Ganga Dusshera - Festival of “Ganga Maiya” or Gangaji”

Ganga The Goddess Of Purity And Piety

In Hinduism and especially in India, river Ganges is considered the holiest of all rivers. Originating from the Gangotri glacier in the Gaumukh in the Greater Himalayas, the river has enriched the life of millions of Hindus over the centuries. Ganga is mentioned twice as a goddess in the Hindu mythology. Once in the “Visnu Purana”, as “Vishmupadi” as she was created from the sweat of Lord Vishnu and in the mythological tales where she is regarded as the daughter of Parvataraja, Devi Parvati’s sister and Lord Shiva’s consort.

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Specifications of worship

The river is worshipped as a deity and respectfully referred to as “Ganga Maiya” or Gangaji”. The water of the holy river is called “Gingival” and is regarded pious and the most sacred water on earth. The water, therefore, is stored in every Hindu household as it is used in all Hindu ceremonies and festivals. Hindus lie along the Ganga Ghats or banks of the Ganges, lie Gangotri, Allahabad Varanasi and Haridwar, as these places are considered to be sacred to the Hindus.

Popular beliefs and benefits

In Hindu mythology, the river is worshipped as a goddess. It is believed that she descended from the heaven to rinse away the sins of mankind and, therefore, thousands of Hindus dip in the holy water on auspicious occasions like during "Makar Sankranti" to wash away their sin and bestow her special blessings. The bath is believed to facilitate the realization of salvation. Hindus immerse the ashes of their family in the holy waters of Ganga, with popular faith that the ashes travel to heaven.

Popular Ganga festivals

Every summer, the festival Ganga Dashami or Ganga Dusshera is celebrated. The auspicious occasion marks the descent of the river on earth. Devotees dip in the holy river seeking her blessings and worships by lighting a lamp, offers flowers, sandalwood, and milk. The worshiping of the God leads to destroying of the evils and gives success to his devotees. He is worshiped as the God of knowledge, wisdom, wealth and education. Thousand of devotees, across India, perform the “Ganga aarti” every evening, along the banks of the river like in cities like Haridwar, Varanasi, Kanpur, Patna, Allahabad among others regions. The “Ganga aarti” is an act of respect for the deity seeking her blessings.

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