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As we know, the karmic accounts of good karma and bad karma are different. If we do good karma, we get good fruits, and if we do bad karma, we get bad fruits. Good karmas do not counter-balance bad karmas. If we have done bad karma, we will get bad fruits irrespective of good karma we do later on. Just like an arrow already shot cannot be taken back, karma that has already set out in motion cannot be escaped from. It will catch you sooner or later.

Then how do we hear people saying that by doing some rituals, our bad karmas (sins) will get washed away? Ex. Bathing in Ganga, visiting some holy place, etc.

Sin and holiness and tīrtha and sins cleaning don't have any explanation as to why people think that these rituals will wash away sins

marked as duplicate by Yogi, AADHinduism, learningbrain, Pratik Bhat, Ankit Sharma Jun 8 '16 at 8:02

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  • When you do with real devotion, your bad Aagami Karma gets reduced and this in turn reduces Prarabda Karma. Indeed, the amount of devotion and loyalty towards Lord decide it. – The Destroyer Jun 4 '16 at 7:00
  • Related tīrtha and sins cleaning – The Destroyer Jun 4 '16 at 7:04
  • @Yogi I've edited the question. Please can you remove the duplicate mark – user5155835 Jun 4 '16 at 7:53
  • Then how do we hear people saying that by doing some rituals, our bad karmas (sins) will get washed away? Ex. Bathing in Ganga, visiting some holy place, etc. Sin and holiness and tīrtha and sins cleaning don't have any explanation as to why people think that these rituals will wash away sins It's not important what people say or what people think about it, but the important thing is that the scriptures say that one can be purged of sins if he takes a bath in the Ganga (Ganges river), or by visiting some holy place such as Kurukshetra. So it must be truth because scripture says so. – brahma jijnasa Jun 5 '16 at 0:13
  • @brahmajijnasa right, but when we know that bad karmas cannot be undone and hence we will get bad fruits, then why do scriptures say that some rituals will wash away sins? – user5155835 Jun 5 '16 at 5:04
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Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita:

sarva-dharmān parityajya

mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja

ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo

mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ [18.66]

Meaning:- Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.

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    Right, but that is surrendering to the Supreme. I'm talking about the different rituals that people do and they think that it will wash away their sins, without really understanding the meaning of surrendering to the Supreme. – user5155835 Jun 4 '16 at 6:23
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The rituals such as these are designed to eliminate the basic and primary fear from our mind at first place and as a start and motivation towards living good life. Since their are many ways prescribed in ancient texts to wash away sins, bad karma ,negative thoughts etc. Like Chanting shlokas ,listining to puranas ,total devotion etc.Those who cant do such things in practical life, has a easy way out to wash away sins,bad karmas by these rituals. its soul purpose is to free the mind from bondage of these thoughts and burden. Another purpose of performing such rituals is to motivate us to go to pilgrimage and to expand our knowledge obout this world. In my Experience ,when we go to pligrimage apart from expanding our world it serves to ease out our fear about our actions ,sins and motivates us to act good.

Bad sins can not be washed away from us unless we are out of fear about them. since the perception about our sins, negative thoughts ,bad karmas resides in our mind we wont be able to get rid from them completely. Our mind and consciousness always reminds us about that. So by doing Counterbalancing acts to these we can get rid of fear of sin ,bad karma from our mind and replacing these fears with confidence ,only by acting in right way. Like helping others , understanding others ,following ones dharma, respecting every one including nature etc. Yes its definitely possible to wash away or sins,bad karma ,negative thoughts etc. by acting just right and balancing our bad deeds with good ones.And to make ourselves free from bondage of fear of sins.

Please refer http://www.hinduism.co.za/sinner.htm for more.

  • Does this means .. Good karmas relaces bad karmas .. or good karmas wipes out bad karmas ? – C Sharper Sep 1 '16 at 6:34
  • @Sagar - IMO visiting holy places and chanting etc. certainly will reduce the effect of sins , but will not wipes them. What I mean to say in answer is , such rituals helps us in reduceing the fear of sins from our mind.In Geeta Shree Krishna said , I will wipe out all your bad karmas. "अहं त्वाम सर्व पापेभ्यो". – SwiftPushkar Sep 1 '16 at 8:26

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