May – the seventh day of Shukla Paksha in the year 2017 – is the auspicious day of Ganga Saptami. But, what is Ganga Saptami, why is it celebrated, and how? This blog will answer all your questions related to this important occasion.
Ganga Saptami is the day when the River Ganga was reborn on Earth! It is the day dedicated to the holy river, who is considered as ‘Goddess’ Ganga throughout the country. It is celebrated on the seventh day of Shukla Paksha of the Vaishakha month of the Hindu calendar.
What is the legend behind Ganga Saptami?
As per Hindu mythology, the River Ganga was to be descended on the Earth by Lord Brahma. However, the Lord said that the surge of the river would be so powerful that the entire Earth would be destroyed. It was then that the mighty Lord Shiva decided to lock the flowing river into his hair to break Ganga’s descent and save the Earth from destruction. But, Maharaj Bhagirath desired to bring the pious Ganga to the Earth to cleanse his ancestors’ souls, for which he did a tapasya
for thousand years to please and convince Lord Shiva to let the river flow. Pleased, Lord Shiva released the River Ganga from his head. However, on her way, the river with her mighty flow and gushing turbulent water destroyed the Ashram
of Sage Jahnu. Furious, the Sage drank up all the water of the river. Maharaj Bhagirath and the Gods prayed to the Sage to release Ganga so that she could accomplish the mission she had been sent to achieve. Pleased with the prayers, Sage Jahnu released her from his ear; and this day is thus known to be the rebirth of the River Ganga.
What rituals are performed on Ganga Saptami?
On Ganga Saptami, devotees worship Goddess Ganga and take bath in the river with the belief that it will rinse them of their past sins. People also offer Puja on the ghats
and territories around the river. They perform the Ganga Puja with meditation and chant mantras
asking for forgiveness for their sins and moksha
for their late ancestors. Along with the Ganga Aarti
, flower wreaths and diyas
are released into the River Ganga. Because the flow of River Ganga was restricted to the Himalayas, but her tributaries broke out into various territories, the auspicious occasion of Ganga Saptami is celebrated with great pomp and joy in places where the river flows including Haridwar, Allahabad, Prayag, Varanasi, and Rishikesh. Devotees come from all across the nation to celebrate this occasion in such places. And those who cannot make it to any such places bathe by mixing the pious Gangajal
into their water buckets.
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