Well, most of us know the significance of river Ganga. We must have also heard that it’s a sacred river. However, very few might know why is it so. In the following excerpt, you would know the reasons behind it. You would also understand the river Ganga history. We will also discuss the river Ganga story in brief.
The Beliefs – River Ganga Story
The River Ganga history goes back to the Treta Yuga. Shiva Purana states a few details during the Treta Yuga. In the Puranas, the second leg of the Hindu Age, the Puranic King Bhagirath prays to Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva. Asking them to allow Ganga to descend to earth to redeem his ancestors was the next step.
Tracing River Ganga History
It was King Bhagirath who was the first person to discover the source of Ganga. It was later that he made its course along with certain prominent cities such as Haridwar, Varanasi, Allahabad and Patna. Therefore, in light of these facts, one cannot name the Ganga as a natural river. Because, believe it or not, it is much more than that.
According to legends, King Bhagirath’s grandfather and father were King Sagar and King Dilip respectively. They were searching for a waterbody that was divine at its source but their efforts went in vain. They couldn’t find any source as such.
Then finally, Bhagirath reaches the exact location of this waterbody. It was in its frozen state, at Gomukh, in the Gangotri glacier. Here, Bhagirath made an observation. He was thankful for the heavenly radiations from the planet Jupiter, that the entire expanse of this frozen block turned into divine water. This is the history of Ganga river.
Believe it or not, but Gomukh is a unique and rare geo-point on earth. It is that point that receives special rays from Jupiter. Yes, you heard that right! Because of the strategic location wherein there is an intersection of a distinct longitude and latitude of the globe. The measurement of the entire stretch of the frozen area was nearly 24 sq km and was 300 ft deep. However, due to global warming, this area is smaller in size.
This will surely astonish you when we say this phenomenon does not occur anywhere else in the world. Yes, indeed! And because of this extraordinary factor, the Ganga is the only river whose waters can redeem certain sins.
Speciality And Uniqueness Of The Ganga That Makes It Stand Apart
Many important rivers originate or are in India. For example, like the Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri, Sindhu and Brahmaputra are some of the most significant rivers of India. Each of these rivers has a natural source. Also, each of them has carved out its own course or path. Except for the Ganga river which is the only river whose source was pre-decided and was man-made. Ganga is not available because of nature. Furthermore, the course of Ganga too was chartered via man and not with the help of nature.
Additionally, the glacier receives moonbeams, Shiva tatva throughout the night. This thereby aids in freezing the water and during the day, it is under the melting rays of the sun, Vishnu tatva. The process continues nonstop for the entire day and night. Thus, this directly or indirectly impacts the quality of the water. However, the principal reason behind the divine quality of Gangajal is due to Jupiter.
Significance of River Ganga
Thus, with the above facts and details, it’s now clear that Ganga’s water is unique, divine, and stays bacteria-free for several months. Moreover, there are some physical factors too that will vouch for the same. However, it is very unfortunate that the present state of the Ganga and its waters is so very dismal.
Factories located on its banks, pollute the waters with their poisonous discharge, making it unworthy for human consumption. Its divinity and past glory seem to disappear due to human intervention. In a serious bid to restore its lost glory, the Government of India has declared the Ganga as the national river. Not only this, but it has also made the Ganga Action Plan to clean its waters.
The Secret Behind Gangajal Remaining Bacteria-Free – Significance of River Ganga
No one would deny the fact that Hindus regard the Ganga as a redeemer of sins. Hence, many Hindu pilgrimage sites are usually seen on the banks of this river. One considers its water next to nectar and one even administers it to a dying man. Scientifically, the Ganga’s waters have certain unique properties that are found in the waters of no other river of the country. In fact, not even a river of the world might have properties which the river Ganga possesses.
The University of Roorkee conducted an environmental engineering study in Uttarakhand. The topic was that the Ganga has a remarkable capacity for self-purification. This amazing characteristic is because, at the very source at Gangotri, its water receives certain divine radiations from the sun, moon and Jupiter. Yes, you heard that right! This makes the water as exceptional as nectar and a classic redeemer of sins.
Indeed Special Quality – Significance of River Ganga
The ability to destroy bacteria is a quality that probably no other river of the world can claim to date. In 1947, a German scientist, Kohiman, came to India and took a sample of the Ganga water from Gomukh Gangotri and did an experiment. He later did author a paper which was an amalgamation of his findings.
This is where he said that ‘The Ganga-waters have a stunning quality of destroying bacteria which I haven’t seen in the water of other rivers of the world. Similarly, the French scientist, Havel, also made a similar observation on Gangajal. He said that this water from the origins of the Ganga can destroy the germs of several diseases. Therefore, its a belief that a man who regularly consumes Gangajal will remain disease-free.
Yes, nowadays the river gets tons of pollutants from all around during the course of its journey, but I suggest you should visit Gangotri at least once in your life and experience River Ganga.
Application In The Modern Era
When the findings of the University of Roorkee said the same thing about Ganga, then it was double sure. Therefore, the fact that the water of the Ganga is a disinfectant and self-purifying was true. It could even kill bacteria and germs that could cause cholera. Hence, because of this reason, one sprinkles gangajal over places, on people, and objects while performing puja. The act of sprinkling Gangajal has another word meaning shudhikaran.
In modern terminology, the word means to disinfect the place, people and objects before starting a ritual. Hindus even administer Gangajal to a dying man to mitigate or lessen his suffering. Interestingly, the Rig Veda maintains that the now non-existent river Saraswati was older than the Ganga, as is river Narmada as well. In fact, the name of Ganga is very rarely written in the scriptures. Whereas the names of Saraswati and Narmada are liberally cited in the Vedas. Yet, the Ganga is the sacred-most river and a redeemer of sins.