||Sri Ramakrishna Sharanam||
Aum Namo Narayanaya
Speculation is rife that the petrol price may take a downward journey this month as the oil price dipped after a sustained upward trajectory. Huge smiles shall adorn many faces when budgets become relaxed to accommodate a little splash-out on some self-indulgence. Priority on the wish list would be to renew the tired wardrobe which took a backseat during the economic crunch.
As we speak, fashion houses must be abuzz - sampling swatches; designers with office pins in mouth adorned with tape measure around the neck trying to find the perfect fit; cuts and hues for the changing season. All eyes will be on the catwalks of the London Fashion Week, eagerly searching the latest trends and colours that will adorn our streets for the next few months.
Trends show that hats have made a big comeback accompanied with boots. Evening wear seems to be the focus of many designers challenging some of the summer trends with softer pastel colours and hues of gold, red, blue and pink. Checks, stripes, tweed and ties will also give men a chance to parade a new look this winter. It is amazing how those who can adorn these designer masterpieces exude such charisma and confidence. Sadly enough though, some of us who are not created in the 'model class' framework cannot enjoy the spoils of the fashion world.
I have however found a fashion house who designs for anyone - irrespective of size, race, caste or creed. Anyone can boast confidence, dignity, beauty, strength and charisma of divine proportions. I am dressed by: HOUSE OF THAKUR - infamous for a taking a simple cloth of Naren and turning out a masterpiece Vivekananda - with sharp cuts of intellect and truth; gentle curves of compassion; confidence and hues of devotion peace and love; turbaned with a burning desire to rescue mankind from the clutches of weakness, slavery and bondage.
Fitted by the House of Thakur - even when adorning a simple ochre robe of a sanyassin - you will attract the attention of the world. Evidence of this is clearly available when one reads the chapters of Swamiji's life in America. A delegate at the conference that Swamiji addressed, described how after His speech scores off woman ran over benches to be near Him. An observer proclaimed that if the 30-year-old Vivekananda "can resist that onslaught, [he is] indeed a God". Such is the pied-piper effect of the divine fashion from House of Thakur. The fashions emanating from this label are always in vogue, and are the only apparel you can use when you enter the Kingdom of God.
The fashion industry is a multi-billion dollar industry in the world, but its enjoyment is conjoined with the physical body. So long as the physical body provides you with the perfect chassis to wear the garment, you will derive your enjoyment. However, the fashion of divine character will hold you in good stead eternally, irrespective of your physical characteristics.
Physical beauty has always enchanted man and his obsession with it is quite prevalent in the efforts and resources expended in trying to achieve it. Yesterday, I represented our temple at a Lord Muruga Festival in Phoenix. The occasion being the appearance day of Lord Muruga marked on the Tamil calendar as Vaigasi Visagam. The float procession was a feast for the eyes as bright, colourful floats decorated with huge frames and statues of Muruga made their way through the streets of Phoenix, much to the amazement of the community. The very word Murugan symbolises eternal beauty and youth, and should therefore be the "ishta-devata" of all beauty fanatics.
However, as progressive students of Hinduism, we have come to understand that everything manifest in this world must age and perish. On account of this, we should not abandon the worship of Murugan merely because we cannot remain ever beautiful and young - as he offers a beauty of divine proportions.
Lord Muruga - born off the perfect Yogi Shiva who has mastered all the senses and is a symbol of absolute purity and auspiciousness - is the Commander-in-Chief of the celestial army. In the Bhagavad Gita, Bhagwan Sri Krishna said: "Of all the generals, I am Skanda, the God of war". Born of absolute purity, Lord Muruga's beauty lies in His character, strength, focus and intellect. This has led to Him being able to fulfill His mission of slaying the demon Tharakasura.
We as human beings are plagued by many demons that thwart our pursuance of bliss, prosperity and progress. These demons are not flying around the sky on huge chariots, but are mental obstacles and agitations.
Swami Vivekananda said: "Education is not the amount of information put into your brain and left to run a riot there, undigested all your life. We must have life- building, man-making, and character-making assimilation of ideas. If you have assimilated five ideas and made them your life and character, you have more education than any man who has by-hearted a whole library.
This is the beauty of life - no amount of fashion and cosmetics can make you beautiful. What we need is a character formed of purity and unshakable to the core. That will make you a super model of celestial brilliance.
If one is to follow this tried and tested path as outlined by Swamiji, success is guaranteed to follow you. When you make the high society invite lists and walking down the red carpet one day, and a journalists asks: "So who are you dressed by today", be proud to say "House of Thakur"!!!!!
May Sri Ramakrishna create masterpieces out of us all is my sincere prayer.
With Love and Prayers always