Consider the following statement by Bhishma in SECTION CIV of Anusasana Parva of the Mahabharata

One should bathe at night, if one desires one's own advancement.

As per my knowledge, bathing in nights is considered as a bad habit in Hinduism. Where am I going wrong? What is the proper interpretation of this statement?

  • 1
    For Yogi, they should bathe twice a day. The second one should be taken 4 hours before the dinner. So it will be around 6PM
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Dec 16 '18 at 18:13

Is bathing at night a good custom (sadhachara)?


There seems a translation issue if we read Sanskrit verse and other related verse in the same chapter/section of Mahabharata.

The sanskrit verse is

नक्तं न कुर्यात पित्र्याणि भुक्त्वा चैव परसाधनम

पानीयस्य करिया नक्तं न कार्या भूतिम इच्छता

And this is how it's translated (a part is mentioned in your question too)

One should never perform any act in honour of the Pitris at night time. One should not deck one's person after finishing one's meals. One should bathe at night, if one desires one's own advancement.

But, "One should bathe at night" is "One should not bathe at night" if we read Sanskrit verse. This is clear in Sanskrit-Hindi version:

should not bath in night

You can also read in the same source (i.e. Mahabharata: Anusasana Parva: Section CIV):

न नग्नः कर्हि चित सनायान न निशायां कदा चन

One should never bathe in a state of nudity, nor at night.

संध्यां न भुञ्जेन न सनायान न पुरीषं समुत्सृजेत

परयतश च भवेत तस्यां न च किं चित समाचरेत

One should, O Bharata, carefully abstain from studying or reciting the Vedas, and eating, and bathing, at eventide. When the evening twilight comes, one should collect one's senses for meditation, without doing any act.

  • "studying or reciting the Vedas", but does chanting rudram, or chamakam or suktas in evening considered bad?
    – user13262
    Dec 18 '18 at 11:07

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