Sushil Kumar's Blog

straight from my heart and soul

Ganga Behti Ho Kyun

Shiva idol swept away by Ganga

Shiva idol swept away by Ganga

We have witnessed devastating fury of Uttaranchal which has shaken diehard religious person’s faith in God and holy river Ganges. I came across a wonderful memoir of Swami Vivekananda which I want to share with my friends –

Do you remember the Ganga at Hrishikesh? That clear bluish water – in which one can count the fins of fishes five yards below the surface – that wonderfully sweet, ice-cold “charming water of the Ganga”, and that wonderful sound of “Hara, Hara” of the running water, and the echo of “Hara, Hara” from the neighbouring mountains-falls? Do you remember that life in the forest, the begging of Madhukari alms (collected from door to door, in small bits), eating on small islands of rock in the bed of the Ganga, hearty drinking of that water with the palms, and the fearless wandering of fishes all round for crumbs of bread? You remember that love for Ganga water, that glory of the Ganga, the touch of its water that makes the mind dispassionate, that Ganga flowing over the Himalayas, through Srinagar, Tehri, Uttarkashi, and Gangotri – some of you have seen even the source of Ganga! But there is certain unforgettable fascination in our Ganga of Calcutta, muddy, and whitish – as if contact with Shiva’s body – and bearing a large number of ships on her bosom. Is it merely patriotism or the impressions of childhood? – Who knows? What wonderful relation is this between mother Ganga and the Hindus? Is it merely superstition? May be. They spend their lives with the name of Ganga on their lips, they die immersed in the waters of the Ganga, men from far off places take away Ganga water with them, keep it carefully in copper vessels, and sip drops of it on holy festive occasions. Kings and princes keep it in jars, and at considerable expense take the water from Gangotri to pour it on the head of Shiva at Rameshwaram! The Hindus visit foreign countries – Rangoon, Java, Hongkong, Madagascar, Suez, Aden, Malta – and they take with them Ganga water and the Gita.
The Gita and the sacred waters of the Ganga constitute the Hinduism of the Hindus. Last time I went to the west, I also took a little of it with me, fearing it might be needed, and whenever opportunities occurred I used to drink a few drops of it. And every time I drank, in the midst of the stream of humanity, amid that bustle of civilisation, that hurry of frenzied footsteps of millions of men and women in the West, the mind at once became calm and still, as it were. That stream of men, that intense activity of the West, that clash and competition at every step, those seats of luxury and celestial opulence – Paris, London, New York, Berlin, Rome – all would disappear and I used to hear that wonderful sound of “Hara, Hara”, to see that lonely forest on the sides of the Himalayas, and feel the murmuring heavenly river coursing through the heart and brain and every artery of the body and thundering forth, “Hara, Hara, Hara!”

Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda

Enjoy soulful song – Ganga Behti Ho Kyun by Bhupen Hazarika. This song asks Ganga, why you are still flowing shamelessly when morality got annihilated, humanity has corrupted

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