EVERY summer, the Ganga Dusshera or Ganga Dashami festival venerates the auspicious occasion of the descent of the sacred river on earth from heaven. On this day, a dip in the holy river invoking the goddess is said to cleanse all sins. a devotee worships by lighting incense and lamp, and offers sandalwood, flowers, and milk. Fishes and other aquatic animals are fed flour balls. THIS year, it will be celebrated on Sunday, 28 may, 2015. According to Skanda Purana, a person should take a bath in a holy river on this day, should visit a religious place and make donations. This frees him of all the sins. If a person is unable to visit a religious place, he should take a bath in a nearby river. BESIDES being a sacred river, Ganga is also worshiped as a deity in Hinduism and respectfully referred to as Gangaji or Ganga Maiya (mother Ganga.) A person should worship goddess Ganga and should recite the following mantra: “Om Namah Shivaya Dussheraye Narayanye Dussheraye Gangaye Namah”
In India, the river Ganga is sacred and a feminine river. The river is worshiped by Hindus and personified as a Devi goddess, who holds a significant place in the Hindu religion. Hindu faith holds that bathing in the river, especially on certain occasion causes the forgiveness of sins and helps to attain salvation. Many people believe that this will come from bathing in the Ganga at any time. People come from distant places to submerge the Cremation and ashes collection ashes of their family or relatives in the waters of the Ganga; this immersion also is believed to send the deceased soul to heaven. Several places revered to Hindus lie along the banks of the river Ganga, including Haridwar and Varanasi. People carry holy water from the Ganges that is preserved in copper pots after making the pilgrimage to Varanasi. It is believed that drinking water from the Ganga with one's last breath will take the person's soul to heaven for sure. It is also believed that life is incomplete without having a bath in the Ganga at least once in one's lifetime
Importance of Ganga Dusshera in our religious tradition
Jyeshtha shukla dashami was the day when Ganga reached the earth and answered Bhagirathi’s prayers. Ganga dusshera is celebrated on the same day when Ganga reached the earth. A person who stands in river Ganga on this day and reads Ganga Stotra is freed from all sins. Ganga Stotra named Dusshera is included in Skanda Purana. A person should make sure that whatever he donates on this day should be ten in number and should also remember that the ingredients with which one worships should also be ten in number.
Some of the most important Hindu festivals and religious worship happen at the river Ganges. Many festivals are celebrated on the banks of the river Ganga, such as the Kumbh Mela every twelve years at Allahabad and the Chhat Puja. Varanasi has hundreds of temples along the bank of the Ganges, which are often flooded during the rains. This city, especially along the bank of the Ganges, is a chief place of worship for the Hindus as well as a cremation ground. Indian mythology states that Ganga is the daughter of Himavan - the king of the Mountains She had the power to purify anything that touched her. According to myths Ganga flowed from the heavens and purified the people of India. After the funeral, Indians often submerge the bodies of their dead in the Ganga, which is thought to purify them of their sins.
I come as an orphan to you, moist with love. I come without refuge to you, giver of sacred rest. I come a fallen man to you, uplifter of all. I come undone by disease to you, the perfect physician. I come, my heart dry with thirst, to you, ocean of sweet wine. Do with me whatever you will. - Ganga Lahiri
Manish Vyas and Prem Joshua's famous release "Water Down the Ganges" honor with this soulful composition the energy of Ganges... where East meets West.