Recently I read an article or a purport to the Gita maybe, that said that the spiritually rajasic man is one who wears his japa bead string as a necklace with bright shiny jewels attached to it to draw attention to it. I think it goes without saying that spiritual rajas was classified in this context as a negative. For clarity’s sake, this spiritual path was the means to which Heaven or Moksha was the end. It got a little muddy because this end was placed in comparison to a life of karma yoga, selfless service. Muddy, because any Hindu knows that karma yoga is one of the paths to moksha. And even Krishna told Arjuna to fight to “win Heaven.”
Convoluted arguments aside, I took heed, as I almost never take my string from around my neck as it was a gift from a dear friend. And I have attached to it a silver Aum pendant, a gift from my wife. But it is far from a mere piece of jewelry for me, or any other true aspirant I am sure. I don’t go around town with it on the outside of my shirt. It is a functional piece of devotional paraphernalia, and it is a symbolic constant in my life. It is personal.
On a vaguely related topic: Have you ever noticed that many humans love to read the police and legal section of the newspaper? They do. They also love to read the obits page, and I don’t know what that says. I like to think it demonstrates a universal respect for the deceased, known or unknown. But back to the police and legal section. Why do humans have such a propensity to want to know who’s been arrested, fined, booked or sentenced? I won’t get into it, because I’d like to hear some theories from my readers on the subject. What I will say is that it is more than, as I suggested, “vaguely related” to the japa necklace thing.
Jai Harihara Aum.