Thursday, February 28, 2013

#255 What difference will shoes make?

The globe is agog with the news that retired Pope Benedict XVI will stop wearing his official red shoes. He will not be allowed to wear papal red-shoes, it is said. He will have to start wearing brown shoes.

Packing is very important in trade. This everybody knows. But, packing is the-most-important in religious-preaching. Preachers wear uniforms of different colors, patterns, and symbols, reflecting their authority-clan-cult. Christianity has a tendency to mock other religions for such practices, whereas Christianity itself is not devoid of those same practices.

Back-to-Vivekananda. Traditional-foot-wear for Hindu-monks: topless-wooden-bottoms, with one sculpted-wooden knob for the head-toe and the second-toe. These are called 'pAvu-kOLLu' in my mother-tongue telugu. This is an All India tradition. I am unable to quote Indian language equivalents of pAvukOLLu.

Mendicant-monks (theoretically, every Indian-Hindu-Monk should-be a mendicant moving all the time). They are not supposed to live luxuriously in monasteries. They have to live on limited-alms, without bothering themselves and the gracious-housewives about quantity-quality. I cannot believe that VivekAnanda led this type of life, prior to his departure to U.S. for attending the World Congress of Religions, Chicago, 1893. Of-course, in one of his Californian-discourses, we-can-see his referring to stale-pAn-cakes (capAtIs) doled out by housewives. This-reference might have been in an attempt to garner some sympathy from listening American-Aristocratic-Housewives.

Back-to-shoes : The preceptor of Swami Vivekananda i.e. rAmakrishNa paramahamsa too wore good-shoes and quality-clothes, contrary to his popular image of being too-simple-a-person who shunned gold and silver and who swept the floors of dakshiNESwar temple with his hair-locks. Of-course, as per the black-and-white photographs of RKP available, the color of his shoes is black. Hinduism has no formal administrative-structure like the Catholic-pope-cardinal-archbishop-bishops-suffragans and dioceses. God-persons establish monasteries and adjunct temples, and declare themselves as heads of their personal empires (called `pIThams` and `pIThAdhipatis`).

Shoes-of-Swami-VivekAnanda: swAmi vivEkAnanda, prior to his departure, while on his All-India tours of meeting native-rulers and native-landlords-merchants (period say- 1887 to 1893), seems to have initially used wooden sandals befitting the formal dress-code of a Hindu monk. He also carried with him a carved-long-wooden-stick in his hands. Vivekananda claimed himself to be a Great-Swan (parama-hamsa). Carrying the wooden-stick (presumably a sort of `danDam` in Sanskrit and Indian languages) may be part of the dress-code of great-swan-parama-hamsas. He seems to have discontinued using the title of (great-swan)-paramahamsa in United States, probably because he found it inconvenient to answer querries from his aristocratic-American-Lady-listeners.

True-mendicant-monks of India have abandoned wooden-sandals long back, because they were inconvenient to walk on forest-paths and river-beds. Some mendicant-monks, who could find patrons and monasteries, shifted to monastic lives. Depending on the level of their penury, they wore either no-footwear or wore leather-chappals. Shoes, they could-not-cannot afford to wear, unless gifted by some patron.

Vivekananda might have shifted to dual-ware i.e. wooden-sandals while in the courts of patrons-and-rulers and shoes while on journeys. This is a practical need.

After returning back to India from United States: shoes-and-local-wear= during the 1897-1899 intermission-interregnum of period between his first-US-visit and his second-US-visit.

2 comments:

tomfire said...

there are monastaries since times immemorial..... we can find the references in ramayana and upanishats.........some sanyasins prefer roaming.and others staying in the maths........there is no problem with it..........shoes to make no difference in ones character........can u show one unambiguous statement by the swamiji claiming that he is a paramahansa......ramakrishna paramahamsa is not a sanyasin.......he may wear anything that was gifted......so shut ur mouth

tomfire said...

shoes do not make any difference but sexual abuses make......."Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church" search this in google............