The Significance of Cleanliness
As a child, keeping yourself and your surroundings clean was likely a requirement placed on you by parents and other adults. But beyond these societal expectations, can keeping a clean house and environment have a deeper impact on your spiritual development? Sadhguru discusses the significance of keeping clean.
Sadhguru: Shaucha, or cleanliness, is an important aspect of one’s spiritual development. Cleanliness is not just about the body. It is also about our surroundings. Everything that we perceive through our sense organs can either create filth or wellbeing within ourselves.
Whatever we perceive, if it is pleasant upon our senses, we experience it one way. If it is unpleasant upon our senses, that becomes filth in our experience. If our surroundings are not clean, or in other words, if our surroundings are not pleasant upon our senses, then the images that we create in our mind, the projections that happen upon the seat of our experience turn unpleasant. When you create unpleasantness like this, going into blissful states of experience and consciously generating the nature of your experience becomes difficult.
Whether you are miserable or joyful is determined essentially by what you are doing within yourself. A spiritual process essentially means everything that you are, happens consciously – your experience of life is determined by you. If this has to happen, it is important that our sense organs do not perceive something as unpleasant.
As you make your bed…
I am sure that in every culture, you have been told at some point – if not by your parents, at least by your grandparents – about how to keep your clothes and bedclothes. In India in particular, they say that if you leave your bed clothes crumpled and unfolded, ghosts will come and gather. When you sleep, they will sleep with you and trouble you. I think in English there is a saying, “As you make your bed, so shall you lie upon it.” This is essentially about the forms around you. Today, scientists tell us that the whole existence is just one energy manifesting itself in a million different ways. As energy has generated forms, forms can in turn generate energy. And every form around you is generating a certain type of energy.
The kind of forms we build, the kind of forms we hold around us and the kind of structures we live in have a phenomenal impact on everything that we are. If there is a little more awareness about the way we sit, the way we arrange ourselves and the way we keep things around us, we can create the spatial arrangement in a way that is conducive to looking inward, and which makes our spiritual process much easier. If you want to drive from point A to point B, you could probably drive through anything, but if a proper road is laid out, you would get there easily. In that context, if the spatial arrangement around us is organized in such a way that it is conducive for inward looking, it will happen much more easily.
Editor’s Note: Isha Kriya is a free online guided meditation that has the potential to transform the life of anyone who is willing to invest just a few minutes a day. Try it out!