India’s biggest and sacred river Ganga is a northern Indian river well known for its hugeness among the country as well as it’s holiness in Indian mythology. But what is the river ganga’s history according to the puranas.
River Ganga is described as Ganga Mata in the puranas and mythological books. But in geographic views it is the biggest river in India having 2,525 km long basin area which almost covers 11 states of India. River Ganga also shares its water in Bangladesh in where it is named as Padma, but 79% of Ganga river basin covered by Indian land areas.
Ganga river rises from Siachin glacier near Goumukh (shape of cow’s mouth) in Uttarakhand state and dissolves in Bay of Bengal near Sagar Island in Bangladesh.
Why River Ganga is worshipped and being called as sacred ?
It was all the result of meditation of great sage Bhagirath, who was able to make stern meditation toward Lord Brahma and then Lord Shiva on one finger standing position for many years that brought Ganga from paradise (Swarg lok) to earth (Martya lok).
Who is Bhagirath and how he connected with Ganga River History ?
Bhagirath was the king of Ayodhya ( long before of Raghu bansh) and son of king Dillip and progeny of king Sagar. King Sagar had 60,000 sons who were cursed and calxed by great sage Kapil. To give them ultimate salvation (Mokhya), 4 generations of this dynasty prayed and meditated to Lord Brahma but couldn’t able to find him. But Lord Brahma pleased by the meditation of Sage-cum-king Bhagirathi.
When Lord Brahma appeared in front of Bhagirath, he made 2 wishes to be fulfilled by the almighty Brahma. 1st one was to have child as he had no child at all and 2nd one was that Ganga should be on earth to give their elders ultimate salvation suggested by Garud.
Brahma granted his 1st wish to become a father but refused to another. Bhagirath then questioned ‘why’? So, Lord Brahma told him that, if he release Ganga from his Kamandalu to earth, the earth could be destroyed as it was unable to tolerate the downfall haste of Ganga from above. So Lord Brahma suggested him to meditate for Lord Shiva for a solution.
What Bhagirath Do Then?
Then again Bhagirath meditated Lord Shiva on one finger standing position for years and pleased him also. So, The savior Shiva granted his wish and accepted and allowed River Ganga to place over his head. But goddess Ganga was unwilling to come to earth and to leave paradise. So she got angry and decided to float away lord Shiva towards Patal Lok.
But the Savior as well as destroyer, devon ke dev Mahadev was well aware of goddess Ganga’s intention. So he tied up Ganga in his matted hair that Ganga couldn’t discharg herself and lose her pride there. Again Sage Bhagirath prayed to Lord Shiva then Lord Shiva released her in Bindusar.
In this way the the divine moment had came when Ganga mata Started her journey from the Kamandalu of Lord Brahma to the matted hair of Lord Shiva and then flew away on earth. From Bindusar, the holy main water of Ganga was distributed to 7 brinks.
What are the 7 Brinks of river ganga in history?
3 main brinks such as Hradini, Pavani and Nalini flew away to east side. Another 3 main brinks like Suchakhyu, Sita and Sindhu flew away to west side. One major brink followed Sage Bhagirath wherever he went.
Many tributaries of Ganga also help her to became a perennial one. The main tributaries of Ganga river are the Yamuna river, the Gomati river, the Ramaganga river, the Ghagra river, the Son river, the Gandak river, the Burhi river, the Koshi river, the Mahananda river who were also occupy major roles in northern parts of India.
That is a sacred moment of divinity that even Gods from heaven also came to earth to witness the event and welcomed River Ganga or Ganga mata on earth. As Bhagirath was the one who was able to brought one goddess to earth through his hardy meditation, so at the very first stage the river is called as Bhagirathi in accordance to sage Bhagirath.
Why Sage Drank All The Water Of Ganga?
On the way River Ganga met Sage Janhavi’s ashram and washed it away. The sage got angry and drank all the water of Ganga. Then sage Bhagirath told him all the things and requested him to release Ganga..so Sage Janhavi released Ganga through his one ear so another name of Ganga is given as Janhvi. After that Bhagirath led Ganga to Kapil Muni’s ashram where all the ashes of his elders washed away and they got ultimate salvation in the holy river Ganga.
By watching all the things, Lord Brahma was extremely pleased on sage Bhagirath. He came to him and gave him the blessing that, whoever will take birth or dep in this holy water,he will be released from all his sins and find salvation.
So as river Ganga is related to Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva directly, it is called as the most sacred river in India. That is why million people of India and also foreign countries sacrifice the ashes of their elders into Ganga river to give them liberation.
People of India also use the water of Ganga to purify themselves and their environment if any inauspicious thing happened.
This was the ganaga river history. And how sage Bhagirath released their ancestors soul from the course.