The recent advertisement of Kangana Ranaut which has been the talk of the town takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the filth in our homes and heads that prompts our beloved Goddess Lakshmi, revered as the mother of comfort and cleanliness, to walk out of our impure homes.
This short ad drives home the point that dirt should be driven out if we don’t want the positive energies in our household to be contaminated.
Maybe the rendition of Goddess Lakshmi by Ms. Ranaut will persuade us to recall the dictum of Cleanliness is next to Godliness. All religions unanimously stress on the importance of a clean surrounding. The flow of positive energies is possible only in places of hygiene, which cannot be stressed enough.
The inconvertible truth is that Hinduism as a religion lays great emphasis on cleanliness, exactly the reason for showcasing a symbol of the religion to revive our traditions.
Starting from the Vedas and the Puranas to the Sangam Era literature, the writings of our Yogis repeatedly extol the virtues of cleanliness, material and spiritual.
A quick jog of the memory will remind us that Shaucham is an important Dhamma. Valmiki even recorded instances of immaculate bathrooms with spotless mirrors and clean brushes. A clean bathroom is an ideal space for meditation, a well-kept and hygienic bathroom will aid in the solitary activity of relaxation of the mind and soul.
The important rituals that we start our day with underscore the prominence of cleanliness, like the practice of early morning baths at 4:00 – pratah-snana, which is the most auspicious time in the Hindu scriptures. A ritual cleansing starts from the head and moves to the feet. This is essential for rejuvenation and prosperity.
Our religion expounds that physical purity is the first step toward Laukika Saukhyam (Worldly Comfort) and Paramaarthika Saadhna (Quest for the Supreme Truth). This purity can be brought about only by adopting a clean way of life.
Additionally, the shastras dictate five forms of purity - of the body, action, character, speech and mind. All work simultaneously to ensure an elevated level of spiritual maturity in us.
When our yagnas start with the auspicious Punyahavachanam, the Vedic ritual of purification, it stands to serve as an important reminder that historically speaking, our religion prohibits a filthy attitude but our way of life is such that we seem to have erased it out of our consciousness; even as we routinely and devoutly worship idols.
Moral purification is only possible in an impeccable atmosphere; the smell of decay and dirt in our homes is not hospitable for the residence of positivity, as depicted by the ad.
A peace of mind can only be facilitated in an environment that is clean and attracts wholesome energies. De-cluttering is a magnet for renewed energies that nourish and strengthen us.
A harmonious internal environment will attract the flow of feng shui energies that inhabit clean and open spaces.
Lastly, we worship Bhumi Devi, the Goddess of Earth, but casually litter our environment which is considered to be the abode of the Goddess; so we not only keep our surroundings unclean but also extend the same behavior to the residence of our deities. The irony is that our minds ardently seek purification but create insurmountable litter around ourselves.