ezHinduism series: Ma Ganga, The Holy River Goddess!
Ganga means “She who leads her devotee to the supreme state of Realization or Liberation”.
As Navarātri was around the corner, it was only apt that the September Ez Hindusim topic was on a Goddess who: pervades the three worlds (celestial world, earth and netherworld); destroys all obstacles, makes every sacred thing more scared and one who subdues the demerits that has been earned.
During the session audience were introduced to geographical facts (ie. where Ganges orignates from, what comprises the headwaters of Ganga and the five confluences). Audience also got to learn of the various Puranic stories that explained about Ma Ganga’s descent from the higher region to Earth. They were introduced to the various Hindu scriptures that spoke about Mother Ganga. Festivals such as Ganga Saptami and Ganga Dasahara was also explained and the deeper meaning of what it means to take a dip in Mother Ganges was presented. Audience also learnt some of the names and meanings of Ma Ganga from the Ganga Sahasranam which is a dialogue between Sage Agastya and Lord Skanda. Namāmi gange hymn was taught and the session ended with everyone chanting the Ganga hymn and the Ganga stotram.
Without bhakti, Mother Ganga remains just another water body!
“Namāmi gange tava pāda pankajam, surāsurair vandita divya rūpam, bhuktim ca muktim ca dadhāsi nityam, bhāvāṇu sāre na sadā narāṇām” which means “O, Mother Ganges, I bow down to your lotus feet, Shower me with the grace of devotion and liberate me as you have liberated the human race for centuries”.
We thank Hindu Centre teacher Yoges Maniam for sharing her knowledge about Ma Ganga.