Water Goddess Ganga  

Posted by Stella Clark

Water Goddess Ganga Image
THE MOST SACRED RIVER FOR THE HINDUS IS THE GANGES, AND THE GODDESS, GANGA, IS THE PERSONIFICATION OF THAT RIVER. SHE INCARNATED HERSELF IN THE FORM OF A RIVER FOR THE BENEFIT OF HUMANKIND. LEGEND SAYS THAT ONCE LORD VISHNU WAS SO CAPTIVATED BY THE SOUND OF A FLUTE RECITAL THAT HIS FEET BEGAN TO MELT. LORD BRAHMA THEN COLLECTED THE LIQUIFIED PORTION OF VISHNU'S FEET AND PRODUCED THE GODDESS. SHE IS DEPICTED AS WHITE IN COLOR AND WEARING A WHITE GOWN. SHE IS SEATED ON THE SEA ANIMAL CROCODILE; IN HER RIGHT HAND, SHE HOLDS A WATER LILY; IN HER LEFT, SHE HOLDS A LUTE.

ORIGINALLY, GANGA WAS A WATER GODDESS WHO FLOWED ONLY IN THE HEAVENS, BUT THEN ONE DAY, SHE WAS ORDERED TO GO DOWN TO EARTH TO WASH AWAY THE SINS OF MANKIND. BUT, GANGA DID NOT WANT TO GO AND THREATENED TO FLOOD THE WHOLE WORLD BY DESCENDING TO THE EARTH AS A TUMULTUOUS WATERFALL. THE GODS WERE SO AFRAID OF HER THAT THEY SOUGHT THE HELP OF SHIVA. AND WHEN GANGA UNDERTOOK HER THREAT, SHIVA CLEVERLY INTERCEPTED HER BY CATCHING HER UP IN HIS MIGHTY LOCKS OF HAIR AND BROUGHT HER GENTLY DOWN TO THE EARTH, WHERE, KNOWN AS THE GANGES, SHE PROVIDES LIFE-GIVING WATER TO THE PEOPLE.

GANGA ENRICHES THE SPIRITUAL LIVES OF MILLIONS OF INDIANS TO WHOM THE RIVER GANGES IS DIVINE, AND PILGRIMS COME FROM ALL OVER TO THE CITIES IN WHICH THE HOLY RIVER FLOWS. HINDUS BELIEVE THAT BATHING IN THE RITUAL WATERS WILL HELP TO WASH AWAY THEIR SINS, AND, HENCE, THEY CONDUCT REPEATED RITUALISTIC WASHINGS IN THE RIVER TO SECURE A PLACE IN HEAVEN. I FOUND THE FOLLOWING AWESOME PICTURE WHICH SHOWS JUST HOW STRONG THE HINDUS BELIEF IN GANGA IS.

HER POWER TO WASH AWAY SINS IS SO STRONGLY BELIEVED THAT THE ASHES OF THE DEAD ARE SPREAD OVER HER.

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This entry was posted on 8 November 2009 at Sunday, November 08, 2009 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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