From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Jalakrcchra, JalakRcchra, Jalakrricchra

Jalakṛcchra literally means ‘penance in or with water’. It is also called as:

  1. Toyakṛcchra
  2. Udakakṛcchra
  3. Varuṇakṛcchra

Expiation for sins committed, knowingly or unknowingly, by performing the prescribed penances is an ancient practice in the religion. ‘Kṛcchra’ is a general term applied to many of these expiations. Jalakṛcchra is one of them.

Forms of Jalakṛcchra

It has been described in several ways. According to one version, it consists in sustaining only on water mixed with ground barley for one month. Another version is that the sinner should spend a whole day and night fasting and immersing himself in the water. This should be followed by the repetition of the Gāyatrīmantra 1008 times the next day.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore