Teachings of the Puranas

  1. Cleanliness: Many Purana stories tell us that the lack of cleanliness is a sin in itself and that it leads to a person’s downfall. Even in English you have  a saying that cleanliness is next to Godliness.  Science tells us that cleanliness leads to good hygeine and health. …. Some examples are washing your feet before you sleep, not eating food that has fallen on the floor and not braiding your hair in the kitchen and not sleeping with unbraided hair (leads to tangling).
  2. Community Service: Keeping temples clean and bright by cleaning the temple steps or lighting the lamps leads to punyam (merit) even if it is done ignorantly. Temples are not only places of worship, but of poor feeding, cultural activities, teaching, shelter for the homeless and a meeting place.
  3. Respect for the learned and virtuous. Serving the learned and virtuous (brahmanas) and giving them danas is very important, because the brahmanas were disallowed either arms or wealth. So without a means of earning a livelihood or defending themselves, they had to live on the charity and protection of the society, not as beggars, but as teachers and priests. In the olden days the brahmans such as Bhargava Parasurama and Agastya did take to arms. Dronacharya crowned his son the king of half of Panchala. But when the Varnas became rigid, brahmans were not allowed wealth or arms.

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