I was reading this question and I found interesting comments about tīrtha as follows:

you can get rid of sins simply by dipping in a Tirtha. Numerous scriptures including the Mahabharata mention it.

And one more:

The very act of dipping into a Tirtha is enough to get rid of sins. This is mentioned in numerous scriptures including the Mahabharata.

Assuming this to be true, and since it is mentioned in Hinduism scriptures, I wonder, what kind of message/rational/wisdom is behind such blanket announcements about tirtha?

For sure, it is not written to promote sins in society neither it is meant to promote Tirtha as a holy/sacred place.

This whole notion of thirtha and sins effectively means for a layman's perspective: do whatever you want: and if you feel it's sin, then no worries, simply get dip in Thirtha and you will be fine

This sounds plain wrong to all of us as civilised citizens, and I too agree with that sentiment, but then what could be the reason why Hindu scriptures mentions such activity?

  • since it is mentioned by Keshav who must have a ref. which I am sure he will post, I posted the link to question itself. Anyway, I added a link which actually mentions about the significance of Tirtha, and various other benefits of bathing in Tirtha, apart from sins cleaning. Just reading that gives an impression that "tirtha is solution to all problems and way to achieve anything and everything" Mar 4, 2016 at 9:48
  • Sorry, I missed the source, hence rephrasing comment. Concept of "Tirtha washing sins" might had the relevant context when it was written. Things change with time. Now a days those tirthas themselves are spoiled; is it likely that still they will remove sins of others? IMO, In older times the act of pilgrimage was not as easy as today (irctc/cleartrip); Engaging in such tough task would let us spend lot of time with own self. By the time we reach the place, most likely many of our sins would have been repented, may be equivalent to washed away. Tirtha would have their own energy as well.
    – iammilind
    Mar 4, 2016 at 9:54
  • Agree with you...now even Holy rivers mentioned in scriptures are polluted. but when scriptures mentions such blanket statements, I guess as a hinduism community, we should try to get the logic/rational behind it and should try to bring the "hidden" knowledge/wisdom to surface so that all can benefit and will truly appreciate the wealth and wisdom of knowledge from scriptures of hinduism! Mar 4, 2016 at 10:03
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    "Concept of "Tirtha washing sins" might had the relevant context when it was written. Things change with time. Now a days those tirthas themselves are spoiled;"--Somethings are Eternal(Sanatan) too.I think you are being confused between physical impurity of the sacred rivers & their sin cleansing powers.Both are different things.The sin cleansing powers of Ganga ,for example, is the same through the ages despite her presently polluted state.
    – Rickross
    Mar 4, 2016 at 12:10
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    @Rickross, I tried hard not to be personal but couldn't resist as I see too many of them towards me recently. Your comments are usually confrotational rants, Which sane people should avoid. Consider this as non debatable reply. There are certain truths which are eternal like 1+1=2. They don't vanish with time. Gita and few other scriptures contains many of them. They would remain relevant forever. There are other facts which are local to time: e.g. tirtha etc. Such places came to existence with physical changes in earth. After a while such places are just outdated. I won't argue further.
    – iammilind
    Mar 4, 2016 at 19:22


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