GANGA Jaharnavi (Jahnavi) or Ganges was brought (to earth) by Bhagiratha….. (Malar M. 4, p. 1263) If the wine is made from the waters of Sursuri (Ganges), the saintly persons do not drink it; if the impure wine or any other water, mixes with Sursuri, it becomes the Sursuri itself. (Malar Ravidas, p. 1293) If the stream merged in Ganga (Ganges), it became Ganga itself. (Bhairo Kabir, p. 1158) Ganga is said to be the daughter of Himavat, the king of mountains and given to gods by him. Sagara the king of Ayodhya and stxty thousand sons by one of his \’wives. When he was performing the horse-sacrifice, the horse \’was stolen. He ordered his sons to go in search for the same.

Not finding it on the earth, they went to the nether-regions (Patala), where they found the horse in the hermitage of the sage Kapila, who was absorbed in meditation. When the sons of Sagara charged Kapila for theft, he reduced them to ashes by a single glance. When the sons did not return for a long time, the king Sagara sent his grandson Ansumat in their search. He found their ashes and the horse near them. He could not find water to pour on the ashes.

He was directed by Kapila not to pour ordinary water upon them, but taking the horse he should complete the sacrifice of his grandfather. He (Kapila) also assured Ansumat that his grandson should obtain heavenly Ganges of their ashes. Ansumafs son •was Dilip and grandson Bhagiratha. Bhagiratha \’ performed austerities for one thousand years. The god Brahma was pleased and granted him the boon of taking away the heavenly river Ganga on one condition.

The god Shiva had to be prevailed upon to break the fall of the waters, so that the earth may not be swept away. Bhagiratha had to perform further austerities to please Shiva. Shiva being pleased received the waters in his locks. For bringing the waters to the earth down below, Bhagiratha had to perform further austerities. Ultimately Ganga left Shiva\’s locks in seven streams and fbllowed Bhagiratha\’s splendid chariot. But in the way Jahnu Muni was performing a sacrifice.

n great rage, he drank up all the waters of Ganga. He was prevailed upon afterwards to discharge the waters through his ear. After that the river followed the king Bhagiratha to Patala, where it washed the ashes of his ancestors and liberated them. Ganga (Ganges) is a very sacred river of the Hindus. Its waters are considered very pure.

All other waters of streams and rivulets etc., when they merge in Ganga, they also become pure. In the process of its fall from Heaven, Bhagiratha played a great part through his austerities, therefore it is also called Bhagirathi. Since it was drunk and released by Jahnu Muni, it is also called Jahnavi or Jaharnavi. It is also called Sursuri. Kabir has said that if the mind becomes as pure as the waters of Ganga, even the Lord follows it. (Shalok Kabir, p. 1367) See : Bhagiratha , Jaharnavi , Sursuri .

References :

1. Kohli, Surindar Singh (ed), Dictionary of Mythological References in Guru Granth Sahib, 1993