Cleanliness and purity

Each seeker should feel that purity and cleanliness are next to godliness. Among all divine qualities, purity is unparalleled. There is no other quality that can maintain and sustain our divinity. If we have received Light, Peace and Bliss from above and want to sustain it, purity is the only thing that will enable us to do this. If there is no purity, like a bird, all that we have received will fly away. Once it flies away, it is very hard to bring it back into the cage.

Cleanliness is an outer form of purity. Every day we should take a shower. If we come to see a spiritual Master without properly showering, it will be an insult to his soul. We must take it as our bounden duty to have a clean body and clean clothes. We have to be responsible for two things: our aspiration and our regularity. It will help our aspiration if taking a shower becomes part of our regular, daily spiritual discipline.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Cleanliness is purity of the outer physical life. In the spiritual life there is another kind of purity. This purity is the conscious feeling of oneness with the Highest. If we can feel our conscious oneness with the Highest, then we can rest assured that our inner existence is absolutely pure.

The soul always remains pure, no matter what goes on around it. But purity has to be established in the physical, in the vital, in the mind and in the heart. How can we have purity in the heart? We can have purity in the heart through constant sacrifice to God within us and around us. We can have purity in the mind by widening our thought. If a thought comes and wants to bind us, immediately we will try to expand it. Whenever we are able to expand the thought we will see that we are entering into a boundless space where only purity exists. We can have purity in the vital if we feel at every moment that we are a divine warrior. As a divine warrior we have to use our dynamic power to fight against fear, doubt, worry and other negative movements. If we can achieve victory over these forces, then our vital will become pure. We can have purity in the physical if we start with cleanliness. Also, during the day we have to offer our breath to God consciously at least twenty times. In this way we can become pure in all aspects of our being.

Purity has to be established in every part of the aspirant's being. If physical purity is lacking in the aspirant, then psychic purity, mental purity and vital purity cannot remain in him for long. Physical purity is of paramount importance. We must conquer the physical which is binding us and leading us constantly toward the undivine impulses which are nothing short of death in the spiritual world. Once physical purity is established, then purity in other spheres can remain in us and create a shrine within us for the Divine to live in permanently.

When we consciously offer our life-breath it should be with our purest love and dedication. As we breathe in we should feel that the purity of the whole universe is entering into us and purifying our entire existence. Then the Will of the Supreme and our will become one and the entire universe becomes ours. When we breathe in consciously, we should try to feel purity in the mind, purity in the vital and purity in the physical. Let us feel only purity, nothing else. Spiritual purity will enter into our system and purify everything, even the physical organs. Then we will be worthy, to some extent, to offer our life-breath, which is our whole existence, to the Will of the Supreme.

When we have offered our life-breath we are as pure as a flower. Then only does our will become one with the Will of the Supreme. Otherwise, if we try to invoke peace or any other divine quality, it will be at our own sweet will, which may not function the way the Supreme wants it to. Not only when we invoke peace, but whenever we start our meditation, it is better to offer our life-breath to the Supreme a few times even if it is impure. If it is impure it will not work efficiently, but it will be effective to some extent. But if we can offer our pure breath to the Supreme, then our human will becomes immediately one with the infinite Will of the Supreme. Then we will receive everything, we will achieve everything and we will become everything in accordance with God's Will. The entire world and the world beyond will be ours.

From: Sri Chinmoy, Purity: divinity's little sister - , Agni Press, 1974
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