Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


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Think Clean

Hari OM
'Text-days' are for delving into the words and theory of Advaita Vedanta.

We now explore the Sri Adi Shankara text, "SadaachaaraH". To obtain your own copy, click here.

After making a statement regarding the play of Maya and how our ignorance must be removed, the following shloka points to the purity of that Knowledge.

ATyNtmilnae dehae dehI caTyNtinmRl>,
As¼ae=himit }aTva zaEcmetTàc]te.6.
Atyantamalino deho dehii chaatyantanirmalaH,
asango'hamiti jnaatvaa shauchametatprachakshate ||6||
The body is extremely impure and the owner of the body is extremely pure.
This state of knowledge that "I am unattached" is declared as purification.

Shoucham - cleanliness - is next to Godliness. This is often said and is, rightly, mostly in reference to one's personal hygiene and that of one's environment. Such cleanliness is conducive to right living. However, in the case of seeing the Reality and over-riding Maya, then the purest metal state is required. In that state, we can Know ourselves to be unattached from the world of plurality. Just as we empty our homes of garbage, even as we rid the body of its daily wastes and wash it to preserve decorum, so it is the case that we must brush and tidy our minds and intellects to remove the impurity of ignorance and worldly knowledge, ready to receive the Ultimate Knowledge. 

The Self, that which knows who "I" am, is eternally pure. It cannot be sullied. Regaining our Knowledge of The Self, we become eternally pure also. Part of becoming mentally pure is to apply the tenets of the shaastra, which also include guidance on bodily cleansing, such as the care of teeth and hair and maintaining the skin. Keeping the body as a temple helps keep the mind focused on spiritual purpose.

Bathing is an essential part of the process. More on this next week.

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Hari OM
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