Importance of Snan (Bathing) in the Hindu Mythology

Bathing or Snan is an integral part of Hindu Dharma. It is an important part of daily religious bathing in Hinduism. According to Hindu belief, a bath is an act of purification and rejuvenation. It is a good way to start the day. Here is a look at different types of baths in Hindu religion.

Atharva Veda and Garuda Purana mention different types of baths in the Hindu Dharma. It is called a sacred bath or Snan. There are different types of daily religious bathing in Hinduism. Following are the different types of baths in Hinduism.

  • Assuming an individual isn’t keeping great, he is encouraged to take Kayik Snan – in this kind of washing, one cleans the body with a wet cloth like muslin.
  • Yogic Snan or Atma Tirtha – In this kind of Snan one purifies one’s body through Yoga. This is normally an option exclusively for experienced yoga experts.
    Yoga
    Suryanamaskar is a integral part of Yoga
  • Brahma Snan – To wash by sprinkling water utilizing Durva Grass and reciting mantras related with Snan.
  • Vayavya Snan – This is an extremely troublesome method of washing yet is viewed as the best by the Garuda Purana. In this sort of shower one needs to rub one’s body with the mud found on the foundation of the cow’s hooves. This mud is known as ‘Gau Dhuli’ – ‘Gau’ signifies cow and ‘Dhuli’ signifies dust.
  • Agneya Snan – In this kind of shower, a devotee cleans the body utilizing ash. Such washing is rehearsed by Shiva bhakts like Aghoris.
    Aghori
    Aghori with skull and bone
  • Divya Snan – This is an uncommon composition of washing. One can possibly wash up just when there is daylight and downpour. One needs to shower in the downpour that is falling when there is daylight. This sort of shower is additionally accepted to help in eliminating skin illnesses and it likewise has various other remedial properties.
  • The overall shower exhorted is Varun Snan – In this shower one washes with water. The best type of cleaning up in Hinduism is in a streaming waterway. Showering in lakes, rivers and the ocean is likewise viewed as worthy.

Another thing one should keep in mind is that Ganga Snan is different from these types of snan. There’s a belief that one who takes bath in the river Ganga, washes away all its sins and attains heaven. There’s one legend linked to this belief, let’s know more about this legend.

Representation of Ganga
Ganga at Prayagraj

So according to the story, one day Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were on a walk and while passing through the sky, saw a huge crowd of people. Parvatiji asked Lord Shiva the reason for this huge crowd. Shiva said, today is Somnath festival, people take bath in the Ganges and go to heaven. For the same benefit, people are gathered.

A question rose in the Goddess Mind. She asked Lord Shiva, where are these people in heaven? Why haven’t I seen these people in heaven?

Bholenath smiled and said, wetting the body is one thing and washing away the filth of mind is another.

Mother Parvati was still filled with several doubts. She asked the Lord, how will one know that the person is only washing the body not the filth of the mind. Lord Shiva replied, it is understood by its deeds. Goddess Parvati was still not convinced. Then Lord Shiva said, let me explain with a direct example. Then, Lord Shiva took the form of a very ugly leper and lay down at the place on the way. Mother Parvati was told to take the form of a very beautiful woman.

Shiva and Parvati
Wall mural taken at the City palace, Udaipur.

Crowd of people stopped, watching them. They inquired about the very unusual pair. Goddess Parvati told everyone that the leper is her husband. They have come here with the desire to have snan at the ganges. Due to poverty, she has brought her husband on her shoulders and asked for help. Many people on the way made fun of them, and even asked Mother Goddess to leave him and come with them, then Mata Parvati would get very angry but remained calm because she promised Lord Shiva.

Many people came but none of them helped Parvati and Bholenath. Then in the evening a gentleman came and the Goddess told her all the details. He offered help and carried the leper on his shoulder. He also fed Sattu to both of them. He said, ‘Ladies like you are the pillars of the earth. Blessed are you who are performing your religion in this way.’

The purpose was accomplished, they got up and started walking towards Kailash.

Shiva told Parvati, there was only one man who will go to heaven in the crowds of many.

Mata Parvati understood why many people who bathe in the Ganges, do not end up in heaven.

Ganga river is worshipped all around the country. This is the reason why Ganga river is considered to be a mother. So, next time when you visit the bank of Ganges, do think about this story and wash away the filth of mind too.

 

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