Sadhana for Week 41
Body Level: Cleanliness
Follow cleanliness about and around you.
Keep your tool sharp and clean and watch how He works through you.
Sweep your home clean every moment,
Day after day,
Of all its rubbish and misunderstandings.
Once a devotee was hurrying across to serve Poojya Gurudev some tea in a cup and saucer. On the way the devotee spilled a few drops of tea on the saucer. When Poojya Gurudev was served the tea he reprimanded and said, “You are not serving on a railway platform!”
The devotee understood what Poojya Gurudev was trying to convey – always work with full concentration and devotion, everything should be clean and precise, no shoddiness and casual attitude even while performing simple mundane tasks. The devotee immediately rushed and brought back the tea in an immaculately clean saucer and served him.
Poojya Gurudev was described by many as a person of elegance, of élan. The way he did things, dressed, walked – nothing escaped his scrutiny. He was so intellectually alert that even the crease in his kurta had to be just right.
Why is it Cleanliness important?
The basis of elegance, alertness, fitness, sharpness of the mind, in fact most of our positive qualities is cleanliness. Cleanliness is a state of purity, clarity and precision. That is why it is said – Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Cleanliness must be maintained at all levels – body, mind, intellect and spirit.
Most of the sadhanas we have undertaken have been to cleanse our mind (heart) intellect and spirit to weed out and remove all the negativities and impurities. We often tend to ignore cleanliness at the body or physical level. Without maintaining cleanliness at the physical level none of the above sadhanas would have been possible. The saying “a cluttered desk is a cluttered mind” holds true. Maintaining both personal and environmental hygiene is very important.
Some think it is not necessary to have a bath daily, just a change of clothes with application of a deodorant will suffice. It is very important to clean our bodies daily by having a bath, especially in a hot country like India. Cleanliness means absence of dirt, dust, stains, bad smells. Many of the diseases and illness are due to lack of cleanliness.
To maintain a healthy, disease free body it is vital we keep our bodies and environment clean. One of the causes of high infant mortality rate is lack of hygiene and cleanliness. Every year in India 2 million children below age of 5 die because of this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xp-g4sDF_5M
The significance of cleanliness and hygiene cannot be overlooked by any society. Every faith and civilization stresses the importance of cleanliness. Historically, cleanliness has been considered one of the important factors by which to judge a civilization’s or society’s development.
In the scriptures there is a lot of emphasis on cleanliness. In the Geeta Chapter 17 verse 14, while describing austerity of the body, the Lord mentions shaucham(cleanliness). In the qualities of a devotee whom the Lord loves, he mentions suchi(cleanliness) in Chapter 12 Verse 16.
How unfortunate that our temples and sacred places are so polluted and unclean. When we celebrate any festival or do any ritual, lets ensure that we do not pollute the environment. The flowers can be offered below any plants, trees or in a garden so that they become manure. lets not put them in the rivers or oceans.
“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” ? Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi was a strong advocator of cleanliness and throughout his life he stressed on the importance of maintaining a clean environment. Unfortunately in
India though we keep our houses clean the streets and neighborhood are otherwise. That is the reason why India loses a large number of people to infections and bad sanitation. We lose revenue in tourism also.
Watch a video of Swami Chinmayananda where he gave the example of cleanliness to unite the Nation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zv_Gsr_pgNAThe present government has also initiated similar campaign called Swacch Bhaarat Abhiyaan.
Here are a few tips. Though these look seemingly insignificant, they play a major role in our health!
1. Fold the bedsheets and covers as soon as you wake up. Let cleanliness be a priority from the moment we wake up
2. Hand washing - A single act which has proven to decrease the spread of infection. Wash your hands before every meal. Use a hand sanitizer if you can’t wash hands.
3. Skin – Bath daily, trim your nails regularly, shave regularly, wash hair with shampoo regularly, take care of cracks in skin/foot
4. Cover the mouth while coughing, do not share handkerchiefs or tissues, clean hands after coughing
5. Brush the teeth twice a day
6. Keep the Restrooms dry and disinfected
7. Do not spit in public places
8. Dispose garbage in closed bins
9. Do not cut/bite the nails, pick the nose, clean the ears etc. in public.
1. Do not litter. Throw rubbish in a bin only.
2. Put things from where they are taken. Do not leave them anywhere and then search for it later.
3. Ensure that all furniture at home and at work are cleaned daily.
4. Keep things in an organized manner
5. Clean your vehicle(s) daily.
6. Lets keep our sacred places as well as tourist attractions and all other places in general, clean.
1. Healthy body – prevents illness and diseases
2. Keeps the mind and intellect sharp, alert and dynamic
3. Keeps the spirit high and positive and increases the feeling of well being.
4. Cleaning also has a therapeutic value. When we clear up the clutter and organise things, we feel more inspired to work efficiently.
5. Increases efficiency at work
Beginners and Advanced:
Do are advised above.
1. Do as advised above.
2. Ensure that the mind also remains clean and pure. Drop any impurities and negative thoughts.
UNTO HIM OUR BEST