7.17.2006

Dip in the sacred river.













Haridwar: Along the Ganges

Going back to the north after about 10 years was indeed very nostalgic as I walked out of Delhi airport to take a car to Haridwar. I had heard a lot about this place and it seemed to be my year for cleansing! If Rameshwaram was not enough, I found myself looking forward to a dip in the Ganges as well.

Ah! The Ganges, I had read so much about it in the books, the great River Goddess, the Goddess who washes off our sins, the river that takes a millions souls to heaven. The river that is now polluted, the river that purifies the soul, the Ganges. I wondered about the Ganges as I sat in the car and headed towards Haridwar. The land of the Kumbh Mela, the land where a thousand Rishis have come to sing countless praises of this mighty river. It felt strange as I thought of Shiva Gangadhara, as Ganges stayed locked into his knotted hair till she was finally set free to flow down to Bhuloka and wash away the sins of Bhagiratha's ancestors by flowing over their ashes and releasing them to heaven.

It was clearly the reason why we continue to burn bodies along its ghats... A hope we reach heaven and not come back in rebirth to suffer another life. Thoughts went by furiously about how mythology has shaped our lives, about how Rishis left stories behind for us to follow a way of life and about how we try so hard now to recollect all this and give up saying we dont need it in this age anymore. I looked out of the window to see the car zipping through greenery, with mad highway traffic almost killing people on the road.

And then the excitement mounted, I was reaching Haridwar, a land I had once visited, of which I knew nothing now but looked out expectantly from the car hoping to catch a glimpse of the Ganges. My heart started to pound, the excitement rising ever so high to see one of the most celebrated rivers in the Indian mind. Ganges appears every where. In ritual Ganges is worshipped first while bathing with the words "Aham Gangai Namaskaromi". Ganga devi is worshipped during ritual with certain hymns attributed to her. Ganges appears as a Goddess on the carved brackets of pillars at temple entrances as well as on cave temples across the country. Ganges stays locked in Shiva's Jatamukuta in ancient sculptures of Shiva Gangadhara and Ganges water is the purest in temple ritual.

The power of Ganges was just fictitious till now until I entered Haridwar to take a dip in this Great river. The first sight of Ganges sent goose pimples through my skin. She spoke pure volume and power. The ghats at Haridwar seemed to be built to just direct her carefully but not enough to try stopping her.

As I descended into the river down the Ghat steps, the chilling waters of the Ganges just ate into my marrow. Oh God this was not simple and I was there for a "Darpanam" in the Ganges and it suddenly appeared tougher than I thought. The steps are steep, and the iron rods are too far away to reach. My knees and feet had to brave it, the current was a little too strong.

Six steps down and shivering in the water with the temples of Haridwar towering above at the other end of this vast river was an experience in itself. I felt small, weak and shivered as I held onto my dear self and prayed to the Goddess to not get any stronger on my knees.

While I said my prayers I admired her. Ganges has character, she is wild and furious and reveals the same power that Bhagiratha had prayed to Lord shiva to help control. They say she would have destroyed Bhuloka and washed away this world... I would believe that. She had the power to do anything as I watched her flow by so fast. She was not going to stop.

She is mind blowing and daring at the same time, challenging anyone to enter her waters. She is beautiful and defines the power of a Goddess in a single force. She is well respected and speaks a world so different from what we live in. A world so pure, so full of faith, so close to my heart and yet so far away. I am speechless when it comes to describing the Ganges. She is an experience, blessed are those who step into her waters for her waters just cleansed the mind and soul.

Ganges is truly a Goddess well worth worshipping. Simply Divine.

"Aham Gangai Matha Namaskaromi"

31 comments:

Kannan Raman said...

nice post about the trip HARIdWAR

- the place where I feel like very close to god.

Kannan Raman said...

image is not showing.

kavitha said...

Hi Kannan

there is nothing much i can do for now. I am able to see the image of the temples with the river flowing by.

I am quite disappointed with the government's action to block all blogs. My blog is a culture concious blog, i do not know why mine had to get blocked!!!

anyway.. and such is life.. .

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha,

‘Hindus by thought’ are also conscious of another Ganga! It is called ‘Akash Ganga’, literally ‘Ganga in the sky’, whose model our River Ganga believably was, as expressed in the statement to the effect that ‘River Ganga descended on earth from the sky on Shiva’s locks of hairs’ (Forests in the Himalayas, that has ‘Swargalok’ or Shiva’s abode in the Mount Kailash) to virtually get locked within those to eventually reappear in the ‘Bhulok’ or the plains…

If it could be seen from the side, our ‘Milky Way Galaxy’ of about 200 billion stars and also innumerable other Heavenly Bodies (the name based on Greek Myth about goddess Hera who sprayed milk across the sky) would appear like a disc shaped body that appears thick in the middle (called the bulge that believably houses a very powerful Black Hole in the centre) and thin in its outer periphery. It is also called a spiral galaxy because, seen from the top, it would appear like a spinning pinwheel with four arms, within one of which our Sun is located… (Maybe, one could realize why Lord Vishnu is shown with four arms and also represented symbolically by the ‘Swastik’.)

As a 'scientist', I would like to add further that the art or science of Astrology/ Palmistry indicated importance given to 'man', i.e., believably the essence or 'model of the universe'/ 'image' of (the formless Creator') God through the essences of the solar system that believably go into the construction of the human structure...

Yogis used to withdraw to the Himalayas and some of them who remained immobile at one place didn't even wash their bodies in any water source for years, except for the 'natural' rain - leave aside daily bath in any 'Holy River', viz., Ganga, at Haridwar or Allahabad etc...Still they apparently could reach the 'Truth' (by awakening of the 'Kundalini', i.e., making through three-in-one exercises the dormant energy that remains located at the 'mooladhar', to rise to the 'shasrara' that exists in the head of each and every man - just as a coiled Cobra raises its hood like a spring)!

The question naturally arises: How did it happen when they didn't perform the ritual a 'born Hindu' today considers a must at least once during one's life-time?

Obviously, because, the internal 'cosmic bath' was considered more important than the external one. Washing of the dirt in the mind was stressed more than the daily bath by the ancients...Realizing it in the recent past, Mirabai also said that if God could be reached through daily bath then fish should reach Him first because they all live inside water all the time (of course, it might have done so in some remote past, as it is considered as the first reincarnation of Lord Vishnu! Similarly each man himself believably is reincarnation of the one and only Creator)...

Aswin said...

HI Kavitha, nice article on ganga, i wish to mention what our elders used to say, " Take a dip in the sacred river called Ganga to cleanse yourself of all your sins". When they meant Ganga, it meant the Ganga( Inner paramatman, that is so pure and devoid of any worldy impurities. Unfortunately, it was misunderstood and now we see millions of people, who bathe in the ganges trying to wash off their sins,(What a shame, they commit the biggest sin of polluting such a beautifull river). However it is scientifically proved that a dip in the Ganges cures us of bacterial diseases as the river contains minute viruses called Bacteriophages which kill bacteria and cleanse the host of its ill effects.

A classical example of the real ganga is shown in the portraits of lord Shiva where Ganga matha is placed on SHiva's Jadamudi,which signifies that she is truly the Gnana,(the river of supreme unworldy knowledge which is pure to the core).
What a beautifull religion our Hinduism is, It is so simple, but yet the simple images represent an astronomical quantum of knowledge.
Kudos to our ancestors!

Anonymous said...

Hi Aswin,

Yes there is no doubt about the quality of river water compared to Yamuna, say, that also becomes holy on merger with Ganga water at the ‘Sangam’ or confluence near Prayag…Call it the effect of time that the users are multiplying rapidly with the result that ten entire range of the rivers have got human habitations that discharge the pollutants directly in to the rivers thus not allowing natural cleaning that used to happen earlier with thinner population…

Ganga is associated with Lord Rama of the Tretayuga, a model of our Sun, whereas, the Yamuna is associated with Krishna, a model of the centre of our galaxy, an all rounder and the more popular character in the Dwaperyuga who apparently is copied by all in the Kaliyuga, as indicated in Gita also…The apparent deterioration in human efficiency today that is getting worse with passage of time is, of course, on account of time moving backwards or believably because the Creator or the Bhootnath, literally the Lord of the Past, is viewing His past successes and failures…

The river Ganga particularly gets the life giving properties (referred as ‘Amrit’ or nectar in the mythology), as in the present day generalized statement, “Water is life”, for it is the model of our life giving Sun, the essence of the billions of stars and the source of white light, which breaks up into seven other colours, from Violet to Blue (that is held by Maha Shiva, or the Solar system, in His throat represented by the planet Venus) to Red (or Ma Kali in His heart or the core of the earth, which as a model of the universe is associated with the neutral colour, Green, and Venus is represented by the hard rocks below the subsoil). And the colours besides Ultra Violet (that replace violet and indigo colours) and Infra Red, according to the ancient belief or finding, get reflected in terms of their association with other planets limited from Sun to Jupiter, with Saturn forming the ninth one that is shown in the centre in the Nabagraha Temples and which represents Lord Vishnu in physical form representing ‘the formless Naadbindu - in Yoganidra or apparent inaction…

Sounds a bit complicated, but can be understood easily if one can read the mythological stories between the lines and not just as pure fiction as we generally tend to do today…

JC Joshi said...

Sorry! Aswin and Kavitha,

The above comment got entered in anon's name.

JC Joshi said...

Hi Aswin, Kavitha...

As I had indicated earlier too, earth has a tilt in its axis, which the ancients indicated by believing Shiva’s head or ‘Sahasrara’ in the Himalayas at the location of Gomukh, i.e., the origin of Ganga in the Northwest. And, His body tending NW-SE with the ‘Mooladhar’ indicated at the Andamans (as indicated with its relation with planet Mars, the Lord of Fire and Hanuman in human form in Tretayuga as an ardent devotee of Lord Rama the source of original fire, our Sun whose model Rama was in human form), such that ‘churning of the milky ocean’ or the Arabian Sea using Serpent Vasuki or the waves on the surface of sea water - generated due to interaction with each other by the panchbhootas, i.e., land mass, water, heat, air and sky - indicated the annual Southwest monsoon that results in the ‘water cycle’ and consequentially the ‘material cycle’…'Merudand' used for churning relates the root of the present human race with Africa, although the absolutely original root of Adi Shiva is believed at Kashi or the present day Varanasi...

It is believed that there is Ganga flowing underground also, perhaps for keeping Shiva’s internal body also cleansed despite His external body being subjected to halahal or pollution that is growing many folds mainly due to ‘Nature’s biggest destructive agent’, i.e., man!

Kannan Raman said...

yes now i can see the image may be browser problem. beautifully covered.

not only yours, the complete blogspot.

let us not talk about the blocking etc etc here in the beautiful blog. there are bloggers posting about the issue

JC Joshi said...

As I had earlier also indicated, the ‘Hindu’ mythological stories related to River Ganga indicate how 60,000 sons of King Sagara, literally ‘Sea’, and therefore, perhaps, indicating ‘sons’ to mean ‘rivers’ that used to drain into the present day Bay of Bengal, at a certain point of time before they got dried up as part of the natural cycle, as ‘they were turned in to ashes’ by sage Kapila when they came in search of the ‘white horse’ of the ‘Ashvamedha yagya’ (which indicates expansion of a King’s territory at any given time, ‘copying’ the expansion of its influence range by our Sun with passage of time, from its birth as a point source of 'white light'). For, it was mischievously tied in the compound of his ashram by Indra (related with planet Mars that believably provides link with centre of our galaxy – as indicated in the relationship between Bheema and Krishna, the real advisor, as reflected in His advice to him (in Mahabharata) for overcoming Duryodhana, a model of planet Venus, i.e., Shukra, a ‘rakshasha’ that believably plays the role of providing hurdles in the path of ‘seekers of Truth’ through attachment with ‘material’ It is therefore said to the effect that if there are hurdles in the path, then it must be the right one!)...

Bhagirath, the grandson of Sagara (indicating passage of time) prayed to Brahma (Sun, or the main source of fire) to release Ganga to revive the sons of Sagara, as ‘their souls had continued to wander, because their last rites weren’t duly performed’ (indicating how the same old ‘drama’ is being seen by the formless Creator by converting energy into matter and back to energy – again and again)…

JC Joshi said...

Another thought that comes to my mind is that perhaps the name, or the word, “Bhagirath” is evolved from ‘Bhagya’ plus ‘rath’ or ‘the chariot of luck’, i.e., the ‘kalchakra’ or ‘time cycle’ according to which natural events apparently repeat, as the ‘Hindu’ belief of 1000 cycles (could be 1080 though) of a Mahayuga during one day in the life of Brahma when actions are believably performed by the Creator of forms or our Sun (Aditya or Aditi) the main source of element number one, Hydrogen, in its core that is undergoing chain reaction to release energy for life on earth and also forming element number two, an inert gas called Helium, which provides an inert garment like cover to the core…’

Scientists’ believe that about 65 million years ago our earth was hit by a near-earth asteroid such that the debris consequentially formed - and which rose to great heights in the atmosphere due to impact - cut off the sun light for a long duration, which resulted in the obsolescence of Dinasaurs (Hindus similarly believe end of all life forms at a certain point of time after 1000 Mahayugas when Brahma goes to sleep!)…

Repetitions of events of similar nature in the animal world over short durations on earth also gave rise to the saying, “History repeats”, thus indicating time as cyclic and not linear as it appears to be over a short duration…and to indicate the hand of the panchabhoota in the cycles, it is known that besides sunrays that provide heat and light, earth’s atmosphere has air that contains oxygen, the other element that mainly supports life on earth in gaseous form and water (formed with the combination of Hydrogen and Oxygen) in solid, liquid and gaseous forms on land mass and also the seas at certain locations - melting/ freezing of which controls the water levels in the seas and provides perennial flows for supporting life in certain rivers, such as Holy Ganga & Jamuna, etc…

JC Joshi said...

We, in general, are apparently conscious of only one of the three Ganges, the one that is physically before everyone in the Mrityulok, i.e., the one that runs down the breadth of India from its source at the Gomukh to the Bay of Bengal. However, it’s believably liable to disappear at the end of the Kaliyuga, i.e., go underground, like River Saraswati the one that, together with Ganga & Jamuna, believably once formed the third plait at the confluence at Prayag to form ‘Triveni’ or the three plaits of the River Ganga considered as Mother or Ma...

Innumerable people, through time immemorial, therefore, consider themselves lucky if they could get a dip in the holy waters till it lasts, as per the expression, literally, ”To wash the hands in the flowing Ganga (till it lasts).”…

Just like Kavitha, of course, I too was lucky to have had the opportunity of doing it twice - thanks to my orthodox parents. I vividly remember only the second one when I had been to Haridwar in connection with the last rites of my-mother-in-this-life almost three decades ago...

Ancient ‘Hindus’ - the word having evolved from Indu or the Moon, as I had indicated it elsewhere earlier also - were also conscious of the second Ganga, the ‘Akash Ganga’ or a band of stars, which - through the eyes of the ‘wise’ ancients - represents the prototype of the terrestrial Ganga in the Heavens or the ‘swargalok’, which therefore doesn’t keep anyone, anywhere, deprived of the cosmic bath, although without one’s knowledge, whether one goes to Haridwar/ Allahabad or not. And, the third Ganga that flows underground and carries the filtered or purer water to the sea to continuously cleanse the interior of the earth or immortal Shiva…

As I had discussed earlier elsewhere also, the mythological story related to the marriage of Shiva with Parvati, the daughter of the Himalayas, also indicates Gomukh as the origin of Moon – when read together with the background ‘scientific knowledge’ that moon had evolved from earth itself and which finds reflection also in the Bible, related with the ‘creation of Eve from one of the ribs of Adam’ itself…

Of course, the Yogis were conscious of yet another Ganga, a model, an image, or the essence of the Akash Ganga that flows within each human being (a model of the universe) from Mooladhar ( or the house of the planet Mars which is linked to the centre of our galaxy) to Sahasrara (or the house of the Moon which is linked to our Sun, as it reflects the entire energy that it receives from the sun) and back again to Mooladhar in thousand channels, only if the entire energy is made to reach one point in the head or Sahasrara by activating 'Kundalini'. Its existence was realized by the Yogis via ‘Tapasya’ or three-in-one exercises or ‘Yoga’ for attaining ‘Siddhi’ or overall knowledge…

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha...
I give below my reaction to the question whether doctors can go on strike, I sent to a newspaper...

"We fail to see the messages in the events that are taking place from time to time all around us, believably because of ‘Maya’ or short sightedness of the generality of the populace today – thanks to time. And we laugh at Dhritrashtra the Kaurava king towards the fag-end of Dwaperyuga. For example, we recently appear to have failed to observe how ‘Ganesha could have a mouse as its vehicle’ despite the much publicized event related to Prince, the 5 year- old boy in Kurukshetra chasing a mouse, falling smoothly inside the 60 feet pit made for the tube well, withstanding 49 hour long wait patiently and coming out undamaged, safe and sound in one piece on his ‘rebirth day’ – thanks to Ganesha the believable ruler of earth and one of the innumerable images of the one and only Nirakar or formless God… Kurukshetra, otherwise, so long was notorious for the ‘chakravyuha’ made by the Kaurava warriors in the battle of Mahabharat that killed young Abhimanyu because unlike his father, Arjuna the ‘expert archer’, he only knew how to enter it, but didn’t know how to get out of it…Despite apparent chaos in ‘India’, God still seems kindly inclined towards the simple children/ child-like people – after all Shiva believably is Bholanath!

Coming to the issue raised, it is a ‘historical fact’ that the birth of the ‘present day India’, and also its twin brother, Pakistan, took place because of strikes or ‘butting of their joint heads by the then advocates of Indian origin against the British tummy’ – just as the impact of an asteroid believably resulted in the birth of moon from the belly of our earth… (Human system events therefore appear to be following similar laws as are applicable to Heavenly Bodies also)… Therefore, following the natural law of change with time, everyone, from our new rulers in the Parliament to students in schools, go on strike off and on, on some one issue or the other. The question that naturally arises with this background is: How could doctors alone be exceptions to a natural law?"

kavitha said...

There is more to the story of Ganges and Yamuna. If Ganges was to wash off the sins of all those who bathed in her waters as we see in the story of Bhagiratha then Yamuna is actually the daughter of Lord Yama, the God of death.

It is interesting to know that two rivers down the great gangetic plain can hold such significance on the value of life and the possible escape from rebirth. The whole thing revolves around death and a kind of escape from judgement day!

I was too impressed with Yamuna being Yama's daughter... i didnt know it for a while and now Bhagiratha's story makes so much sense..

regds
Kavitha

JC Joshi said...

Yes, Kavitha, the essence of the Hindu mythological stories relate to cycles of appearance and disappearance of different physical forms, again and again. And their relationship with the panchabhoota and 'apparent time' in terms of Yugas...

Man's life is believably related with the number of breaths allotted to one, and therefore, the concept of 'Pranayam' or its control or limited use to improve the health as well as to enhance the life span...

Yamraj also relates with 'Mrityulok' or Shiva the earth where death of all physical life forms is inevitable... Ganga believably is associated with Moon, the source of life giving 'Somrus' or Moonrays, or Parvati, Shiva's second wife that protects Him... And, Yamuna believably is Yama's sister. Therefore, sisters in North India tie 'Raksha' or threads on their brother's wrists - that have alternate yellow (for Guru the superior most or Moon) and red (for Ma Kali, the destructive point force at the heart of Shiva or core of earth) bands - on the 'Rakshabandhan' day to pray to Yama (that resides within each as one of His innumerable models) for their long life...And, it is on the 'Karva chautha' day that wives pray to the Moon for their spouse's long life...

Kannan Raman said...

mr. jc joshi have a blog?

JC Joshi said...

No, Mr. Kannan, I don’t have one.

Many bloggers/ readers had of course suggested that I have my own blog, or write a book. I felt that it would then become a binding on the mind, ‘which alone can reach even where sunlight fails to reach’. For, then I would be obliged to write even when I have nothing to say! I found many bloggers ultimately getting bored as they didn’t have ‘anything new’ to say… In a lighter vein, it was like as if they had emptied whatever garbage that was collected in a garbage bin! The fact of life is that one finds earth made up more of garbage than precious matter, which again is a relative term though, for a ‘rag picker’ finds something useful even in the refuse!

I am inspired by “Satyam Shivam Sunderam,” where ‘Satya’ stands for ‘Satva’ or essence. However, the funny thing about Hindu Philosophy is that innumerable people have attempted to present the essence of ‘Truth’ as they understood it - either directly or in symbolic language. The net result today is that one finds innumerable essences of the same event, maybe in straight forward or cryptic manner. Thus the ‘present day’ reader finds it confusing to reach at the 'real essence' or the ‘Absolute Truth’ as perhaps reached in ‘Vedanta’, i.e., the presence of one ‘perfect being’ and His infinite ‘imperfect images’…

kavitha said...

Hi Kannan,

Joshi uncle doesnt have a blog of his own though a lot of people have asked him to start one. he comments on my blog.. has been doing it for one and a half years now! Time flies - wow

Joshi uncle has immense knowledge and he drops the pearls of wisdom here.

regds
Kavitha

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha, Kannan…

I am thankful to Kavitha to have tolerated me for almost eighteen months now! A westerner got worried, for his readers got more interested in my 'spiritual' comments than in his 'material' write ups - :-)

One could give credit, for the knowledge that I have apparently attained, to my ultimately reading Bhagavadgita, a copy of which was lying unread with me for almost nine years. Thereafter I have acted like a ‘rag picker’, attempting to see if I could find some logic behind apparently petty day-to-day things with the background knowledge of ancient beliefs and a variety of experience over four decades… The first thing that clicked perhaps was getting to see how I could link the statement in the popular stories for children about 'Ma Yashoda’s seeing the universe in child Krishna’s mouth', and reading in Gita about Krishna’s claim that the whole universe lies within Him while everyone saw Him within himself, because of Maya!

I have found the phenomenon like solving a crossword puzzle, say in a newspaper. After solving some of those, one gets pleasure and gets used to the style of the puzzle setter and finds it easier after some time…Maybe one could also find it comparable to a batsman feeling ill at ease in the first few overs, but after that once his eye is set he starts seeing the ball like a football! Or it could be like the communication between a musician and his audience who hear one with rapt attention, enjoying each and every note, and so on… God apparently is like a shy and yet mischievous child who doesn’t feel friendly with every grown up in the beginning, unless it finds one belonging to a matching frequency!

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha,

As I had indicated earlier also, the fertile Ganga-Yamuna valley lies in the ‘middle path’ of the country…

Coming back to River Yamuna, considered as the sister of Yamaraj as per ‘Hindu mythology, it is interesting to observe that planet Venus - which is almost of the same size as that of earth, but with its poisonous atmosphere hosts no life as we know it on earth - is considered as the sister of Earth by the present day astronomers also! And, Venus or Shukra was considered the Guru of the Rakshashas, viz., Ravana in Tretayuga, Duryodhana in Dwaperyuga, and so on…

It appears that at some stage, the word used for mischief mongers, ‘shaitan’, came to relate Rakshasha or Demon with the planet Saturn by the westerners. Thus the planet Saturn came to be related with the direction west, colour blue and metal steel, which were perhaps related with Venus in the Hindu Mythology as indicated with the colour of Kartikeya’s vehicle, a peacock! Saturn, with its beautiful rings, was in fact, apparently related with Lord Vishnu. And Jupiter, with similar but smaller rings, was associated with Krishna as His physical model, both colours blue as well as red as an all rounder, ‘Siddha’ or Yogiraj...

Also, one could notice that River Chambal is one of the main tributaries of River Yamuna in its upper reaches. And it is popular for River Chambal that one who drinks its waters turns into a dacoit! The sub-soil in the Chambal valley doesn’t permit regular farming and has naturally formed a terrain that provides good hiding places to the dacoits and is, therefore, infested with them – though a bit transformed after ‘Independence’ and continues to pose problems for the Administration off and on...

New Delhi, as Indraprastha, on the banks of River Yamuna, was the Capital city of the Kaurava Kings in Dwaperyuga also towards its fag-end. History records the rise and fall of many empires since then – mostly from the west. The last in the chain was the British Empire shortly after they had completed a long rule with their capital located at Calcutta! Thus New Delhi is notorious for allowing empires to flourish materially - to collapse eventually (a phenomenon similar to an angler catching a fish!)…

The Yamuna waters merge with Ganga waters at Allahabad to become one with it and get relatively purified, for near the Capital city today it is considered as a sewage drain…

JC Joshi said...

In view of the above-said, maybe in short, one could say that the ‘Hindu’ mythological stories indicate that while Earth, and India as its model, represents Shiva, Moon represents His consort Parvati and River Ganga, Venus, the inner planet, similarly, represents Shiva’s favourite son, Kartikeya and River Yamuna, and the outer planet, Mars (that revolves around Earth-Moon also as it goes around the Sun), represents Parvati’s favourite son Ganesha and the now unseen or underground River Saraswati as a part of the filtered and purer water that helps keep Earth or Shiva immortal…

JC Joshi said...

I believe that my loud thoughts as above could help some realize (to some extent at least) why the ‘wise’ ancients gave credit to the ‘panchabhoota’ or the ‘five ghosts’ - earth, fire, air, water and the sky – for all the apparent physical universe that is ever changing and as it is believably seen through the innumerable eyes of the transient ‘images’ of the Formless Creator from time to time through unending ‘apparent time’…

JC Joshi said...

I would like to add that to satisfy human ego, valiant efforts and achievements considered difficult are termed as "Bhagirath Prayatna". Ganga also came to be known as Bhagirathi after Bhagirath's valiant eforts...Ganga is also called Jahnavi after sage Jahnu (perhaps the interior of earth) who had swallowed Ganga due to damage it caused to his farm. Only when the Gods prayed to Jahnu, he released her water from his ears (Gomukh?)...

JC Joshi said...

Kavitha, one could notice how the stories, like a standard cryptic clue used in puzzles, indicate birth of individual humans from ears even – and we accept them as a possibility if we are simple, or reject them as ‘trash’ if we are ‘educated’!

One reads about ‘normal birth’ of Brahma from the navel of Lord Vishnu, but apparently ‘abnormal birth’ of demons from His (or Hers?) ears! Then we are told about the birth of Ganga from the ears of sage Jahnu. And in Mahabharat, about birth of Karna from Kunti’s ear! And, so on…

With the given background knowledge of the ancient Hindu belief of the evolved Earth/ Shiva as the central physical figure in the Solar/ Planetary System, and also the presence of some active and some dormant volcanoes on earth even today, one could perhaps visualize how the apparent ‘Heavenly Bodies’ could have come into existence in the remote past, with the joint eforts of all concerned members, which perhaps is being seen by the Formless Creator again and again through His ‘images’ or 'instruments'... ‘Scientists’ at least confirm the birth of Moon from present day Earth itself…

kavitha said...

Hi Joshi uncle,

very interesting thoughts indeed. though the concept of birth from the ears is something i would not debate on or dismiss right now i know that there is a lot more to the navel in the human body as far as human birth and death is concerned.

i do not know enough of the ancient system of thinking or sciences to understand the birth of ganga or that of karna. right now i am wondering whether to take the subtle nature of this conceptually or literally.

i know for sure, that hindu mythology needs to be seen with simplicity and not with a complex mind. thats the only way it can be understood - matter of fact.

you have given me enough food for thought. thank you... i have a busy weekend. ;)

JC Joshi said...

As far as ‘Science’ is concerned, with the background knowledge the ancients had apparently achieved, i.e., reaching the ultimate truth/ knowledge, the present day knowledge, as I had said earlier also, is at a rudimentary stage – there is a lot still remains to be known… And unfortunately, as per the wise ancients, ‘Time’, i.e., ‘Kaliyuga’ in the ‘present’ doesn’t permit one to reach at any time more than a maximum of 25% of the potential – in fact, for the generality of humans the reach gradually tends towards zero as ‘Time’ approaches zero or the end of the Yuga, which also reflects in the ‘scientific’ finding that the most intelligent man today utilizes negligible portion of the brain cells… However, for consolation they also said that anybody, irrespective of one’s profession, could reach Him, (supreme knowledge), through realization, for each human being was a model of the universe or an ‘image’ of God…

Anyway, on the subject of Mother Ganga, I would add that the front of the human body is referred by Yogis as direction east, and thus the rear as west, left hand side as north and right hand side as south…The terrestrial and therefore temporary Ganga can be seen flowing from Northwest to Southeast. And, the internal Ganga, i.e., the nervous system lies centrally in the body, i.e., it is West-East… Perhaps this could help visualize why ‘nirakar’ or formless Vishnu is believed to be reclining in the above-said direction or why Shivalinga, that represents formless Shiva, is installed inside Elephanta cave (for example) in the West, opposite to that of the rising sun (teh cause of apparent physical world) that rises in the East, while Shiva’s other forms occupy virtually all other cardinal directions…

And, perhaps one could also realize the sanctity of wearing the sacred thread (representing the band of Akash Ganga, coloured Yellow) from left shoulder (North) to right hand side (South) nearly up to the level representing ‘Mooladhar’, and also its renewal every year…

Of course, these are my ‘personal views’ only – for me it is only symbolic or a symbolic communication of one of the ‘Truths’ of the ‘Untruth’, illusion or ‘Maya’ in the ‘present’, for real time for the formless, as per the ancients, is zero…

Badhri said...

Hey Kavitha,
I had been to Haridwar, abeit at a very young age. My best experince was with Ganges too, but at Deva Prayag, where she, as a beligerent Bhagirati meets the serene Alaknanda (Yamuna). A walk over her on Lakshman Jhula is a head-spinning experience. Standing at the meeting point, one can see that the merged rivers are in two distinct colours, greenish blue towards the left side contributed by Alaknanda and mud-brown by Bhagirathi.

And I took a THERE right at the confluence! Haridwar was a cake walk! Another place worth mentioning is Hrishikesh.

The whole of the Himalayas by itself is of inexplicable beauty. But Ganges adds a whole new meaning for its beauty. I look forward to visit the place now, when I can better appreciate its beauty!

Priya said...

hi kavitha..
the description about ganges is awesome...u narrate so beautifully..
haridwar and mansa devi temple is totally divine..

badhri..
u still remember !! Me too..I also remember how beautiful deva prayag was !! two rivers of different nature, color, speed meet!! wow..
hrishikesh was peaceful!! do u remember taptakundam - hot water spring

Badhri said...

Every moment of it!

kavitha said...

Hi,

The ganges is an experience in its her own right, and stepping into her waters is one of the most over whelming feelings i have been through. She is sheer power.

Wow what a river!

I have heard about deva prayag.. should go there sometime...

susan said...
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