apah purusa-viryah stha
punantir bhur-bhuvah-suvah
ta nah punitamiva-ghnih
sprsatam atmana bhuva iti
apah—O water; purusa-viryah—endowed with the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; stha—you are; punantih—sanctifying; bhuh—of the planetary system known as Bhuh; bhuvah—of the Bhuvah planetary system; suvah—of the Svah planetary system; tah—that water; nah—of us; punita—purify; amiva-ghnih—who destroys sin; sprsatam—of those touching; atmana—by your constitutional position; bhuvah—the bodies; iti—thus.
[The inhabitants of Krauncadvipa worship with this mantra.] O water of the rivers, you have obtained energy from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore you purify the three planetary systems, known as Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka and Svarloka. By your constitutional nature, you take away sins, and that is why we are touching you. Kindly continue to purify us.
Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (7.4):
bhumir apo ’nalo vayuh
kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me
bhinna prakrtir astadha
“Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego—all together these eight comprise My separated material energies.”
The energy of the Lord acts throughout the creation, just as heat and light, the energies of the sun, act within the universe and make everything work. The specific rivers mentioned in the sastras are also energies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and people who regularly bathe in them are purified. It can actually be seen that many people are cured of diseases simply by bathing in the Ganges. Similarly, the inhabitants of Krauncadvipa purify themselves by bathing in the rivers there.

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