The recent advertisement by the Government of India has very well captured the essence of their initiative, ‘Swachh Bharat’. Within minutes after it was aired on Television, the advertisement featuring Kangana Ranaut became the talk of the town. The ad very cleverly focuses on how our beloved Goddess Laxmi does not hesitate even for a second before leaving our untidy houses. The short ad concludes that if we want the Goddess of Wealth in our house, we should drive out all the dirt from our living spaces. Maybe the ad will succeed in generating awareness among the people, and they will remember the saying ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’.
Why our culture values Cleanliness?
- Every religion focuses on the need of neat and tidy surroundings. It is believed that no God likes to reside in a place that is contaminated. In the Hindu Culture, a lot of stress is laid on the importance of cleanliness. Before festivals, the first step of celebration starts by cleaning every corner of the house.
- The Saints have even written in Vedas and Puranas about the relevance of praying in a clean house. If we take a look at the ancient literature, ‘Shaucham’ is said to be a significant ‘Dharma’. Even Sage Valmiki has written instances that depict spotless restrooms. Bathrooms are the ideal corners for meditation. Thus, a hygienic and clean bathroom can relax a person’s mind and soul during meditation.
- According to the Vedas, a person must take a bath in the morning at 4 (Pratah-snana) as it is the most pious time according to the Hindu scriptures. This once again lays stress on the necessity of cleanliness right from the start of the day. It is said that when a person cleanses their body from head to feet, they experience rejuvenation and financial stability.
- According to the Hindu Culture, one only attains the blessings of Almighty when they are physically pure. The journey towards Lokika Sukhyam (Comforts of the World) and Paramaarthika Sadhna (The search for the ultimate truth) can only be attained by following a clean lifestyle.
- The Shastras have announced five forms of purity: – ‘of body’, ‘of action’, ‘of character’, ‘of speech’ and ‘of mind’.
- Before lighting the pious fire of Yajnas, a ritual is performed for purifying the process which is called ‘Punyahavachanam’. It clearly symbolises that our culture prohibits any sort of filthy lifestyle and tries to erase it from our consciousness through the purification ritual.
- Moral purification of an individual happens only in a pure atmosphere. If there is a smell of any sort of dirt and decay in the home, positivity and happiness will run away from the individual. Even the peace of mind can be attained in a clean environment.
- Vastu Shastra also lays stress on de-cluttering as energies and the Panchbhootas work in a person’s favour if the place where they reside is neat and clean. Pandit Pawan Kaushik who is a renowned Vastu consultant highlights the importance of cleanliness in Vastu. He says, “Positivity, prosperity and happiness are only attracted towards a place that has an inviting ambience which is only possible if it is clean and clutter-free.”
- Before building a house, we perform Bhumi Pujan, as Bhuma Devi is the Goddess of Earth. We throw litter on the same Goddess whom we worship so devotedly. Thus it’s not only our surroundings that we are disrespecting, but we are also behaving the same way with our deities.
The latest ad aims at waking up the people who intentionally are committing deeds that are drifting the Goddess of Wealth away from them. Keeping our surroundings clean is not only our responsibility but a path that can lead us closer to our beloved deities.