Welcome to Sagar World, blessed by Dr. Ramanand Sagar

Volume I Number I

Sagar Vandan,

Water, even a single drop of it can soothe a scorched soul; a reason why here, in India, our ancestors gave it a significant identification. A reason why offering Jal/water to a thirsty person or animal is considered a sacred deed. And even today, we not only revere the water sources but worship them by regarding them with the Motherly status viz. Ganga, Yamuna, Kaveri and others. These rivers having their sources at different point of origins from where they flow, interspersing the element of life; while we treat those origin places as pilgrimages and offer our prayers as well. On the occasion of Ganga Dussehra this May, let’s get to know the most revered river deity, Maa Ganga.

Lord Vishnu’s 5th incarnation as “Vamana” – the Dwarf Priest (part of the original Ganga book series) Painting by Pieter Weltevrede

The Legend of Tripathgamini:

The birth legend of Devi Ganga goes back to the days of Satyuga, the Vamana Avtar. During his 5th incarnation as a Vamana (dwarf), Bhagwan Vishnu asked 3 steps of land from the benevolent king, Bali. After Bali’s grant, Vishnu enlarged himself to a giant and covered Earth in his first step, the cosmos or the heavens in his second step and then with Bali’s humility, Vishnu put his third step on his head, granting him immortality. Let’s focus on the second step, when Vishnu lifted his second step to cover the heavens, Brahma wanted to honor Vishnu by washing his feet. At that very moment, divine water manifested in his kamandal with which Brahma washed Vishnu’s feet. This divine water was the birth of Devi Ganga, who after passing through Vishnu’s feet was called Vishnupadi and then flowed in the cosmos, sanctifying the devas. But her destiny was beyond it; centuries

 

Bhagirath directing the flow of River Goddess Ganga on earth (Ganga Book Series)
Painting by Pieter Weltevrede

 

later, a Suryavanshi king, Bhagirath, brought Devi Ganga in Earth through rigorous penance. And since then Ganga is redeeming the mankind by washing its sins taking the role of Mokshadayini. Since she flows in the heavens, Earth and the netherworld, she is also revered as Tripathgamini.

 

 

Eight Vasus, the divine personifications of eight directions, appealing to River Goddess Ganga
Painting by Pieter Weltevrede

But the world is indebted to her in more than one ways:

Ganga’s role in Kartikeya-Birth: When the all three worlds shuddered from the atrocities of Tarkasur, Maa Ganga made her motherly contribution in the demon’s annihilation. The demon could only be killed by son of Shiv; but unfortunately, Parvati couldn’t get to bear Shiv’s radiance as it transferred to Agni.

But the lord of fire too felt helpless and he requested Devi Ganga to carry Shiv’s radiance. Benign as her nature was, she agreed and played her important role by carrying the radiance of Shiva; who later was known to the world as Kartikeya, the war God. So in spite of not related to Shiva, Ganga bore his seed, which resulted in her stiff relation with Parvati.

 

MahaBharat: Ganga also had a pivotal role in the epic, MahaBharata. Shantanu, the famed Chandravanshi king of Hastinapur, was infatuated with Ganga’s beauty. As a result of their marriage, they parented eight children. Due to an ancient curse, Ganga sacrificed the seven children. After Shantanu’s intervention, the 8th child was saved; Ganga took the child into her custody and raised as well as trained him into a fine warrior the world has ever known. That child was no one but Bheeshma, whose unprecedented vow changed the course of times and the events of Mahabharat.

Ganga is not only a river; she’s the embodiment of divineness. Every day, we are blessed with her holy water knowingly or unknowingly. Even in death, the jeev gets moksha only after a spoon of Gangajal is fed to the deceased’s mouth, along with a Tulsi-leaf. True, Ganga is not just a river, but has been a family.

May Tip: In order to have a detailed study of Ganga’s legend, we recommend “The Birth of Ganga”, bestseller book by a renowned persona, Late Shri Harish Johari. His book contains an in depth research on Ganga’s journey, from her birth to her becoming the legendary river. The book is illustrated with 46 amazing painting works by none other than Pieter Weltevrede, who has been known for his prowess on Indian mystic legends.  These paintings are available on our website with range of frames to offer that will enhance the grace of your walls as well as the positivity in the room.

See you in our next edition.

Written by
No comments

LEAVE A COMMENT