But the course of dental hygiene is running more smoothly and improvements have been made to the extent that even a reformed dental coward, such as myself, can relax under the glare of those big lights.
And dental hygiene is a serious business. We can bleach our teeth until we look celebrity-esque, we brush and we floss and we massage our gums with an array of implements never before available to mankind.
In Hindu culture, as in many religions, purification is considered important, but more important than dental hygiene, for a Hindu, is mental hygiene. How clean are our thoughts? How pure is our intention? How pure is our heart, our feelings or our motivations? The bad breath of selfishness is certainly pungent but what can we do about such subtle impurities?
Among Hindus prayer, or “vandanam”, is considered a very powerful method of self-purification. And prayer is available to all of us, as much as, in fact even more than our local dentist is.
This leads me to a beautiful and very ancient prayer originally spoken in Sanskrit but translated it goes,
Whether we are pure or impure; if we are beginning our spiritual path or are the most qualified; if we simply remember the Supreme Lord, whose beauty is without comparison, we will become purified both inwardly and outwardly. Hare Krishna.