ANAND KABRA FALL-WINTER 2012/13
sacred waters of Misogi flow pure
Bringing fulfillment to sincere prayer
Now my body, heart and spirit will again be made pure .
In the river my impurities are swept from me as if by gohei,
Amidst the shining light of Seoritsu Hime no Kami .
( .. I humbly beseech the kami to cleanse me of all impurities
Within myself and in my relationships with others
Between myself and the way of the Great Nature) - this bit can be removed
(Excerpt translated from MISOGI-NO-O-HARAI)
To refresh the body and mind, I must first cleanse its impurity. To find a new path, I must first relinquish the old. To become one with the pure and sincere kami, I must first exorcise the false.
Misogiharai in Shinto is the act of purifying the three temporal worlds; the past, the present, and the future. Shinto considers the world and everything in it as manifestations of kami, the intuitive acknowledgement of the divine power contained in all living things. Shinto sees the divine in rocks and streams as much as it does in bamboo twigs and the evergreen sakaki tree.
Central to Shinto is the belief that the mystery and majesty of the universe can be found within one's own personal existence. 'Man is a child of kami. There is no clear line of distinction between himself and kami. In one sense, man is already kami and in another he is becoming kami'. That creative and life giving (musubi) force is present in all kami, both in nature and man.
Although we are grounded in the vital process of musubi and kami, we can also be disrupted and disjoined from it. In order to overcome the powers that obstruct or pollute the life-giving power, Tsumi (impurity) can be washed away by ablution and lustration (misogi harai) . Wiping clean--lustration- is not just about restoring the aesthetic condition of beauty, it is inseparable from restoring purity. .
Misogi is a symbolic ritual that is similar to baptism in Christianity, Mikveh in Jewish tradition or the Ganga 'snaan' in Hinduism . It is a ceremonial procedure where running water is used to bathe the body, while symbolically purifying the soul. A reminder of our pledge to the quest of seeking knowledge , moving past limitations and being in harmony, in order to become kami. .