Transcendental Ornaments - Part 1

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev. 

Decorating our bodies with various ornaments or jewels is an integral part of beautifying oneself. There are varieties of jewels for women and men. Jewels or ornaments, in addition to beautifying, also serve as reflection of one’s wealth and opulence. People buy and wear jewels made of gold, silver, platinum etc., with various intricate and artistic designs to decorate themselves and also display their opulence to others. Also decorating with ornaments is considered auspicious. Srila Prabhupada states in the commentary of Srimad Bhagvatam verse 4.3.4, "In any auspicious ceremony, such as a marriage ceremony, sacrificial ceremony or pūjā ceremony, it is auspicious for married women to decorate themselves very nicely with ornaments, fine clothing and cosmetics. These are auspicious signs." Even after marriage, a wife is very much happy with the husband if he presents her with jewels and ornaments on special occasions. Srila Prabhupada explains in SB 4.1.6, "Generally, according to Vedic civilization, the wife is trained to be satisfied in all conditions, and the husband, according to Vedic instruction, is required to please the wife with sufficient food, ornaments and clothing.Then, if they are satisfied with their mutual dealings, good children are born. In this way the entire world can become peaceful." 

This decoration with jewels/ornaments is done for the deities also. We hear that devotees present various precious jewels and ornaments such as necklace, crown, and waist belt to the deities in the temple as devotional offering.  And because of the above reasons, making and selling of jewels and ornaments is a multibillion business. In fact the gold rate determines the economic status of the country to a great extent and forms a mention in daily news. Now this raises a question whether the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead decorates Himself with ornaments and jewels? The timeless Vedas answers this question by stating that the Supreme Person has an eternal spiritual form and also decorated with various ornaments. 

sthirebhiraṅghaiḥ pururūpa ughro babhruḥ śukrebhiḥ pipiśe hiraṇyaiḥ
īśānādasya bhuvanasya bhūrerna vā u yoṣad rudrādasuryam

His body is firm limbed and hence very capable of providing bliss to His devotees, He has various such forms to please His devotees, His lofty actions elevate the jivas, He supports the worlds (i.e, He is the supreme refuge), He has a shining form and makes others shine by His effulgence and adorned with golden ornaments. In this way, He is the controller of the Universe at all times and He is the destroyer of the disease of samsara and has unfailing strength

The Bhagavata purana 3.8.25 also states that the Lord is beautifully dressed and fully ornamented. 

āyāmato vistarataḥ sva-māna-
dehena loka-traya-saṅgraheṇa
vicitra-divyābharaṇāṁśukānāṁ 
kṛta-śriyāpāśrita-veṣa-deham

His transcendental body, unlimited in length and breadth, occupied the three planetary systems, upper, middle and lower. His body was self-illuminated by unparalleled dress and variegatedness and was properly ornamented. 

Now a question can be raised: Why we should understand about the Lord’s ornaments? Srila Prabhupada answers in the purport of the above verse "The beauty of material nature is due to His personal beauty, yet He is always magnificently dressed and ornamented to prove His transcendental variegatedness, which is so important in the advancement of spiritual knowledge." So if one wants to advance in transcendental knowledge, one should understand the nature of Lord’s ornaments and decorations. Now many questions may be raised to gain understanding:  What are the qualities and nature of His ornaments? Are His ornaments made of gold, diamond that we see in this world? In what way they are different from the ornaments worn by the people of this world? How do the acharyas glorify the Lord’s ornaments? We will meditate on the answers for these questions in the coming offerings, Krishna willing. 

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Narahari Krishna das
Chennai.