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Making Our Lives A Devotional Tapestry

Recently, I have been teaching myself to do needlepoint tapestries. My goal is to one day make these as pictures of Krishna and His various pastimes. In the meantime, however, because I am teaching myself, I have to do whatever projects I can manage.
Anyone who knows needlework, knows that any type takes a lot of patience.
Well, on this particular project... I have been very challenged. There is a huge canvas, and it must be stretched across a large wooden frame. Then, there are all these colors of wool threads, and they must be sorted and matched to the various areas of the canvas. There are 5 shades of green for the leaves of the flowers alone. The orange poppies have 6 shades of orange.
Once you begin, you have a single strand of wool, and you must place your stitches, carefully, one at a time, in just the right place. (and in just the right way also ... ! )
One strand of wool only makes maybe 20 stitches on this canvas made up of hundreds and hundreds before it's complete.
(good time to listen to lectures or chant : )

Well, some days, I only have time to put a few stitches on my canvas, other days, a few more. Looking at the whole canvas, it seems an overwhelming task, that will never be complete. Yet, I know, that if I just keep on making those stitches, every day, adding a few more, and a few more, one day this canvas will be a complete and beautiful tapestry.

I was thinking how very like devotional service this is. We can't aways see the progress we are making, and sometimes trying to become purely Krishna conscious seems a very lofty goal, and not readily achievable in our "instant" society. However, we know that any devotional service we ever do, how ever small, goes permanently into our devotional bank account, or in this example, our "devotional tapestry".
Nothing we ever do for Krishna is ever lost, everything is permanent and eternal, no matter how slight or small. I was talking with a devotee friend of mine recently about this and he was pointing out that even our dreams of Krishna conscious activity are accepted by Krishna as devotional service and we get the resulting benefit (and who could think Krishna is not merciful?).
So, we have to realize that every single devotional thing we do, every single devotional thought we have, (even while dreaming) is all going toward completing out "Devotional Tapestry" and we will in the end ourselves become excellent beautiful works of art for Krishna (pure devotees). We just have to keep adding the "stitches" every day, every chance we get. We only need keep ourselves patient and realize that each tiny "stitch" gets us closer to the goal.

Any advancement on the path of Krishna consciousness is never lost. Any activity done for Krishna is eternal. We always get permanent and eternal benefit from anything we do for Krishna.

Merciful Lord Krishna : )
Hare Krishna

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Mon, 05/12/2008 - 05:35 — Preethi.N
Preethi.N's picture
Devotional Tapestry

Hari Hari.
That was such a beautiful comparison.An inspiring and wonderful example.Thank you so much!Continue these wonderful blogs.

Yours in the service of Guru and Gauranga,
Radha Priya Devi Dasi

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Mon, 05/12/2008 - 05:51 — Navasi
Navasi's picture

Hare Krishna, Dear Radha Priya Devi Dasi,

Thank you so much for your inspiring comment :)

It encourages me so much to continue writing when I hear that I have inspired devotees with what I've written. That's the whole purpose of writing to me.

I appreciate you taking the time to tell me.

Servant of the Devotees,
Navasi Devi Dasi

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Fri, 05/09/2008 - 17:21 — Lilia
Lilia's picture
Walking Tapestry

I want to be a walking tapestry for Krishna. I am having an intense desire to permanently brand myself as His eternal servant by marking up my body with Krishna Conscious tattoos...

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Fri, 05/09/2008 - 19:18 — Navasi
Navasi's picture

You can mark your body with the auspicious markings of Tilak.

There are twelve different places to mark your body with Tilak, and it does "brand" you as His eternal servant.

There are mantras to chant with each location as you apply it, and the tilak itself is clay from the Yamuna or Ganges river.

Very, very auspicious. It's not permanent, but it's much more auspicious than tattoo ink and also, it's a nice reminder that you are the servant of Krishna when you are always reapplying it every day, or even more than once a day.

Tilak : )

Just a suggestion in case you are interested : )

Hare Krishna,

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Sat, 05/10/2008 - 19:22 — Lilia
Lilia's picture
I'm not a devotee

I thought that if someone is wearing tilak then they have gone beyond the rrealm of birth and death by becoming a fully initiated disciple. I do not wish to pose myself as a devotee. What would devotees think if they saw me wearing tilak and I am not an initiated disciple. I do not wish to be disrespectful...

Hare Krishna!

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Sat, 05/10/2008 - 19:57 — abrennan
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In another post

You say "Since I have taken to practicing Krishna Consciousness" sounds like a devotee to me. Initiated? that's a whole other issue. Posing? Refer to your heart. You might think your body is posing but it seems to me that your heart is not. : )

I'll leave the question of tilak to someone else. If you find out all about the symbolism of tilak and it's application and use, etc, then wearing it will be a sign of what's in your heart rather than a pose.

Being initiated is does not mean you are beyond birth and death- that is liberation. To be initiated means you have been accepted by a Guru who believes you are strongly committed to training.

It all seems complicated I know but take it easy and take the steps you can and it will call come together for you. Stretch yourself where you can and you will benefit. Others will notice the growth of your devotional seedling and you might too.

keep up the good work

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Sun, 05/11/2008 - 05:11 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
What Question?

I don't see what question about tilak you're leaving to anyone else Antony.
I think you've answered it very nicely.

Thanks : )


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Sun, 05/11/2008 - 05:14 — abrennan
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: )

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Sun, 05/11/2008 - 05:37 — Navasi
Navasi's picture

ooops what???

What does this mean.... it's rather mysterious ......



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Sun, 05/11/2008 - 06:39 — abrennan
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oops I forgot to leave the Tilak to someone else

oopsy doopsy

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Sun, 05/11/2008 - 06:45 — Navasi
Navasi's picture

Well, you just had so much enthusiasm to tell Lilia about tilak.

lol : )

Enthusiasm is a wonderful thing.

: )

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Thu, 05/08/2008 - 15:15 — ekbhaktin8
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Canvas of the Heart

What a wonderful way to be with the Lord -

Needlework Meditation !

There isn't much difference between the path and the goal. The path is joyful.

I have always liked the idea of sketching and painting - on wood, paper, canvas. But needlework is far more detailed.

Please post a picture of the artwork when its done. Many of us would love to see it.


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Thu, 05/08/2008 - 16:19 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Joy On The Path

That's a very excellent point you've made Krishnali.
Krishna consciousness is just like that, there is joy in the process, or along the path as you said.
As Prabhupad has said it's "joyfully performed". : )

Being absorbed in the devotional activity we are doing surely makes the process joyful, doing it with devotion, whatever it is, makes it joyful.

I will put a picture of it in my gallery when it's done, that should maybe be next year .... lol ;)
I really do love the meditation aspect of needlework, doing something where I can listen to lectures or chant, and just be peaceful, it's great. : )

Thanks so much for your nice comments.

Hare Krishna,

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Thu, 05/08/2008 - 04:15 — krsna_shweta77
krsna_shweta77's picture
Lovely example

Thank you for that lovely example, Navasi! Also Snehal's comment is indeed true.

We need to think KC in this way as it will help to keep us constantly focused on providing loving service to Krishna - "each tiny 'stitch' gets us closer to the goal"!

Hare Krsna

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Thu, 05/08/2008 - 11:52 — Navasi
Navasi's picture

Hare Krishna, Dear Shweta,

Yes, you are right that this can help us keep focused on providing loving service to Krishna.

Sometimes it's easy to get lost in all the various ways the material energy tries to make us discouraged, tries to confuse and conflict us, keeping us forever engaged in trying to combat all these forces against us reaching Krishna.

Realizing that if we just keep on steadily endeavoring, we will always be moving forward and closer to Krishna helps to keep us from getting overwhelmed by the "enormity" of our task of freeing ourselves from illusion so we can serve Krishna purely.

Thank you for your nice comments :)

Hare Krishna

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Wed, 05/07/2008 - 16:28 — Snehal
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Thank you

Hare Krisna!!

What a wonderful example! Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

I would like to add something more to this. You said there is a huge canvas, and it must be stretched across a large wooden frame; this canvas is our faith and love for Krisna which has to be firm enough. And then there are various shades of colours just like there are nine different processes for serving LOrd and then you mentioned that the stich has to be in the right way and right place just like having right mood and consciousness (attitude of service) while rendering the service to Lord. All this in the end makes a wonderful tapestry.

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Thu, 05/08/2008 - 11:47 — Navasi
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Shades of Devotional Service

That's a very wonderful analogy you've given here Snehal.

Thank you so much for your addition to this concept.

I agree entirely. All the different aspects of our devotional lives can be easily seen in your example.

Hare Krishna : )