Guiding Light: Ganga: A Symbol of Purity and Holiness
Pic: Facebook/Veda samskruti

By Col. Manoj Keshwar, Founder, Atulya Ganga

In Hinduism the sacred river Ganges is personified as the Goddess Ganga. Followers of the Hindu faith believe that bathing in this holy river helps washing away all the wrong doings / sins and aid to live a happy, productive life ahead.

The Ganges is the only river that follows from all three different worlds- Swarga said as Heaven; Prithvi said as Underworld or Hell said as Patala. And in the Sanskrit Language, the one who travels all three worlds is addressed as Tripathaga.

Ganga symbolizes the spiritual knowledge of the Vedas - As like as Ganga, the knowledge eternally flows in the highest heaven.

The ever-flowing Ganga River symbolizes the ever-flowing Prana or breath inside the mortal body - Like Ganga, prana also descends from the highest heaven and enters the body of man through the breath coming in. Just as Ganga splits into seven streams after falling on Shiva's head, after entering the human body, Prana splits into seven breaths too.

Ganga symbolizes the divine water (tirtham) or the holy water used on religious occasions - In fact, many Hindu ceremonies are incomplete without the inclusion of Ganga Jal.

Ganga symbolizes rains falling from heaven - Especially the rains falling during Asvin's month which are considered sacred. They represent upon earth the waters of life. They reside in the water laden heaven (ambhas) just like Ganga, and descend to the earth to nourish and purify it. Ganga symbolizes waters of the life.

Ganga symbolizes fluids of life. The male fluid is released into the mother's womb upon sexual union. Just as the waters of Ganga flowing from heaven into the mortal world, so the waters of Ambhas flowing into the womb, having become retas in the male body (Shiva). Symbolically, since she is the bearer (dharitri) of children (praja) the mother is a reference to the earth. Since the male fluid (ga) flows into both male and female sexual organs (anga), it represents Ganga or Prana, or that it flows inside the body's organs.

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