava tilaka. After seeing all the workers assembled, the new Muslim proprietor said, "This one devotee who has worn Vaishnava tilaka is very courageous. He may be permitted to continue wearing the tilaka to work, but all others are forbidden to wear it any more." In this way, Prabhupada encouraged the devotees to not unnecessarily abandon the markings of a Vaishnava. Where situations forbid it, Prabhupada said that it was not absolutely necessary to wear tilaka, although a devotee should at least put water tilaka on his body in the morning and consecrate his body with the names of Vishnu. But if the paraphernalia is permitted, then a devotee should not unnecessarily do away with the dress or beads of a Vaishnava.