|About the Book|
All that the authors claim here is an edited collection of literature read and reproduced in a write up of this holy river, called the Ganga by the Indians.The Ganges River is the major river in northern India and Bangladesh. The river has a longMoreAll that the authors claim here is an edited collection of literature read and reproduced in a write up of this holy river, called the Ganga by the Indians.The Ganges River is the major river in northern India and Bangladesh. The river has a long history of worship in India and is often called the holy Ganga. It originates as the Bhagirathi from the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayas and joins the Alakananda near Deoprayag to form the Ganga. Then on, the Ganga flows across the large plains of North India called the Gangetic Plains and empties into the Bay of Bengal after dividing up into many distributaries. One of them is the Hooghly River near Kolkata, another major distributaries being the Padma River that enters Bangladesh and merges with Jamuna River, a branch of the Brahmaputra River.As the Hindu Goddess the river Ganges represents purification, wellness and benevolence. Legend has it Ganga came to earth upon hearing the cries of people who were dying from drought. Shiva divided Ganga into seven streams so she would flood the earth upon her arrival. Part of this stream remained in the heavens as the Milky Way, and the rest flows through India as the river Ganges, where the Goddess lives.One painting depicts Ganga as beautiful, controlling the makara (a sea monster on which she stands), with water flowing all around her. In India, people gather on the river Ganges on this day and bathe in the waters for health, protection and forgiveness. Several foreigners have recorded the effects of this rivers magical cleansing properties. There are some curiosities that authors have winnowed mainly from scientific journals and magazines. Ganges water does not putrefy, even after long periods of storage.Throughout this book we have examined the many myths and legends connected with Ganga. We will never know which ones found their way to Alexandria and into the minds of those later writers who identify the Ganges as a river of Eden. The popular belief that paradise lay somewhere in the Caucasus corresponds to the image of Ganga flowing from the same mountain chain- as early as the third century B.C., Megasthenes records that the river originated high in the mountains of Asia.The Ganges is the most sacred river to Hindus and is also a lifeline to millions of Indians who live along its course and depend on it for their daily needs. All accounts declare that she was raised in the heavens, under the tutelage of Lord Brahma.The book describes how Hindus believe that rituals performed by the river Ganga multiply in their blessedness. The water of Ganges, called Gangajal, is held so sacred that holding this water in hand no Hindu dares to lie or be deceitful. The Puranas or ancient Hindu scriptures say that the sight, the name, and the touch of Ganga cleanses one of all sins and taking a dip in the holy Ganga bestows heavenly blessings. The Narada Purana, prophesied pilgrimages in the present Kali Yuga to the Ganges will be of utmost importance.