Outward Appearances

There are many erroneous views concerning the outward appearance of cultivators.  Bodhisattvas certainly adorn their bodies with precious jewels and fine silks to give a most dignified appearance. The mahayana dharma is intended to bring about both wisdom and good fortune. You should be evaluated by whether or not you hold the true Buddha-dharma and not what you wear or your outward appearances in determining if you are a true practitioner.  Although the minimalist style of the ascetic is the correct path for some, it is not necessary for others.  One does not have to live in a cave or wear rags and cast offs to practice this dharma.  One may live simply out of consideration for all the other many beings on this planet and one must avoid any attachments or greed concerning material possessions, but that does not mean living in poverty is somehow inherently more virtuous.  We can develop attachments and aversions to many things, including not having material things.  It is very easy to become judgmental about how others live instead of focusing on your own cultivation.