River Ganga or Ganges has a special place in the hearts of Hindus and is looked at as the mother of all rivers. No holy scripture is complete without referring to its tales of triumph, mystical power, and maintaining its status quo in all the four epochs in Hinduism — the Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapar Yuga, and kali Yuga. It emerges from the mountains of Uttarakhand and stretches up to 2,525 km across the length and span of the country before meeting the Bay of Bengal. It is a life-stream for the millions of Indians and a number of fish species. It is so powerful that it can transform anything that it touches from land to bodies. Apart from India, It also flows through Bangladesh and Nepal spreading cheerfulness and happiness all the way. Besides its spirituality, it also holds historical importance. Several kingdoms had flourished on its banks. Many kingdoms had made it their capital. The two most prominent rulers were the dynasties of Maurya and the Mughals.
Importance of River Ganga
The tradition of taking a bath in the Ganga River has been going on since eternal. Hindus believe that a dip in the holy water rinses away all their sins of lives. They also have the conviction that pouring a few drops of water of river Ganga into the mouth of the dead, and sprinkling the ashes of the dead into it, offers salvation to the deceased person. Moreover, keeping a bottle of the holy water in the prayer house and using it in for rituals is also considered as auspicious.
The banks of river Ganga are also sacred for performing pinda daan. It is a type of rite in which the close kin offers rice and sesame seed balls to the Ganges. A priest is needed to perform the rite and the person in need of accomplish religious duties has to chant the name of the deceased during the process. In fact, the importance of the holy Ganga rises two-fold after the death. Even if a single bone of any part of the body is immersed or touches the holy water, the gate of heaven opens for him or her.
Recent News on Ganga
With millions of people visiting the holy Ganga River each year, the level of pollution has risen to an alarming level since the last few decades. The Congress government had spent several crores of rupees for the purification of the sacred river. The result, so far, has been pathetic. Now, with the Modi government gaining power at the Center, and the honourable minister Mr. Narendra Modi taking special interest in the beautifying Varanasi and cleaning the river, a special committee has been appointed to look into the purification of the holy river.
While the government will do its part, as a citizen of India and being blessed by the existence of the river Ganga, we all should take initiative in keeping the city and the river clean and free from pollution. Hence, when travelling to the Varanasi, see that you carry eco-friendly materials with you so that the items do not pollute the water and the environment and the sanctity of the city and river remains intact.