I’ve always had a lot of trouble organizing my life and figuring out what my priorities should be. Sometimes I feel like I’m just coasting along. I don’t know what to do, so I’ll just go with the flow.
I guess this applies to housework and the cleanliness of my personal space. I’ve always struggled. I also have had trouble planning out my day. Once again, it’s easier to just coast than to make those tough decisions.
A while back I encountered some obstructions in my spiritual life, some roadblocks. The only way to get around them was to focus more intensely on Guru’s consciousness, through his writings and his music. Sometimes we go through tough times, but we come out of them with stronger aspiration. I like to think that’s what happened in my case.
Anyway, during my “hard times”, I decided that maybe it would help if I tried to purify my life a little. I started practicing Guru’s prescribed exercise for purity. It’s a simple exercise: you chant the name of God five hundred times on Monday, then increase the number each day until by the following Monday you are repeating the mantra twelve hundred times, and then you decrease the number until once again you come back down to five hundred. He recommended people can do this exercise for one month if they want purity.
I tried it, and golly gee, it worked! I did feel more pure after a month, and I have continued this exercise, off and on, for a few months now.
I noticed some immediate effects of bringing purity into my life. For one thing, I am now able to plan out my day. I can see what my priorities are, and I can make choices based on those priorities. Before, I couldn’t weigh different options, I felt lost. Now, I see things with more clarity.
This might seem really simplistic, but it has been so liberating to me to have a plan! Purity helps you get control of your emotions and thoughts. So, naturally, you can divide up and use your time better.
Second, I enjoy cleaning. That’s a big one! But it’s no surprise. If you feel more cleanliness in your system, you will spontaneously find ways to make your outer environment more clean and pure.
Third, the roadblock that bothered me for so long simply vanished! It’s not an issue anymore. Once again, purity just means getting control over yourself. So, if people suffer from recurring frustrations or irritating, damaging thoughts, maybe let them try to bring more purity into their system.
Before I felt scared of vital thoughts and also self-doubt and insecurity. I thought these forces owned me, had a stake in my life. Now, I realise it is just the reverse. I own them. This is profoundly liberating.
Finally, people in the outer world seem to notice me more as a spiritual seeker. A few days ago, I had a long line of customers, and one woman three carts back looked very anxious and upset to be waiting. But then I noticed she became very calm. Ten minutes later, when it was her turn, I asked her how she was feeling. She told me that had been in an anxious worried mood, but then, “I felt your energy, and I realized I just have to relax and take it easy.”
No-one’s ever said that to me before! Maybe when we develop more purity, people can feel it. That means purity can manifest our spiritual achievements and offer them to other people. Guru said that there were some Masters who did realise God, but who did not transform their natures. Naturally, they have realisation, but they can’t manifest it. Even though we are not God-realised, we can still offer people what little wealth we have if we can just maintain a good standard of purity. This will help us in the future, when we have much more inner wealth.
Guru’s book “Purity-River Wins” is full of great meditations and exercises on purity, including the five hundred to twelve-hundred chanting technique I mentioned. Among the other things that have helped me include buying flowers and incense, concentrating on my breathing during the day, and repeating Guru’s poems on purity. You can just type “purity” on our Sri Chinmoy Library and you’ll find lots of great aphorisms on purity.
I’ve noticed in my own brief purity journey that impurity is not one problem, but many. In other words, vital impurity, and mental impurity too for that matter, is like a yarn with hundreds of knots in it. There’s no way to untangle all the knots at once. I simply untie one knot at a time. Each time I think of purity, or chant my mantras, or Guru’s poems, or even try to go running but in a good, high consciousness, I feel I’m untying one little knot. Then, the following day, when I go through my purity exercises again, I feel I’m resolving another knot. The result from these purity exercises is that I feel more calm, more peaceful and yes, more powerful.
If you feel you’ve hit a dead-end in your spiritual life and don’t know where to go, maybe try to generate a little more purity. You may find a new road will open up for you where none existed before.