Coquitlam, British Columbia
Being Smart About It
I find people who follow the path of bhakti oftentimes ride on too much sentiment and set aside the practical implementation of things. Sometimes it’s too much heart and not enough smart. But the smarts, or intelligence, are there—a little dormant, though, at times.
To give one example, at the ceremony of what’s called arati, which entails an offering of articles to the deities of Krishna, such as a flower, the pujari (priest) places the flower, after offering, at the ledge of the altar in order for observers to receive. These flowers that are acquired are shipped in from afar and they lack scent. One person amongst the observers at the arati take that unscented flower to the various nostrils of the other attendees for a sniff. It’s a nice gesture but is it intelligent when there is no fragrance?
Another example is the pujari offers incense to the deity and then places the aromatic stick close to his/her standing position. Incense has been known to be carcinogenic, especially in an enclosed room. Personally, I feel there’s a brighter way to do things than to have the incense fumes going up, once again, the nose.
There are other examples.
Our guru, Srila Prabhupada, was very practical and would make adjustments.
Another example, since the midnight kirtan at Toronto’s City Hall, with the combination of coldness and maybe not the best shoes contributed to my sore left knee, causing a limp in my walk, I took to simple yoga stretches to pursue a healing when just sitting to chant wouldn’t necessarily provide the required relief. We need the balance; both yoga and yajna (sacrifice, ritual) are good.
May the source be with you!