GANGAJI – ONE OF THE MOST SACRED RIVERS
(PHOTO TAKEN AT 6:30 AM ON 20T8 OCT 2018 – WATER SO SERENE)
It is a appalling that Gangaji Maa
Who takes care of all our problems that befall on us
But we are not paying gratitude due to Her
By keeping her Holy Water purer
By not throwing refuse from our houses and factories
Or by throwing old and dirty clothes and plastic bags into this holy river
And make its sacred water polluted
By our own actions most unethical
Without thinking that impure Ganga water
It traverses mystically from the Gangotri glacier from Himalaya
Covering more than 2500 Kms to Sunderban Delta in Bangladesh
It benefits the millions of people living on both its banks
Will certainly adversely affect directly and indirectly
If we do not care to keep this sacred river pollution free
Those who disrespect the Ganga Maa by throwing refuse willfully
Into the river considered the Holy One by all of us
The Holy Maa who is helping us in many ways
From birth to our final journey
O Mother who cares us from birth till death
We bow to Thee with our folded hands
To keep bestowing us Thy bounties
As Thee is doing so from times immemorial
By forgiving us for making Thy water polluted
Without thinking that impure water is harmful for us
When we take it as or use it in Holy rituals
Its pollution not only affects the humans
But also adversely affects the fish species
And also other amphibian species.
India is a land where Mother Nature
And all that it contains in it are revered
These may be mountains or rivers
All have religious and cultural significance
It may be Goverdhan Parvat (Mountain)
Of Lord Krishna fame
Or Yamuna which majestically flows
From majestic Himalayas
The mention of it all are contained in Vedic Age of Rigveda
Which are not of a man but original by impersonal authorities
Revealed to ancient sages after their intense meditations
The Indus and the Sarasvati are rivers are the most sacred
Thence Four Vedas gave top place to Ganges, the most sacred one
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 lived
And met their natural deaths
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 produce of farmers
Factually speaking it is the lifeline of multitudes
Besides absorbing people’s filth which resides at its banks
Which pollutes this sacred river
By throwing the garbage from their houses and factories
Threatening the not only the populace
And multiple varieties of fishes and other water living species.
Like a mother who brings up and feeds a small child
Looks after it from birth to the last day of her existence
Wipes their tears and suffers
The Ganges too looks after the people
During their lifetime like a passionate & caring mother
And finally after death absorbs even their ashes
The last remains into its vast bosom
Without any demure.
Thus paying homage to their departed souls
She is the embodiment of sacredness.
Ganga Aarti which is offered daily
At the Har-Ki-Poudi
Mesmerizing the committed 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 utter love
For using the same in their religious rituals
To make any ritual at home the sacred one
According to Hindu Mythology
A dip into the sacred river water at any places
Where Maa Gaga flows
From Gangotri in Himalayan Hills
Haridwar or or Prayag or Varanasi
Washes off their sins – which is their firm belief
Since its sacred water washes our sins
Why not to keep and maintain a promise
To keep its holy water pollution free
And help authorities that be
To render a helping hand to play our part
And make Ganga Maa’s water pollution-free.
GANGAJI – THE MOST SACRED RIVER
The river Ganges or Ganga Ji is one of the most sacred rivers of India. Factually, it bestows salvation for the millions of the populace. If I say that it is the life-line for multitudes, it will not be any exaggeration. The Ganga Maa‘s water is considered sacred for its use for different rituals and even at the death bed, a few drops of Gangajali is put in the mouth of the person on the deathbed, which in fact is considered most appropriate for making the soul’s new journey facile and easy.
Hardware is an ancient religious and cultural town 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 devout. The famous ancient temples of Ganga Maa is also a place most venerated by all.
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 and passes through the spot where the ashes were.
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.
In essence, Gangajali or Ganga’s water is used not only for irrigation purposes but also for cleansing the sins of the people who take a dip in the holy water of Ganga river. The Hindus immerse the ashes or last remains (Asthi) into the sacred water of Gangaji in other to pay their homage to their ancestors. Like other rivers like Godavari, Yamuna, Kaven etc are considered sacred just like Ganges. It flows from famous fivers like Gangotri, Haridwar, Alahabad, Varanasi, etc. On its path, the Ganges comes to the succor of the populace not merely during the lives of the devout but also on death even. Gangaji is neither fearsome nor destructive in nature. She was sent by Lord Shiva for the salvation of the masses.
Ganga is considered as the most venerated Goddess since She is part and parcel of the three deities. She partner of Lord Brahma (The helps in production) as she accompanies him in the form of water in the water-pot. Gangaji accompanied Lord Vishnu (who helps in evolution). Similar is the case with Lord Shiva (destruction for production again) who had kept her in His hair-knots just to regulate her flow.
A few days back, I was fortunate enough to visit Hardware 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.
Devout also perform Havan rituals with the chants of Veda Mantra which also is a huge attraction.
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.
The other places worth visiting around Haridwar are:-
- Mansa Devi Temple.
- Bharat Mata Temple.
- Maha Kali Temple.
- Maya Devi Temple.
- It is 28 Kms away from Hardware.
- The Daksh Mahadev Temple
- Sapt Rishi Temple.
- The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
- Ancient Lakshman Temple.
- Lord Vishnu Temple.
I visited Haridwar a few days back, wherein I found that the cleanliness of the area was perceptively better than last time, I visited a few months back. It means the authorities concerned have taken care of the cleanliness of the area concerned. The Swachch Abhyan of the PM has really paid huge dividends. But need is to rope in general masses in this cleanliness drive. The following steps should be taken to keep the Hardwar city clean and then maintained as an example.
- Mass Movement. The cleanliness drive should be made a mass movement – this could movement could catch-up and spread not only in Hardware but other cities too.
- More Publicity Drive. It is in the fitness of things that more publicity by way of media (net – Facebook, Instagram, Words-app, ad bills etc) highlighting the historical perspective of Hardware, Har-Ki-Pauri and other areas which have special significance. It is in the fitness of things that there are impressive lines sung highlighting the need for cleanliness of the river, area covering the city etc. before the Evening Aarti.
- Women Squads as Vigilante. People taking bath to be dissuaded not to throw old clothes, plastic bags, flowers, etc. which pollute the water. For the success of the campaign, it is important to rope in WOMEN SQUAD to monitor the ladies taking bath and throwing their clothes. I had personally seen some women throwing their clothes. If women vigilante is deployed there, they could conveniently tackle such women and advise against doing so because of pollution caused due to their action.
- Refuse/filth from house and factories to be treated. It is in the fitness of things to firstly treat the affluence/filth coming out of the houses and factories to be treated first and then allowed to fall into the water bodies to avoid the destructive effect.
- Refuse to use plastic bags. I was very impressed that the shopkeepers are not giving their sold out goods to their customers in plastic bags. This campaign has really paid rich dividends. A silver lining indeed. I congratulate the authorities for making this as a success story. But, now need is to prohibit the people coming from other states to not to bring the plastic bags to Hardware for throwing it there and spoiling the movement.
- Maa Mansa Temple and its area. During our visit to Maa Mansa Devi Temple, it was found that the shopkeepers should not throw their used paper plates down the hill but keep them in a bin to be disposed later on.
- Control over monkey menace. It was found that the monkeys on the way to the temple scare the visitors especially the women and children. Some modicum of control is called for this.
- Control over the two-wheeler movement. Movement of two-wheeler, carrying the visitors to the temple should take care of the security of the people they are carrying. Rash driving may lead to accidents.
Taking into consideration the significance of the Holy River Gangaji, the devout should come forward and render a helping hand in making the cleanliness movement a roaring success. It is not only the Government job, but the job of all of us to render their assistance to make this campaign success.