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Ganga - A way of life

Haridwar, Haridwar, Uttarakhand
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Those mountains, countries, cities and Ashrams are blessed where Ganga flows in between. The soul of the substance attains eternal repose what can’t be achieved by celibacy, austerity or sacrifice, the one who resort and persist with Ganga. These are the quotes everywhere in Hindu Ved and Puraans.

There are other geographical factors and its advantages reflected on the Indian civilization for centuries. The Ganga or Ganges as the British have termed it as they could pronounce, emerges from Gangotri in Uttarakhand in high mountains of Himalaya and emanates to the plains up to Rishikesh running around 250 kms merging various tributaries in its way and proceed to Ganga Sagar in west Bengal by running another 2300 kms. It has developed many cities and has crafted many Civilisations. Around 10 Lakh (1 million) families run their livelihood directly in plains by taking shelter to Ganga, either from farming, fisheries or construction material supplies. Ganga indirectly irrigates the agricultural lands of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh Bihar and West Bengal which means that Ganga affects every body life in north India. There are other hidden affects like religious or adventure tourism which motivates people from all over India and the world to bring near it. The Ganga amasses millions of Hindus every year on its banks where people gather in sacred fairs like Kumbh Mela, Ardh-Kumbh Mela and monthly Snans. Everybody feels Ganga differently according to the affects in one’s life but it is true if there were no Ganga in Hindu Culture, the Hindu civilization would have another face or might be ruined thousand years ago. So under patronage of sacred Ganga, The Hindu civilization has nourished and flourished and given birth to the famous religious places like Rishikesh, Haridwar, Kashi (Varanasi), Allahabad etc.

In modern India, the most of electricity is produced from Tehri dam in Tehri Gharwal which is built on valley of old Tehri. The other dam built on Maneri Bhali is built in just 10 kms before Uttarkashi towards Gangotri. There are other 300 dams are on the way to proceed on river Ganga but too much dams on Ganga will obstruct the water flow and may make our holy Ganga extinct. These are the environmental concerns which are to be focused today to keep its flow unabatedly. The sad aspect is that governments do not plan on long term basis to retain our natural sources, what they do is just to involve in getting fast result to evade the current situation. It is sorry to say, even ministry of Environment in India decides what is commercially viable or not. There is no law in India to restrict the depletion of Natural resources and retain its heritage. Many environmentalists are concerned that if there is no check of commercial activity like construction of dams on Ganga, the Ganga will extinct by 2500 AD.

Some spiritual aspects of Ganga as described in Hindu Puraans which made Ganga so important and for that, it is worshipped among Hindus and other communities from all over the world.

अग्निना दह्यते तूलं तृणं शुष्कं क्षणाद यथा।
तथा गङ्गाजल स्पर्शात् पुन्सा पापं दहेत् क्षणात् ॥

The living body of the born or bones of dead, which soak in the sacred water of Ganga, never fall from the paradise. Those, who resort to Ganga after repentance of their sins, get best repose after death. Like sun, which rises by breaking the darkness, the people who take bath in ganga, negate their sins.

गङ्गेति स्मरणादेव क्षयं याति च पातकम् ।
कीर्तनादिति पापानि दर्शनाद् गुरुकल्मषं ॥

The one who remember Ganga during his last moments, takes utmost tranquility. The one who resides on the banks of Ganga feels so much eternal peace which can’t be attained by living in paradise.

स्नानात पानान्च जाहान्व्यां पित्राणां तर्पणाततथा ।
महापातक वृन्दानि क्षयं यान्ति दिने दिने ॥

The apprehension of Ganga, touch of sacred water and holy bath in Ganga will redeem the seven generations before and after one’s life.

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