In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important discussion as to some attributes that we’ve to adhere to, when we embark on a tour to “Punya-Kshetras” all across our Bhaarata Desha. We’ve witnessed many important points in these lines – Firstly, there should not be any form of discrimination between fellow “Yatris” (People who travel along with us for the tour). Secondly, we should be ready to give up our luxury requirements such as plush hotel rooms, luxurious and comfortable beds, etc. We should be prepared to stay with all of them together under one roof. The idea here is to increase our focus on Bhagawan, by bringing down the focus on our personal comfort and physical facility. Thirdly, we should not gossip about anything or anybody while being on a “Teertha-Yatra”. We can maybe describe and talk about Bhagawan – This is different. But, talking about personal matters, office politics, etc. during a spiritual tour should be avoided as much as possible. Else, the focus on Bhagawan would be completely lost. Next, when we’re going to a “Nadhi-Theeram” (River Ghat), we should ensure that we take the holy dip in that river only, rather than taking a regular shower in our hotel rooms! This is an important point and we shall expand on this a bit more in today’s episode.
While going to a “Nadhi-Theeram”, we should abide by certain rules and regulations – Firstly, while we are there, we should make sure that we do not enter the water with our slippers on our feet. This would be a gross insult to the river! We should understand that behind every river, there is a deity or a “Devata”. Going to a river bank is equivalent to visiting a temple to worship Bhagawan. Hence, we should ensure that we remove our slippers at a distance and enter into the waters. Moreover, going with the slippers on affects the purity of the river water. Many others would also be taking a holy dip in the river, isn’t it? That would impact the cleanliness and hygiene of other people as well. We should take care of this aspect as well. Secondly, when we go to a “Nadhi-Theeram”, we should be unmindful of whoever is near us. We should not feel any discomfort with any kind of people around us. Thus, discrimination is something we should completely avoid here as well.
Thirdly, while we’re taking a holy dip, we should bow down into the river water with our face completely inside for a few seconds. This is a mark of respect to the river and we should ensure that we do this. Many of us might feel scared to do that – What if water enters into our ears or nose or mouth? What if we feel breathless under the water? These questions might keep lingering in our minds, isn’t it? The logic is very simple here – We should take a deep breath (Inhalation), close our eyes, nose and mouth and dip inside. While doing so, water will never enter into any of the “Dvaaras” of our face. Moreover, it is only for a few seconds, and hence, it shouldn’t be a problem. Of course, there are people who can hold their breath under the water for a much longer time and such people can afford to take the holy dip with ease. However, for others, this above-mentioned technique should be of some help. Fourthly, many of us have a unique practice of taking bath in the river with a mug or a container. This is an extremely wrong practice and we should avoid this. If we’re in a “Nadhi-Theeram” the only way to take shower is through the holy dip.
Fifth – Many of us have the practice of using soaps, shampoos, etc. while taking the holy dip in the “Nadhi-Theeram”. Again, this is an extremely wrong practice. By doing so, we’re not only polluting the river, but also poisoning all the aquatic living beings (fishes, snails, etc.) that make a living under the water. We’re not supposed to disturb their regular life while we’re taking the holy dip. We should also ensure that while we take the holy dip, we should feed the fishes and other aquatic living beings with some puffed rice or whatever is available at that place. Sixth – While taking the holy dip into the river, we should pay our salutations and oblations to the concerned “Devata” and to Bhagawan. We shall perform a simple “Sandhyavandanam” too while we’re taking the holy dip, and this would be more than sufficient.
Thus, these are certain important points that all of us should be mindful about, while we enter into a “Nadhi-Theeram”. Of course, there are many more, but owing to limitations with my knowledge and with time, I’m restricting myself to these important points. We shall discuss the other points as we progress further and when the right context comes. So for today, let us understand these important points and let us follow them meticulously while visiting any “NAdhi-Theeram” next time! We shall continue this discussion further in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂