Shauch (January 2015)

Through the monthly assignments, research, presentations, and discussions/real-life example expositions on the assigned topics, the hawan kids are building a gradual yet profound understanding of many of the subtler aspects of human character and noble life. Continuing the exploration we started last year on Human Characteristics, this month’s assignment is Shauch (cleanliness).
Per Patanjali Yog, Cleanliness has two aspects: internal (aantrik shuddhta/shauch) and external (baahya shuddhta/shauch). Maintaining good hygiene (clean body, clothes and place of living); eating healthy and satvik food; and, earning (e.g., money for adults; grades for students; and, reputation for leaders) through righteous means fall under bahya shauch. And acquiring knowledge; keeping company of wise people (satsang); regularly reading scriptures (swadhyaya); speaking truth; and, continuously maintaining pure thoughts in mind and heart fall under internal shauch.
Commitment to Shauch helps the students of yoga (saadhak) achieve unanimity in thoughts, words, and deeds; maintain concentration and focus; control the five senses; achieve fame and admiration of wise; and know and learn subtlest topics like God, Soul, and Matter. The importance of Shauch can be understood from the fact that Patanjali positioned Sauch as the first of the five Niyams (observance) in Ashtaang Yoga. Firm adherence to Shauch breaks the cycle of impurities of thoughts and environment come back in our lives.
This month kids will share their views on Shauch – and its significance in their lives.
Harsh Mendiratta