Written by London Swaminathan 


Date: 14 DECEMBER 2017 


Time uploaded in London-  20-56



Post No. 4494

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.



Hindus take at least one bath every day. Those who live in villages, particularly on the banks of rivers, take two baths every day. Orthodox Hindus don’t do anything before a shower. Hindus are supposed to wash themselves every day ad wear washed clothes. They must use only dry clothes during religious ceremonies. Wet clothes are worn for certain ceremonies when one is bereaved.


There are at least seven types of baths or bathing methods according to Hindu scriptures. Some people divide them into five categories. Let me the give the list of seven types:



This is the normal, full shower in a tank or a river or in the bath room. That is the head to foot wash. Hindu women don’t wash their hair every day, but men do wash head to foot.

2.Paarthiva Snanam

This is mud bath, but with proper mantras. Smearing with the clean mud on the whole body. There is a mantra beginning, ‘Mrthike haname Papam’.


This is smearing the body with the ash that comes out of the Agni Hotra Kunda (fire altar). This is like Vibhuti (holy ash) bath.


Dust from the cattle shed where cows are kept in clean condition. All products from the cow including the urine, cow dung, milk are used by the Hindus. Scientifically they are proved to have anti-bacterial quality. The dust from hoofs of the cow are smeared on the body with Go Savitri mantras. This is called Vayavyam bath.

5.Divya Snanam

This is a rare one. When there is sun light and rain , one bathes  oneself in the rain. Particularly when it is Uttarayana (sun’s northward journey for six months when the Northern Hemisphere is having summer).

6.Mantra Snanam

Brahmins do it when they could not take a full shower. They recite the mantra “Apohistaa Mayo Bhuvah…..’ and sprinkle water on the head, chest and feet. This mantra is known to every Brahmin because it is part of their thrice a day Sandhyavandanam ceremony. In the olden days men from three castes — Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaisya were doing Sandhyavandan every day.


If there is no water available or if one is not in a position to take a shower, one takes a shower mentally. One imagines the Lord Vishnu or Sun God with conch and wheel in hands and think that the holy Ganges flows through the body from head to foot. One must also imagine that the dirt in the body and mind are washed away.

Apart from these seven types, another bath or snanam is known as Panchanga (five body parts) Snanam, because one washes five parts: two hands, two feet and face.

Sponge bath is also approved in Hinduism; it is called Kaapila Snanam, where one wipes the body with a wet cloth.

Another approved bath is marking the body with any religious symbols in 12 places. It may be Vaishnavite or Saivaite symbols.


It is very interesting to see the mud bath, sponge bath and other baths are practised in India from the olden days.


Another interesting fact is that Hindus bathe the gods and goddesses. It is called Abisheka. It is unique to Hindus. They bathe the gods with milk, honey, tender coconut water, rose water, sandal and Vibhuti (holy ash) and Kunkum.




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