Holy River Ganga is the most sacred river in India. This divine river is worshipped as a Goddess and it is believed that she descended on earth from heaven on the tenth day of the bright half of Hindu month Jyeshtha. This pious day is celebrated as Ganga Dussehra; in year 2015 it will be celebrated on 28th of May. In Sanskrit Ganga Dussehra is also called as Gangavataran which means landing down of Goddess Ganga.
According to the Puranas, once upon a time King Kapila was immersed in deep meditation but was disturbed by sixty thousand son of King Sagara. Irked by their behavior King Kapila burnt all of them to ashes with his raging stare and sent them to the netherworld. At that time Ganga was in heaven and they can get salvation only by the holy water of Ganga. King Bhagirath, the great grandson of King Sagara was very worried for his ancestors and was eager to free their souls. So he performed hard Tap for years and finally convinced Ganga to descend on Earth.
But there was one problem; Ganga warned Bhagirath that her forcefull water will destroy the earth. Worried Bhagirath reached Lord Shiva and explained him the situation. Lord Shiva agreed to control the flow of River Ganga by the coil of his hairs while she descends to earth from heaven. Ganga then descended in Haridwar flowing through Kashi and finally met the Ganga Sagar. In this way Shree Gange came to Earth.
Ganga Dussehra Celebration:
On the day of Ganga Dussehra devotees worship at the banks of Ganga and take dip in the holy river. It is believed that taking bath in river Ganga on the day of Ganga Dussehra washes away ten sins committed by the individual. Thousands of Devotees gather at the banks of Ganga in Haridwar, Kashi, Rishikesh, Garhmukhteshwar and Allahabad. People take bath and hum Gange aarti. Following mantras are chanted while worshipping Maa Ganga
“Om Namah Shivaye Narayanyai Dashehrayai Gangayai Namah ||”
“ऊँ नम: शिवायै नारायण्यै दशहरायै गंगायै नम: ||”
“Om Namo Bhagwate Ain Hreem Shreem Hili Hili Mili Mili Gange Ma Pawaye Pawaye Swaha ||”
“ऊँ नमो भगवते ऎं ह्रीं श्रीं हिलि हिलि मिलि मिलि गंगे मां पावय पावय स्वाहा ||”
Ganga Dussehra is a beautiful festival and it is gaining popularity worldwide. River Ganga is blessing mankind since ages thus, Ganga Dussehra is time to pay tribute to the holy river. Onlinetemple.com wishes you all a very happy Ganga Dussehra. We hope that the love for the sacred river is not limited to personal benefit but will help protect her from pollution. Happy Ganga Dussehra!