Showing posts with label Religious practice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religious practice. Show all posts

Hinduism - How Important Is Hygiene In Orthoprax Hindu Ritual And Religious Practices?


Orthoprax Hindus (that is, Hindus who stress correct religious practice) lay great stress on cleanliness of their bodies and their immediate environment.

Although to the outside eye this scrupulous attention would seem to indicate a concern for hygiene, these actions are performed primarily to protect and retain religious purity.

In many cases, concerns for hygiene and purity overlap, as in the pervasive practice of bathing (snana) and the regulations concerning bodily cleanliness.

Both of these simultaneously remove dirt and impurity (ashaucha), but in other cases these concerns clearly diverge.

One example of this divergence is the way that household refuse is often simply put out in the street—a practice that keeps the home pure and clean, but which fosters unhygienic conditions directly outside the home.

Another example of this disjunction can be seen in the traditional use of cow dung as a purifying substance, or the way that the Ganges River is always considered pure, even in its lower reaches where it is full of sewage and industrial effluents.

These examples clearly show that purity and hygiene are very different concepts and that, from a religious perspective, purity is by far the more important of the two.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.