Ganga Dussehra- Worshipping the pious Goddess Ganga or river- Ganges.
Ganga Dussehra or Gangavataran is commemorated to venerate Goddess Ganga and Lord- Shiva. As per the Hindu calendar, it will be observed on ‘Dashami Tithi’ (tenth day) of the bright half of the moon in the month of Jyaistha. According to this Hindu religious Festival, The first ten days of the month ‘Jyeshtha’ commence on the Amavasya and generally end on the Shukla-Dasami. These 10 days are collectively famed as Dussehra among the Hindu worshippers. This Hindu sacred observance is greatly admired in the month of May or June every year with much devotion. It is observed mainly in the Indian states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal especially marked a remarkable Hindu Practice in the north-eastern state of Tripura in India.
Tribal Folks/Tribes adore the River-Goddess to be saved from epidemic diseases and for the health and welfare of the pregnant women and infants.
Ganga Dussehra Puja Timings:
Dashami Tithi Begins = 22:42 on 23/May/2018
Dashami Tithi Ends = 21:48 on 24/May/2018
Was this the same day, when the celestial sacred- River Ganges fallen on Earth?
Hindu Mythology says: On the holy day of Gangavataran, Lord Shiva opened his hair locks and allowed Goddess – Ganga to descent on earth from the Heaven-world.
Being the sacred river and originated from Heaven, she came down to earth to wash away all the sins of the mankind and her dearest devotees.
Legend holds it: To accomplish the last ritual of his dearest Ancestors, the sage (Rishi) Bhagirath once penanced hard and meditated so long to persuade River Ganges for controlling the course of Goddess- Ganga and solicited to come on earth. Lord-Shiva got pleased by his austerity and assembled the flow of Ganga in his black matted hair. From that notable day, Ganga emerged to flow from the long tangled hairs of Shiva on this earth. Therefore, this eminent festivity is remarked as the day when Goddess Ganga came down to earth from Heaven. Due to this reason, river Ganga is also famed as- Bhagirathi among the Hindu Followers.
The Importance of Number 10
Ten plays a momentous and unique role in celebrating Ganga Dussehra. The name itself reveals the importance of ‘Dussehra’ which comes from ‘DUS’ means Ten and Hara which says– Defeat. Let’s know the pre-eminence of Number -10 in Hinduism whilst commemorating Ganga Dussehra.
- These 10 days are devoted saintly to pay homage to the river Ganges.
- On this propitious day, devotees are advised to take a holy dip in Ganges sacred water to get rid of 10 wrong deeds.
- To attain Moksha or Salvation, one should worship Goddess Ganga with 10 traditional rituals and the customs on the Bank of the divine river, early in the morning.
- Offer 10 favorites of Goddess-Ganga including- flowers, Prasada (bhoga), leaf boats laden with flames and Milk etc. to Maa- Ganga to get blessings in immensity.
- Make sure to donate 10 edible ingredients(sweetmeats)to the poverty-stricken and needy people.
- It is recommended to observe fast at least for 10 hours on this day without consuming even water to impress- Goddess Ganges.
- 10 distinct sounds and hymns are produced while chanting Aartis and reciting Devi’s Mantras through Bells and Conches on the River Bank.
- A high-spirited and vigorous Ganga-Dusshera ceremony is observed in 10 chief States in India, where River-Ganges flows. These are:
- Himachal Pradesh
- Uttar Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
- West Bengal
- This holy observance embraces- establishing a magnificent artificial temple of 10 bamboo or wooden sticks right at the center of the River-Ganges or a water stream.
- It is considered to be very sacred and auspicious to worship Goddess-Ganga in this holy season, as it is one of the Tenth (10th) Supreme godheads praised in Hindu folklore.
Mantras to Chant during Ganga-Dussehera on Ganges Ghats:
तत्र भगवतः साक्षाद्यज्ञलिङ्गस्य- Srimad Bhagavatam (5.17).
गङ्गा स्तोत्रम् – देवि सुरेश्वरि भगवति गङ्गे त्रिभुवनतारिणि तरलतरङ्गे– Sri Adi Shankaracharya.
तत्र त्रिपथगां दिव्यां शीततोयामशैवलाम्– Valmiki Ramayana (2.50).
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