What is purity of body, mind, heart or soul and how it is attained?
The word, pure means free from any foreign elements or contaminants which impede our growth. It means being free from any toxins. It is in its original form. Healthy diet too is responsible for keeping our body free from toxic poisons. Over-indulgence of any form leads to abnormality in our health. We have the example of water purity or purity of milk etc. In the same manner, we have the purity of our body and mind. Our body could be made purified when it is kept hygienically clean but could it be applied to our mind or soul? Purity of our body is attained when we remove any unwanted contaminants from it.
Purity of our mind is attained when our mind is naturally pure, is free from unnatural impulses or negative emotions which hinder our onward march. Natural emotions are love, compassion, piety, pity, – these ensure our further growth and unnatural ones are violence/anger, greed, deceit, rancor, etc – stifle reason and further growth. How best to attain the natural beauty or purity of heart (just an innocent child) is by following the righteous course while enjoying all sorts of experiences (good or bad) in our lives?
It is a fact that we hide many things. Everybody does that. I am no exceptional in this. I also do this. This may be for procuring a job, having alliance with some influential person for getting things in our favour or while selecting a life partner. We always showcase our best qualities, as though, we’ve no negative traits – a pure soul? This is not only for ordinary souls like me, but also so called preachers who dole out sermons about how and why to keep our soul pure but when their real self comes under the scrutiny the gullible masses felt appalled and dismayed. But exceptions are always there – these chosen few are the epitome of inspiration and people quote their examples while talking about purity in life.
We can have perceptible improvement in our lifestyle by following the teachings of great saints who did selfless service to the humanity and in the process removed their shortcomings. To imbibe sound traits for some is not an easy task but with persistent effort and through inner resolve nothing is impossible and when it is done under the guidance of a Guru, it is easier. Each day is a learning day through self analysis first and then earnestly working for removing those weaknesses.
We identify ourselves with our possessions, our status, our relations, our bodies and so forth. This identification results in attachment and prevents us from becoming more inclusive in our outlook on life. We could be all inclusive when we look inwards for our solutions. Our mind is like a flickering light. It has to be steadied or reined in through our inner resolve. When we keep ourselves away from the attachments, we shall have a different perspective in our life. We’ve to rise above the consciousness and adopt impersonal consciousness. For this to be reality, we’ve to erase the negativity from our system. Purity also means keeping ourselves away all those internal and external factors which defile us.
Then there is a requirement of having a balance of reason and emotion. If we take into account only the former one giving scant importance to latter or vice versa then there would be problem.
Purity is all encompassing. Purity plays a stellar role in our life. All the religions stress the importance of purity in our life. This purity is spotlessness in thought, action, being ethical, moral purity, innocent, have understanding, uprightrightness, purity in love, speech, faith and worship.
It is not merely in humans that purity is considered important, even in worlds of animals and birds, cleanliness plays a predominant role. Stimuli of cleanliness are bestowed in these by the Mother Nature. We must have observed how a dog cleans the place of before sitting with its tail or the snake sheds its outer skin layer to keep its skin healthy and clean. Even in plants there is a natural phenomenon of shedding its extra bark which has outlived its utility. The birds make their nests for their protection from Taveta Golden Weaver bird makes its nest which provides protection from weather, predators besides a place for keeping its eggs.
All these traits are there in other creations. Then why not in human beings who are graced with the characteristics of differentiation by our Creators. Despite this, some humans act like a silk worm which makes its cocoon with its own larva and closes from all around and perishes in it. Such is their attachment with the unnatural things.
The evolution of humans from ape-like ancestors in physical and behavioural traits is the prime example of how we should approach purity as a basic requirement of all human beings. It is the process of getting rid of the baser and unnecessary tags which keep us attached. The sufis and saints or Sadhus (hermits) rid themselves or cleansed / freed themselves from the clogs or bindings that normal humans may have. It is the process in which rhythm of life becomes noticeable.
When we are slave of our intellect through bad habits of ours then things get out of our hands but if we want to get rid of these bad habits through self effort and penance then things could go our way. We have not to be slave but have to have mastery over our habits. Demon king Ravana was intellectual (having knowledge of Veda and Puranas etc) of highest order besides being the most liked Bhakta of Lord Shiva; but when he became slave to his intellect and ego, he lost everything including his loved ones as a consequence. It goes to show our intellect can make us famous while we exploit it to our advantage. It can give us worldly possessions, it can give us name and fame but when it makes us insensitive, it takes us away from our own self which in fact is pure.
All the experiences that we get in our lives – of joys and sorrows should make us realize that life of ours is sum total of experiences that we get in our life. These experiences should make us still more pure by discarding from our system what is impure and help save our existence from becoming a virtual hell.
Spiritual life and Purity
After having ensured cleanliness of our body, we can take the next step of imbibing all those traits which ensure our inner purity. The following are the steps for this:-
- Keeping our body hygienically neat and clean.
- For the mental health of ours, it is a must that we possess sound health keeping in mind the dictum: sound mind dwells in sound body. For this, regular exercise or Yogic postures should be regularly done.
- Next step is to know ourselves, through SELF REALIZATION. This could be done through self-analysis in the absence of which our life becomes a hub of contradictions and confusions. Our true nature has to be found out. In this, we’ve to pen down our finer points and weak areas. Then how best to plug those weak areas taking into account the situations / conditions that we have to surmount taking into consideration that everything happens in the temple of our body only. Anything untoward or unnatural has to be weeded out / undone and mental attitude changed. Mental blocks in the form of anger, jealousy, greed, envy, etc should have no place in our daily routines. These mental blocks dissipate energy from our system. Each and every day should be a learning experience for us.
- We ought to follow purity in social, ethical, moral and religious standpoints for achieving higher plane of our life.
- We have to act naturally since unnatural speech or actions create impediments not only to our body but also to our mental outlook. Living naturally means living and acting with freedom which our soul cherishes.
- Meditation/Prayer should be an integral part of our daily routines taking in view that we all are the image of our Creator and cannot live apart from Him. Loving His creations is synonymous with loving our Creator.
When we are living a life which is compatible and amiable physically, emotionally, mentally, socially and finally spiritually means we are living a life as ordained by our Lord and that is a pure life.
Finally, it is opined, we have the freedom of choice whether we like to be pure or puerile in thought and action. None but we’re responsible for it all. Passing buck will stand nowhere neither here on this earth nor in the domain of our Creator.