Question: How can we purify ourselves?

Sri Chinmoy: There are various ways to purify ourselves. To begin with, we have to use a systematic way of breathing. When we breathe in, we have to feel that we are breathing in nothing but purity. It is not our mental imagination; it is the actual feeling that the air that we are breathing is nothing but purity. When purity enters, it is like a current going from the sole of the feet to the crown of the head. Everything inside is being purified by this current. If we want to go further with this purification, we can establish purity not only in our nerve centres, but also in all the rest of our physical existence. If we repeat the name of the Supreme five hundred times today, and increase the number by one hundred every day, until we reach twelve hundred, and then from twelve hundred decrease the number by one hundred every day until we come back to five hundred, we will see that not only our subtle nerves and our internal organs but also our whole outer body will be purified. Our very existence will be surcharged with purity. It is not necessary to use the word 'Supreme'. Some aspirants who have practised this method of attaining purity have achieved wonderful results by repeating the word 'God' or 'Christ'. Inner purity also depends to some extent on outer cleanliness. If we have something divine within ourselves, then in the outer life we should also try to have that same divine quality. Sometimes we do see people who are outwardly very crude and unclean but who have fine, high souls, even God-realised souls. But for a sincere spiritual aspirant, inside and outside should be the same. Outer beauty should enter into inner beauty and inner beauty should enter into outer beauty. We should try to have cleanliness, which is outer purity. We should shower or bathe daily, and while doing this we should feel consciously not only that we are getting cleanliness but also that actual purification of the outer body is taking place.

It is quite easy to make the physical outwardly pure. But the vital and the mind must also be purified. The vital can be purified only through inner aspiration. The mind can be purified by cherishing only those thoughts that expand. A thought that binds us can never be pure. If a thought expands from the individual to humanity to the entire universe, it immediately makes us purer. The more we can expand, the easier it is for us to get purity. When purity is suppressed, it loses its existence; but when purity is extended, it increases its power. In order to have vital and mental purity, we should examine our inner feelings, inner thoughts and inner ideas. As soon as a thought enters our mind, we have to see whether or not it is a pure thought. An impure thought not only binds us, but its own capacity is very limited. Although it is destructive, the destruction that it causes is limited. A pure thought is a thought that expands itself and our consciousness. It has boundless power.

There is one more process by which we can purify our spiritual nerves and that is through illumination and transformation. How can we illumine these subtle nerves? Through aspiration. How can we transform them? Through ever-increasing illumination. Aspiration is like a mounting flame climbing to the highest. As it climbs, it illumines our darkness, impurity and everything in us that has to be transformed. With aspiration's mounting flame deep inside us, we can purify our entire inner and our outer existence. Aspiration is the most powerful, direct and effective method to illumine our darkness and to endow us with purity. For aspiration we have to concentrate and meditate. If we concentrate and meditate, our aspiration will grow dynamically inside us. In order to achieve purification we enter into the world of aspiration. It is aspiration that can take us to the highest, to the deepest, to the farthest. Aspiration can create miracles in us at every second.