Purity and Purification Summary
The Quality of Purity
As soon as one speaks of purity, we get an image of a saintly moralism amounting to “doing all the right things”. However, purity has nothing to do with righteousness and asceticism. However, purity is simply the quality of the soul and purification the process of taking up the ordinary habitual surface movements of the instruments of the being - vital, mental and physical - and vital movements and turning them towards the Divine.
The Process of Purification
Purification is the removal of all aberrations, disorders, obstructions brought about by the mixed and irregular actions of the energy of the being in our physical, moral and mental system.
Purification is the process of purifying oneself of ignorance and finding and consecrating to the truth of the being.
The world will be made better only in proportion as we make ourselves better. The ills that humanity suffers from - collectively and individually - stem from the errors that lie at the roots of our ignorant nature. Thus, purification of our nature is central to making the world better.
We are the deforming intermediary between the purity of the animal and divine purity of the gods. Thus, the process of purification is central to our evolution.
Purification in Yoga
From a yogic perspective, purification is of utmost importance. All yoga proceeds in its methods by three principles of practice - purification, concentration and consummation. The importance of purification also emerges from the Gita and Patanjali’s Yoga-sutras. The Gita sees the darkness of ignorance is the cause of all stumblings and purification through Self-knowledge as the most sovereign purity. Patanjali’s Yoga-sutras insists first on a moral purification of the mentality - divided into yamas (self-discipline by which rajasic egoism and it's passion and desires are conquered and quieted) and niyamas (discipline of the mind by regular practice of meditation).
Purification of the Mental Being
The most effective way for purification for the mental being is to draw back, to stand as the passive witness and observe and know himself and the workings of Nature in the lower, the normal being; but this must be combined, for perfection, with a will to raise the purified nature into the higher spiritual being.
Purification of the Vital Being
The first step in purification is to rid the prana of desire and turn the vital being from dominant power to obedient instrument of free mind. Purification of experience means to make it sincere and motiveless (i.e. to take away motives of ambition and vanity of desires and power).
The most important thing for purification of the heart is absolute sincerity - no pretence with oneself, no concealment from the Divine or oneself, a straight look at oneself, a straight will to make them straight.
Purification in Integral Yoga
A certain amount of purification is necessary before there can be any realisation of the Divine.
There are two possibilities, one of purification by personal effort which takes a long time, another by a direct intervention of the Divine Grace which is usually rapid in its action. In both instances, the fire of purification must be lit into which all is thrown with the Divine Name on it.
Purification, in integral yoga, is to make oneself a clear mirror in which the divine reality can be reflected, a clear vessel and an unobstructing vessel into which the divine presence and through which the divine influence can be poured. It means a bringing down of the Divine Consciousness static and dynamic into all parts of the being and the entire replacement of the present consciousness by that. Integral purification, in integral yoga, enables perfect reflection of the divine being in ourselves and perfect outpouring of Truth and law in us.
Content curated by Aditi Nayan