Rules for personal cleanliness – M.K.Gandhi
Indian Opinion, 2-2-1907 [Gujarati]
1. Avoid, as far as possible, blowing your nose or spitting on
swept or paved walks or in the presence of others.
Both these things should be done into a spittoon while at home, and into a handkerchief while out, and, as far as possible, in privacy.
2. One should not belch, hiccup, break wind, or scratch oneself
in the presence of others.
These [maxims] are useful for correct social behaviour. By
practice one can learn to check one’s instinct to do any of these
3. If you want to cough, do so holding your handkerchief
against the mouth.
If one’s spittle gets blown on to others, it annoys them and if
one has any disease, the spittle carries it to them.
4. Even after a bath, in many men, some dirt remains in the ears
or under the nails. It is necessary to pare one’s nails and keep them as well as the ears clean.
5. Those who do not grow a regular beard should, if necessary,
shave every day. An unshaven face is a sign of laziness or stinginess.
6. One should not let mucus accumulate in the corners of the
eyes. One who allows this to happen is considered slothful and a
7. Every act of cleaning the body should be done in privacy.
8. The turban or cap and the shoes should be clean. The life of
the shoes is prolonged by cleaning and polishing.
9. Those who chew betel-leaf and nut should do so at fixed
hours, as with other kinds of food so as to avoid giving the impression that we are eating all the time. Those who chew tobacco have a lot to think about. They disfigure every spot by spitting. Addicts to tobacco, as the Gujarati proverb goes, spoil the corner of the house where they chew tobacco, the whole house if they smoke and their clothes if they take snuff.
- Indian Opinion, 2-2-1907 [Gujarati]