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What Should I Wear Today?

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Should I wear purple? Or would it be better to wear red? What about pink, that's more subtle, not such a strong statement, people would probably find me more acceptable in pink..........

I wonder if I should add some jewelry? If I wear a gold bracelet, then some people might respect me more, since gold is a symbol of money. If I wear a gold bracelet, then some people might respect me less, since gold is a symbol of money.

Maybe it would be a good idea to first consider who I'm going to be talking to today, and seeing, and then I could customize my look to suit the occasion. That way, if I'm going to be around people who have less money than I do, they wouldn't be threatened by me. If, on the other hand, I do "dress down" and then end up having to go somewhere where people are "dressed up" they will think it's not worth spending time talking to me........

I think being appropriate for the circumstance is important of course. There is something that is far more important though.

That something is "who I actually am". While my outward dress, jewelry, looks, etc... may affect people in a superficial immediate sort of way, really, who I am on the inside is what is going to matter far more, on a far deeper level, and a more lasting one.

One of the things that I think about in this context is how Srila Prabhupad always stresses so strongly that no one is brahmin by birth, but rather by qualification.

It is the qualities of the person that makes us who we are.

One way that Srila Prabhupad explains this concept is by saying that if we think someone is a brahmin by birth, then that means the body is a brahmin. When the body is dead, we don't consider it a sin to burn the body. The reason we don't is because it is not the body that is the brahmin, it is the soul inside. It is a sin to kill a brahmin, but we don't consider it a sin to burn the brahmin body, which would be a sin if it were the "birth body" that was the brahmin.

The body is just another form of dress. While we do take birth in certain bodies because of qualities from our past lives, once we get that body, what we do from that point is what makes us who we are.

If we don't have the qualities of a brahmin, then it doesn't make us one to have the body of a brahmin. (meaning a body born in a brahmin family).

This is only a dress, clothing. A form of clothing that the soul is wearing. It does not make that soul a brahmin any more than what I wear today makes me have more money or less money than I actually do, or make me better, kinder, more devotional, or any other thing.

There are a lot of beautiful people in the world, dressed in beautiful clothes, but when you get to know them, as soon as they speak, you find out that there is nothing beautiful about them. Some are dressed in beautiful Western style clothes, other are dressed in beautiful Eastern style clothes.

When we consider what is important or not important in spiritual life, we know that the qualities we have or develop are the most important consideration. Trying to "dress the part" will not effectively accomplish making us into something we are not.

External dress is only helpful if you are also matching it with the qualities that go with that dress. If you do, then it accentuates and enhances who you really are. If you don't, it only glaringly accentuates (i.e. calls attention to) who you really aren't.

"know thyself and to thine own self be true"

Our qualities as a devotee demonstrate to others we are.

External dress is only relevant in as much as it represents the person wearing it.

* Navasi's blog
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Comments
Sat, 11/22/2008 - 22:09 — madhumangalah1977
madhumangalah1977's picture
Well said People are

Well said
People are influenced by what they see, thus Prabhupa asked his devotees to dress in a certain way, when dealing with the public.
Ideal is that others will be reminded of Krsna in a favourable way when they see us.
In reality, we should only dress as devotees, but, we compromise due to our own weakness.
Dress, then address, was given by Prabhupada
Your servant
Madhu mangalah das

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Sat, 11/22/2008 - 23:42 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
A Dressing

Dear Madhu mangalah das,

Yes, those are very good points you're making.

There are several aspects to what you've said that I would like to add.

People are in fact influenced by what they see, and thus Prabhupad wanted his devotees to dress in a way so that people would be reminded of Krishna. Also, so that when they see us, they would know "here is someone I can approach and ask about Krishna".

"Ideal is that others will be reminded of Krsna in a favourable way when they see us."
(as you said)

Also, when they approach us and try to talk to us, that's just as important.

That is the ideal.

We also have to remember what Prabhupad's standard was for our behavior.

He told us how to behave as devotees, and expected that we would of course do as he instructed. Since he expected us to behave like devotees, then naturally, if we dress as devotees, it will only produce the ideal "others will be reminded of Krishna in a favorable way".

His instructions for our behavior were very firm.

The "internal" dress code that he gave us, he expected to be firmly in place when we put on our "external dress".

You said:
"In reality, we should only dress as devotees, but, we compromise due to our own weakness."

I would agree, but add:

"In reality, we should only behave as devotees, but we compromise due to our own weakness."

It seems to me that it's very important to be aware of who and what we are on the inside.

Thank you for bringing up these very relevant points.

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Sun, 11/23/2008 - 11:39 — madhumangalah1977
madhumangalah1977's picture
another day

Anything to do with Prabhupada is auspisious.
In my limited understanding, I have come to realise that talks and remembering our saviour, it is very hard to talk so much about his divine grace, because its hard to hold back the tears, and my voice gets weak, so I stop.
As I type this, tears come in my eyes.
Laulyam, sheding tears for the lords mercy, we are all so blessed.
Huge men were turned into snivelling messes, just by Srila prabhupadas glance.
Ahh, the causeless mercy.
I think I would love to be a snivelling mess more often.
But, still, the hard heart.
The chinese say, the hard is defeated by the soft.
So, how soft and kind is our beloved Guru.
On another subject, I dont care about rikviks, gbcs, and the other issues that seem to get around, all I know is Prabhupada turned on the light, and he has my heart to do as he wishes.
It is nice to talk with you,and hope my offencive nature is not too obvious.
Your dull servant
Madhu

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Thu, 11/20/2008 - 22:30 — Tribhangi
Tribhangi's picture
wow.

your posts r getting better and better! This is my favorite one by far!

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Thu, 11/20/2008 - 23:17 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
: )

Thank you, dear Manisha.

: )

Hare Krishna :)
Navasi

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Thu, 11/20/2008 - 12:55 — tekisui
tekisui's picture
Dressing someone subject to birth, aging, illness and death

I always dress very plainly. I do dress up for the occasion, if necessary, but even that is very plain.

I think of myself as someone subject to birth, aging, illness and death - and that as such, it would really not be appropriate to try to make a statement with my clothes and accessoires that would try to negate that in some way.

Although I sometimes fancy some nice clothes, or shoes, or make-up or jewelery, I then soon think things like "Yeah right, and then you'll stumble and fall somewhere, or your nose will bleed, or you'll get robbed, or something like that, or you'll simply will have to run to catch the bus and be all sweaty - and how is wearing that nice dress going to look then, eh? Not so proud anymore, eh?"
(I refer to myself as "you" when talking to myself)

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Thu, 11/20/2008 - 23:03 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Bodies And Temples

Dear Tekisui,

I love your title. That's quite a realistic assessment of the situation. We'd all like to try to forget this very basic reality, but there it is. We are in fact dressing bodies that are subject to birth, death, old age and disease.

When those bodies are used to serve Krishna, the story "changes hands" so to speak. In other words, my hands are material, subject to birth of course, age, disease, death. However, I love my hands, I admire my hands, I respect my hands.

Now, I don't admire them because they are material, because they are subject to birth, death, old age and disease......

I admire and love them because they are the very thing that allows me to serve Krishna by typing right now, trying to do my best to explain Krishna consciousness to others. If not for my hands, I could not type, if I could not type, I could not be part of this website, and write the things I love to write, and talk to the devotees here, and try to share my understanding of Krishna with others, for their benefit and mine.

So, I love my hands, I respect them, I admire the service they do, and I take care of them carefully.

I feel this way about the rest of my body also. When I was younger, I didn't appreciate my body the way I do now. I only saw that it flooded me with material desires, that it wanted things, so I resented it. It was interfering with my spiritual life. Resentment is not a constructive emotion, especially in spiritual life.

Now days, I still have material desires, I'm not free from all material desires, but I see things with a more balanced perspective. I have developed a very healthy respect for the gift that my body is, and the fact that I am able to engage with it, in devotional service.

The body is the TEMPLE of the soul.

What do you do with a temple? Do you trash it? Mistreat it? Belittle and criticize it? Hate it, resent it, wish you could get out of it?

No, you cherish it, you clean it, you care for it nicely, you maintain it very well, and you appreciate it, and you thank Krishna that you have this nice temple to use to serve Him. You do this because it IS a temple. It is a gift from Krishna that we have a temple to serve with.

So, similarly, for those of us who are using our bodies to serve Krishna, (even if we are not using them to serve 100%, still, we are aspiring to), we need to see our bodies as temples of our souls and the very instrument of our ability to serve Krishna.

I know I deviated from the point of dressing, but I already covered that pretty well in my comment to Davod.

I think it's all really interconnected, so I wanted to mention this aspect also.

After you care for your temple nicely, whether you choose to decorate it with plain cloth, or fancy cloth, is your choice. All temples are beautiful, as long as they are cared for nicely with devotion. The simply and plainly decorated ones, and the elaborately decorated ones.

Thank you for your comment.

: )

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Thu, 11/20/2008 - 23:38 — Hari_Priya
Hari_Priya's picture
:-)

Very true, Navasi Prabhu, without our body we cannot serve
Krishna, decorated or not.

We need to eat well too, withour eating we will not energy to raise our arms and prostrate before Krishna. It is very important to maintain our body well, Krishna wouldn't feel comfortable to live in a disease inflected temple body, would He? And we won't be happy at all that our most important and very dear Guest is uncomfortable.

Here's a hindi prayer and the translation to Krishna, inviting Him to come into the temple of our mind. I don't know who has written it though, but it's very touching and full of love for Krishna. Krishna is addressed as Giridhari here, the lifter of the Govardhana Hill.

----------------------------------------------

Mere man mandir mein ek bar tum a jao Giridhari
Giridhari Banavari
Manmohan kunjavihari pyare a jao Giridhari

O Giridhari! I am begging You to enter, just once, into the temple of my mind. O Giridhari, O Banavari, You who reside in the groves of Vrindavan and attract our minds towards You. O beloved Giridhari, please come to me.

Bahut baar tohe bulaaya
aansoo nainan mein ghir aaya
ye roya ek dukhari pyare a jao Giridhari

So many times have I called out to You with eyes over-flowing with tears. This most unhappy person is pleading before You. So please, O beloved Giridhari, please come to me.

mag johat ankhiyan pathrai
dar dar par maya takarai
ye dekho dasha hamari pyare a jao Giridhari

Simply waiting for You my eyes have become weary. Maya is attacking me at every step. Just see my pitiable condition, O beloved Giridhari, and please come to me.

thori kripa idhar barsao
prem boond pyase ko pilao
mein aya ek bhikhari pyare a jao Giridhari

Please shower some of Your mercy here also. Being extremely thirsty, let me drink just a drop of your love. I am nothing but a beggar, begging from you. O beloved Giridhari, please come to me.

bhaint nahin mein kuch bhi laya
khali haath tere dar aya
mein tera prem pujari pyare a jao Giridhari

I have brought You no gifts, my Lord, and have come empty-handed at Your doorstep. I worship You with my love, so O beloved Giridhari, please come to me.

pyar karo chahe thukara do
paas bulao ya dur bhagaa do
mein sab vidhi sharan tihari pyare a jao Giridhari

You can love me or reject me. You may call me near or You may send me away. In any condition of life, I am a soul surrendered unto You, please, O beloved Giridhari, please come to me.

------------------------------------------------

Hare Krishna!
Hari Priya

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Sat, 11/22/2008 - 00:29 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Giridhari

That is so beautiful

Thank you so very much

Hari Priya

{*}

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Thu, 11/20/2008 - 14:36 — Davod
Davod's picture
Hare krishna

There is nothing wrong in dressing very nicely

Gopis used to dress themselves very nicely, attractively, so that Krsna may be very pleased. That was gopis' desire. Just like in the material world the woman dresses very nicely so that a man may be attracted upon her, and then both of them will fulfill their sex desire or sense gratification. That is material world. But in the spiritual world it appears that gopis are dressed very nicely not for the purpose of her own satisfaction. They want to satisfy Krsna, that "If I dress nicely, Krsna will be pleased." So that is prema.

Haribol
Take care

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Thu, 11/20/2008 - 22:42 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
How to Dress For Krishna

Dear Davod,

You are quite right, there is not only nothing wrong with dressing very nicely (to please Krishna) it is actually very important to dress nicely to please Krishna.

We first have to understand "how" to dress nicely for Krishna.

You gave the example here of the gopis in the spiritual world, how they are dressing nicely not for their own satisfaction, but for the satisfaction of Krishna.

That's a very good example actually. We know that the bodies of the gopis are spiritual, in fact, not only are they spiritual, they are also complete in love and devotion for Krishna. That is what the spiritual world is, it is the place where everyone has fully manifested love of Krishna. Their bodies are full of devotion, and they decorate them with devotion. Entirely spiritual.

Here in the material world, bodies are made of matter, and decorated with things made of matter. The soul is all that is spiritual here.

So, the soul, having come to the point of desiring to serve and please Krishna, from the conditioned state of existence, still in a material world, in a material body, desires to dress nicely to please Krishna.

The way to do that is by dressing the soul. If we dress the soul in the qualities of devotion, that is pleasing to Krishna, that is in fact the way to "dress nicely for Krishna". Dress the soul in devotion.

The way to dress the soul in devotion, devotional qualities (i.e. dress nicely for Krishna) is by following the regulative principles, chanting 16 rounds of japa, and hearing and chanting the glories of Krishna in the association of devotees.

These things are the most beautiful dress of the soul, done for Krishna.

Now, of course we also must cover our bodies in some way, obviously. This is realistic and practical. If, after having first dressed our soul in the devotional qualities that please Krishna, we put on something very nice, a woman, a beautiful sari, a man, and handsome kurta and dhoti, then that is the decoration, like jewelry, the enhancement of the dress of the soul.

If we neglect "dressing the soul" first, and only try to "decorate" the body, then it is a very incompatible situation.

That is the point I was trying to express in my post.

A mundane example of this would be:

I am going to go to the temple, and I choose a very lovely silk sari, and choli, and dress in that, and I very carefully put tilak on and I put some nice fragrance on, and add some beautiful gold bangles and earrings. Well, I look lovely, right? Just perfect for going to the temple, and surely this will please Krishna, and His devotees, right?

Well.... whoops! I forgot to bathe first!!!

If I don't bathe my body, and "dress it" in cleanliness first, then there is no use at all to the beautiful sari, or jewelry, or idea that I will please Krishna by dressing nicely.

We know, because we understand our bodies, that it is essential to bathe and clean them before we can consider dressing nicely.

However, it's not as easy to understand the soul, and the importance of bathing and cleansing the soul before trying to add decorations to please Krishna.

At this stage of spiritual progress, "our" prema means cleansing the soul so that we can come to the point of understanding what real prema is.

Thank you for your addition to this topic.

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Thu, 11/20/2008 - 11:19 — Karnamrita.das
Karnamrita.das's picture
Dress for success

This topic of being able to convey who we really are has come up in the discussion from the Phoenix rise piece. The real dress for success principle is the internal dress of devotion. Our externals are useful if they support that. Form and substance is important to understand and you have brought it out here in a good way to churn the topic from another angle. These topics and angles are unlimited.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita

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Thu, 11/20/2008 - 23:13 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
From The Ashes

Dear Karnamrita,

Yes, I do see what you mean about the Phoenix Rise piece.

It's a very interesting thing. Sometimes, it seems so easy to connect on deep spiritual levels with others. Sometimes, it seems so nearly impossible it is really exactly like burning and you can only hope that a Phoenix does in fact rise from the ashes.

I think it does create an inherent loneliness (for lack of any better word, though we are never truly lonely when we have Prabhupad and Krishna) when there are spiritual things that we are unable to express with others in a way that we feel we have "made the connection". All there is to do, is keep trying, keep making the effort.

Apparently form and substance is a much more difficult topic that I realized. I suppose the very fact that we deal constantly with the world of form, rather than the soul of substance, makes it harder to see the substance as separate from the form. When we can't even separate the two, it is of course impossible to even begin to figure out which one is most important.

Even when we can separate the two, it's still hard. Form creates substance before substance exists, or at least assists in creating it. Yet, without substance, no amount of form is going to create it. So there has to be a balance, enough form to assist substance, without forgetting that it is only there to assist. It is not the substance. I guess the problem comes when we think that form is substance.

Whew.... I feel like a jnani. ;)

Your friend in Krishna,
Navasi

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Fri, 11/21/2008 - 05:36 — Go-Seva
Go-Seva's picture
I am with Hari Priya...

Oh, Navasi prabhu, when will I reach the level of understanding that you and Karnamrita prabhu are at? As Srila Prabhupada says, "You'll be intelligent when you are 80." I am sure he meant me.

I have recently experienced the inability to connect with another spirit soul on that basic level. It is inexplicable to me why this is so difficult, but I suppose the conditioned jiva is firmly fixed in their position at times and it is hard for them to budge.

Anyway, I am thinking that this means, "The humble sages, by virtue of knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste]." BG 5.18

I recently have experience the inability to connect with another spirit soul on that basic level... It's inexplicable why this is so difficult, but I suppose the conditioned soul is firmly fixed in their position sometime

From an Ahimsa standpoint, this view is paramount. In fact, although the entire Bhagavad-Gita is memorable, this passage is one of the most important and affirming to my long-held beliefs to me for some reason. Throughout my life, I have known many people that may not have dressed the best or looked so beautiful but I was attracted to them nonetheless. I have always had an affinity for very funny people especially, but people who are kind-hearted, intelligent, well-spoken and sensitive have always drawn me. I suppose

I always tell my kids, "That bug has Krsna in it's heart, so be kind." Whatever sort of creature, they know that every breathing thing has Krsna in it's heart. My daughter is starting to realize that everyone has different "clothes" on, but underneath, we are all the same: pure spirit soul. It's never too early to make them understand!

I, too, hope to understand more. Haribol!

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Sat, 11/22/2008 - 04:35 — Karnamrita.das
Karnamrita.das's picture
Inspired by others

It is good that you have devotees to look up to and want to be like---hopefully we all do. We all need to appreciate devotees who we feel are more advanced---that is good for us. Some people can't find any advanced devotees, so if we do that is a blessing! As I have repeated many times, our attitude is everything. It determines how we see ourself, others and Krishna. We all want to aspire to be like the bees finding nectar, rather then pesky flies who find sores and smell garbage.

However, you should know that advancement is relative. From Navasi and my perspective we are aspiring devotees, far from being advanced. We have our struggles and we share that, though we have been on the path of bhakti in this life for a good part of it so that gives one some ability to reflect back many mistakes and wrong thinking. We have some K.C or we wouldn't be here, yet advanced---NOT. At the same time an important part of being a devotee and even a human being is to acknowledge a gift when offered. So your appreciation of us is a gift to encourage us, that even a fallen devotee can be used as an instrument to help others. Whatever good qualities you see in us are by Krishna's mercy, so we offer our obeisances to that vision, and to you for sharing it. The fact that there are good qualities in us is by the mercy of our Guru and Krishna, as is your ability to perceive it.

And we are far from done----we are still in the ghee trying be be soft enough to be able to be offered to Krishna. Unfortunately---from our relative perspective--our skin has proven to be very thick, tough and hard, and it seems like we have been cooking forever. The knife just wont go through us to indicate time to be offered.

If we think of the gopis and the residents of Vrindavana, then that always puts things in perspective. I may be appreciated by others and teach and write books and blogs, but my position is very meager---far from pure devotional service. However, I am in the shower scrubbing away!

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita

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Sat, 11/22/2008 - 23:57 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Thank You

Thank you, Karnamrita,

I appreciate this comment very much.

I have a very difficult time when someone finds good qualities in me, because I know how 'not advanced' I actually am.

But, you are right, it is a gift if someone finds some them. A gift from the devotee who finds them, and from Krishna.

~ ~

Thank you, Hari Priya, for finding some good qualities in me, I am grateful that I could inspire you.

Thank you, Lisa, for finding some good qualities in me, I am grateful that I could inspire you.

~ ~
(I know that sounds artificial, but I do mean it, or I would not say it)

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Thu, 11/20/2008 - 23:54 — Hari_Priya
Hari_Priya's picture
Hmmmm

I used to feel loneliness too, having nobody to talk to about Krishna, the most basic subject in Krishna Consciousness; what to speak of spiritual matters. Admittedly I know very little, but I had no one to share that little bit too. Now on Connect I am feeling much better.

My respect and admiration for you has increased many-fold after reading your recent blogs. I am thinking now, 'One day I will raise to Navasi Prabhu's level in understanding Krishna'. But I have absolutely no idea what you said about 'form and substance' stuff. If you feel I am not very nosy, please explain it again.

Hare Krishna!
Hari Priya

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Fri, 11/21/2008 - 10:56 — Karnamrita.das
Karnamrita.das's picture
A blog on the topic

I wrote a blog on the topic if you want to read it:
http://connect.krishna.com/node/322

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita

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Fri, 11/21/2008 - 10:21 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Forming Bhakti

Dear Hari Priya,

I could hardly say you were being nosy to ask me to explain something I say in a public forum. : )

As Karnamrita prabhu said, there are so many ways to discuss this topic. I can only tell you what I meant in what I said in the above comment to Karnamrita.

~

Form - dress, regulations, rules, observances, etc... (externals)

Substance - the souls actual experience of it's relationship with Krishna, and the development of that relationship. The development of true surrender/devotion, I would say.

The form is meant to create (or assist in creating) the substance. Because we don't yet have devotion, we do all these things so we can develop it.

Once we have it, we will naturally do these things (or at least the essential ones).

If the form does not in fact develop (create, enhance, support) the actual substance, then the form becomes meaningless.

Sometimes, because we are not yet aware of the tangible experience of substance, we can engage ourselves in the forms, and believe that the forms are "in themselves", the substance.

I hope that explains it better.

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Mon, 11/24/2008 - 00:05 — Hari_Priya
Hari_Priya's picture
:-)

Thank you Navasi Prabhu, thank you Karnamrita Prabhu. That was really illuminating.

I want to give here an example of the form and substance as you explained it. I have been wondering about it in the context of my mother-in-law for a long time, only I didn't know that they were called form and substance.

My mother-in-law observes every rule in the book, does every puja that comes her way, reads every stotra in the honour of every God. She is very strict in observing them too. She is not Krishna Conscious as such, she worships every God she can find. I now understand that she is very much into the 'form'.

I have to follow these rules too, whenever I go to their house, but I found some of these practices irksome, especially before I became a Krishna devotee. For example, she cleans her hands everytime she touches cooked rice, as if it is untouchable. If we touch cooked rice, we have to wash our hands before touching anything else. It's been a very old practice among orthodox south Indian Brahmins, I don't know why that rule is made up. I feel I am insulting rice if I practice that rule, and I don't want to do it. We south Indians cannot live without eating rice at least once a day, but touching rice makes us untouchable? That's downright stupid.

If practicing a rule makes bhakti a chore, I would not follow that rule. I used to think exactly what you said Navasi Prabhu, rules are for assisting us to improve and increase bhakti, not to scare us away. I am sure the rules are made up for something beneficial, like cleanliness; washing hands is a good practice. But the rule of washing becomes stupid, if we just dip one finger into a glass of water, just for the sake of observing that rule, and think we kid ourselves that we have followed the rule. And that what my mother-in-law does, and it irritates me a lot.

The same goes for fasting too. I know fasting on Ekadashi is very good, but I am not observing it yet because I know I won't do it properly. If I am on fasting, I keep thinking, 'I haven't eaten anything today, I am feeling weak..' instead of meditating on Krishna. Then the very purpose of fasting is lost. It will be much better if I eat something and think of Krishna rather than be on fasting and forget Krishna.

Behind all this form, I don't know how much substance my mother-in-law has. I only hope Krishna blesses her because she has been following it since she was very young, she must have accumulated some substance over the years.

I hope I have not bored you with all this. Now I have really understood what you meant by 'If the form does not develop the actual substance, then the form becomes meaningless.' Thank you again.

Hare Krishna!
Hari Priya

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Mon, 11/24/2008 - 02:58 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Perfect

Dear Hari-Priya,

Your explanation and examples here are completely perfect.

Yes, you are understanding it very well, and also explaining it very well.

It's interesting I think, the point you mentioned at the end, about how she has been doing all this for so long, she may have accumulated some substance.

That's a very relevant point because when you engage in the "forms" of devotional service, it is still service to Krishna, so there is of course still benefit and substance is created, simply from the doing.

Because we are trying in this lifetime to create as much substance, and as effectively as we can, we consider what we are doing, and the purpose, and if it is accomplishing that purpose.

Even if it doesn't appear to, it still is, it's really a matter of degree. If you serve Krishna, or Krishna's devotees, in any way at all, you will be benefited.

Thank you so much for your help with this.

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Mon, 11/24/2008 - 04:52 — Hari_Priya
Hari_Priya's picture
:-)

Thank you Navasi Prabhu.

I didn't know that engaging in form can create substance, even if it doesn't appear to do so.

I don't want to criticise my mother-in-law, but what I wanted to say is that I do love Krishna very much and if there's some rule that will enhance my devotion, I will surely abide by it. But no faking of observing stupid rules, no sir. May be I am prejudiced, but I think observing too many rules (like my mother-in-law) will make us miss the essential point, the bhakti.

What's making me so revolted is this: In the bad old days when I forgot Krishna, I used to get irritated with following her rules. I used to think that practising bhakti and doing puja has everything to do with following her rules, which I thought was pretty awful.

But after 'discovering' Krishna, I am still the way I was, I am not following her rules, but my love for Krishna is increasing all the time. Which made me think, 'Are rules essential for bhakti?'

Then I understood that if the form is devotional service to Krishna, it is good anyway. Rules or not, our everyday chores can become services to Krishna if we just chant His name. That's what Krishna explains in Bhagavad Gita, 'Yat Karoshi, yat juhoshi...' , to do everything as an offering to Him.

I guess we are deviating from your original topic of external and internal dressing, sorry about that.

I can't thank Krishna enough for giving me this oppurtunity to communicate with you. I am feeling very privilaged, talking to you, by extension, to Srila Prabhupada, by extension, to Krishna Himself!

{*} (that's me giving you a respectful hug)

Hare Krishna!
Hari Priya

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Mon, 11/24/2008 - 05:38 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
The Essence

Dear Hari Priya,

You're not deviating at all from the point of my original post, in fact this is the same topic, just another example of focusing on externals rather than internals.

"if there's some rule that will enhance my devotion, I will surely abide by it."

That statement you made is really the whole point. That's what we all need to remember and act on.

Yes, engagement in the forms will eventually create substance, but it may take lifetimes and lifetimes to develop pure love of Krishna.

Since that is our purpose, to develop pure love of Krishna, we'd better make sure that what we are doing is in fact developing/enhancing our devotion (love for Krishna).

Otherwise, we're missing the point.

Another thing you said:

"What's making me so revolted is this: In the bad old days when I forgot Krishna, I used to get irritated with following her rules. I used to think that practising bhakti and doing puja has everything to do with following her rules, which I thought was pretty awful."

That's really important, and I'm so glad you said it.

When there are too many rules and rituals and observances, and forms, it's very hard for most people to "see" what the essence is.

They may look at Krishna consciousness and think: "well, it's all about observing every vedic religious holiday, wearing all the right clothes, having a lot of Indian decorations, speaking a certain way, and doing everything in Indian ways."

Thus entirely missing the chance of this human form of life to revive their relationship with Krishna, or Become Krishna Conscious.

Since becoming truly Krishna conscious is the purpose of this human life, it's important to make certain that other's do not get "lost" in all of these external things.

Because you had natural love for Krishna in this life, you were able to see that these rules and observances were just that, (i.e. not the essence) but if someone does not already know to develop love of Krishna, they won't always be able to "see" that.

Thank you, that's another very essential aspect of this entire topic.

(I see you discovered my "soul hug" icon ;)

{*}

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Tue, 11/25/2008 - 01:17 — Hari_Priya
Hari_Priya's picture
:-)

I am running out of words to express gratitude to you Navasi Prabhu. All I can do is this:

_)}]

That was me prostrating at your feet, at Srila Prabhupada's feet and at Krishna's Feet.

:-D

Now I am very happy and contented, because hug is something we give to our peers, and you are much more than that. (But I won't deny this - I want to be hugged by Krishna too...)

I hope I can beg Him to give me strength and motivation to try to please Him, engage me in some form which He likes.

Hare Krishna!
Hari Priya

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Wed, 11/26/2008 - 20:05 — Bhuvana
Bhuvana's picture
Thank you everyone !!

First i want to thank Krishna, for bringing me here. I got to agree this is a great world in between this material world, connecting all Krishna devotes. I would like to thank everyone. I learned a lot and this will be one of the best Blog. Thank you once again :-)

Sorry, I am not good at writing. If something is wrong in my comment please forgive me.

Hare Krishna !!!
Bhuvana