Episode # 472 – Mother Ganga enters the “Manushya Lokha” – Follows King Bhageeratha’s chariot!!!

We’re in the midst of an important discussion wherein King Sagara’s 60,000 sons were burnt to death by Sage Kapilachaarya in the “Paathaala Lokha” for their alleged wrongdoing. Since this happened underground, nobody had a clue of what happened! Subsequently, King Sagara’s son, Asamanjas tried to search for the whereabouts of his 60,000 brothers, but was unable to trace them anywhere in the world. Next in the family lineage was King Amsuman, who was Asamanjas’s son. King Amsuman tried his best to search for his 60,000 ancestors and the horse. He made his way to the “Paathaala Lokha” and he found the horse standing near Sage Kapilachaarya. Also, King Amsuman learnt that his 60,000 ancestors were burnt down by none other than Sage Kapilachaarya. Upon apologizing for what his 60,000 ancestors did, King Amsuman requested Sage Kapilachaarya to give the horse back, for which Sage Kapilachaarya readily agreed. However, when King Amsuman requested Sage Kapilachaarya to give life to these 60,000 people, Sage Kapilachaarya expressed his inability. However, he gave a solution to that as well – He asked King Amsuman to somehow bring Mother Ganga to this earth and perhaps if the holy waters of Mother Ganga are sprinkled on them, they may come back to life! 

Subsequently, King Amsuman tried his best to bring Mother Ganga down to the earth, but wasn’t really successful. King Amsuman had a son by name Dileepa. King Dileepa was a great king and he too tried his best to bring Mother Ganga down to the earth, but he failed in this pursuit as well. King Dileepa had a son by name Bhageeratha. King Bhageeratha performed an extremely intense “Tapas” towards Mother Ganga, and with this, Mother Ganga was moved! She finally accepted King Bhageeratha’s request, but she asked him thus, “Oh Bhageeratha! I’m impressed with your Tapas and I accept your request to flow down into the Manushya Lokha. However, you should understand that my flow would be extremely powerful and this would destroy all the towns and cities in the world. There would be a great disaster. How do you think you can manage this?” As Mother Ganga explains thus, King Bhageeratha requested her to give him some time to think and act. Immediately, King Bhageeratha decided that none other than Bhagawan Shiva could save him at this crucial juncture. Hence, he immediately went into a deep penance towards Bhagawan Shiva. Subsequently, Bhagawan Shiva appears in front of him and King Bhageeratha explains thus, “Oh Bhagawan Shiva! My 60,000 ancestors have to be brought back to life, and Sage Kapilachaarya had explained to me that this is possible only with Mother Ganga transcending down to the Manushya Lokha. However, if she comes down, she might potentially destroy human habitat with disastrous flooding. I do not know what to do, and hence, I seek your help in this!” 

As King Bhageeratha explained thus, Bhagawan Shiva replied back to him – “Oh Bhageeratha! Please do not worry. I have a plan for this. I shall hold Mother Ganga amidst my dense hair (“Jataa-Mudi”). From there, I shall regulate her flow into the earth. This should prevent any form of disaster from happening in the “Manushya Lokha”!” Saying thus, Bhagawan Shiva holds Mother Ganga on to his head, and this is why we worship Bhagawan Shiva as Bhagawan “Gangaadhara” and “Bhagawan Jataadhara”. These divine names of Bhagawan Shiva simply refers to this story of how Bhagawan Shiva held Mother Ganga on His divine hair and from there, the river commences its flow. However, in the middle, as Bhagawan Shiva understands the intense flow of Mother Ganga, He thought within Himself thus, “Oh wow! How can a woman have this much of an intensity? A woman needs to exhibit some sort of steadiness and calmness isn’t it? This intensity of Mother Ganga is not the characteristic of a woman. Hence, I shall teach her a lesson today!” 

Thinking thus, Bhagawan Shiva opened His divine “Jataa-Mudi” (Dense hairs) and as Mother Ganga flows, Bhagawan Shiva collects all the waters of the river and ties His hair completely! Thus, Mother Ganga got stuck into Bhagawan Shiva’s “Jataa-Mudi”. As this was happening, King Bhageeratha was waiting for River Ganga to flow down. However, this did not happen, because Bhagawan Shiva had tightly packed Mother Ganga into His head! As time was passing by, King Bhageeratha lost his patience. He talks to Bhagawan Shiva thus, “Oh Bhagawan Shiva! I had to put immense effort to convince Mother Ganga to fall on to the earth. However, since her flow might be destructive to the earth, I requested you to intervene. However, you’ve completely packed Mother Ganga into your head! Now, how are we going to get her down?” Paying heed to King Bhageeratha’s tearful request thus, Bhagawan Shiva opens just one strand of His divine hair, and through this open hair strand, Mother Ganga starts flowing down towards the earth. The place where Mother Ganga lands on the earth’s surface for the first time is called “Bindusaras”. This place is amidst the Himalayan Mountains and can be worshipped even today. This place is also referred to as “Gangothri”, which can be worshipped as a huge glacier. It is from this place, Mother Ganga commences to flow into the earth! 

Now that Mother Ganga commences her flow, she requests King Bhageeratha thus, “Oh Bhageeratha! Now take your chariot and drive towards the eastern direction. I shall closely follow your chariot. Moreover, you should ride your chariot with the maximum speed possible, and you should not turn back and look at me. If you do so, I will stop my flow and go back to the “Aakaasha”!” Obeying Mother Ganga’s words thus, King Bhageeratha starts driving his chariot with the maximum speed possible, and goes as far as the eastern coast near the Indian city of Kolkata. So for today, let us understand up to this point, and in the next episode, we shall witness the passage through which Mother Ganga passed by. This is going to be another interesting accord, and stay tuned for the next episode to understand! 🙂 

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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