Are You Pretty Without Makeup and Nice Clothes?

Chanting Hare Krishna is so utterly simple that it is difficult. How can something simple be difficult? Because there is no faking it. Not to be crass – but it is a lot like being naked after bathing. Then there is no makeup and no clothes – so you are either beautiful or you are not. You cannot fake it. There is nothing to hide behind, because nakedness is simplicity.

So it is difficult to be beautiful when absolutely naked. Only a truly beautiful person will be beautiful in that condition.

Similarly chanting Hare Krishna is so simple, it is naked spirituality. There is no makeup and no clothing on it. Makeup is like jñāna and philosophy and clothing is like rules and relugations and rituals. These are things we can hide behind to make it seem like we are spiritually advanced, when, in fact we are not. We can follow a bunch a rules and behave just the right way, and then it looks like we are good devotees. Or we can learn a lot of words and phrases and ideas, and become good at explaining them – and then people can think we are good devotees. In this way by jñāna and karma (makeup and clothes) we can fool ourselves and others into thinking we have bhakti (beauty).

But none of these things help us chant Hare Krishna, honestly.

When it is time to chant Hare Krishna, the mind will completely lose interest in all other thoughts and feelings and completely embrace Krishna like a lover embracing her long-absent beloved at a rare opportunity of privacy. Is that what happens when you chant Hare Krishna?

Not for me, at least, not very often at all.

But this is the TRUE MEASURE of our bhakti – how passionately our heart and mind runs to embrace Krishna and drop everything else. And this is truly measured when we sit and chant Krishna names.

It is so SIMPLE – you just have to hear Krishna’s name and naturally think of Krishna as a result of hearing his name. By hearing the name your mind will flood with the image of him, the sound of him, etc, and his associates, and their activities together. Just by hearing the name, such a simple thing – just like if you hear “President Obama” you immediately get a mental image of him, etc. Similarly hearing any name (what to speak of a non-dual name) you will think of the person named. It is a very simple thing.

But our practice is so poor.

Our mind insists on thinking of other things, and makes up excuses that “this distraction is related to Krishna so its OK to think of it while I bounce around, pace around, and mouth some words with some rhythmic pacing to make sure I keep going with the mantra even though I’m paying zero attention to it.”

So, we are very useless sadhakas. Therefore we should try harder, because you should know that kripa-siddhi is EXTREMELY rare. Sādhana siddha is the standard path. In other words we will not get anywhere until we finally become less useless sadhakas. So its time to practice more seriously.

That doesn’t mean getting new clothes and makeup. It means simply forgetting everything else for a few minutes at a time, and just paying attention to the plain and simple names of Krishna for a few minutes at a time, at least.

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare.
Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma
Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare



  1. Brilliant. This gets to the crux of the issue. How much actual devotion do we have without the props of karma and jnana? It’s a great example.


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