Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Ganga Dusshara – 10

Ganga Sagar

As we end the series today, am thinking about the journey when we began as a rivulet and now entering the ocean today. The narrow mindedness turning to broad mindedness. The art of looking at the world outside to the world within. It may be a complex process but we all have to undergo it one day. So let’s begin the last leg of our journey today.

परद्रव्येष्वभिध्यानं मनसानिष्टचिंतनम्।

वितथाभिनिवेशश्र्व मानसं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।

10. To wrongly insist / persist

Vitathabhivniveshashva” – to wrongly insist. Try to impose things on others which may not work for them. We all have this habit of insisting for things which have worked for us forgetting that different people have different solutions for the same problem. And that is how the Universe works.

Maa Ganga treads Her own path. She does not depend on others at the same time She does not expect others to follow Her. She goes Her own way. If people follow, fine. If they dont, then too She has no problems. She is “Nisang

At this stage of development we too need to learn this quality of being selfless. No attraction, no repulsion. No submission, no justification. This leads to the feet of Bhagwan Vishnu. This is the ultimate goal of life.

As we take the 10th and the last dip in Maa Ganga today, we pray to Her to bless us with the quality of being “Nisang” and attain the lotus feet of Bhagwaan Vishnu.

एतानि दश पापानि हर त्वमथ जाह्नवी।

दशपापहरा यस्मात्तस्माद् दशहरा स्मृता।।

O Ganga ! you are the one who will deliver me from the above said 10 sins and so I remember you (bow down to you) on the Dusshara day as “Duspaaphara”.

We bow down to Maa Ganga today and thank Her for guiding us all through this journey.

We thank Her for being there for us from eternity to eternity.

We bow down to Her and plead Her to keep us on this path of development and growth.

My dear friends / readers I thank you too for being a part of my quest to find answers to the questions which torments the Humans and trying to find an answer to them. Have we been able to find the answers? Have we learnt something? Have we grown during these 10 days? I leave these questions for you to answer.

Pray to Maa Ganga to keep writing about Her and get closer to Her through my writings

Namami Gange…

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Ganga Dusshara – 9

Ganga – Howrah Bridge – Kolkatta

As we go closer to our destination, the form of the river becomes a delta and grows bigger but slower so as to smoothly enter the ocean. That is the purpose of our lives too. We began with the physical sins and moved on to the mental sins and we try to understand how to remove them from our lives. We move on to the second but last stop of our journey.

परद्रव्येष्वभिध्यानं मनसानिष्टचिंतनम्।

वितथाभिनिवेशश्र्व मानसं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।

9. To think that bad happen to others

Manasanishtchintanam” – to think bad about others. We think bad not only about others but also whom we consider close to us. Thinking about the loss of a close one is also a sin which we do without even understanding that it creates a negative feeling in our minds.

Negativity is the biggest hurdle in our growth and development. It hurts us badly without us even realising that it is hurting us. Negativity is slow poison – kills us slowly. From thinking negative about others we slowly move towards thinking negative about ourselves.

Maa Ganga is full of positivity. Her flow through all the obstacles is never hindered nor slowed down. She guides us to live and lead our life through every good and bad situation and reach our destination, the feet of Lord Vishnu, who resides in the ocean. Our destination will be reached when our lives be filled with “Positivity

Positivity not only help us move ahead in life but also accelerates us towards our goal. Being positive in all things is a big step in our development. Am reminded of the story we all have heard or studied in our childhood days – “It’s all for the Best”, where a king by mistake cuts his finger and the minister says its for the best. This angers the king and he sends the minister to prison. Later when he goes for hunting and attached by a wild animal, the wild animal leaves the king due to the smell of the blood from the cut finger. The king realises his folly, comes back and releases his Minister. But he asks how was the cut finger best for the minister. Then the witty minister replies that hadnt he been in prison he would have accompanied the Kind on the hunting trip and got killed himself.

So as we take our second but last dip in the Holy Ganga, we pray to Her to help us inculcate positivity in our lives and lead us to our development.

Tommorrow we will reach our destination and also celebrate the festival of Ganga Dusshara. See you all tommorrow…

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Ganga Dusshara – 8

Ganga Ghat in Bihar

As we move onwards our journey from the Ganga ghats of Kashi towards Ganga Sagar, we have come to that node where we have to think beyond physical sins and sins expressed by our thoughts. Today onwards we think about the last 3 sins for which we need to be very careful and sensitive about. The first 7 can be seen by others too and they can help us correct them. But the last 3 are “mansik” – within our minds and no one except us can correct them. So let’s gear up ourselves and introspect.

परद्रव्येष्वभिध्यानं मनसानिष्टचिंतनम्।

वितथाभिनिवेशश्र्व मानसं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।

8. To think about snatching others wealth

9. To think that bad happen to others

10. To wrongly insist / persist

These are the 3, and the last of 10, sins committed in our minds

Pardravyeshvabhidhyanam” – to think about snatching others wealth. To think about taking something which does not belong to us. How many of us have thought of this? I without any doubt would say everyone of us. Just imagine the guilt now while reading about what we have been doing.

I very well understand that first we have to come to terms with what I am trying to say. Secondly we need to accept it. Thirdly we need to decide to work on it. Fourthly we need to work on it and change it. We are at the first step today.

Also I was thinking that if we think about snatching wealth of others then wouldn’t they be thinking the same. What chaos would be created if the thought would be implemented! Just imagine the society then.

Maa Ganga never snatches. She rather deposits the silt which She has been carrying with it on the plains which She flows through. She has been giving to Human kind for time immemorial. And the thought of snatching never crosses Her mind. She just gives and teaches us to give “Datum

This is a situation exactly opposite of what we have been thinking. Instead of snatching we think about giving. And give, we have. When we think about Emperor Harsh and the way has has given or Emporer Raghu, the ancestor of Ram, has given away all his wealth to his citizens. We have a great tradition of giving.

So as we take our 8th dip in Maa Ganga let us inculcate the value of giving and start with sharing atleast.

As we move towards our destination let us keep sharing the various stops of our journey. See you all tommorrow…

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Ganga Dusshara – 6

Triveni Sangam, Allahabad

Being arrogant and the art of lying is what were thinking about in our last two blogs. It tells us the importance of what we speak and how we speak. And we speak what we think. And these sins we are commiting are not helping us grow, rather they deter our growth.

पारूष्यमनृतं चैन पैशुन्यं चापि सर्वतः।

असंबद्धप्रलापश्र्व वाङ्मयं स्याच्चतुर्विधम्।।

6. To backbite about others

The best time pass of Humanity is to back bite. To gossip is Human is what my teacher always used to tell us. At that age I didnt understand its meaning but today as I grow in age, I fully understand what she meant then. Who doesn’t back bite? Everyone does and no one is an exception to it.

Well was thinking about the different instances to write about but one thing which is striking with this “Paap” is that one cannot see the other human being good or gain popularity or grow big. It has become Human tendency to judge the other person’s growth with suspicion and caste a doubt on his / her growth.

It is a vice which has infected all ages. We all have at some time or the other being a part of it and helped in spreading it. This attitude of not being able to accept other person’s growth needs to worked upon and moulded into better understanding.

Maa Ganga through Her flow demonstrates not to be bothered by anyone’s growth and keep on doing the good work one has been doing. From the time Bhagirath got Her down to Mother Earth, She has been doing Her own work and working towards Her own growth. She isn’t selfish or self centered but at the same time She is “Inclusive“.

We need to be inclusive about people’s growth and development. Accept others as they are and at the same time accept how we ourselves are. Stop being suspicious about others and stop judging others. This will slowly make us inclusive and start accepting others.

While taking the 6th dip let us learn to be inclusive about others and ourselves in particular and remove this vice of back biting about others.

Tommorrow we will be talking about the senseless talks or as we call it chatter in our day to day language…

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Ganga Dusshara – 5

Har ki Paudi, Hardwar

Let us continue with our understanding of the sins we commit with our thoughts and express through our mouth. Yesterday we were trying to understand about being arrogant and how Maa Ganga teaches us to be humble.

पारूष्यमनृतं चैन पैशुन्यं चापि सर्वतः।

असंबद्धप्रलापश्र्व वाङ्मयं स्याच्चतुर्विधम्।।

5. To lie (To spread falsehood)

Today we talk about lying. “Anrutan” as they call it in Sanskrit. Lying is an art which we all have mastered in our lives. We have been seeing, observing and learning how to lie from our early childhood days. Will not like to state instances how we learn.

We lie to come out of an awkward situation, to save oneself from embarrassment, to save oneself from harm, to win admiration from others, to avoid being punished, to obtain an reward not otherwise really obtainable, to maintain privacy and many more reasons one can think of.

People will share instances and quote shlokas from the scriptures explaining that lying is allowed. But the thing is that it is allowed in certain extreme circumstances. And now where is it said that spread the lie. So there is avery fine line between spreading a lie and allowed to lie, which we all need to understand.

Also there will always be a justification for lying as the person who lies thinks that he or she is doing it for his or her own good. It might be as well, but the amount of harm it causes to the person’s integrity and character building and the society as a whole is something which people do not think about while lying.

Maa Ganga is always flowing and in now way does She ever stop Her flow in any situations. She may be facing Her problems of extinction or being made dirty, not once does She stop. She keeps flowing removing the dirt within Her. She has been flowing from the day She has arrived on Earth till date. She is always “TRUTHFUL“.

Being Truthful has it’s own problems. It can lead us to problems but they will be solved without causing any difficulties and in due time. It might not yield quick and easy results but in the long run it does help. Truthfulnees is a virtue adored even by the Gods.

Let us plead to Maa Ganga to help us be truthful, as we take our 5th dip in Her today.

Let us continue with our journey tommorrow. We have reached half way and should reach our destination in the next half…

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Ganga Dusshara – 4

Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh

The last 3 days we have been talking about the different physical sins which we commit as humans and how Maa Ganga delivers us from them. Today we try to understand the different sins in words by us. These are such sins that we do not even realise that we are doing them.

पारूष्यमनृतं चैन पैशुन्यं चापि सर्वतः।

असंबद्धप्रलापश्र्व वाङ्मयं स्याच्चतुर्विधम्।।

4. To speak arrogantly,

5. To lie (To spread falsehood)

6. To backbite about others

7. To talk without any reason and what make no sense ie senseless talk.

The above mentioned 4 sins are committed through tongue (thoughts)

This is a topic which is the most sensitive to all our relations which we try to make and sustain. A small word here and there can break the relations. The bonds of relations are very delicate and they can be broken easily with even a single wrong word.

May a people have a habit of speaking very arrogantly. Their arrogance arises either from their intellect, wealth or the position they have in the society. Sometimes it comes very naturally to all of us and makes such a dent that it becomes difficult to repair.

Let us begin with an example of a person scoring good marks or ranks in the exams they appear for. After such consistent effort and performance, it happens that the person develops a feeling of knowing everything under the Sun and starts looking down towards people not scoring good mark’s or ranks. Now this alienates them from their surroundings and creates another problem of aloofness.

Sometimes the wealth plays a big factor in how we speak. A wealthy person starts feeling that he or she owns everything due to their wealth and they start treating people very arrogantly and by belittling them. People start staying away from such people thus creating the class war in the society.

And for people with power, there is need of any description about this for people in India. How power is abused by people in power is no secret! Even the smallest of people in power (for example – the hawaldaar); their tone is very arrogant.

Maa Ganga, through Her flow guides us with a soft and melancholy sound. Even after helping a civilisation to grow on Her banks, She has been very humble. She doesnt make any arrogant noises of helping someone grow or being the most important person around. She is very “HUMBLE“.

Humility after attaining power is the most important value which one needs to imbibe in life. A humble person is not only loved by everyone but also wanted by everyone, in case of need. A person who is humble can help the society to its fullest and can be a shining armour in the otherwise dull and arrogant world.

While taking this fourth dip today, let us pledge to be humble in life even when we reach the highest echelons of life.

We continue tommorrow…

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Ganga Dusshara – 7

Ganga Ghat, Kashi

We come to the last of the ‘Vaachik’ paaps we are trying to understand from last 3 blogs. I know they can be elaborated a lot and a lot more can be written but want to keep them short so that everyone with whom I share finds time to read them. Yesterday we talked about back biting about others.

पारूष्यमनृतं चैन पैशुन्यं चापि सर्वतः।

असंबद्धप्रलापश्र्व वाङ्मयं स्याच्चतुर्विधम्।।

7. To talk without any reason and what make no sense ie senseless talk.

Chatterbox, Badbad (in Hindi), are the terms we use oftenly nowadays. These words are used for people who keep on talking which make no sense or have no reason to talk about. These people just have a habit of going on and on and on. And the best part is that they are made a thing to be showcased by their parents and the peer group.

To talk is to use energy. It takes up a lot of energy to keep on talking. Ask the teachers and the professors. But here we are talking about people who talk for no reason as such. They just want some attention and so they just chatter. Kids especially nowadays due to over exposure have become chatterboxes and this has become an object of showcasing.

It is a common misconception that women talk endlessly, but the men do too. Rather men do it more!

There may be many reasons of keeping on talking continuously but is it right? Does the person talking endlessly take into consideration the person who is listening? Is there a need to go on talking endlessly?

Maa Ganga has demonstrated through Her flow that She knows when to make her presence known and when not. While flowing through the ghats of Varanasi and through Bhar towards Kolkatta, She flows while making minimum or no sound. Her flow is so smooth that people truly are awed with what they have seen Her at Rishikesh. She does teach us the value of “Balance” in life.

It is not that one should not talk. But one shoukd know when to talk! What to talk! And how much to talk!. This fine balance is a must for every person to grow in life. The world always likes “a man of few words”. But these few words have to be gentle, humble, truthful and balanced.

As we take our 7th dip, and the way we are moving, am sure that we will in our lives try to think over what we have spoken and shared during this discussion and try to live the way.

See you all tommorrow…

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Ganga Dusshara – 3

Devprayag – Confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi

We are trying to understand the “Paap” which Maa Ganga removes from our lives. We are now at a node where we need to think about the third “Kaayik” paap.

अदत्तानामुपादानं हिंसा चैवाविधानतः।

परदारोपसेवा च कायिकं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।

ADATTANAMUPADANAM – To take away even if not offered ie to steal.

HIMSA CHAIVAVIDHANATA – To commit violence for no reason.

The third sin “Pardaropaseva ch” – To commit adultery or To have adulterous relationships. With the growing influence of “Being open minded” and “It’s a free world” we, humans have transgressed a path from “Shame” to being “Shameless”. Commiting adultery has become so common that it has become a topic of discussion from a topic of gossip.

The way, we, the society is behaving and opening up is just not distasteful but a disgrace. The way a man looks towards a woman, as an object of lust and propriety is something which one cannot even imagine. The mental state of the youth of our country in this regards, though still under wraps, is disillusioning. The days ahead will be of utter chaos and disbelief regarding relationships.

At this juncture, when we see Maa Ganga and Her pious flow, it leads us to a divine outlook of Motherhood. She holds us in Her bosoms very gently and awakens a emotion of reverence for the creation. She gently carries us on Her back and nurtures the quality of “Brahmacharya” within us.

Brahmacharya not only means abstinence from physical relations but it also means to walk on the path of God. To keep on walking continuously to spread His name far and wide. It also means to become one with God.

Maa Ganga too from Her emergence to Her submission is a Brahmacharini, spreading the message of God to every part of land and to every living being encountered in Her path.

Today as we take out third dip, let us today rise above the petty thoughts of adultery and pledge to live a life of Brahmachari and make efforts to spread the word of God far and wide.

Now as we discussed about the Kaayik (physical) paap, we shall move to the next mantra and try and understand the four “Vaachik” (Spoken) paap…

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Ganga Dusshara – 2

Rudraprayag – Confluence of Alaknanda and Mandakini

We started yesterday with the aim to develop an understanding about how Maa Ganga is Das (10) “Paap” Haarini. And we began with the 3 “Kaayik” paap.

अदत्तानामुपादानं हिंसा चैवाविधानतः।

परदारोपसेवा च कायिकं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।

We tried to understand the first one yesterday : ADATTANAMUPADANAM – To take away even if not offered ie to steal

Today we talk about Himsa Chaivavidhanata – To commit violence with no reason.

I think Himsa or Violence is the most spoken and thought after word or “paap” in today’s world. We all understand that Himsa means violence and it is done with no reason. From assaulting kids to wives to friends and today even countrymen, the word Himsa needs no description. The morning newspapers carry only the news of violence all over the world.

The word Himsa includes all acts of violence and destruction. All the types of activities that lead to violence should also be termed as Himsa.

Even when one starts to think negatively about oneself and demotivates oneself is also a type of Himsa – destroying one’s esteem, self confidence. The biggest Himsa we do to ourselves is when we say “I can’t do.”

When one sits at the banks of Maa Ganga, in Her lap, Her flow removes all these negative thoughts of demeaning and demotivating oneself and rejuvenates, recharges us with positive thoughts and motivates us for action. This is the true “Ahimsa

Friends, when one talks of Ahimsa it means Non Violence. And people take it as way of not doing anything – Nivrutti. To that extent that one should take care while walking too as it may kill the ants and the microbes around. Cover the mouth while talking so that the sound waves do not kill. And so walk less or talk less. Am not against this understanding but we need to move a step ahead. Ahimsa – means to spread the love all over. To love every part of the creation selflessly. And this is what all the Avatar’s born anywhere on Earth have propagated.

Similarly Maa Ganga too loves Her children. Maa Ganga and Her flow have always been non destructive. She flows so smoothly and elegantly from the Gomukh to Ganga Sagar. She just cleanses all the lands and their people and leads them to prosperity.

Today when we take a dip at the confluence of Alaknanda and Mandakini, let us pledge to understand the right meaning of Ahimsa and spread the love of Maa Ganga and through Her, the work of the Avatars and the greatness of this Holy land unto the last person on Mother Earth.

With the dip, let us leave the thought of Himsa behind and give prominence to the phrase ‘I can do’ in our lives.

We will take our third dip at the confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi tomm…

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Ganga Dusshara – 1

Gomukh – The emergence of Maa Ganga

On the auspicious occasion of Ganga Dusshara falling on 20th June this year, am planning a series of blogs explaining the meaning of the word “Dusshara”

GANGA DUSSHARA means the one who takes away our 10 sins (Duss + Hara) from our lives.

These 10 sins are ‘Kaayik’, ‘Vachik’ and ‘Mansik’ (physical, speech (thoughts) and pshycological).

We begin with the first of three physical sins today. But first what are they? A shlok describes them as thus:

अदत्तानामुपादानं हिंसा चैवाविधानतः।

परदारोपसेवा च कायिकं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।

ADATTANAMUPADANAM – To take away even if not offered ie to steal

I think it is the biggest problem we all are facing today, STEALING. Steal things, Steal the process, steal the thought to Steal someone’s peace. The question which comes to my mind is that how can one think of getting something which is not theirs. Isn’t it uncivilized?

Let us also understand that there is nothing wrong in copying someone’s method or process or experiment, but calling it, one’s own is stealing. We see many such people who behave in this manner. Also calling someone’s idea or thought one’s own is also stealing.

Again accumulating thoughts or amassing wealth and also not sharing with anyone is stealing. So in itself the word stealing has a huge or a very broad meaning which we all need to think about.

Maa Ganga takes away this sin from our lives. When we see Her flow and hear Her soft and tinkling sound, the thought to steal just goes away. Rather looking at Her flow, just removes the thought of belongingness towards things, processess and thoughts. The soft sound of the flow instills harmony in our thoughts and strikes a balance of “Aparigraha“.

What does Maa Ganga take from us? Nothing. Rather She gives us everything from life, water and alluvial soil which in turn helps us grow crops for our food. Learning from Her, we too can remove the vice of stealing from our life. We can live our life like Her sharing our most prized possessions with others.

Today when we take our first dip in Maa Ganga let us all pledge to give up this sin of Adattanamupadanam (stealing).

We continue our journey along the banks of Maa Ganga tommorrow…