Two times in the last 48hrs I’ve encountered things from freinds who were in one way or another kind of questioning the “why” behind certain actions. I think this is important and wanted to post briefly on this.
I recall from when I was a child some discussion with my mom or maybe overhearing her remark about something… the lesson was, if you’re not grown enough to talk about your actions without embarassment, you probably shouldn’t be performing those actions. Agreed.
Embarassment doesn’t pertain to what either of my friends were dealing with (one was writing about tilak/bindu application and the other about wearing a brahmin thread/upanayan and having to explain it to his significant other), but there’s an underlying principle at work in all of these contexts – know why you’re doing anything you’re doing as well as why or why not you should be doing it.
The friend writing about tilak application touched on this. He mentioned wearing it out and abouty, including at work where it would be a bit out of place for him. He also mentioned other outward expressions – like wearing an Om pendant on the outside of one’s shirt – and how that kind of thing is sometimes perceived. He also mentioned applying tilak with a mostly invisible substance, knowing it was there although no one else did. I think that’s brilliant.
The other friend indicated that he wears the brahmin thread and that his spouse was having a hard time understanding why. A number of questions were asked this friend by many who noticed the post. On the surface, it seemed as though this “brahmin” didn’t actually know why he himself wore the threads. After more dialogue, it turns out that the spouse in question might be demanding a logic-based reason for wearing the threads – which will remain debatable. Otherwise, it’s a fairly cut-and-dry matter and an explanation should be relatively easy to provide by someone wearing the garment. I remain not entirely convinced that the person wearing the brahmin’s thread actually knows every in-and-out as he should, or perhaps he’s just a poor communicator when it comes to this stuff and talking about it with his spouse. Any which way, the numbers don’t quite add up as they should in my opinion. I’m thinking that someone demanding a logic-based reason for this samskar could receive a full answer from someone wearing the thread and would fill the rest of the blanks in for himself. That is, unless the spouse is a bit unreasonable to begin with and might be looking for reason where there is none, and refusing to accept anything else.
Whether you’re talking tilaks or threads, it’s all the same – the what simply doesn’t suffice, unless you’re cool with looking like a shallow doofus. You’ve got to know something’s why as well as that why’s implications, or you probably shouldn’t be doing it. It’s part of what sets the reals from the wannabes.
Om Shri Ganeshaya Namaha