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
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.
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.