Gange cha Yamunechaiva Godaavari Saraswati
Narmade Sindhu Kaaveri jalesmin sannidhimkuru
One must recite the above verse
while taking bath. A bath should be neither taken with many clothes on nor completely
nude. One should avoid bathing in small and unknown ponds and lakes. Taking bath in rivers
is the best. It is, however, not advisable in rainy seasons, during the months of Sraavana
and Bhaadrapada in the rivers as the water turns muddy and unhealthy. One
should bathe facing the sun standing against the current of the stream in the rivers, in
lakes and at home. A bath cleanses and invigorates the body. Taking a dip in the sea is
highly beneficial as it contains iodine.
The scriptures proclaim
that the early morning bath is the best. This enhances beauty, strength, lustre, hygiene,
life, austerity, health and intelligence. Greed and nightmares are destroyed. The sun and
the moon are instrumental in attaining the above mentioned ten benefits. Throughout the
night the benign rays of the moon and stars fortify water, whereas, the sunrays, during
the day make it potent. Innumerous germs and bacteria that settle down at night begin to
come to surface as the sun goes up. It is, therefore, good to take bath early morning.
pavitramaayushyam srama swedamataapaham
A bath makes the body from sweat,
bad body odour, dispels tiredness and bestows good health, improves the longevity of life
and purifies man. Hence, one should bathe everyday.
Vaata vyaadhim harati kurute
Drishtim mandaamapi vitanute vainateyopamaamcha!
Nidraam soukhyam janayati, jaraam hanti, saktim vidhatte
Datte kaantim kanakasadrusam, nityamabhyangayogaat!!
Oil-massage (Abhyanga snaanam)
destroys the problems arising from wind, strengthens eyesight, induces sound sleep and
bestows a golden lustre to the skin.
drudah satvak prajaayate!
Prasaanta maarutou baadhyam
klesaa vyaayaam sansaham!!
Oil-massage dispels fatigue, makes
the body strong, smoothens the skin-texture, and invigorates the whole system, external as
well as internal, entering through the pores.
An unmarried youth must
bathe once a day. Others can take bath twice daily ie.,
morning and afternoon. Taking bathe in a river, lake or sea during night is prohibited.
However, safety is the main reason for this prohibition. But bathing during night at
ones own place is allowed for the married.
A dip in rivers on days such as
Amaavaasya, festivals, when pushyami or ones own birth star arises or during the
Vyatipaata and Vaihdruti yoga is most beneficial. Especially, everyone should take
regular morning bath during the month of Maagha.
Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays
are good for head-bath. One should avoid the same on Tuesday, Thursday and Sundays. The
Bhaavaprakaasika says that a bath with Aamla powder applied on head and body
keeps baldness, whitening of hair at bay and enhances life span to a hundred years.
Avoiding soaps is best. Instead a
bathing powder comprising of Bengal gram, Green gram and sheekakai powder should be used.
One should, without fail, take oil-bath, at least once a week.
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