This mantra ‘Om Shuddhi Daata Ganga Mata Namo Namo’ is a salutation to the Mother Ganga to help us get pure and healed. Ganga is the personification of the river Ganges who is worship by Hindus as the goddess of purification and forgiveness. Since time immemorial, the Ganga River has been consider the holiest of all rivers. Pilgrims immerse the ashes of their kin in the river Ganga, which is consider by them to bring the souls (purified spirits) closer to moksha, the liberation from the cycle of life and death.
Ganga is describe as the melodious, the fortunate, the cow that gives much milk, the eternally pure, the delightful, the body that is full of fish, affords delight to the eye and leaps over mountains in sport, the bedding that bestows water and happiness, and the friend or benefactor of all that lives. Known by many names, Ganga is often depicts as a fair, beautiful woman, riding a divine crocodile-like creature called the Makara.
She derives her purity powers from Lord Shiva and healing powers from Vishnu. She brings light and delight’ to one’s life. When meditated with the mantra even as little as 15 minutes, Mother Ganga blesses the worshiper with her powers to purify the consciousness and heal all the negative energies one accumulates during the lifetime. It provides a bridge to connect one with the true reality of the Universe. It helps us realize our power as a cosmic force which has taken form of human to do ‘Karma’. And also washes away the sins and complexities from one’s life.
Story of River Ganga Descent to Earth
The Mahabharata narrates that there was war between Devas and Asuras, in which the Devas were becoming victorious. The Asuras hid in the sea and the gods were unable to find them. They requested sage Agastya to help and the sage, using his divine powers, drank up the ocean. The devas defeated the remaining demons and asked Agastya to restore the water. The sage replied that he has digested the water and can’t restore it. The world was worried but Lord Vishnu assured that the ocean will be filled soon.
Several years later, a king named Sagara magically acquired sixty thousand sons. One day, King Sagara performed a ritual of worship for the good of the kingdom. One of the integral parts of the ritual was a horse, which was stolen by the jealous Indra. Sagara sent all his sons all over the earth to search for the horse. They found it in the nether-world (or Underworld) next to a meditating sage Kapil tied by Lord Indra (the king of Swarg). Believing that the sage had stolen the horse, they hurl insults at him and cause his penance to be disturbed. The sage opened his eyes for the first time in several years and looked at the sons of Sagara. With this glance, all sixty thousand were burnt to death.
The souls of the sons of Sagara wander as ghosts since their final rites had not been perform. For the moksha of all the sons of Sagar, Anshuman (nephew of those 60,000 sons) started to pray Brahma to bring Ganga to the Earth till the end of his life but was not successful. Then his son Dilip did the same but did not succeed. When Bhagiratha (Means, one who does great hard work- he got his name from his great hard work for bringing Ganga to Earth), one of the descendants of Sagara, son of Dilip, learned of this fate, he vowed to bring Ganga down to Earth so that her waters could cleanse their souls and release them to heaven.
Bhagiratha prayed to Brahma that Ganga comes down to Earth. Brahma agreed and he ordered Ganga to go down to the Earth and then on to the nether regions so that the souls of Bhagiratha’s ancestors would be able to go to heaven. Ganga felt that this was insulting and decided to sweep the whole Earth away as she fell from the heavens. Alarmed, Bhagiratha prayed to Shiva that he break up Ganga’s descent.
Lastly Ganga arrogantly fell on Shiva’s head. But Shiva calmly trapped her in his hair and let her out in small streams. The touch of Shiva further sanctified Ganga. As Ganga travelled to the nether-worlds, she created a different stream to remain on Earth to help purify unfortunate souls there. She is the only river to follow from all the three worlds – Swarga (heaven), Prithvi (Earth) and Patala (netherworld or hell).
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