I want to attain salvation on thy lap, Ganga matha……
The River Ganga holds a virtuous position in Indian mythology as well as civilization. Ganges stands for purity, peace and all things sacred in Indian culture.
Ganga was given to mankind by the undying prayers of Bhagirat from the Sagara dynasty who wanted the river to bring life to the dry earth. Earlier, the River Ganga was wild in nature and used to gush her way around. Then Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu asked Lord Shiva to hold her in his hair locks. When Shiva placed Ganga in his hair locks, she turned to be a peaceful flowing river.
During the Ganga Dussehra, people worship ten days in the month of June to celebrate the origin, existence, sacredness and purity of the river. This year, the festival is on 21st June. The places through which Ganga flows are the venues for celebration. Rishikesh, Haridwar, Varanasi, Prayaga, Garh- Mukteshwar etc are few of these sacred places. The worshipers flock to these regions to touch the water and take it home. Some people meditate on the banks while others perform pujas.
The Ganga River originates from Gangotri in the Himalayas, then makes it way through Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and finally merges with the Bay of Bengal. At Allahabad, Ganga merges with Yamuna and Sarawati at a place called Prayag which is considered to be a very auspicious place. Ganga is believed to flow in the three worlds-in heaven it is known as Mandakini, in hell as Bhagirathi and in the earth as Ganges.
The river Ganga assumes the role of a Goddess and Mother for the Indians. She washes away all the sins and purifies the person as a whole. That is why ‘gangajal’ is kept in houses for Poojas and other important occasions. Today, Ganga has fallen prey to pollution. The amount of contaminants in the river is rising day by day due to factories dumping wastes. Inspite of this, Ganga has not lost its prominence. In order to preserve the sanctity of the river and keep its glory intact, we should all contribute. It is our duty to preserve the Goddess Ganga for the next generation also.
For having a spiritual rendevouz with the Ganga Dussehra please contact The Other Home for more information.