In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion on why we should embark on “Teertha-Yatras”. We had witnessed an in-depth meaning on this accord, wherein we’ve seen how our mind gets purified by the spiritual vibrations that we would be exposed to, while visiting a “Punya-Kshetra”. Moreover, while we’re taking a holy dip in any of our sacred rivers of Bhaarata Desha, like River Ganga, Yamuna, Cauvery, Godavari, Narmada, Tungabhadra, Thaamraparni, etc. we say that our sins get washed away and we become pure. This simply means that we’re getting freed up of our past “Paapa-Karma”, which otherwise might have misled us in many ways. Now that all these are washed away, automatically our body and mind gets purified, which in turn would enable us to walk the path of “Dharma”. Thus, by embarking on “Theertha-Yatras”, we ourselves are paving the way for us towards “Dharma”, and through this, Bhagawan is giving us a golden opportunity to mend ourselves! Hence, we should take it in this positive way as we move on.
Moreover, we should understand one important aspect here – If we consider any river in India, it would have some “Deiva-Sankalpa” (Bhagawan’s divine will) behind its origin and its course today. Whereas in other parts of the world, I doubt whether there might be such reverence and significance for any river(s). In our Bhaarata Desha if we consider any river – Be it River Ganga for instance – We’ve discussed enough and more about how Mother Ganga came to this world from Bhagawan Shiva’s divine hair. In fact, this is why we often refer to Bhagawan Shiva as “Gangaadhara”, or “Jataadhara” – Because, He was the one who held River Ganga into the folds of His long hair! As the River Ganga falls on to the earth subsequently – Thanks to King Bhageeratha’s request, it falls in three directions – One, towards the “Deva-Lokha”, the other towards the “Aakaasha” and the third towards the “Manushya Lokha”, and this is why this place where the river originates is known as “Tripagatha”. Thus, all these rivers would find some place in our ancient “Sanaatana Dharma”, in our Ithihasas and Puraanas. For instance, we’ve witnessed a huge accord on the rivers of Ganga, Shrona, Sarayu, Yamuna, Mandaakini, Godavari, Tungabadra, etc. during our previous Ramayana project. There are extensive discussions on the courses of each of these rivers, how they had changed course with time and Yugas, etc. In fact, Bhagawan Rama Himself has crossed and walked along all of these rivers! Similarly, Bhagawan Krishna had spent all His childhood days along the banks of River Yamuna at Mathura / Gokula / Vrindavan. These places are highly revered and respected, along with the significance of River Yamuna which flows through all these places, aren’t they?
Thus, we can understand here that the rivers that flow through our “Bhaarata Desha”, have enormous significances and somehow all of them find a place in our Sanaatana Dharma literature. Similar to the rivers in the Northern part of our country, those in the south also have their own significance. It is in between the banks of the River Cauvery and Kollidam (Tributary of River Cauvery) in the southern Indian city of Trichy, are the iconic temples of Srirangam and Thiruvanaikoil. While the Srirangam temple is dedicated to Bhagawan Ranganatha (Bhagawan Vishnu) who was transported from Ayodhya to Sri Lanka by King Vibhishana, the Thiruvanaikoil temple is dedicated to Bhagawan Jambukeshwara (Bhagawan Shiva) and Mother Akilandeshwari (Goddess Parvathi Devi) and is revered as one of the important “Pancha-Bhoota-Sthalas” of Bhagawan Shiva! Thus, we can witness here that the River Cauvery is revered in the southern part of India enormously as River Ganga is revered in the Northern part of India. Hence, taking a holy dip in these rivers assume a lot of significance, and we should do it atleast once during our lifetime. However, if we consider rivers from other parts of the world, we might not be able to attach any sort of spiritual significance to them. This is the reason why our Bhaarata Desha is considered to be a “Punya-Bhoomi”!
Moreover, each and every temple that we witness in our Bhaarata Desha – From the North to south and east to west, has its own significance. We have enormous number of Mahatmas who originated from India – Be it Jagadguru Adishankarachaarya, Madhvachaarya, Bhagawan Ramanujachaarya, the Alwars, Nayanmars, contemporary Spiritual Masters such as Bhagawan Ramana-Maharishi, Shirdi Sai Baba, Puttaparthi Sai Baba, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, etc. All these great Mahatmas have dedicated their entire lives to spread the significance of our “Sanaatana Dharma” to the entire world, and in return, the world recognises India as the “Land of peace and Dharma” even today! Hence, it is not only about temples or rivers. It is also about great Spiritual leaders (Mahatmas, Alwars, Aachaaryas, Gurus, etc.), who teach and guide us towards the path of the ultimate “Moksha”! We might be wondering why all these Mahatmas chose India to incarnate and not any other place in this world! The answer is very simple – India is a land of “Sanaatana Dharma”, and will always continue to be so forever!
So for today, let us understand the real significance of our Bhaarata Desha and let us feel proud to be citizens / closely associated with this great “Punya-Bhoomi”! We shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂