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Cleanliness is next to godliness

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Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Cleanliness is next to godliness. You must take twice bath at least. It is required. And in tropical countries like India, there is no difficulty taking bath three times. Of course, if your body does not permit... But that is Śaucam, to clean. Śaucam.
Lecture on BG 13.8-12 -- Bombay, October 5, 1973: Śaucam, cleanliness. That is very essential. This morning I was talking with Tamal Kṛṣṇa Gosvāmī. Cleanliness is... As soon as you give up cleanliness, you become mleccha and yavana. Mleccha, yavana, these two names have come into Vedic śāstras, one who is unclean." Why there was always misunderstanding between the Hindus and the Muslims? I am talking of practical life. Because the Muslims were very unclean and the Hindus are supposed... now Hindus are less than Muslim, less than Muslim. And still, they are claiming... Śaucam. They are most unclean at the present moment, so deteriorated. Publicly it is being advertised, "Here is beef shop. Come on. Equality. Equality by eating beef, drinking wine." Now this is coming. Śaucam. Śaucam. Cleanliness. Cleanliness is next to godliness. You must take twice bath at least. It is required. And in tropical countries like India, there is no difficulty taking bath three times. Of course, if your body does not permit... But that is Śaucam, to clean. Śaucam. Śaucaṁ bāhyābhyantaram.
apavitraḥ pavitro vā
sarvāvasthāṁ gato 'pi vā
yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ
sa bāhyābhyantaraṁ śuciḥ

The brāhmaṇa is called therefore śuci. He is always clean, taking three times bath, cloth washed, mouth, hands, legs, all clean, with tilaka. That is brāhmaṇa. Śaucam. This is externally. And internally you have to become also śaucam. Bāhyābhyantaram. Bahya mean externally you have to cleanse yourself with water, soap or earth. And internally you have to be cleansed by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. Because if you remain unclean within the heart, simply by washing your external body and cleansing your cloth, that is not complete cleanliness. That may be called hygienic. But real cleanliness is internally and externally. Yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ sa bāhyābhyantaraṁ śuciḥ. So you have to cleansed yourself externally and internally.

By remembering, yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣam, the lotus-eyed Kṛṣṇa, if you always think, that is śuci. And in Bengali there is a word, poetry, muci haya śuci haya yadi kṛṣṇa bhaje. If one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, even if he is born in a cobbler's family, muci... In India there are two things, muci and śuci. Śuci means perfect brāhmaṇa, and muci means cobbler, the shoemaker. So muci haya śuci haya yadi kṛṣṇa bhaje. If one becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, even if he is born in the family of a muci, camāra, he can become a brāhmaṇa. And śuci haya muci haya yadi kṛṣṇa tyaje. And if he gives up Kṛṣṇa, even if he's born in a brāhmaṇa family, he becomes a muci. Muci means the skin expert. If he is simply busy, "I am this skin, brāhmaṇa skin..." Your behavior? "No, that doesn't matter. So that means skin expert. Just like muci knows how to distinguish whether it is cow's skin or goat's skin or this skin.

No. One must be Kṛṣṇa conscious. Then he is cleansed. Sa bāhyābhyantaraṁ śuciḥ. Yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣam. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. One who is always thinking of Kṛṣṇa—Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare, Hare Rāma Hare Rāma—he is śuci. He is no more muci. Muci haya śuci haya yadi kṛṣṇa bhaje. Sthairyam ātma-vinigrahaḥ.
Cleanliness is next to godliness. To rise early in the morning and cleanse yourself, evacuate, then take bath, cleanse your teeth, cleanse your hands, legs, and be refreshed, that is required.
Lecture on BG 16.6 -- South Africa, October 18, 1975: If people take advantage of these books they can stop this pravṛtti, this intense desire for enjoying this material world. But the asuras, they do not know that what we should accept and what we should not accept. Pravṛtti means to accept something, and nivṛtti means to deny something. So they do not know. This is the first symptom of the asuras. Pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ ca na viduḥ. Pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ ca janā na vidur āsurāḥ, āsurāḥ janāḥ [Bg. 16.7], those who are demons, asuras, they do not know it. Then next symptom? Na śaucam: They are very unclean. These things you will find nowadays everywhere, all over the world. They are not clean. The cleanliness is next to godliness. To rise early in the morning and cleanse yourself, evacuate, then take bath, cleanse your teeth, cleanse your hands, legs, and be refreshed, that is required. Śaucam. Śuci. This is the brāhmaṇa's business. Just like brāhmaṇa's another name is śuci. And one who does not observe the cleanliness process, he is called muci, means cobbler. So this is the symptom, that the asuras, they do not know which way is their goal of life. Na śaucam: "They are very unclean." Na śaucam.
Cleanliness is essential. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
Lecture on BG 16.7 -- Hawaii, February 3, 1975: So two classes of men, demonic and divine. So divine nature has been explained in various ways from the very beginning. Now Kṛṣṇa is explaining about the demonic nature. The first characteristic of demonic nature is they do not know what should be the pravṛtti and what should be nivṛtti, proper and improper action. Improper action is mentioned here, beginning, that na śaucaṁ nāpi cācāraḥ [Bg. 16.7], not cleanliness. Cleanliness is essential. "Cleanliness is next to Godliness."

In India, especially in the villages, you'll find cleanliness. He has got one cloth, poverty-stricken, one cloth, not very white. Due to dirt, it is black. But that one cloth should be washed daily, still, one cloth. They'll take one napkin and wash the cloth and India, tropical climate, here also, and spread it on the floor. Within five minutes it will be dry, and then change clothes. And early in the morning, even in chilly cold, they will take bath, taking water from the well. And nature's arrangement is, if you take well water, it is hot early in the morning. Early in the morning it is very, not very hot, but is warm. You can take very easily your bath. They, do that. This is called naimitti. Nitya, naimitti. Nitya, this is daily affair, taking bath and go early in the morning to evacuate, then wash your hand. Not required, soap. You can take the dirt from the earth and wash your hand nicely. Then take your bath and change your cloth, wash cloth. Then go to some temple.

Still this system is current. And see ārati, maṅgala-ārati. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Ring the bells. In every temple such arrangement is there. Then come at home and do your duty, the businessman. In the shop also, they'll cleanse everything very nicely. Even the scale, weighing scale, they will wash every day. This is required, śaucam. Satyaṁ śaucaṁ śamo damas titikṣā ārjavam āstikyam, jñānaṁ vijñānaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam.
That is Vedic civilization, cleanliness. "Cleanliness is next to godliness." Everyone should take thrice bath, cleanse everything.
Lecture on BG 16.10 -- Hawaii, February 6, 1975: Just like you require water. That is very essential. Especially in the tropical countries, they use water very profusely for cleansing the whole house, for cleansing the body, for cleansing the utensils, cleansing the cloth. That is Vedic civilization, cleanliness. "Cleanliness is next to godliness." Everyone should take thrice bath, cleanse everything. In India, not in the city but in the villages, the woman's first duty is to cleanse the whole house, still. Early in the morning they'll sweep over the whole house, not this apartment, three feet, no, but it is a good house. There is courtyard. Without courtyard, it is pigeon's hole. But you like pigeon's hole, this big, big skyscraper building containing so many pigeon's hole. That's all. So in India still, although poor country, they have got a courtyard, a little garden. That kind of house, in the village that is the system. So the first business is cleanliness. Everything should remain clean.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

So cleanliness is next to godliness. Actually, our material conditioned life means the mind is covered with dirt, all unclean, dirty things. That is the disease.
Lecture on SB 3.25.16 -- Bombay, November 16, 1974: The process is the mind has to be cleansed of all dirty things. Mind is the friend; mind is the enemy of everyone. If it is cleansed, then it is friends, and if it is dirty... Just like if you keep yourself unclean, then you contaminate some disease. And if you keep yourself clean, then you don't contaminate. If you take action, remaining... Therefore according to Vedic civilization, one has to cleanse himself three times a day, tri-sandhyā. Morning, early in the morning, again at noon, again in the evening. Those who are strictly following the brahminical rules and regulations... Vaiṣṇava also. Vaiṣṇava means he's already brāhmaṇa. So he must follow the rules and... Satyaṁ śamo damas titikṣā ārjavaṁ jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyam... [Bg. 18.42]. So cleanliness is next to godliness. So the... Actually, our material conditioned life means the mind is covered with dirt, all unclean, dirty things. That is the disease. When we are in the lower stage of tamo-guṇa and rajo-guṇa, these dirty things are very much prominent. Therefore one has to raise himself from the position of tamo-guṇa and rajo-guṇa to sattva-guṇa. The process is recommended, how to cleanse the mind: śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ [SB 1.2.17]. One has to hear the kṛṣṇa-kathā.
The proper upkeep of health is cleanliness. If you keep yourself clean then your problem of health is solved. Simply cleanliness. "Cleanliness is next to godliness."
Lecture on SB 5.5.1-2 -- London (Tittenhurst), September 13, 1969: After all, either you live very high standard of life or low standard of life... There is no question of low standard of life. The proper upkeep of health is cleanliness. If you keep yourself clean, then your, I mean to say, problem of health is solved. Simply cleanliness. "Cleanliness is next to godliness." That is also an English proverb. And in Sanskrit literature also, bāhyābhyantara-śuciḥ: "One should be cleansed within and without." So without, you can clean yourself simply by water. By the laws of nature you have got enough water so you can cleanse yourself outside by water. There is no necessity of soap. There is no necessity of anything. Simply if you wash your body with water sufficiently. Of course, in your country it is cold country. In India, common people they go to the river and take bath very nicely because it is a tropical climate. There is no trouble. So you can cleanse your body. There are many saintly persons residing on the bank of the river Ganges. Early in the morning they cleanse the body. They go to evacuate on the field. After evacuating they come to the river, cleanse the body very nicely, and smear the body with the clay received from the river, and they sit down at a place and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa—whole day.
But India, there are many gentlemen, high class gentlemen, they take bath thrice. Morning, and before lunch, and in the evening. Especially the brāhmaṇas. So cleanliness is next to godliness. To take bath, to evacuate daily, to wash the teeth, wash clothings, this cleanliness process.
Lecture on SB 12.2.1 -- San Francisco, March 18, 1968: Śaucam, cleanliness, that will also diminish. Cleanliness is required. Bahyābhyantaraḥ-śuciḥ. If one is to advance, he has to clean himself. According to Vedic civilization, one has to take bath thrice daily. Actually, in India they take. In our country I was also taking twice bath till I was attacked last year. So I thought that in this country, twice taking bath is not possible, so I am taking once now. But India, there are many gentlemen, high class gentlemen, they take bath thrice. Morning, and before lunch, and in the evening. Especially the brāhmaṇas. So cleanliness is next to godliness. To take bath, to evacuate daily, to wash the teeth, wash clothings, this cleanliness process. But as the days of this Kali-yuga will make progress, this system of hygienic cleanliness, cleanliness both inside and outside Outside by taking bath, inside by becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious—two kinds of cleanliness. Simply if we take bath with soap outside, and inside all rubbish things, that is not cleanliness. Cleanliness means bahyābhyantaraḥ. Bahya means outside, without. Abhyantara means inside. Unless we are clean, unless we are pure, how we can make advance to approach the Supreme? The Supreme is described as the purest. In the Bhagavad-gītā Arjuna said, paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān: [Bg. 10.12] "My dear Kṛṣṇa, You are the Supreme Lord, Brahman." And pavitraṁ paramam: "You are supreme pure." There is no impurity. Impurity means material contamination, and purity means spiritual life. So this cleanliness inside and outside, that will also decrease. Just know.

Festival Lectures

You should be very much clean, first thing is. Cleanliness is next to godliness. Very much clean, rise early in the morning, take your bath and perform maṅgala ārātrika, then chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, then read scriptures.
Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda Deity Installation -- London, August 21, 1973: You must always think that here is Kṛṣṇa personally. Don't think that it is statue. Kṛṣṇa personally. So you should honor and think also and be cautious so that you may not commit offense. Kṛṣṇa worship, if you neglect the process, then it will be offensive. There are sixty-four kinds of offenses. You have seen it in The Nectar of Devotion. So not very much... You should be very much clean, first thing is. Cleanliness is next to godliness. Very much clean, rise early in the morning, take your bath and perform maṅgala ārātrika, then chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, then read scriptures. In this way remain twenty-four hours engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service. This is the purpose of installing Deity.

Arrival Addresses and Talks

The more you cleanse the temple, the more you decorate the Deity, more your heart becomes cleansed and you become spiritually decorated. So cleanliness is next to godliness.
Arrival Lecture -- Calcutta, February 4, 1977: So this is the duty of all disciples under the guidance of the spiritual master, to decorate. Śrī-vigrahārādhana-nitya-nānā-śṛṅgāra. Śṛṅgāra means decoration. Amongst the various paraphernalia of worshiping the Lord, the śṛṅgāra is very essential, śṛṅgāra and tan-mandira-mārjanādi, and cleansing the temple. The more you cleanse the temple, the more you decorate the Deity, more your heart becomes cleansed and you become spiritually decorated. So cleanliness is next to godliness. And after cleansing, taking bath regularly, keeping the temple very neat and clean and worshiping the Deity, dressing, decorating, ornamenting... These are the general process. So if we follow the process regularly, then we gradually become advanced in spiritual consciousness, material world and spiritual world. Material world means dirty things and spiritual world means clean.

General Lectures

The brahminical culture means cleanliness is next to godliness. You have to keep your body clean, you have to keep your apartment clean, everything clean, and there will be no more disturbance.
Lecture -- Los Angeles, December 4, 1968:

Madhudviṣa: Disease-bearing in animals, something that is diseased and can give you a disease, what is your, what is the Vedic attitude towards protection from these animals?

Prabhupāda: Protection? Cleanliness. Just like if you keep your apartment very cleansed, if you keep your clothes and body very cleansed, you won't find this insect disturbing you. Just like the flies, they go in a nasty place. So you should be cleansed. You should take protection in that way. You cannot kill them. The cockroaches, the modern method of bathroom attached in 600th floor... So (laughs) this is unclean. Therefore the cockroaches are born there, you see? So if you keep yourself clean, there will be no more disturbances. The incense will keep off all insects. You make fresh food, there will be no germs. You take warm, immediately prepared, that is germicide foodstuff. But if you keep for months together in the refrigerator, that will contaminate with germ, disease. Therefore the brahminical culture means cleanliness is next to godliness. You have to keep your body clean, you have to keep your apartment clean, everything clean, and there will be no more disturbance. Bahyābhyantaraḥ śuciḥ. The Vedic literature says that you should keep yourself externally and internally cleansed. Externally, you can keep yourself clean by soap, water, and change of dress, washed dress, externally. And internally, by thinking of Kṛṣṇa. Then there will be no more disturbance.

apavitraḥ pavitro vā
sarvāvasthāṁ gato 'pi vā
yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ
sa bahyābhyantaraḥ śuciḥ
Śuciḥ means cleansed. Therefore we prescribe so many things just to keep you cleansed—cleansed within, cleansed outside. Then there is no affection of māyā. Otherwise, you will be harassed by three kinds of miserable condition: adhyātmika, adhibhautika... I have seen many persons in India, within two or three days, by perspiration, within their coat, they germinate so many germs. Do not take bath, unclean. You see? So cleanliness is the protection from infection. And water is very disinfectant, natural disinfectant. This is the medical opinion, water. Therefore God has supplied unlimited quantity of water. You can spend it as much as you like.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Cleanliness is very essential. In English also it is said cleanliness is next to Godliness. Everything should be, especially temple. It will attract them.
Room Conversation -- August 24, 1976, Hyderabad:

Prabhupāda: Even though they're not... You cannot say not... They are clean. I have seen in Bombay even the poorest man, his house, and a Parsee gentleman, his house. Kitchen habits. A Parsee's kitchen is so nasty. And here you see this poor man's house, they are neat. Their utensils how much cleansed. I had been in Parsee kitchen. All the pots black. Nothing is cleansed. For eating they use this China. So clean or unclean cannot be understood. Simply washed. But so far the kitchen pots, all are... In our also, when it is handled by this European, American devotees, the black. Down, it is black. That should not be black. It must be cleansed.

Mahāṁsa: By the heat with these wood, it brings up a lot of soot.

Prabhupāda: But it must be cleansed daily.

Mahāṁsa: It should not come on your finger if you touch it. That black thing.

Prabhupāda: Not even you cannot see black, any black spots. Then it is clean. Otherwise not clean. If there's a single black spot, it is not clean. You can see from this poor class of men, how their utensils are cleansed. Before taking water the jug, the waterpot... You'll like to drink water. In our school days there were sweeper, they were a different quarter. So you like to sit down. So clean. The sweeper, cleansing the toilet, bangi. But when you come to his house, living quarter, oh, it is so clean. The bed, the room, the utensils. And they also will take twice, thrice bath, then they will eat. That is a Hindu culture. Even the sweeper class, lowest class. And I have seen one sweeper class who were in Allahabad, regularly worshiping Deity. Very nice worship.

Mahāṁsa: So a Vaiṣṇava then...

Prabhupāda: They took initiation from the Vṛndāvana Goswami and they follow strictly rules and regulations. Cleanliness is very essential. In English also it is said cleanliness is next to Godliness. Everything should be, especially temple. It will attract them. And we are singing daily, śrī-vigrahārādhana-nitya-nānā-śṛṅgāra-tan-mandira-mārjanādau **. Tat-mandira-mārjana. Mārjana means cleanliness. And want of cleanliness means laziness. If you are lazy you cannot keep clean. "Ah, let me sleep for the time being." That is mode of ignorance.
I stress on this cleanliness very much. If they keep unclean, I chastise them like anything. They have learned this art. I always say, "Cleanliness is next to godliness."
Room Conversation with Life Member, Mr. Malhotra -- December 22, 1976, Poona:

Mr. Malhotra: You know one thing I have found that there is spotless cleanliness in the centers. Whereas in our temples here in India, even when we go to Hardwar and Hrishikesh and all these, the temples, the outer cleanliness, not proper emphasis is given by the management.

Prabhupāda: I stress on this cleanliness very much. If they keep unclean, I chastise them like anything. (laughing) They have learned this art. I always say, "Cleanliness is next to godliness."

Correspondence

1967 Correspondence

Everyone should wash hands before touching anything of Krishna's. We should always remember that Krishna is the purest & similarly only the pure can associate with Him. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
Letter to Nandarani, Krsna Devi, Subala, Uddhava -- Delhi 3 October, 1967: Another thing I request is that everything in the Temple should be kept nice and clean. Everyone should wash hands before touching anything of Krishna's. We should always remember that Krishna is the purest & similarly only the pure can associate with Him. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

1970 Correspondence

We shall touch the Deity altar and Deity in very clean condition, after taking bath and washing mouth nicely. Practice washing hands after eating and wash with soap and water after toilet. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
Letter to Kancanbala -- Los Angeles 20 April, 1970: The temple and altar should always be very clean and decorated with flowers and incense. We shall touch the Deity altar and Deity in very clean condition, after taking bath and washing mouth nicely. Practice washing hands after eating and wash with soap and water after toilet. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, so this point should be very carefully observed, then you will advance very quickly to the perfectional stage of Krishna Consciousness.

1971 Correspondence

Brahminical means cleanliness. We are trying to create a brahminical society. So all the devotees under your care there in Cleveland should be trained up in that light. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
Letter to Sri Govinda -- London 5 August, 1971: So far brahminical rules for cleanliness, those I have already described in the letter mentioned by you. Brahminical means cleanliness. We are trying to create a brahminical society. So all the devotees under your care there in Cleveland should be trained up in that light. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
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Compiled by Sahadeva  +, and MadhuGopaldas  +
Completed sections ALL  +
Date of first entry 23 April 2009  +
Date of last entry 22 August 2009  +
Total quotes 15  +
Total quotes by section BG: 0  +, SB: 0  +, CC: 0  +, OB: 0  +, Lec: 10  +, Conv: 2  +, and Let: 3  +
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