Last Sunday, while I was helping my mother in kitchen, my younger brother, who was having his board examination within a week, was trying to search for his notebook, but was not finding it. Just as he began to play blame-game, mother and I entered in his room. What we saw was a mess, as there was no order of anything in the room. Just then I heard my mother say, “You’ll never know what you have until…You clean your room”.
Right from the beginning, Indian Culture, from the times of Indus Valley Civilization, focused on cleanliness. We know how well they emphasized on structural layout of cities, just to keep the cities hygienic.
This cleanliness, what we talk about is even linked with our cities and places. Himachal is known as DevBhumi, a place where Gods live. Kerala is known as Gods own country. Uttrakhand, is known as land of Gods. Varanasi, a holy city, according to the legends, was founded by Shiva. As these places are associated with Godliness, it is easy to assume that they must be fitting the definition of cleanliness.
Cleanliness can very easily related with the environment and our surroundings. For a sound body, there must be a sound environment. This sound environment can be only achieved by following cleanliness. But why cleanliness only? And why it is linked with Godliness?
Cleanliness through ages have been practised in all religions and cultures. It seems like one and the same thing and are in harmony with each other. Krishna in Bhagvad-Gita insisted on outer and inner cleanliness. One verse of Quran says, “Cleanliness and Purity are the half of faith”. Such closely is cleanliness associated with Godliness.
We, the people of India, have a deep spiritual background. Though having a diverse culture, we all strive for the same Godliness by following different routes, and all that routes, maybe different for many as the cultures are, always have to pass through cleanliness.
However now, even without a closer look, we can see that most of our cities, which are linked with Godliness, do not fit the definition of cleanliness. If it does, then Gods would abandon such place without giving it a second thought.
Why such a situation have arose? Cleanliness is associated with our surrounding and environment, but we keep neglecting it as it is the work of someone another. Even if we think about it, we still ignore it as we didn’t pollute the surrounding, so why should we waste our time in cleaning it, forgetting that we only get back what we give. Such neglectance have led to our cities getting degraded from “Heavens of Cleanliness” to “Abyss of dirtiness”.
However, if one realizes his/her mistake and mend it later, s/he is no longer a culprit. India too, on the same note have started Clean India Campaign or “Swacch Bharat Abhiyan” to clean its cities and provide better environment and that too by participating people in it. Response too overall is very pleasing. Apart from this, states too are now themselves taking responsibility for the cleanliness and environment upgradation. Himachal recently banned Plastic bags. Ghats of Varanasi are much cleaner now due to people’s participation. Some initiatives like “Vacuum Cleaning of roads” are to be implemented soon. Better late than never.
Clear is that Cleanliness is next to Godliness, but is it only related to our surrounding environment? Is it only related to our cleanliness? Gandhiji once said that, “I’ll not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet”. What he meant was, as long as we have control over our mind and our emotions, we can never get angry at anything which is of no use to us, even if it provokes us.
We meet different people in our life. Some of them always show-off to work for a cause or another. But hardly have they done so. Many talk of women empowerment and women-cause just to get attention. Unknowingly they themselves criticize women on all petty issues. For their mind is not clean nor their heart is.
Cleaning of mind and soul is a fight with oneself. It is a long process of climbing the ladder of self-determination and self-control, by falling daily. Losing to your own self makes you much more subtle and patient. And as Bible says, “God is where patience is”.
“You’ll never know what you have until…You clean your room”, these words which my mother said to my younger brother are still buzzing in my ear. How easily do we believe to have understood the things by our own conscience, even if we are wrong about that whole perspective? My brother just took those words lightly, and cleaned his room. Although he found his note-book at last, but my world was totally shaken. Deep down I was thinking my body to be the room where I live and i’ll never know what i have until…I clean my room.
Overall as I think, cleanliness together of our surrounding and our mind, will redirect us towards godliness. Refraining ourselves from anyone of it, will only lead to a failed cause. As Gandhiji said, “Keep your thoughts clean because your thoughts become your words and your words clean as your words becomes your behaviour” and when we act like this, we work toward building a better self and better environment.
PS: Tahir is an Arabic word which means Pure and Clean. 😀