The River Ganga is considered as the holiest and most sacred river by Hindus all across the globe. Ganga Dussehra signifies the descent of this holy river on Earth, which is celebrated every year on the 10th
day of Shukla Paksha in the Jyeshtha month as per the Hindu calendar. This year, this auspicious day is to fall on 3rd
June 2017. The day is also known as Ganga Avataran
, meaning the arrival of Ganga. Before descending to Earth from Heaven, it is believed that Ganga resided in Lord Brahma’s stoup. When the river poured out of this stoup, she brought along with her the purity of Heaven. This is why every year she is worshipped and honoured on Ganga Dussehra.
It is believed that it was due to the meditation of King Bhagirath that the river was compelled to flow down to the Earth. The king meditated for years together to convince the River Ganga to come to Earth to cleanse away his sins and pardon the cursed souls of his ancestors. The day when the River Ganga incarnated on Earth beared a unique combination of ten distinct astrological Vedic calculations, namely Jyeshtha month, Shukla Paksha, tenth date, Wednesday, Moon in Virgo, Sun in Taurus, Hasta Nakshatra, Gar Anand Yog, and Vyatipata Yog. This is why it is believed that taking a bath in the River Ganga on Ganga Dussehra can help one get rid of all sins.
Various rites and rituals are performed on this day at the banks of the River Ganga to commemorate her. The festival of Ganga Dussehra is celebrated with lots of enthusiasm across religious cities and towns that are located near the river. People flock to major Ghats of India like Garhmukteshwar, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Allahabad, Prayag, and Varanasi to take a dip in the holy river and get rid of their past sins. The celebration at Varanasi is the most majestic one with thousands of devotees performing the Ganga Snaan
, and the Ganga Aarti
being performed by priests at the Dasawamedh Ghat.
For those who cannot fly to these places on this auspicious day, you can offer Puja at home as well by bathing the idol of River Ganga with holy water, dressing her in white clothes, and adorning her with a lotus. Lord Shiva is also worshipped as it is he who tied the River Ganga in his hair to control her stream and avoid destruction on Earth. For any kind of custom Pujas you wish to conduct at home, you can get in touch with MakeMyPuja Pandits who can help arrange the most appropriate Pujas for you by performing the required rituals in the right manner.
The significance of ‘Ten’
The name Dussehra comes from ‘Dus’ meaning ten and ‘Hara’ meaning defeat. Therefore, Ganga Dussehra can help defeat 10 worst sins if you take a dip in the holy water of River Ganga on this day. These sins include violence, rude language, lying, complaining, harming others, occupying other’s assets, fetching forcibly from others, contact with another woman, irrelevant rambling, and inappropriate discussions. In fact, the mantras that are chanted during Ganga Pujan are done in counts of ten. Donations are also done in counts of ten.