Watched While Shopping

He was helpful, but it seemed cautiously so.  He would answer questions if asked but not volunteer much information.  There were three of them. Two helpers and Him. He didn’t make me uncomfortable, but his presence was great.

It was our first day in Sri Lanka and I had long-awaited the chance to buy some Indian clothing in which to attend the religious services (pujas) during the upcoming two-week yatra*.  I wrote in another blog story about “My Kurta Hunt” in which I scoured the Bay area in CA where I lived at the time trying to find appropriate kurta wear for temple and festivals.

Kurta pajama suit originating from the Indian subcontinent. Pants and shirt generally match or are color coordinated. They may be casual, dressy, or very elaborate such as worn at weddings

I did manage to locate a few but I was really looking forward to finding a variety of outfits that are hard if not impossible to find in the states and that unlike ones I ordered on-line, I could try them on first and know exactly what I was getting.

I was with a friend who was also there to attend the yatra. He too wanted some clothing and we were both glad to be in the midst of so many choices.

My friend, Bill, is a white man of European heritage. I am a black person of African descent. We both embraced Sanatana Dharma several years ago and are affiliated with the Saiva Siddhanta  Church headquartered in Kauai Hawaii. It was this temple who organized the yatra and although it was not mandatory, the organizers requested that if possible we wear cultural attire. I noticed during the time there that everyone did.

As we tried on shirts, dhotis* and pajama outfits He just stood by watching. The helpers were the universal salesmen. Running to and fro (successfully I might add), trying in earnest to honor our requisitions.  When a salesman informed me they had no shirts of a certain style, HE spoke up and informed him we did. He showed the man where it was and his knowledge paid off, I purchased two of the shirts in different colors.

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Minimize, Renounce, and Feel Good

” How quickly we tire of earthly pleasures. Desire for material things is endless; we are never satisfied .”

Recently, I have been studying a frequently misunderstood Dharma concept,  that of renouncement, (Sanskrit; Sannyasa).  It is not, as some seem to think, a mandate at any stage of life, although as people age it seems to come naturally. Actually, material renouncement is not exactly the same as sannyasa but it is the first step.   Most of us could use a bit of renouncement at any age, as was brought to my attention by my daughter as she explained to me after a rigorous “material cleansing” of what seemed to me to be most of her worldly goods.

“I am getting better”, she said, “slowly becoming more minimalist. It feels great to be content with what you have, and grateful!” 

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