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Exterior cleanliness is a contributing factor to cleanliness of the interior

Cleanliness in the exterior is an essential contributing factor to the cleanliness of the interior, of the mind. A clean place spontaneously produces a soothing effect on man.

There is in man an unquenchable thirst to know the Unknown, to know the Wielder of destiny, to know the Highest Principle and to adore, and to worship It. God is that Unknown, by whatever name you may call Him. To the generality of mankind, the abstract Principle is beyond comprehension. They require some concrete symbols through which they can worship Him. So images and symbols are a necessity in the religious field.

We find that we are fettered with the limitations of the body, senses and the mind, that is, the idea that we are the body cannot be got rid of even with much effort. The ailments of the body, the miseries overwhelming the mind bring us down to think ourselves as body, or mind. There are only two ways of overcoming these concepts. By intense dispassion to all that is of the world. To treat even one's body as a meaningless burden, to be spurned. People devoted to the path of knowledge can only be successful in having such an attitude. The other method is to look at the body as a temple of God. We have to take care not only of the outer structure but the inner sanctum sanctorum, i.e., not only the body but also the heart should be maintained pure, free from blemish. Otherwise, how can we install the image of the Lord within?

Swami Paratparananda

Source - Editorial of The Vedanta Kesari Magazine – April 1967; Vol. 53; page 499