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Inner and Outer Purity
What is the meaning of external purity? Of course, external purity means keeping the body pure and wearing clean clothes. But it means much more than that. The place where you live must be kept clean. The books which you read must also be clean and wholesome. Be it your body or your mind, you should not allow dirt and bad qualities to accumulate. The statement that you should take a daily bath means that every impurity in body and mind has to be cleansed. Where dirt accumulates, germs will gather and bring on disease. Therefore, do not allow impurities of any kind to remain on you.
Every day in the morning, you should brush your teeth and also clean your tongue. Let there be no impurity in the main entrance. Whenever there is some dirty water outside, mosquitoes, worms and undesirable bacteria will soon fester. In the same way, wherever there is some dirt in your body, all these germs and insects are likely to accumulate. Not merely that, in the surroundings of your house you have to keep everything clean. There is a saying, 'Look at the house and you will know its resident'; in other words, the cleanliness of the house is a reflection of the cleanliness of the indwellers of that house. This principle of cleanliness is meant for your own good. Whether it be the house or its surroundings, if everything is kept clean, you will be happy. You have to keep yourself and everything around you clean and orderly in order to enjoy good health. When you have good health you will remain happy.
You may have only two sets of clothes, but when you wear one, you should make sure that the other is clean. Then, afterwards, you can wear the second set, cleaning the first. Actually, there is no need even for having two sets of clothes; just the one may be worn every day as long as you keep it clean. Whatever you have must be kept clean; do not allow yourself to become dirty. But just cleaning the exterior and wearing clean clothes, while keeping the heart impure, is not of much use. You have to make every effort to achieve inner purity, as well. For this purpose you need to keep all your thoughts and feelings sacred. Let your thoughts be directed towards the service of others. Do not allow jealousy or hatred to enter into you. Always try to develop feelings which are full of joy.
There is no need to bother yourself unnecessarily about others' affairs. Just always think good of others. In this context the ancient teachings declare, 'Let the whole world be happy.' To promote universal joy and well-being is the basis of the spiritual teachings and the object of all spiritual practice. Therefore, the sacred name of God should be continuously contemplated upon, so that it purifies your heart. Only when you take proper care to maintain inner and outer purity will you be able to prevent the entry of impure thoughts and harmful qualities, such as jealousy and hatred.