“Not being changed by prayer is sort of like standing in the middle of a spring rain without getting wet. It’s hard to stand in the center of God’s acceptance and love without getting it all over you.”
Let’s start at the very beginning. Suppose that you have applied for a job and you’ve shortlisted and called for an interview, how would you dress? Would you slip into a pair of baggy jeans and top it with an old T-shirt or would you wear smart semi-formals with a spiffy bag with accessories to match? How would you dress if you are attending a wedding or navjote? What will be your sartorial choice when you’re off for a date? Now, let’s imagine that we have to meet the Prime Minister of Canada? How would we dress?
We all want to create a good impression in any social situation and therefore we put our best foot forward and go prepared to impress. We choose the most suitable outfits; we select the right accessories and spray on some fine cologne or perfume. This helps us to confidently present ourselves to others. We do all this enthusiastically for someone we have never met and may or may not even end up liking or seeing again!
And yet, how do we present ourselves when we stand before the King of Kings! I remember, as a child, I always associated the fire temple with men in white pagdis and ladies in saris. They were worn with such elan! The long-sleeved blouses with the sadra and kusti peeking out at the waist, the beautiful kors, the radiant colours and all the figures bent over the Khordeh Avesta, deep in prayer.
However, times have changed, along with fashion, and indeed, we too must move with the times. There is no one proper dress code that we can follow but we must use our good judgment when we visit the Fire Temple. Should we not be careful and analyze whether we have dressed in a circumspect manner when we stand before Atash Padshah Saheb?
We not only carry our physical body into the Fire Temple, we also carry our emotions, out thoughts and our vibrations. It is mandatory and important for us to do the kusti before we enter the Fire Temple. In so doing, we align ourselves to the greater forces that exist within the temple and we are able to vibe with them harmoniously.
The only messy thing that you are allowed to bring into a Fire Temple is your mind. No matter how stressed, agitated, sad or angry you are, there is no restriction on bringing in your negativity. Dadar Ahura Mazda sees your pain and anguish and hears your deepest complaint. The purpose of your visit to the Fire Temple is to rid you of all these and replace them with peace and joy. Give Him a chance to work his miracles through you – pray!