Ten Kinds of Purity – Part 1

Sri Sathya Sai Speaks
My Dear Students! 

Moral education is the primary requisite in life for every student. It is his basic duty. In the Sanskrit language, personality is described as Paurusham - the hallmark of a Purusha. Although ‘personality’ and Paurusham may have the same meaning, they are words pregnant with significance. People, who do not know the inner meaning of these terms, use them casually. Only the one who manifests the indwelling, invisible Divine principle in him is qualified to describe himself as a Purusha (a person). He should manifest the Divine power in him.

The Sanskrit term Paurusha means a quality associated with moral behaviour. The English word ‘person’ is derived from the Latin term ‘persona’. In the post-Christian period, the term ‘persona’ came to be used to refer to the Divine assuming a human form. In due course, it was applied to all human beings as persons who were inherently Divine.

The term Paurusha is commonly used to mean hatred or anger or strength. The true meaning, however, is that it is a quality associated with Purusha. Purushatva does not refer to externals like dress or other physical features. The sage Narada referred to Purusha as Pumaan and declared that whoever realises Pumaan (the Supreme Person) becomes saturated with Divine Bliss. Thus, the term Purusha can be applied only to the Divine. 

It is the primary duty of man to manifest the Divinity in him in his life. One’s life-story is regarded as made up of one’s childhood, growth, achievements, one’s thoughts and ideals. But what is fundamental to a man's life is his moral stature. Neeti (Morality) is derived from the Sanskrit word Nita. Neeti means right conduct. It is the path that leads one to the sublime. Good character, purity of thought and selfless sacrifice are all covered by Neeti. It comprehends all good deeds. “Only a community devoted to morality is a true community”, says an adage. The ancients regarded Neeti as fundamental, without which the society would be mined. To promote Neeti, the Divinity that is in each one must be manifested. For this purpose, even the body has to be made pure and hence good health is essential.

The word ‘Health’ is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word 'helig’, meaning Paripoornamu (wholeness) or inner spirit. What is the wholeness that is to be achieved? – The body consists of the sense organs, the mind, the intellect, the consciousness, and the indwelling Spirit. ‘Wholeness’ means that all these elements should be whole. The mind should be in a state of fullness. It should not be in a state of ‘jumps and bumps’. There should be no room for confusion or depression.


To achieve such a state of mind, it is necessary to understand the meaning of everything and every situation. For instance, if a student has failed in an examination, he should not get depressed. Instead, he should examine the reasons for his failure, whether he had not studied properly or understood the subjects correctly. If he finds that his failure is due to inadequate preparation, he should resolve to do better in the future. To develop one’s moral and mental strength, one should practise Sadhana for disciplining the mind. For this purpose, one has to promote ten kinds of purity (Satwa).

1. The first is purity of the place in which one lives. It is necessary to fill the room in which one resides or studies with a Satwic atmosphere. The pictures or other objects you see should fill you with peace and pure thoughts. Objects which arouse agitation and bad thoughts should have no place. The room should be clean and free from anything that is impure.

2. In the family in which you live, there should be mutual understanding and cooperation, and a sense of harmony. There should be no discord in the family that will create a bad atmosphere. A harmonious atmosphere will give you true peace of mind.

3. The third need is Satwic food. This means that none of the edible items should be excessively sour, bitter or hot. You should eschew Rajasic food like fish or meat. Even good food should not be taken in excess. Some people consume so much of Satwic food that even though it is Satwa, it develops Rajasic qualites. It is only Satwic when you sit for the meal with a light stomach and get up from it with a light stomach! 

4. Whatever fluids you take should also be Satwic. You should not drink whatever water is available. It should be pure water. Alcoholic drinks should be eschewed.

5. Satwic thoughts and feelings are of great importance. Students tend to neglect this factor. Only if your thoughts and feelings are pure, can you get the full benefit of a clean room, a good family and pure food.

Continued in Part 2…


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