Cleanliness is next to Godliness

Shuchi and Shubhrata were given utmost importance in our Indian culture, since ever. Right from small things like brushing teeth etc. fixed rules and regulations have been placed, such that utmost cleanliness prevails in the society. The following story portrays the obsession of Indian culture for cleanliness.

Long ago there used to live an obedient shishya of the great Paila maharshi. His name was Udanka. Udanka, due to his obedience, learnt quickly his lessons. After completing his Vidyaabhyaasam, before leaving the Guru-aashramam, Udanka requested his Guru to take Guru-dakshina. Paila maharshi replied “you being a shishya of me is itself enough. It is difficult to get good shishyas like you. Please go on”. Upon many times being requested by Udanka, finally Paila maharshi said “do the work that your Guru-patni tells you and then leave”.

He approached Guru-patni, did Yathaa-vidhi namaskaaram, with Vinayam, asked her to give him some work. She asked him to get the kundalas of the country’s Mahaaraani for a Vratam. Udanka immediately set out for it. On the way he sees a radiant brightly glowing God coming on a huge Vrushabham. He does the required namaskars to him and the God gives him goomayam. He eats the goomayam, takes leave from the God and continues his journey to meet Poushya, the king of the country. Poushya was a very great king, ruled his subjects as his own kids and made dharma walk on its four legs.

Poushya welcomed Udanka and offered him a warm welcome when he arrived at his courtyard. Udanka tells the reason for his arrival and immediately the kings granted him permission to collect the kundalas. He asked udanka to go to the queen’s palace and collect them from her personally. Udanka went into the palace and searched for the queen everywhere. Failing to find her returns to poushya informing that he could not find the queen. Poushya hesitantly says “O great Brahmana! How can I say that you are not clean? My queen is a Pativrata and hence only people who are clean can see her”. Udanka recalls why he was not in a clean state and realizes that in the hurry to finish gurupatni’s task, he forgot to wash his hands, feet and mouth and do aachamanam, after eating the gomayam. He immediately washes and does aachamanam and goes back to see the queen and sees her in her palace.

Story will be continued later in some other contexts. So will Udanka be able to complete his gurupatni’s task? who was the God? Keep reading for answers …. :)

Morals in the Story:

  1. It is very basic and important to always be clean.
  2. The mahima of pativratas is immense. It seems even the trimurtis do not have power to go against the will of a pativrata.


Neglecting the Indian aacharams and culture seems to be the main cause for today’s “modern” Indian’s un-cleanliness and other related ill-effects. So let us strive to uphold our culture reforms ourselves and think twice to act in this mad run for “technological advancement”.

Also now-a-days we miss our olden education system. Peviously Guru used to give Vidyaa, housing, food everything, expecting nothing in return. Shishya also used to learn with great Vinayam and try his best to give Guru-dakshina. This Unnata-aadarsham of Bhaarateey-Vidyaabhyaasam is well shown in the story through the conversation of Udanka and Paila maharshi. Contrast it with present day education — it has reached a level where educational institutes, in their hunger for money, do advertisements!!

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Published in: on May 14, 2006 at 1:54 pm  Comments (49)  

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49 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. well theirs a lot of difference now .we cannot really do all practices of olden days.but yes indian cultural practises are greater than great they really give you spiritual practices ellaborately.which itself can make a person unbounded to all fears and miseries of life.

    now question is shld we go back and follow or is their a solution for it?

    yes their is solution for it its responsibilty of every indian parents to immpulse the imp of indian heritage and culture in thier kids right from scratch.if our parenst did not do why shld we ?this shld not be our attitude. we want purity to prevail every were.
    purity gives strength of fearless ness.fearlessness gives a sense of postive thought.and a sense of postive thoughts gives what is is required in life at right advances and we want our kids to be modern but with INDIAN VALUES.BECOZ OUR VALUES ARE GREATER THAN THIS BIRTH.

  2. Good story about Pativrata Dharma… Excellent site for all sorts of moral stories… Could you please add more stories about the great Pativratas of yore?

  3. I found this website comprehensive, i was amused that i come too late in contact with this site, but now thankfully can inculcate the great great Indian Culture within our soul to make of it for the betterment for the society.

  4. well, you are giving good stories for the people. i would like to give a small suggestion which might help you to get more international readers too.
    i think your mother tongue is telugu nad there is lot of telugu influence on the words used. i think you should try putting english words in bracket so that the people from non indian background can also understand.

    • The words are not telugu but sanskrit words.

      • Pls translate the Sanskrit word into English in brackets wherever used, so that we can understand the sentences in full meaning, and also learn Sanskrit through this way :).

  5. I have been discussing Hinduism and mythologies with a lot of 12 to 50 year old Hindus who do not know even 5% of their religion and sacred books. Don’t you think that the TV serials of RAmAyaNa and MahAbhArata are too long with repetitive SlOkas at the beginning and end of each episode + titles + advertisements without sustaining continued interest; and hence the children learn of their religion only from cartoon story books and animation DVDs? Such learning will not command their respect and make them feel proud of their faith but may drive them towards other faiths as is already happening.
    We often hear parents lamenting that their children are refusing to accompanying them to temples. Fault lies with the parents definitely since the parents cannot explain their faith in agreeable terms.
    Less than 1% of the Hindus can differentiate between mythologies (purANas) and sacred texts (VEdas, Bhagavad-Gita). They also do not know that VEdas are more science than just philosophy and religion.
    If we cut the chaff and explain the VEdas and the Bhagavad-Gita with a scientific temper and of temples and rituals with logic (and not portray magic as miracle) to the younger generation; not only will we make our children proud of our faith and culture but also get people of other faiths to respect ours.
    Most of those Hindus who studied Indian literature in depth and almost all of the Historians and Archaeologists are proud of our mythologies and have great respect to our culture but they do not subscribe to the current form of Hinduism since they have learned and accepted the facts.
    Muralikrishna Abbineni

  6. the story is very nice

  7. my comment-
    1). please always end the story properly(story of Udanaka is incomplete. No reason to leave it unfinished. If lack of space id the reason,repetitions can be avoided in narration.
    2). Please use English words (there are very good online dictionaries for reference) as most of the young readers do not understand all the words used including Sanskrit.

  8. Nice Article! Keep writing.

  9. v cant practice old ways ,bt then also they convey us a great message……………

  10. It is very great messsage given to us keeeeep writing stories……..

  11. [...] Cleanliness is next to Godliness [...]

  12. The story ending is not properly.
    There are many repetitions.
    Please use only English words as some cannot understand sanskrit.
    The moral is so nice that cleanliness is next to godliness.

  13. cool very very nice . I think v should tell this story on t.v. on chanell cartoon network. so that all children can listen it.thankyou.i m happy with it……………………………

  14. its a story but its truth. I m lovin it………………………..

  15. keeeeeeeeeeeep it up………..

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