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Glory & Significance of Ganga - Ganges the River of India

Glory & Significance of Ganga - Ganges the River of India

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Published by bhargavasarma
Since time immemorial Hindus life is closely associated with the river Ganga in various ways. No religious and spiritual activity in Hindu philosophy from birth till death starts without Ganga. Several civilizations, dynasties, epics, have originated on the banks of Ganga River. The history of Ganga is as old as Hindu civilization. Starting from its place of origin in Gangothri right up to its merging with the Sea at Gangasagar entire path of Ganga River is sacred to Hindus. Perhaps no other river has found as much reference as the holy Ganga in Puranas which is in existence since Vedic times. To count the merits of Ganga is like counting water drops in the ocean. Ganga is not just a river alone it is much more than that sacred, celestial and divine. It is the Queen of rivers, River Goddess. Mother Ganga is highly revered in Hindu religion.
Since time immemorial Hindus life is closely associated with the river Ganga in various ways. No religious and spiritual activity in Hindu philosophy from birth till death starts without Ganga. Several civilizations, dynasties, epics, have originated on the banks of Ganga River. The history of Ganga is as old as Hindu civilization. Starting from its place of origin in Gangothri right up to its merging with the Sea at Gangasagar entire path of Ganga River is sacred to Hindus. Perhaps no other river has found as much reference as the holy Ganga in Puranas which is in existence since Vedic times. To count the merits of Ganga is like counting water drops in the ocean. Ganga is not just a river alone it is much more than that sacred, celestial and divine. It is the Queen of rivers, River Goddess. Mother Ganga is highly revered in Hindu religion.

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Published by: bhargavasarma on May 09, 2011
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Om! Gam! Ganapathaye! Namaha!Om! Sri Raghavendraya Namaha!Om! Namo! Bhagavathe! Vaasudevaya!Om! Ham! Hanumathe! Sri Rama Doothaya Namaha!
Glory & Significance of GangaGanges the River of India
Rivers are an integral part of Indian economy, civilization and culture thathas grown and spread along the banks of these rivers and they have becomea livelihood for the people living in the country. Agriculture the back bone of Indian Economy is very much depending upon these rivers. They haveplayed an important role in the pilgrimage of India as several sacred pilgrimcenters have come up and thrived on the banks of these sacred rivers andcontributed a lot to the growth of tourism industry. They have also played asignificant role in the religious, philosophical and spiritual heritage of Indiawhich is known as Hindu religion or Hindu Dharma.These rivers are Nature¶s gift to the mankind as water is one of the mostessential elements for all the living beings. These rivers are standing as aliving witness to the historical and pouranic happenings in India whereseveral dynasties have risen and fallen along the banks of these sacredrivers. Since time immemorial Hindu civilization has flourished along thebanks of these rivers. Bharatha Desa the Indian sub-continent is a land operennial rivers and is the origin for several sacred rivers that have takenbirth on this land with a divine background and purpose.Prominent among them are Ganga (Ganges), Yamuna, Saraswathi, Sindhu(Indus), Godavari, Narmada, Krishna, Kaveri, Tungabhadra etc« Rivers inIndia are gazed not only as a source of water but are also revered as DivineGoddesses who play an important role in several religious and spiritual rites
 
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that are performed across the banks of these rivers. River worship in Indiais prevalent since time immemorial and rivers in India are adored on severaloccasions in the Hindu religious and spiritual calendar like Kumbh Mela,Pushkaram etc. Prominent among the sacred rivers is the Ganga (Ganges)which is considered as unparallel in terms of its spirituality and religioussignificance.Incidentally this year it is going to be Ganga Pushkara year starting from 8
th
 of May when Deva Guru Jupiter (Brihaspathi) enters into Mesha (Aries) inthe zodiac. On this occasion let us try to know the glory and significance of sacred river Ganga, to begin with its origin and descent on Earth.
Gangaavatharana
(
Origin & Descent of Ganga
)
Origin in Heaven
Sri Vamana Avathara was fifth in the line of Dasavatharas of Lord Sri MahaVishnu. This avathara took place during Treta Yuga before Sri ParashuramaAvathara. Lord Maha Vishnu took this avathara in order to suppress thearrogance, vanity and pride of Emperor Bali (Bali Chakravarthi) and torestore the glory, power and authority of Lord Indra over the Heaven whohad lost his power and kingdom (Swarga) to King Bali.Lord Vamana went to King Maha Bali and asks for three steps of landmeasured by his foot as charity. Initially Bali hesitated to donate just threepaces of land as it is a disgrace to his status and was guilty to give suchcharity. But later agreed upon insisting by Lord Vamana and promised togive three paces of land as charity measured by Sri Vamana¶s foot.When Maha Bali completed the ritual process of donating the land, LordVamana assumed his cosmic form (Trivikrama), measured the entire Earthincluding the nether worlds by his first step. With his second step Hemeasured the entire upper worlds. When his foot reached the zenith itreached the Sathya Loka where Lord Brahma stays. At that time sacredwaters emanated from the lotus foot of the Supreme Lord Sri Maha Vishnu,and Lord Brahma washed the Lord¶s foot with that water and collected it inHis Kamandalu.
 
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The water that has emerged out of Lord Sri ManNarayana¶s foot came to berevered as Goddess Ganga (Vishnu Paadodbhavi) who thenceforth startedliving in the Heaven as Swarga Ganga assuming the form of a river.
Origin/Descent on Earth
There are several legends behind the origin and descent of Ganga River onthe Earth but, prominent among them we find as spelled out in SrimadBhagavatham, Navama Skandha (9
th
canto). It is said that Sage SriViswamithra had narrated this story of Gangaavatharana to Lord Sri Rama.As per the legend in brief, there was an Emperor by name SagaraChakravarthi of Ikshvaku dynasty (in which Lord Sri Rama was born) rulingAyodhya, who had two wives Keshini and Sumathi. By virtue of divineblessing, Keshini gave birth to only one son named Asamanjasa whereasSumathi was blessed with 60000 sons.

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