Re: Sari for all the trouble (very OT)
> Ps: I wonder if any of the boys have had struggles with their allAbsolutely, and here is one such story.
> white clothing.
During one August celebration in NY, on August 26th, a day before the central celebration day, Sri Chinmoy announced that he would appreciate if boys would wear white dhotis for that special upcoming day.
It was at the end of the morning function and after the announcement, people started dispersing for lunch, while many boys around me (we were sitting on the bleachers) chatted about where to find and buy an inexpensive dhoti in NYC on such a short notice. Soon everyone rushed out on a dhoti-hunting spree, seemingly proud that they will be seen as exemplary disciples who respond quickly to do their spiritual homework.
But not everyone. When I was about 3-6 years old, one side of my family enjoyed to have me have a long hair alike some pop/rock starts of the day, while another side of the family was totally fear struck that this will make me grow up girlish. So later on I was strictly forbidden to have or wear anything that can be seen as "girly": strictly short hair, no clogs (wooden shoes, clompen as someone call these) etc.
Now, dhoti, in my mind, always resembled a sort of skirt, and for that reason, a huge resistance to wear it came over me. I left the aspiration ground almost shaking... how on earth am I going to put on a skirt? Well... with tremendous resistance and struggle I approached a store that potentialy sold dhotis, but then, seeing another disciple moving about, I simply cracked and broke down, and could not do it.
I went back to the aspiration ground, Sri Chinmoy was still sitting there relaxing while the lunch break, sat in the bleachers and cried within, addresing it to him - It's a skirt, It's a SKIRT! How am I to wear a skirt like a girl? I just can't - can't wear a skirt.
Now, Sri Chinmoy seemed in his own world, but at that moment he nodded his head as if understanding and approving. Since there were not many people around and certainly he wasn't talking to anyone, I felt that his nod is directed towards me, as if telling me - it's ok, I understand. I felt relieved and soon forgot about it, ignoring the dhoti-peer-pressure that thickly filled the air for the rest of the day.
Then, the next morning function, with many boys with their dhoti glitter on display, Sri Chinmoy came in regular sportsy clothes. Someone near me even commented... why, we got our dhotis all nice and shiny and guru is so casual ?! Well... I thanked him once again.
On a more serious note, this incident taught me something about obediance to a spiritual master. There is a lot of general hoopla in the West about the situation when a spiritual master asks a disciple something, and then disciple, if he/she is "really devoted" will go thru thick and thin to fulfill the request... but look here: being kindly asked by a spiritual master to wear a different kind of garment for one specific occasion, and failing even such seemingly super-easy task with a tremendous inner struggle; and then met with inner support and understanding?
- Wow, thanks for sharing your story.
By the way, if you're ever required to wear a dhoti again, see if you can't just get away with a kurta top and some pants. Unobservant people like me won't even notice the difference!
Take care, Brahmata
- Hi Brahmata,
It's been a long time since I visited the site, but I couldn't help but share the story of the first time I wore a sari.
I had been going to follow up classes at the center and enjoying them very much. I was having some quite nice meditations, so I decided to take the plunge and join the center.
I was told that we would wear saris and that the girls would help me to learn how to put them on. I really liked this idea.
I arrived for my first regular meditation at the center and I was very eager and excited to join the regular group. Unfortunately for whatever reason the girls at the time didn't realise that I was coming and were not prepared with sari, slip or blouse so I was told that for that week I could meditate in my regular clothes. I was grateful to be allowed to meditate without the proper attire, so I sat in a chair close to the back and joined in the meditation.
It was a very strange experience that night because after having had some nice experiences in the follow ups, I assumed that this would be the same. But I was wrong. I sat there like a stone trying to meditate, and nothing. I watched everyone else who seemed to be tuned into the meditation, and I just sat there wondering when this would be over.
Hum de dum de dum, time passed very slowly and finally it was over and I was able to escape. On my walk back home I had convinced myself that I would not go back. I had tried, but it just didn't work for me. Oh well.
But something kept nagging at me all week, pushing me to go just one more time. My mind tried to push it away, but finally it relented and said "Fine.One more time. But if it's like last time, we're outta there."
So once again I showed up, and this time the girls were prepared and presented me with a lovely flowered sari in colours that absolutely suited me. They showed me how to put it on, and I felt transformed. There was something about the beautiful flowing cloth that made me feel special. Also everyone was oohing and ahhing and making a lovely fuss which also helped add to that special feeling.
The time came for meditation, and I was a little leary because of the previous week's experience, but I decided to be open to whatever was to be.
Almost instantly a meditation captured me. A meditation like I'd had never had before and to be honest,have never had since. My mind completely disappeared, and I was in a beautiful blissful world. So much so that after the meditation, I couldn't speak. I just quietly changed out of my beautiful sari, and walked home in complete silence. That beautiful feeling continued throughout most of the next day.
I realise of course that that experience was Guru saying "Hello and Welcome." but I always associate that incredible experience with the first time ever wearing a sari, and how beautiful it made me feel, inside and out, and that somehow wearing the sari changed my meditation experience.
I am still not an expert sari draper by any means, but I do love the beauty of them when I wear them.
Yours in sari oneness,