8. Souch – Cleanliness
Souch means purity or cleanliness. This is also an essential part of religious duty. It is of two kinds, internal and external. The physical body, house, clothes, etc., are of the second category, and purity of mind and the senses is of the first category. External cleanliness is essential for internal purity, and has a very considerable influence over it. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Both internal and external purity is essential.
The cleanliness of body, clothes and house is very necessary for bodily health. It can be done by a daily bath, by brushing the teeth, cleaning the clothes with soap and water, and by living in an open and sunny place and using phenol1 and water. The body is full of many pores, through which perspiration comes out and the outer atmosphere affects the body through them. One must keep them clean and healthy. This is achieved by taking laxatives, keeping fasts and regulation of diet. Pure food is very necessary.
Inner purification can be had by purity of the mind and senses, i.e., by attaining the truth or practice of Naam and Shabd.
For perfect purity, clean conduct, pure food and good character are very necessary.
Footnote: 1) Phenol was formerly used as a disinfectant.