Is Pilgrimage Necessary? (Post No.3073)



Written by London swaminathan

Date: 19th August 2016

Time uploaded in London: 14-48

Post No.3073

Pilgrimage is considered an essential part of Hinduism. Other religions also have their own pilgrimage centres. Whatever religion you follow the pilgrimage will be useless if you don’t have purity of mind. I have given two stories in my earlier posts (please see the links below) to illustrate this point. The story of ‘Gangajal to a Donkey’ by Saint Eknatha and the ‘Story of taking Bitter gourds to pilgrimage centres’ by Tukaram are given in those posts.


Now let us look at two beautiful Sanskrit slokas/couplets which gives the same message:-

Kshamaa tiirtham tapastiirtham tiirtham indriyanihraha:

Sarvabutadayaatiirtham dhyaanam tiirthamanuttamam


Etaani panchatiirthaani sathyatiirtham sa sarvadam

Dehe tishtanti  sarvasya teshu snaanam samaasareeth


river green

There are six holy water sources which are the best of the bests.

They are the following sacred waters known as :–



Self -control

Kindness towards living beings


Truth /sathyam

Always take a dip in the five and one place that are already in you.


Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa also supports purity of mind when you do a Yatra/travel to a holy place (Please read the links)

Adi Sankara on Pilgrimage

The conviction of the truth is seen to proceed from reasoning upon the salutary counsel of the wise and not by bathing in the sacred waters, nor by gifts nor by a hundred

Pranayamas (breathing exercise).

He says in Vivekachudamani (verse 13),

Arthasya nischayo drushto vichaarena hitoktita:

Na snaanena wa daanena praanaayaamaas satena vaa


Appar alias Tirunavukkasar says in Tamil:-

What is the use of bathing in Ganga or Kaveri

What if bathing in cool Kanyakumari

Or bathing in the roaring sea waters

If you dont see God in everything

-Tevaram 5-99

tunga river

All the great saints agree in one point that pilgrimage is useful when you have purity of mind and maturity see god everywhere.

Please read:–

Bitter gourds and The Meaning of Pilgrimage!, Posted on Date: 6 November 2015

Gangajal (Ganges Water) for a Donkey!  posted on 13 March 2014

–Subham —