To spread the original, universal and eternal truth, path or law of yoga, which remains forever the same in essence, yet always adapts to the time and place.

The Life of Ganga
The story of Mother Ganga, that is also the river Ganga (Ganges)

The life of the goddess ganga, who incarnated as the Ganga (Ganges) river, is fully described in "The life of Ganga". Following is only a very short version of that famous indian epic.

At one time, the demon Bali acquired enough power to chase the gods from the heavens.

When the Gods consulted Vishnu, he promised aid.

Vishnu incarnated as the dwarf Vamana and tricked Bali to grant him as much of his kingdom as he could measure in 3 steps. With the first step he covered all of Earth.

With the second step he covered all the heavens and while doing that Brahma washed his feet in his kamandula or water pot, from which Ganga would be born.

With the third step, Vamana pushed Bali back to the underworld.

was born from the water in Brahma's kamandula. Ganga was very pretty and danced in the heavens to the delight of all.

One time however, when a gust of wind blew off the only cloth in which the Rishi Durvasa
was wrapped, Ganga laughed too much. The rishi cursed Ganga to become reincarnated as a river in which all humans would seek purification.

The 8 vasus obtained the vow from Ganga that she would become their mother when incarnated as a river. They themselves were suffering from a curse to incarnate given by Saint Vashista and hoped that Ganga would drown them as soon as they were born.

So Indra stole Sagar's horse before the ritual could be completed and tied it to the tree under which Sage Kapila was meditating.

When the 60.000 sons of King Sagar
found the horse, they thought Sage Kapila had stolen it. Feeling disturbed and insulted, Sage Kapila burned them to ashes with yogic fire that came out of his third eye.

When Ansuman, the last remaining son of King Sagar came to know the fate of his brothers, he asked Sage Kapila how to liberate their souls from the ashes.

In the seventh generation of King Sagar, Bhagiratha was born. His austerities were so disciplined that he could finally please Brahma enough to help.

Brahma had no objection to release Ganga, except that Bhagiratha first had to worship Shiva, so that he would accept to hold the force of Ganga in his hairs, lest she would overwhelm the entire Earth.

Thus Bhagiratha undertook further penances to please Shiva. When Ganga
descended from the heavens, Shiva covered the sky with his hair locks, so that not a drop would fall on Earth.

When Ganga flooded the ashram of Saint Janu, he swallowed her as a lesson in respect and only released Ganga out
of pity for Bhagiratha.

Finally Ganga reached the ashram of Sage Kapila and freed the 60.000 souls from their ashes. Ganga continues to purifie the people
that take bath in her and is herself purified by the saints who will bath in her water.



Free Life of Ganga Desktop Wallpaper

About this page

This short story on Ganga was extracted from the "Birth of the Ganga" book by Harish Johari. It contains all details of the story as well as 46 paintings, of which less than half is shown above.

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Sanatan Society is an international networking association of students of the late Harish Johari, joining efforts to promote his teachings of yoga philosophy, tantra, worship, art and love. Sanatan Society stands for the original, universal and eternal truth, path or law of yoga. Though it is Hindu in origin, Sanatan Society is not limited to any religion, race, time or country, nor in fact to any particular organisation. More about Sanatan Society...

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