Ganga Dussehra #1

अपि प्राज्यं राज्यं तृणमिव परित्यज्य सहसा
विलोलद्वानीरं तव जननि तीरं श्रितवताम् ।
सुधातः स्वादीयस्सलिलभरमातृप्ति पिबतां
जनानामानन्दः परिहसति निर्वाणपदवीम् ।।

The tenth day of the Shukla Paksha of the Hindu month Jyestha is the day where Hindus celebrates it as ‘Ganga Dussehra‘. They believe that Mother Ganga descended on Earth on this day. It is celebrated in all the major cities along the banks of Maa Ganga including Prayaagraj and Haridwar.
People many times question how can a river flow down from heavens and what is the rationale behind such a story? I totally agree with this question as there must be and there is a rationale behind this descendence.

Origin –

We all know that the Ganga has its origin in Gomukh, a place a few kilometers away from Gangotri Dham in Uttaranchal. Now the fact is that this is not the origin of Ganga. It is just coming out from the caves of Gomukh which originates somewhere else in the Himalayas. In the glaciers high above Gomukh. Bhagirath, an ancestor of Lord Ram, with his engineering marvel has guided Mother Ganga through Gomukh towards the plains. It is a daunting task performed by him with his team of engineers and workers. It must have taken years to do this. This is his “Tapa” (penance as we call it in English). And hence the Ganga at Gomukh is also called “Bhagirathi”. And when the efforts are big then we call it a “Bhagirath Prayatna” (भगीरथ प्रयत्न).

Journey : – Gangotri to Ganga

This Bhagirathi when it merges with Alaknanda at Gangotri becomes Ganga. People do go to its banks but forget the efforts of our ancestors who got Her down as such. Not to blame them, as Her flow is such. A person forgets oneself while sitting at Her banks seeing the water gushing down through the rocks and the melodious music of Her flow makes one forget all the worries in the world. A person will be ready to leave one’s own kingdom and wealth at first sight itself. And so I began with the 6th shlok (hymn) of Ganga Lahiri stotra written by Jagannath Pandit. “Parihasati Nirvanpadvim” (one is ready to laughingly [carefreely] give away the Moksha [moksha] which one was to attain when he/she sits on the banks of Maa Ganga).

The festival of Ganga Dussehra has just begun today and it will continue for the next 9 days culminating on the 10th day, Dashami.

I plan to write every day for Maa Ganga and offer my Namaskaars to Her, sitting so far in Mumbai.
I hope that you all, my readers will love to be a part of my journey.
You all too can contribute your ideas, poems and thought or sketches and join this journey from any part of this world.
Let us make it our journey.

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Ameet Kothari

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