Baba says, ‘cleanliness enables you to become an angel and fly’. It is also the method to invoke divine virtues.
Cleanliness means purity in thoughts, words, actions and relationships- in everything. The color white is always shown as a sign of purity – clean, spotless, pristine. Sometimes, we confuse this to mean that I don’t make any mistakes, that I perform perfectly. This is not what cleanliness means. In fact, that would be the opposite of cleanliness. It is said that the Lord is pleased with an honest heart. Cleanliness is honesty. It means that I am honest in my thoughts, words and actions; that I am the same inside and out. It means that I have an intellect that is detached from the old world and loving to God.
Complete cleanliness and purity is the aim of Brahmins at this confluence age. This is why deities are remembered as those that are ‘completely viceless’…not just viceless. They are called ’16 celestial degrees complete‘. Cleanliness is completeness, there isn’t anything lacking, there are no limited desires that cause selfishness to emerge, there isn’t any battling, struggle or uneasiness inside. I am full, content. This is purity, this is cleanliness and while it is the praise of the golden-aged deities, I become that here and now.
The foundation for this fullness, for this cleanliness, is soul consciousness. Unless I am in the right awareness or consciousness, nothing else can be right. It is what honesty means – being who I really am. I am a soul, not the body. I am a child of the Supreme Father, the Supreme Soul. When I remain in this awareness, everything else including my thoughts, words, deeds, vision and attitude, will match that awareness. They will be elevated and pure. There is no cleanliness in body consciousness. It causes me to wander, chase, seek, compare, compete- in other words, do all the things that are unnatural to the soul, that are misaligned with it’s values. No wonder, the more I try, the more empty I feel because the method is unclean, it is inherently selfish. Even though I am the child of the Bestower of all Attainments, body consciousness causes me to live like an orphan bereft of any attainment.
When I make ‘I am a soul’ my natural awareness, then I start to see the body- correctly- as the temple of the soul and I take care of it with that consciousness. I, the soul, am a pure soul, a deity soul and as such, I take care to keep the body clean and healthy. I recognize that this body is invaluable to me because it is through this body that I am able to recognize God, remember Him, relate to Him and make the effort to be like Him. It is also through this body that I am able to serve and become a helper in God’s unlimited task. So I care for it as a trustee. I don’t use it in an ordinary and wasteful way like I did for half a cycle. I use it in the consciousness of being a spirit, for spiritual endeavor; Cleanliness is also a sign of spirituality.
When I think of myself as a soul, then all I care about is staying connected with my long-lost and now found Beloved. It was always and only the eternal Beloved that the soul had been seeking for so long. I have now found Him. This is being Manmanabhav– belonging to the One in my mind. This is also Baba’s direction for the mind and automatically ensures cleanliness of mind or of thoughts. If the mind wanders toward anyone or anything else, then there is a lack of cleanliness, there is still some element of body consciousness that I need to clean out.
Then there is cleanliness in relationships. In essence, this means contentment of the self and of the souls that I interact with every day. The sign of your contentment, Baba explains, is that you will be light in the mind and remain happy, and others will also remain happy with you. The sign of discontentment is that you will be heavy in your mind. The thought will repeatedly keep entering your mind, even against your conscious wish: I should not have said this; it would have been better if I hadn’t done this; it would have been better to say this and do this. This burden will not allow you to remain happy; it will not allow you to remain light, He says. Where there is honesty and cleanliness in relationships, there is lightness and happiness. This is why it is said: “One who is true, dances”, that is, one who is honest constantly dances in happiness.
Where there is cleanliness of heart which is to say, honesty of the heart, I will be true with the Father. Put your self-progress, that is, your effort, whatever it is, as it is, honestly, in front of the Father, says Baba. In fact, before going to bed, submit everything to Baba and become loving and detached, He says. Finish all the accounts of the day- whether of thoughts, words, actions, feelings – with the fire of remembrance. The wasteful thoughts and actions of one day should not leak into the next day, that is, there shouldn’t be any debt for the next day. Otherwise, Baba says, it takes the form of sickness and makes the intellect weak. Settle your accounts daily and begin the new day with a new awareness. Nothing should accumulate. ‘Past is past, full stop!’ Only those who keep their register clean in this way, that is, those who clean their accounts are easily able to become the embodiment of success. They remain light and continue to fly. Along with self progress, check to what extent you are serving with a pure heart, He teaches. If I am serving with any selfish motive- for name, fame, recognition- then, that is not true service. Sometimes, I serve out of compulsion: ‘I have to do this, so let me get through it’. It’s as if I am enduring, dragging through the task. That is not clean and therefore does not serve, Baba points out. Service is not just a ‘duty’ I have to perform. In fact, the original sanskars of Brahmin souls are of service and they don’t allow me to stay without doing true service.
So check, says Baba, to what extent do I have cleanliness in all aspects of my life. Those who have honesty and cleanliness are loved by God and are also loved by souls. But most importantly, they love themselves. Everyone likes honesty and cleanliness.