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Importance Of Taking Bath At End Of Hindu Religious Function

The act of taking bath at the end of a sacrifice or yagna or religious function is Hindu religion is known as Avabhrithasnana. The bath is generally taken in a river, holy tank or sea and is of great importance after certain rituals. It is considered highly meritorious to take this ceremonial bath. The word avabhritha denotes the concluding rite of a principal religious rite as well as the supplementary sacrifice done for the removal of defects in the performance of the principal rite. The remnants of the materials used in the rite are thrown into the river.

Matsya Purana (23.23) refers to the Avabhrithasnana taken by Soma at the conclusion of the Rajasuya sacrifice performed by him for the conquest of Indra’s kingdom and to gain immense power.

Vayu Purana (104, 40-42) describes the gain of heaven and other merits by the sages of the Naimisha forest after the avabhritha bathing taken by them at the conclusion of a sacrifice.

Srimad Bhagavata Purana (X.75.8-20) describes graphically the sacrificial bathing of Yudhishthira in the Ganga River at the end of the Rajasuya sacrifice. On this occasion mridanga (drum), shankha (conch), panava (tabor), a dhumdhu (kind of drum), anaka (trumpet) and gomukha (cow horn) and other musical instruments are played. The priests and courtiers are honored with gifts. This bath is taken with the accompaniment of vocal and instrumental music; even dance is included. The person taking bath smears his body with sandal paste, oil and milk of cow.