Wednesday, March 18, 2009

River Worship - "Ganga Aarti"

The Ganga ( गंगा Gaṅgā) or Ganges River is a major river of the Indian subcontinent. It is associated with mythology, as well as, reality with the people of India. It is a very sacred river to all the Hindus. In Hinduism it is personified as a Goddess & it is an integral part of Hindu religion. It is believed by all the Hindus that bathing in the Ganges river, generally or on certain occasions causes the remission of sins and facilitates the attainment of salvation (Moksha). So Hindus travel from distant places to take a holy dip in it's waters. Hindus also immerse the ashes of their kin in the sacred waters of the Ganges. Such rituals normally take place at Haridwar, Varanasi (Kashi or Banaras) and Allahabad.

Recently I visited Varanasi which is also called Kashi or Banaras. Varanasi is situated on the bank of Ganges River in Uttar Pradesh state of India. It is considered to be the oldest city on earth. It is also called the city of "Lord Shiva". "Kashi Vishwnath temple" over here is a Shiva temple which is there in the city since time immemorial. For me visiting over here was really a spiritual experience. A spiritual aura pervades through whole of the city & a special peace comes to mind sitting on the banks of Ganges River. The greatest experience was participating in the "Evening Ganga Aarti" (Evening prayers to the Ganges River) at it's bank. It was not less than a cultural festival which happens daily on it's bank. Thousands of people (Indian, as well as, foreigners) take part in this "Evening Ganga Aarti" daily. The devotion of the people is unparalleled at that time of evening prayers. Here below are some pictures of the Ganges River & the ritual of Ganga Aarti, taken by me at Varanasi. Hope you would like it.

In Bhagwat Gita, Lord Krishna himself declares that among all the rivers, God himself is there as "River Ganga ( गंगा Gaṅgā)" on this earth. So River Ganga is a form of living Goddess only. Below verse of Bhagwat Gita explains that only.

"pavanah pavatam asmi
ramah shastra-bhrtam aham
jhasanam makaras chasmi
srotasam asmi jahnavi" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Ten verse 31)

"Sri Krishna said to Arjuna: Of all the purifiers I am the wind; of the wielders of weapons I am Rama; of fishes I am the shark; and of all the flowing rivers I am the River Ganges."

1 comment:

  1. hi sancho,

    nice collections & nice stories u got. It is very good idea to spread the people about the gita.

    thanks for the song uploaded on you tube.