Though we understand the value of materialistic purity, we often forget the essence of having a pure and kind heart.
Whenever it is our turn to buy or consume things or products there are some yardsticks we employ. We look for purity and quality in what we load on our shopping cart and elsewhere — be it milk, water, cooked food, fuel and even gold. Any item with the slightest possibility or hint of adulteration or defect is not considered value for money or good for our system.
Flip this over and look within. Do we ever wonder how pure we as persons are? Are our hearts pure? Are our thoughts, words and deeds noble? Before you scoff and dismiss this as impossible to achieve and foolish to aspire for in a world so materialistic and selfish, try and reflect to see whether with a little effort we can strive to protect our interests and welfare without losing the purity of our hearts. By all means chase your dreams or goals, don’t give up till you breast the finishing line, but do it without sullying the purity of your heart. Keep your thoughts pure and just and everything else will follow.
Treat the world with less dislike, hatred, vengeance and ill will. You don’t have to destroy someone to achieve what you want, for there is room for everyone. You may think it is a race but don’t forget that it all evens out in the final analysis. And even if others behave in a despicable manner, you can keep your head above it all and refuse to pay back in the same coin.
A pure heart was what we were intended to have and were born with. So, while we can kid ourselves into thinking no one can ever peer at our hearts with an x-ray machine and see through our mask, what we must remember is that unless our hearts and intentions are pure we will never be able to face the Maker or receive his grace or be sure of our offerings being accepted for he can call our bluff for sure. Nor will we attain the higher rewards. As the Bible says in Matthew 5.8: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”
Staying pure at heart requires discipline and vigil. There will be times when we veer off track or commit lapses.
It is not difficult for oneself to recognise that one is straying away from the ideal by entertaining a not-so pure thought, uttering a wrong word or committing a deed that breaches the purity mark. This awareness is the first step to help us course correct. When combined with spiritual exercises like deep introspection, self-restraint, literally consigning to the flames our negative qualities (albeit symbolically) and atoning for any lapses by going on silent retreats or continual chanting or undertaking severe physical penance which were steps spiritual masters and even our forefathers undertook to fix the disruption, we can eventually make purity of heart a habit.
The world is sullied and the atmosphere so vitiated because we have lost sight of the need to remain pure at heart and have begun to believe that it is okay not to conform. In the pursuit of all kinds of material rewards we have become blinded of this basic human quality which can redeem us.
If we are to make a qualitative difference to the world around us we should each consciously strive for purity in all that we think, say or do. What’s more, purity of heart strengthens and empowers us as at the individual level in more ways than we do realise.