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Showering Stories – II

“Open your eyes, my son!” and he gradually did so. His eyes were blinded with the bright light emerging from the front. He rubbed his eyes and dropped on his knees genuflecting himself in utter devotion. The divine voice continued “your firm devoutness has elated me. Bhagirath, what do you wish for?” He lifted his face, with tears trickling down his cheeks, to see the eldest of the Hindu trinity and saw all 4 faces of the God smiling at him. He stammered and said in a parched and low voice “Salvation, my lord, salvation. Not mine, but for all 60,000 descendants of Rishi Sagar. Maa Ganga be descended to Earth”.

The omniscient Brahma beamed and said “So it shall be”. Immediately, Ganga was summoned. Fearing that earth would not be able to tolerate the pressure of her frothy waters, she protected herself in the tangled locks of Shiva’s long and unruffled hair. Thereafter, she emerged like an enormous fountain and followed the path lead by Bhagirath, thereby absolving the sins of Sagar’s sons and bringing ‘moksha’ for them.

The above narrative has been repeated innumerable times in Indian mythology and highlights a very important aspect. Yes, a snaan (bath) even after one dies can bring in ultimate salvation. And that’s the importance of shower placed in Indian culture, in Hinduism. The timing and nature of a bath undertaken by an individual is of critical importance. The scriptures are very clear about the right way and timing of your showers. The ideal way to begin your day is to take a good cold shower before you get on with your daily routine preferably before the sunrise. The regime doesn’t end there because after you take a bath, you need to give the same to ‘Surya Dev’ (sun god) by offering water to it. This is further followed by prayers to all the idols and deities. Hold your breath, before you start praying all the gods should be given a bath in the holy water of Ganga River. 

Apart from the daily routine, every stage of one’s life is defined by the kind of bath one should undertake. When a child is born, the first bath is given on the second day of birth with cow milk. The diseased or sick people should be given their shower laced in neem leaves. During marriage, the bride and groom are applied turmeric powder paste all over the body and then given a bath in warm water with aromatic rose water. Such baths are believed to enhance sensuousness in the newly married couple. Before any puja or yagna all the deities and idols are given a bath, post which they are adorned with janeu (sacred thread), itra (perfume) and then served a wholesome meal. At the last stage of one’s life, the body is given bath again in Ganga water and after the death the ashes are also submerged in the holy rivers. It is believed that this brings salvation and gives one riddance from the cycle of life and death.

There are seven types of bath defined by Hindu mythology:-

  1. Mantra snaan (Hymns bath) – cleansing of one’s mind through chanting of mantras and hymns
  2. Agni snaan (Fire bath) – cleansing of the body by applying the ashes of fire remains
  3. Bhaum snaan (Earthy bath) – using of earth/ soil for the bath
  4. Vaayavya snaan (North west bath) – use of cows hoofs for taking the bath
  5. Maansik snaan (Internal bath) – Hinduism not only believes in external cleansing but lays a huge emphasis on cleansing yourself internally i.e. mentally, emotionally and purity of thoughts. This bath involves purification of one’s thoughts and internal self through introspection and retrospection.
  6. Varun snaan (bath by water) – a bath by taking a dip in the running water, river or taking a typical shower.
  7. Divya snaan (divine bath) – sunbathing would be the most appropriate way to define this kind of bath.

Although, normally we consider a typical splash of water from the top as shower, but Indian scriptures and rituals identify various other ways for self-cleansing. And it elevates the hygiene merely from the physical way to a much higher level of cleansing your mind and evolving yourself in divine and spiritual way. This definitely takes the hygiene to a different level and it really reflects an evolved and matured thought centuries ago. In recent times we have seen that other ways of baths have found their way into the western culture in form of sunbathing, spa, sauna, mud baths and more contemporary ways of taking baths, which has their roots in our rich culture and heritage. It brings an immense sense of pride when these practices have not only being recognized but has permeated into our lives in recent times.

A good bath not only leads to your physical hygiene but also strengthens your mental, emotional, spiritual self. Paqos is dedicated whole-heartedly to lead you through this journey of discovering yourself and evolving the divinity in you.

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Showering Stories

Have you ever wondered how simple things, those we take for granted, came into being? Something as simple as entering into a bathroom, turning on the knob and immersing ourselves into good hot shower, or turning on the tap even before we apply the toothpaste on the brush, or pressing the button to flush after your morning ablutions. These have become so intrinsic to our beings now that we don’t even spare a thought about their origins. Let me take this opportunity to shower some stories about showering for you.

The first showers were not man-made but were found in nature. Yes, you are right, the most natural showers were waterfalls. Natural springs and geysers provided sources for hot water. These methods of shower were gradually reproduced by people where they would pour jugs of cold water after washing. The nouveau riche of Egypt and Mesopotamia had servants who would bathe them in private baths in the privacy of their rooms. Later several evidences of baths were found in ruins of Indus Valley civilization, Harappan baths and Mesopotamia. Findings from Mayan civilization also hinted at their sewage systems and their advanced public baths systems.

Later, Turkish baths became world renowned owing to their sanitary expertise and hemams. Hemams were also one of the most essential part of harems, apart from being an independent bathing unit itself. If you explore the earlier art and paintings, you cannot miss out on the Roman kings with their loved ones in these harem baths. You can still marvel at the glory and importance of these when you stroll across various hemams in Istanbul. Turkish baths, till date, is a must-do in several travelers’ aspirations list. Their baths are still preserved as tourists’ attraction and you can experience the regality there.

A Tourist experiencing Turkish bath. Don’t miss on the faucets and showers on the sides.

After the fall of Roman Empire good hygiene became a taboo and a sign of vanity with rise in Christianity. This regime was short-lived as more than one third of Europe died from the Black Death in 14th Century. Benefits of cleanliness became more widely recognized thereon. With advancement in technologies sewage systems, drainage systems, aqueduct pipes, came into being. And this lead to invention of the first mechanical shower by William Feetham in 1767 in London. This event marked a revolution in the history of showers. Earlier showers were manual and used hand pump to push water to the tank. Post invention of indoor plumbing free-standing showers were invented around 1850.

By mid of 20th century electric showers became popular for providing instant hot water supply without relying on hot water tank. This further led to creation of more innovative ways of taking bath including a bath tub, showers, Jacuzzis and therapeutic bathing techniques. In 1990s more than 2/3rd of the houses had at least one shower in them. Further in 2001 Aqualisa, a UK company, introduced digital showers. The innovations in this area are still helmed by several reputed companies to enrich your daily cleanliness regime. Honestly, it’s much more than mere cleanliness, it’s a bliss and experience to immerse yourself in such grandeur every day.

Coming home, in India showers have had utmost importance not only from hygiene perspective but a very important ritual to commence any religious ceremony. Every Pooja, every yagna, every birth and death have been intricately linked to this aspect. The baths have been associated with attainment of ultimate salvation and one of the very important religious rite. We shall explore in details the importance of bath (स्नान) and how it is the basic tenet of Hinduism in our next exploration. I am sure, that you can’t wait to unravel this aspect in our cultures.

Irrespective of time, era, civilization, geographical locations, all baths and showers have been associated with flowing water. It doesn’t matter whether it was a waterfall or a servant giving you bath, or a bath in a hemam or more contemporary methods of taking bath, the water never had to be still. It had to be flowing, continuously flowing like the sparks of our lives. And to ensure that you have forever running water at your homes ensure to have a chat with our highly professional team in PAQOS.

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Splashing Showers

A hot or a cold shower in the morning or after a tiring day is one of the simplest pleasures of our lives. It not only cleanse us but also rejuvenates our senses, refreshes our souls and instills an inherent freshness in us. So if you slept through the alarm or had a tiresome day, all you need is a good shower.

Do you know you can make your this experience more rewarding and relaxing? No!! Then turn on the knob and soak yourself in that supreme experience. Increase the temperature, drop the shampoo, lift the loofah and experience the water drip through the messed hair onto your neck and back. Let’s look at the few ways of making this an ultimate experience.

  1. Optimum cleanser
    Know your skin type, hair textures and body type and choose the right type of body wash, shampoo and face wash. It’s essential to know your skin type (dry, moist, oily) and select your body wash accordingly. Always use a gentle cleanser for your face and avoid washing the face in the shower, particularly if you are prone to acne.
  2. Temperature
    A hot shower often relaxes the body and is very soothing. It relaxes the tired body and eases the pain (especially joint pains). However, scientifically a cold shower can actually be beneficial for skin and hair. A sudden splash of cold water is said to improves the immune function, increases the metabolism and increases the amount of stress one can tolerate.

If you are fond of hot shower and find it irresistible, then spend the initial few minutes in hot water and then reduce the temperature of water to make it lukewarm. Very hot water can lead to burning of skin and it dries the moisture of the skin.

  1. Water Pressure
    Maintaining the right pressure in the shower is imperative for an effective shower. A dripping or a sluggish shower can never bring the desired refreshing feeling. This is especially difficult to maintain in India, due to consistent rusting of pipes, sedimentation of salts in faucets and hard water in most regions of the sub-continent. Water pressure often plays foul despite installation of the best of sanitary systems in your bathroom.

One of the easiest remedies is to install a water pressure booster which ensures the right water pressure to get the optimum bath experience. The modern day bathroom need to be backed with powerful water pressure booster to enjoy ultimate showering and rejuvenating experience. One of the leaders in this area is PAQOS, the water company, who has a very wide range of water pressure booster depending on your requirements.

  1. Cleanliness
    Maintaining the cleanliness of various accessories associated to shower is hugely essential. Towels must be washed frequently, razors must be replaced on a regular basis. Loofahs should be cleaned and replaced regularly. The tiles of the bathroom, wash basins, soap dishes must be scrubbed often. If soap cases cannot be cleaned regularly try switching to liquid body wash. If you have a joint bathroom (wash basin and commode in the wash area), then ensure cleanliness of urinals and commodes.

A planned busy day often transpires showering as a mere morning ablution and is done procedurally out of habit. However, including the above in your bathing schedule can make a transformation in your showering experience. Small changes bring big differences. So get into the game plan and use these methods to bring a makeover to your showering know-how. This shall enable you to focus on things that really matter in your lives, whether, it’s your profession, family or your hobbies.

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