How To Feed Children

This is Thanksgiving weekend, and a lot of people are celebrating this popular American holiday by gathering with their families for large, elaborate meals.

Gathering with families almost always involves children. Sometimes lots of them, sometimes only a few.
One of the biggest problems at these types of gatherings is:

Feeding The Children.

Why is this such a problem? There is usually plenty of food at Thanksgiving meals, tons of it, all different types of food. At a vegetarian Thanksgiving meal, there will be vegetables, grains, dairy foods, tofu, pies, sweets, cookies, juice and fruit...

Thinking back many years to when my children were small, I know very well what the problem is. The problem is that children don't know how to choose the foods that they need to eat most.

If you let them decide from amongst the the banquet table of all kinds of foods imaginable, what will they choose?

Most children will eat the pies, the cakes, the cookies, the candy.........

Any rational parent is not going to let their child just eat whatever they want, making these choices by themselves.

In the same way, we are all children spiritually.

We have a vast array of "foods" being offered to us, from the "spiritual" banquet table. Because we are children, it is of course obvious that we are going to be drawn to what is "sweet", what "looks good", what "tastes good", "what appeals to our senses".

Before we understand what real spiritual life is, we are not going to automatically be able to distinguish between those "spiritual foods" that are essential for our survival and nourishment, and those that "only appeal to us".

The other problem that comes with feeding children is that they can't eat everything. If they are allowed to choose cookies, cakes, pies, and eat those, then they will be full.

They will not look for any other food, because they will not realize that they need it.

The will not be satisfied though. Not in the long run. Their growing bodies crave real nourishment. The real nourishment that they did not get from the foods they filled themselves with.

In the same way, we cannot expect to "feed" ourselves a diet of "somewhat spiritual food" and think it is going to satisfy our soul. If we "fill up on it" then there is no room for the actual spiritual nourishment, because we "think we have eaten".

Taking in a lot of extraneous things, in the name of spiritual life, is not going to do anything except make you "feel full". Meaning, you will perhaps get the sensation that you have experienced something spiritual, but really, your soul is starving.

You won't necessarily know that though.

The essential things are there in the scriptures, given to us by our Father, Srila Prabhupad. He is watching our spiritual "diet" and telling us what things are nourishing, and warning us to avoid "filling up" on the things that will do nothing for us in the long run, except make us "think we have eaten".

Thus killing our natural need to find and "take in" the essence. The real nourishment for our soul.

The essence:

Chanting the holy names of Krishna.

Reading the books about Krishna consciousness.

Following the regulative principles. (without following those, it's very difficult to benefit from the others)

~ ~ ~

If we "fill up" on other things without taking in those essential things, then our souls are in fact starving, even though we may think we have been "fed".

Happy Give-Thanks
(that we have Srila Prabhupad's "diet for our soul")

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Wed, 11/26/2008 - 21:36 — tekisui
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The loneliness of a beginner

Greetings, Navasi.

You said that the essence of spiritual life are:
Chanting the holy names of Krishna.
Reading the books about Krishna consciousness.
Following the regulative principles. (without following those, it's very difficult to benefit from the others)

But adhering to these alone can isolate the person very much, and feelings of loneliness might overwhelm them - and the person might resort to blind faith and to falsely assuming they have realization; or they might give up the path. At least in the beginning, this is a danger.
Associating with devotees doesn't automatically guarantee that the individual person's experience will be positive or inspiring; in fact, it is quite the opposite sometimes.

Could you please write a blog on this topic too - about the loneliness of a beginner?

Thank you.

Hare Krishna.

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Wed, 11/26/2008 - 22:57 — Navasi
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Dear Tekisui,

I agree it can be very lonely, and especially, as you said, when you are first starting, and are making so many changes. You also don't have a lot of faith or knowledge (most of the time) which makes it even more challenging.

I'm not sure exactly what you would like me to write about though.

There is nothing that is going to insulate us from having to experience some loneliness, as you said.

If we develop blind faith, or falsely assume we have realization, or fall away from the path, these are just pitfalls on the path, that are there for anyone at any stage.

I could write about my own personal experience with loneliness in the beginning, and how I coped with it, or how I experienced it.

I don't know if that would help though, or if that is what you are looking for.

You're keeping me very busy ;)

Hare Krishna,

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Thu, 11/27/2008 - 07:39 — tekisui
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Standard advice for beginners

Greetings, Navasi.

I thought there would be some kind of standard advice for beginners.
I mean, there is standard advice for a number of other things (like for chanting, cooking, singing, family life etc. etc.), so why not for beginners?

Or are beginners supposed to go through some kind of "baptism of fire", or "hell week" like they have in American college fraternities, except that in the case of being a beginner in Krishna consciousness, that "hell week" can turn into "hell decades"? Is the beginner phase considered a test to weed out the chaff - ie. those people who aren't interested enough or aren't blessed enough? A test like they have at elite clubs where, of course, the aspirant isn't allowed to know the (exact) admission criteria ...

I've asked before for directions for beginners, but all inquiries remained unanswered.

Oh well ...

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Thu, 11/27/2008 - 10:58 — bhaktincarol
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I am so sorry if something has displeased you.
I know things in our lives can be frustrating.

I am so new myself, but I do understand that Srila Prabhupada did give us directions. I have been told that everything we need can be found in his books, his letters, and his lectures.

Someone else could tell you more than I can, but directions for beginners are to chant the holy name as much as one wants to, as much as one can; try to read some of the literature he has recommended (Bhagavad Gita As It Is, any of the smaller books, Srimad Bhagavatam); try to follow the four regulative principles; eat food (prasadam) that has been offered to Krishna; if one can, try to listen to some classes (the morning program at some temples is available over the computer); associate with devotees (now we can associate in person, on the telephone, by computer, and we can also associate with devotees by reading Srila Prabhupada's and other devotees' books).

Srila Prabhupada gave us instructions.

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Thu, 11/27/2008 - 11:53 — tekisui
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What did Srila Prabhupada

What did Srila Prabhupada say about how a beginner is supposed to cope with the loneliness and the doubts?

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Thu, 11/27/2008 - 18:07 — bhaktincarol
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I don't know why you are lonely, or what it is you are doubting. From what I've been taught, I think it would be good to associate with devotees, and read, and understand happiness and distress both to be temporary. A reason for our suffering is so we can learn to turn toward Krishna.

"Feelings of loneliness are simply temporary manifestations due to past conditioning. We should try to concentrate our attention to our eternal friendship with Krishna."
(Srila Prabhupada, letter to Kulasekara, November 2, 1969)

"Asammoha, freedom from doubt and delusion, can be achieved when one is not hesitant and when he understands the transcendental philosophy. Slowly but surely he becomes free from bewilderment. Nothing should be accepted blindly; everything should be accepted with care and caution."
(Srila Prabhupada, purport, Bhagavad Gita 10.4-5)

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Sat, 11/29/2008 - 03:00 — tekisui
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Beginners ...

Greetings, Bhaktin Carol.

Thank you for providing some references.

The thing with at least some beginners is that we are very frustrated, very anxious, our minds are racing, we have a million questions, and there are so many things we are not sure of and that we fear. This makes the acquisition of doctrinal knowledge and application of rational advice difficult.

I sometimes see advice that seems to be aimed at or tailored to those who are already more advanced; advice that beginners can't do much with because acting on that advice requires that one already be certain about some things or already be capable of doing some things - and beginners may not yet have those certainties or abilities.

I suppose this is just the predicament of the beginner ...
Perhaps one reason why there isn't much advice tailored specifically for beginners is because beginners differ very much one from another as they have come to Krishna Consciousness from all sorts of backgrounds and those backgrounds might still be quite active in them, strongly affecting how they approach Krishna Consciousness.

Hare Krishna.

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Wed, 11/26/2008 - 16:19 — Snehal
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Hare Krishna! You have very

Hare Krishna!

You have very beautifully explained what a proper spiritual diet is.

"Taking in a lot of extraneous things, in the name of spiritual life, is not going to do anything except make you "feel full". Meaning, you will perhaps get the sensation that you have experienced something spiritual, but really, your soul is starving".

Would you please elabrate on this and let us know what these other "sweet" and "attractive" tHings are which one must avoid in the name of spiritual life.



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Wed, 11/26/2008 - 21:26 — tekisui
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Spiritual junkfood

I second Snehal's question - Please elaborate on what makes for spiritual junkfood.

Thank you.

Hare Krishna.

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Wed, 11/26/2008 - 23:02 — Navasi
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Some Things We Could Do Without

Dear Snehal and Tekisui,

I will list a few things, for the sake of clarity, but would also like to stress that this post is about focusing on the things that we must do. The essential things.

It's about What TO Do, not (what not to do). Focusing too much on what not to do, misses the point. The point is: Do The Essential Things.

The List:

~ Listening to music that "spiritual in nature" (such as Indian classical music) but does not contain any glorification of Krishna or His devotees.

~ Meditating on, praying to, (worshiping) demigods.

~ Reading new age magazines, books, etc. (especially when you think there is genuine spiritual value to be had, i.e. that the are somehow the "same" as Krishna consciousness)

~ Following various astrological calculations and considerations, and discussing and paying attention to them.

~ Socializing, chatting, and talking with friends about mundane things that have nothing to do with becoming Krishna conscious. (devotee friends)

~ Mixing in other paths with Krishna consciousness, for example, engaging in Wicca practices because they are nature oriented and are harmonious with the Earth, and kind to the planet.

~ Celebrating non-Vaisnava holidays.

~ Engaging in various forms of welfare work for society, or the planet, that is "good and pious" but has nothing to do with helping anyone become Krishna conscious.


I think that's a pretty good general idea of what some of these things are.

If you are in fact doing the Essential Things, then some of these things can be used quite constructively.
But only if you are doing the Essential Things.

Srila Prabhupad is our spiritual Father, and has prescribed the diet of Essentials. I mentioned in my post that "rational adults will not allow children to choose whatever they want". So, we have our own intelligence to be the "rational adult" for each of us. That's what our intelligence is for.

We have to become responsible, rational adults in our own spiritual lives, and not allow our "child" (senses, mind) to dictate to us what we will "eat".

Hare Krishna,

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Thu, 11/27/2008 - 03:30 — Karnamrita.das
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Different lists for different folks

Well Navasi. I hope you don't mind that I share that this. I do a lot of the things you listed in your not to do list, while my main goal is is still to love and serve Krishna. I appreciate your list in principle, yet everyone still has to determine the application. People's needs and natures differ. I have a hug library with books on all kinds of things regarding healing, personal growth, channeling, alternative spirituality, Mystic Christianity, and most all the K.C books available. Some may consider my eclectic, but in my mind I'm not. I do have many interests which I see in relationship to my main objective, Krishna bhakti.

I listen to all kinds of New Age materially uplifting music since working at the store. I really vibrate to music and realized how much I have missed it--though I do have kirtanas I listen to as well. I am more creative and connected with this type of music, though it is has nothing to do with Krishna--yet it inspired music. I love it, and it is great to read and write with that in the background. Consider it a phase I am going through, but it works for me now.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are not on the Vaishnava Calender, yet they can certainly be dovetailed. We observed Christmas for years when our son was growing up. We decorated a "Krishna tree" with his incarnations etc, and we got together with other devotee families every year. Kind of an excuse for being with devotee friends. We are having a Thanksgiving at the Temple here---again dovetailing a Western tradition---though giving thanks is very K.C. Where we draw the line is an important question. While as Prabhupada taught us "Utility is the Principle", we can ether use or be used by things or situations. Discrimination is the better part of valor.

Their are different strategies--there are those who shun everything Western or even subtly material and rightly criticize the exploitive shortcomings, and those who pick and chose those material things or holidays that may have some application. Some devotees criticize the Western observance of birthdays, others invite devotees for kirtana and prasad.

I think for many new devotees there often needs to be a real black and white demarcation of the application of principles, and then with the wisdom of maturity we have to determine what we require for the long haul of our lives. I don't mean to imply that you are not mature, only that the application of dos and don't is very individual. One persons food, another person's poison.

Your friend in Krishna,


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Thu, 11/27/2008 - 13:09 — Karnamrita.das
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Huge not hug

I got a good laugh reading about my "hug" library which perhaps made it sound really strange. I guess some New Age books maybe thought of as "hug" books, but that was not my intent. I did mean huge as in very large, but then you likely figured that out.

Your friend in Krishna,


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Thu, 11/27/2008 - 05:05 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
An Opportunity

Dear Karnamrita,

I was just thinking a little bit more about this subject and the discussion we've been having.

You know, this is actually a really excellent example of what I was saying in the original post.

This could be a very good opportunity to help the new devotees here.

I think that a lot of them get very confused when they see older devotees doing these kinds of things, especially to the extent that you have indicated here.

Most of the new devotees are not even chanting 16 rounds a day yet, what to speak of, have they read all of Srila Prabhupad's books, or are they continuing to read them. They are struggling (some are) with understanding what the regulative principles even amount to or mean, or even if they are of value at all.

In my original post, the entire purpose in writing it, was to explain that all these "non-essential things" were going to "starve their soul" if they were not doing the essential things.

The idea being, that if they are not chanting japa, or they maybe chant a couple of rounds a day, and then read New Age literature the rest of the time, then they are not being given adequate "nourishment" spiritually.

I feel responsible as an older devotee to make the distinction for them, that these Essential Things have to be done, and then, if they feel they can benefit from some of these other things, that's "individual" like you said.

I think it would really help a lot, if you, as another older devotee, would clarify that you were not meaning these things to be "substitutes" for the essential practices of Bhaki yoga, or Krishna consciousness.

I know you said that sort of in your post..... but if you could state it clearly, I would really appreciate it, and I think it would be helpful to others.

We know, that if they misunderstand this, and think that they should be reading New Age books, instead of chanting japa, for example, or reading Srila Prabhupad's books, it is really doing them a disservice.

Or, if they are not yet initiated, and instead of applying themselves to the essential practices, they think that somehow, it would be better to "listen to New Age music" that's another disservice.

Since we are here trying very hard to sort these things out for new devotees, since it might not be as obvious to them (in fact I know it's not, based on letters I get) I think it's really important to make the distinction.

That is the entire reason I wrote that post in the first place.

So, if you have time and feel willing, I think it would help everyone here if you would state that you don't mean "instead of":

Chanting japa (16 rounds a day)
Reading scripture (Prabhupad's books)

Time is a precious commodity for young people now days, well, for people of any age, and I am afraid to see them waste what they have by being confused about what the most important things are to spend their time on.

Thank you for your help,

Hare Krishna,

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Thu, 11/27/2008 - 08:05 — tekisui
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Being speshal

Navasi said:
I think that a lot of them get very confused when they see older devotees doing these kinds of things, especially to the extent that you have indicated here.

I do get confused, yes. When I see older devotees doing all those "other things", I sometimes wonder whether I will have to do them too, in order to be "accepted into the fold".

Sometimes, I have the impression that all these "other things" that some older devotees are doing are as if they say "Hey, any idiot can chant 16 rounds daily, read scriptures and Srila Prabhupada's books and keep the regulative principles, that's nothing. You also have to be really cool and speshal, or you just ain't good enough." :-o

On a more serious note - An older devotee doing those "other things" can send out the message that the Vaishnava path is not enough, or not right enough, so that one has to go looking elsewhere to get enough spiritual nourishment. And this is definitely not an encouraging message.

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Thu, 11/27/2008 - 03:35 — Navasi
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I knew it was going to mean trouble when I posted that list!

I was afraid of this exact thing, that someone would read it and think I was saying "these things should never be done"!!!

Never thought it would be you, Karnamrita prabhu ;)

I realize you are busy, but sometimes, it helps to read what the person has said very carefully. If you had, you would see this:


"I will list a few things, for the sake of clarity, but would also like to stress that this post is about focusing on the things that we must do. The essential things.

It's about What TO Do, not (what not to do). Focusing too much on what not to do, misses the point. The point is: Do The Essential Things."


And mostly, this:
"I think that's a pretty good general idea of what some of these things are.

If you are in fact doing the Essential Things, then some of these things can be used quite constructively.
But only if you are doing the Essential Things."

I do some of these things too, and I'm not criticizing or condemning them.

As I said, this post is about the essential things that we must do.

But, they ask for clarification, because they don't know what I might be referring to at all... maybe I mean "don't go to the temple" for all someone knows... right?

So, I was kind of obligated to explain what I was referring to.

I assume you are of course doing the Essential Things, so that list doesn't even apply to you anyway.

Happy Thanksgiving.


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Thu, 11/27/2008 - 05:10 — Hari_Priya
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Hare Krishna, Navasi Prabhu!

I agree with Karnamrita Prabhu to some degree. I'll explain why:
The goal of our life is to be Krishna Conscious, and there are guidelines laid by Srila Prabhupada for achieving it. But not everybody can find it easy to follow them, and I am one of them.

Let's take the example of listening to music. I am a music lover, I listen to all genre of music. I love (old and a few new) Bollywood songs, I listen to Micheal Jackson, Bryan Adams, Mariah Carey, George Micheal, Elton John, The Beatles, ABBA, Jim Reeves, Cliff Richard and many more. I love listening to Krishna bhajans, but there are a chosen few which appeal to my heart. So what do I do?

I love Krishna very much, and along with chanting the Mahamantra and reading Bhagavad Gita, I wanted to do something more. I thought it out and now I am listening my music collection with a difference; I listen to them with Krishna in my mind. I will put it this way: when I listen to them, I remember Krishna without conscious effort.

There are over 1000 hindi and english songs in my collection, many of them have love as theme, some with the feeling of separation as theme... etc. So when I listen to a love song, I feel I am singing that song for Krishna. I feel I am using the song as a medium to convey my love to Krishna. When the song is about separation, I sing that to Krishna, and I feel the bitter-sweet agony of pining for Krishna.

Those songs do not glorify Krishna or His Pastimes. They only express love in a beautiful way. I don't have words of my own to do that, so I use them. No copyright infringement intended, of course. LOL! It helps to make my love for Krishna more intense.

I feel music is a powerful medium. If you observe the great bhaktas and saints in history, many of them were poets and musicians. They composed poetry and music to express their love for God. Who can forget Meera Bai, one of the greatest devotees of Krishna, and her bhajans?

Of course I am not very poetic, so I am using others' work to express my love. I hope Krishna doesn't mind. ;-)

You said in one of your other posts Navasi Prabhu, that you like to take something that is non-Krishna Conscious and turn it into Krishna-Conscious. I have tried to imitate you in a feeble way.

May be devotees who are more advanced do not need these pretexts to help them remember Krishna, they are already taking the perfect spiritual diet. But for someone like me, I need to have a spiritual appetizer first, the very first course which makes my hunger for Krishna increase more and more. May be after some years I will become little more advanced and I won't need the appetizer, I can tuck in the dessert directly....the dessert of Krishna-Consciousness!

Until then, Hare Krishna!

Hari Priya

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Thu, 11/27/2008 - 05:37 — Navasi
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Essential Things

Dear Hari Priya,

You can't make up your own path, it's there, in the scripture. If we can't follow it, we can't follow it, but we certainly aren't going to get closer to Krishna by not following it.

Chant 16 rounds a day, follow the regulative principles and study Srila Prabhupad's books.

If you don't, you're not going to get closer to Krishna.

I think it's quite clear that we all have a limited amount of time in this life. I will tell you that the very best thing you can do is not waste it.

I have found that when you KNOW, really KNOW, that these things are essential, you find a way to do them.

The rest of all this, what to do or not do, will then become quite clear.

I'm only saying that these things are essential to do:

Chant 16 rounds a day
Study Srila Prabhupad's books
Follow the regulative principles.

Hare Krishna,

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Thu, 11/27/2008 - 06:47 — Hari_Priya
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Hare Krishna Navasi Prabhu!

I think I got the wrong message across. I wasn't saying I was making up my own way. I follow the regulative principles, I have read Srila Prabhupada's books, may be I will read them again and again to understand them better.

The only thing is I haven't bought beads as yet, so I am chanting without beads. But I am chanting for sure.

I am not trying to tell anybody what to do to get to Krishna. I am a nobody and I know that. I am very sorry about this.

Hare Krishna!
Hari Priya

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Thu, 11/27/2008 - 07:09 — Navasi
Navasi's picture

You have not done a single thing wrong, Hari Priya.

There is nothing to be sorry about.

Just get some japa beads and chant 16 rounds a day, read Srila Prabhupad's books every day. Keep following the regulative principles, that's great.

Everything else will work itself out.

Just focus on doing that, no matter what else.

Hare Krishna,

*you weren't making up your own way, you just didn't know what the way was. I was only saying that "we can't" make up our own way.

"We can't"



*Edit: sorry, I did say "you", but I meant it in a collective sense. I apologize.

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Thu, 11/27/2008 - 22:57 — Hari_Priya
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Hare Krishna Navasi Prabhu!

I am very sorry to make you cross. It wasn't my intention at all. Nor I was trying to substitute my 'listening to songs' thing for attaining Krishna.

I know very well that following Srila Prabhupada's instructions is the best and the only way there is. If I didn't, I wouldn't be talking to you in the first place. I was only saying I use those songs to motivate myself when I mind wanders. Rest is Krishna's mercy.

Before I came across, there were only 2 people in this world (an uncle of mine and his wife)who are Krishna devotees, someone I could talk to about Krishna. Nobody among my classmates, colleagues, relatives or friends is interested in Krishna, let alone being a Krishna devotee. Everyone I meet talks about soap-operas on TV and other stupid things which don't interest me.

When I found this site, I became very enthusiastic that I've got the company I was craving for. I started writing whatever is in my mind, may be I shouldn't.

It's your blog, and the message you are spreading is very valuable. Whatever people comment on this should not have an impact on what you were actually trying to convey.

I am doing the Essential things you said, I really am. Krishna sees through everybody, He knows what's in our minds and hearts, even if we don't express it with words. So it's no good faking something.

I thought it was a positive development in me if I could think about Krishna in a situation where most people (I mean people I know) can't. By Krishna's mercy, you have been associating with devotees since you were young, but that isn't the case with me. I am in a preliminary stage of bhakti and this seemed to be a big thing for me. I just wanted to share with my fellow-devotees what I experience, may be this is a wrong place to post it.

By the same token, I would like to ask you something else. I will post it in the forums. But I must admit that conveying our thoughts with words is trickier than I thought.

Once again I beg your pardon, I would never ever offend Krishna or His devotees intentionally.

Krishna, please forgive me for the offenses I may have committed towards You or Your devotees. I crave Your mercy, Krishna!

(You have already posted a new blog, I don't know if you will read this or not.)

Hare Krishna!
Hari Priya

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Thu, 11/27/2008 - 03:56 — Go-Seva
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Srila Prabhupada says....

or maybe not, I am not sure.... But this is something I always, always, always think of in my daily routines and decision making:

"Reject all things unfavorable to becoming Krsna conscious, and accept all things favorable to becoming Krsna conscious."

(I am horrible at quoting things exactly; I only get the general jist)

I may be a little on the "hardline" side, but this plays heavily in all decisions I make for both myself and my family. Sure, it's not always pleasant for everyone involved, but who said that trying to attain the Lotus Feet of the Lord would be pleasant? Very little in this miserable material existence is pleasant, and it becomes even less so if I cannot dovetail the thing or experience or whatever in the service of Krsna.

Determination and ability to renounce are my ideals. Krsna is my only goal. Maya be damned!

Happy Thanksgiving. Haribol!

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Thu, 11/27/2008 - 04:14 — bhaktincarol
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just one thing... maya is

just one thing... maya is servant of Krishna, isn't she?

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Thu, 11/27/2008 - 05:16 — Go-Seva
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just emphasizing the strength of Maya and how sometimes She can pull us back into the material world if we are not careful to cultivate our devotional creeper. This probably wasn't a good thing to say, although I do feel that I am in a struggle with Maya at every turn in life. Sorry if I am disrespecting the energy of the Lord; it's just that sometime I don't know why this pull is greater than the pull of Krsna.... Very bewildering to me at times.

Take care. Haribol!

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Thu, 11/27/2008 - 03:55 — Karnamrita.das
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The Nature of Writing

I find it difficult to say everything that needs to be said when I write. Though I do my best, invariably someone will not understand what I mean or am saying. That is why we have the opportunity to discuss. I did read what you wrote carefully, though I thought it wouldn't hurt to clarify what I though could be misunderstood. I don't mean to be presumptuous here, just a friend giving his perspective. I would hope you would bring to my attention something you thought could be misunderstood that I wrote. There is intent, and impact. We have a point or intent in mind, and our impact on others could be different. In fact this is the nature of all communication. Depending on our nature we take things in a certain way.

Your friend in Krishna,


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Thu, 11/27/2008 - 04:05 — Navasi
Navasi's picture

Thank you for explaining, Karnamrita,

I understand now what your purpose was and it makes perfect sense.

I appreciate the fact that you added that perspective, and I can see why you felt it was important to do that.

It's very hard to tell, because of the nature of writing and the way things are misconstrued though.

If possible, maybe you could explain that you are adding something additional, rather than stating "a different view". That was what confused me, since I did not state any view of my own at all, except to say, those were not essential things, and that we needed to do the essential things, and we "could do without those things".

So, there was no view of my own regarding anything about those things themselves. I was simply explaining what the "general idea" of non-essential things was.

Thank you for your contribution to this topic. I'm sure no one is going to be confused about it now. LOL : )

: )
*Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ;)

Your friend in Krishna,