Water Rites

In human history, there are excellent reasons why almost every religion has advocated ablutions. Most ablutions involve water, although other water based products such as milk or wine have been used. If one simply thinks about the fact that throughout most of human history, toilet paper did not exist, and in fact still does not in many parts of the world, it is clear why ablutions are linked to the removal of impurities. In some countries one hand is used exclusively for eating and the other for cleansing. In Hinduism, anyone living in proximity to a river begins the day with a ritual ablution. Every Islamic mosque has fountains for ritual ablutions prior to every prayer session. In Christianity, holy water is essential to baptisms. While ablutions have become symbolic of the restoration of spiritual purity, the origins of these rites began with the removal of actual human impurities.

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