Ritual purification is a feature of almost every major and tribal religion in the world. And this ritual mostly involves the use of water, ranging from total submersion to a symbolic sprinkling or sipping.
The attached photographs are of holy dips and bathing in sacred rivers like Ganga, Godavari and Krishna and at Temple ponds known as Gundam / Koneru or Pushkarini. For Hindus taking holy dips at these sacred water bodies, more so on auspicious dates is believed to wash away their sins, purify the soul and help in attaining Moksha. Water from such places is considered very holy and is carried home in small quantities for purification of the house and for ceremonies that are performed at home.
During ceremonial baths and for orthodox Hindus at the time of every bath at home or anywhere, the following Sloka is recited to invoke the presence and blessings of sacred rivers:
“Gange Cha Yamune Chaiva Godavari Saraswati Narmade Sindhu Kaveri Jalesmin Sannidhim Kuru”
The literal meaning of this Sloka is – “In this water, I invoke the presence of divine waters from River Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Sarswati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri, these rivers are considered as Goddesses and I pray to them for considering me for their blessings”. And reciting this Sloka with a sincere heart brings the benefit of taking bath in these holy rivers. You may see the below video to listen to the recitation of this Sloka:
Achamanam is the most important daily ritual for Hindus. It is another purification ritual with water, that is believed to cure all physical and mental illnesses and is performed on daily basis during Sandhyavandanam and at the beginning of all poojas. It involves sipping of water three times, while reciting the name of God as Achyutaya Namaha, Anantaya Namaha and Govindaya Namaha.