The festival Ganga Dussehra or Ganga Dashami marks the descent of Holy River Ganga on the earth. This ten-day celebration is termed as Gangavartan which is a major event for Hindu communities residing in Indian states of West Bengal, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh. River Ganga is considered to be the most sacred river for Hindus, and she is worshiped as a Goddess, also considered a mother. This celebration aims at honoring the Holy River. Dus means ten and hara denotes defeats, the celebration got its name from this. In some parts of the country, this festival is referred as Kite Dassehra as devotees fly a kite on this day to commemorate this day.
Story of Ganga Dusshera
In the ancient times, King Sagar of Ayodhya had almost six thousand sons. He performed Ashwamedha Yajna, where a horse was set loose to neighboring kingdoms. God Indra who did not wish the success of this ceremony stole the horse. Anshuman, the grandson of the king, searched for the horse and found it in a cavern adjacent to the place where Kapil Rishi was meditating. Anshuman accused the sage of stealing, and the later was annoyed with this and burnt all to ashes. Later, Bhagirath the great grandson of Sagar prayed to Brahma to let River Ganga flow on the earth, and he could cremate his ancestors. Brahma told him to seek the help of Lord Shiva. So, Bhagirath invoked Lord Shiva, he stood on one leg and meditated. Lord Shiva was pleased with this devotion and to reduce the impact of the river on the earth, he let it flow through his hairs. Thus, Bhagirath could cremate his forefathers.
Auspicious time of celebration
Worshipping goddess of wealth is considered to be a main event of Diwali festival, mainly in West and North India. As Goddess Lakshmi is a mark of cleanliness as well, therefore; you will see people worshipping broom with vermillion and turmeric, on it. Lamps are lit during evening time to welcome Lakshmi Mata. During such an auspicious timing, a supported knowledge light is said to have dawned upon humanity. Self-enlightenment is mainly expressed through laminating lights, which lighten up the abode. It is also believed that on this special day, Lakshmi walks through green fields and even loiters through by-lanes, to bestow her blessings, for prosperity and glory on mankind.
Ingredients in counts of ten
Ganga Dussehra commemorates the hard penance of the Suryavanshi king, Bhagirath. The legend goes that River Ganga descended on earth, took its course, the drought ended. Even the dry and ruined areas got back its life and turned to fertile areas. Since then, devotees perform different rituals and celebrate Ganga Dussehra. Different materials that you need to for this puja are
- Ten variants of flowers
- Lamps, Incense sticks
- Flour balls for feeding aquatic animals
As per Holy Scriptures, different materials that you need for this puja has to be in counts of ten, as it is a significant and sacred number for this puja.