GANGAJI – THE MOST SACRED RIVER
India is a land where Mother Nature
And all that it contains in it are revered
These may be mountains or rivers
These have religious and cultural import
It may be Goverdhan Mount of Lord Krishna fame
Or Yamuna which majestically flows
From majestic Himalayas
During the early Vedic Age of Rigveda
Indus and Sarasvati were rivers sacred
Thence three Vedas gave top place to Ganges
It is here on the Gangetic plains
That Mauriya & Mughal empires ruled supreme
And gave birth to Ganga-Yamuni civilization.
Where many a races have perished
And many a races have flourished
Meghasthenes mentions about the rivers flowing
From the northern mountain ranges
And flowing into the southern plains.
Which helps enhance agriculture production
Besides absorbing populace’s filth on the way
Like a mother who brings up & feeds a small child
Looks after it from birth to the last day
Wipes their tears and absorbs its affluences
During its lifetime like a passionate & caring mother
And finally after death absorbs ashes – last remains Into its vast bosom.
Thus paying homage to their departed souls
She is the embodiment of sacredness.
Ganga Aarti offered at the Har-ki=poudi
Mesmerizes the devout
Every prayer chanted – touches pilgrims intensely
Connecting them to Mother Gangaji
Offer flowers and lighted wicks
After taking sacred baths
At the end of the pilgrimage
The devout take water – Ganga Jal
To their respective homes with love
For using the same in their religious rituals
According to Hindu Mythology
A dip into the sacred river water at any places
Where Maan Gaga flows
Haridwar or at Gangotri or Prayag or Varanasi
Rids and washes off their sins.
O Mother who cares us from birth to even death
We bow to Thee with our folded hands
To keep bestowing us Thy bounties
As Thee is doing so from times immemorial.
GANGAJI – THE MOST SACRED RIVER
Yesterday I was fortunate enough to visit Haridwar to take a dip in sacred river Ganga. I was also fortunate to visit Rishikesh and other prominent places besides visiting Eastern and Western banks of river Ganga between Ram Joola and Lakshman Joola. The main attractions there being the Yoga Ashrams being run by different proponents. These people are keeping the Yoga tradition vibrant amongst the common people. Even foreigners are flocking these Yoga centres for getting a peep of Indian tradition and culture.
It is mentioned in religious texts of Hindus; Ramayana; Mahabharata besides Puranas that while Sage named Kapila was meditating he was disturbed by sixty thousands son of king Sagara. Angered by this disturbance; Sage Kapila reduces them all to ashes with his power and sends their ashes into the netherwards. It was later found that these sons could get salvation if Ganga descends from the heaven.
Subsequently a descendant of the sons; King Bhagiratha intensively did intense penance for the waters of Ganga. However it was difficult to withstand the surge and force of Ganga’s water current. Lord Shiva agreed to tame Ganga in His tangled locks. Bhagiratha then leads the Ganga waters to Haridwar plains and subsequently to the confluence of Yamuna and Saraswati at Prayaga and flows to Varanasi and finally to Ganga Sagar and lastly meets the ocean. In this way the sons of King Sagara were liberated. As it was due to the intense penance of Bhagiratha the source of the river Ganga is also termed as Bhagiratha.
Haridwar is an ancient religious and cultural besides being a pilgrimage place. It is located on the foothill of Himalayas. This place is held in high esteem since times immemorial. The most famous Kumb Mela is held every 12 years here. That is really much awaited event by all devouts. The famous ancient temples of Ganga Maan is also a place most venerated by all.
Har Ki Pauri is one of the most popular ghats where people a take sacred dip. This ghat was constructed by a famous King Vikramaditya in the fond memory of Bhartihari who came to Haridwar for mediation and died.
Sitting at night at the Ghat we can see the reflection of wicks and other lights falling on the water.
Chanda-Munda, the chief of the local demon king, Shumbha-Nishumbha, was killed by Goddess Chandi here.
The other places to visit are:
- Mansa Devi Temple.
- Bharat Mata Temple.
- Maya Devi Temple.
- Rishkesh. It is 28 Kms away from Haridwar.
- The Daksh Mahadev Temple
- Sapt Rishi Temple.
- The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
- Ancient Lakshman Temple.
- Lord Vishnu Temple.