Celebrating Ganga Utsav is a way to remind ourselves of the significance of Mother Ganga. She has played a huge role in the lives of hundreds of generations, and today around sixty crore Indians call Ganga basin their home.
Ganga is not just a river to people. The reason Ganga is considered holy is because certain parts of the river were consecrated over a period of time by certain people. If you are open to it, it can be very powerful. Though my approach to spirituality and the inner dimensions of life is very scientific, still, I cannot help being emotionally associated with the Ganga because of the nature of how the river is. This is not something that can be described. A person has to experience the river as a live force.
Seventy percent of our body is water and if water bodies are enriched with a certain energy, these spaces can have such a powerful impact on human consciousness. Such an impact is undeniably present in the early course of the Ganga. Just being in the presence of the river and in the surrounding areas is a hugely elevating and energizing experience.
In the last three decades, I have trekked to the source of the Ganga at Gomukh and to places beyond, like Tapovan and the Shivling mountain, many times. Once you are up in these spaces, even if you do not eat for three days you can still trek, if you just have some water from the river. It keeps you going without any weakening of the body. This is something I have repeatedly noticed, and many others have also had similar experiences.
Today, scientists are studying water and some of them are saying that water has memory. It remembers everything that it touches. We have always known this in Indian culture. This is why in traditional homes, people keep a copper vessel which they wash every day, do a pooja for, and only then fill it with water to drink. In temples, they give you theerth, which even a multi-billionaire fights for, because you cannot buy that water anywhere. It is water which remembers the divine. This is the idea of people carrying ganga jal with them. The Ganga flowed through sacred land and very powerfully consecrated spaces, so the water has that memory. When someone is dying in your house, he might not have lived a spiritually significant life, but at the last moment of his life if you put these few drops in his mouth, suddenly the memory bursts forth in his body. When someone is dying, his connection with the body is very loose, and if you put this water into him, instantly the memory of who he really is becomes dominant.
Unfortunately, today, a river that has been given such a position of sanctity in this culture has become a polluted body of water. It is very important to raise awareness about the revival of a clean Ganga. I hope we will be able to help her regain her pristine image of a mother-like character who is capable of absorbing everyone’s impurities and offering them a clean future. Keeping this river pure is not just about our survival and our requirement. Such symbolism is very essential to keep the human spirit up.
It is wonderful to see the laudable efforts of the National Mission for Clean Ganga. May this generation be deeply involved and dedicated to this cause so that our future generations can know the splendor and majesty of Mother Ganga as our ancestors knew her.
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