Ganga Dussehra 2019 - Descent of the Holy River Ganga
Celebrated on the 10th day(Dashami) of the Shukla Paksha(Waxing moon) of the Hindu calendar month, Jyeshta, Ganga Dussehra, also known as Gangavataran, will be celebrated this year on 12th June 2019.
It is believed that on this day, the sacred river, Ganga, descended on the earth from her heavenly abode.
Some major ghats where this festival is celebrated with much fanfare are, Varanasi, Prayag, Garhmukteshwar, Haridwar, and Rishikesh.
The holiest and sacred river for the Hindus, the River Ganga, has a great spiritual and symbolic significance and most of the cities on her banks are pilgrim places for the Hindus.
It is believed that the great king Bhagiratha did intense penance to appease Lord Shiva to persuade Ganga to descend on the earth as only the flowing water of the Ganges could remove the curse on his ancestors. Some of his ancestors were burnt to ashes by the wrath of the sage, Kapila when they disturbed his meditation. Their souls could only be freed from the earth if the waters of Ganga flowed over their ashes.
Ganga was reluctant to go down to the earth as She felt earth would not be able to bear her intensity. To solve this, Lord Shiva asked Ganga to descend upon His head so that He would absorb much of Her force and from there She could descend further down to the earth.
The descending of the river on to the earth is Gangavataran.
Beliefs Associated With The Ganges
It is believed that just as the ancestors of Bhagiratha found salvation through the waters of The Ganga, so will anyone who will bathe in these holy waters.
The festivities for the celebration of Gangavataran start nine days before D-day. The festival gets its name from the fact that those who take a dip in the Ganges on Gangavataran, will get salvation from ten sins (Dus=Ten; Hara=Connotes defeat).
Customs and Rituals
Celebrated for ten days, Ganga Dussehra culminates on the last day which is Gangavataran. Devotees throng the banks of River Ganga and after bathing, take a dip in its holy waters. Boats are made out of special large leaves and a small lamp is placed on these. Offerings of flowers and sweets are placed alongside and this ‘leaf boat’ is set afloat gently in the river. Mantras and ‘slokas’ are recited as a form of prayer.
At sunset, ‘aarti’ is performed at the banks of the Ganga and the sight is one to behold. Lakhs of people attend this ‘aarti’.
The devotees who are not able to be part of this, perform their prayers at home. The prayer area is cleaned and an idol or picture of Goddess Ganga is placed in the center. The whole house is purified by sprinkling Ganga Jal. Some of this water is also sprinkled on self. Offerings are made to the deity along with prayers.
Lord Shiva is also worshipped on this day and so is the King Bhagiratha, who was instrumental in bringing down Ganga from the heavens.
An important part of the ritual is donating items and being charitable to the poor. Since it is believed that ten sins get absolved, devotees donate ten fruits, ten different types of sweets and sesame seeds on this day.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
Are you the Ard...
Different aspects of your personality come into play when it comes to your compatible with your partner. While a lot depends on how you both behave in your relationship, there are ...Read More ➜
Handle your Rel...
Relationships cannot always be smooth-sailing. There are bound to be ups and downs. One cannot always be prepared for everything, but getting to know your personality traits, espec...Read More ➜
Dahi Handi 2019...
Also lovingly called the Govinda Festival or Gopalakala, Dahi Handi is a grand Hindu festival that is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor, especially by the young men in Ma...Read More ➜
According to Hindu Panchang, Bhadon or Bhadrapada is the sixth month of the year. This year, Bhadra begins from August 16, 2019 and ends on September 13. This month, which comes af...Read More ➜