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Ganga Saptami & Ganga Dussehra 2024

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Ganga Saptami was celebrated on Wednesday 14 May 2024 at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills. Ganga Arati commenced at 5.30pm followed by Satsang. The programme comprised Kirtans, Bhajans, a DVD and readings glorifying Mother Ganga, Her beauty and divine powers.

Both Sri Swami Sivananda and Pujya Swami Sahajananda had great love and reverence for Mother Ganga. The Master resided on the banks of the Ganga, and breathed his last on the holy banks of this celestial river. Through his devotion and austerity, Swami Sahajananda brought Mother Ganga to South Africa by erecting Ganga Ranis at the Society's Ashrams and at some other institutions and consecrating their waters with water carried from Ganges River, Swami Sivananda's poem, "O Adorable Mother Ganges!" captures the Master's admiration for Mother Ganga. In excerpts from the poem, the Master says,

"Millions flock to Thee during Kumbha Mela,
Thou art the purest water on earth,
No germs can thrive in Thee,
This is the finding of the scientist in his laboratory,
Thou art sparkling and clear as crystal,
A drop on the tongue at the moment of death gives Moksha,
Yogins and Sadhus do Tapas on Thy banks in cottages,
Thou deliverest them from the rounds of births and deaths,
Who can describe, O Mother, Thy glory and splendour?
Will a day come to me, Beloved Mother,
To sit on a block of stone on Thy bank,
To shed continuous tears of Prem on Thy lap,
And merge in Thee for ever and ever?
O all-powerful Mother of compassion and love,
Bless me with Thy Grace and mercy,
Destroy my darkness and ignorance,
Remove the veil and show Thy true form,
I am thine, O Mother, Thou art mine,
The sense of duality has vanished now,
The bridge that separates us has broken now,
Let me dwell in Thee, Mother, for ever and ever".

Referring to the purity of the Ganges, the Master wrote, "A well-known French physician, Dr D. Herell, made similar investiga¬tions into the mystery of the Ganges. He observed some of the floating corpses of men dead of dysentery and cholera, and was surprised to find 'that only a few feet below the bodies, where one would expect to find millions of these dysentery and cholera germs, there were no germs at all'. He then grew germs from patients having the disease, and to these cultures added water from the Ganges. When he incubated the mixture for a period, much to his surprise, the germs were completely destroyed.

The Master further attests to a British physician, Dr C.E. Nelson's striking fact, that "ships leaving Kolkata for England take their water from the Hooghly River which is one of the mouths of the filthy Ganges, and this Ganges water will remain fresh all the way to England. On the other hand, ships leaving England for India find that the water they take on in London will not stay fresh till they reach Bombay, the nearest Indian port, which is a week closer to England than Calcutta. They must replenish their water supply at Port Said, Suez or at Aden on the Red Sea". Dr Nelson was therefore of the view that Indians were correct in their beliefs that the Ganges is very sacred and possessed of mysterious powers.
In another reading from "Path of Divine Grace, Volume 1", Swami Sahajananda's love for the Ganga and its curative powers, was recounted. He said that Amitabh Mukerjee of India states in the internet that the Ganga has the recursive power, such that ordinary water mixed with the minutest quantity of Ganga water, has curative and healing powers. Pujya Swamiji quoted Lord Krishna's message from the Srimad Bhagavad Gita when He said, "Among streams I am the Ganga".

The beautiful DVD in praise of Mother Ganga's beauty, prowess and celestial grandeur, added colour to this wonderful celebration of Ganga Saptami.

The lesson of celebration of Ganga Saptami and its esoteric meaning are summed up by Sri Swami Sivananda, when he says, "The Ganges starts from Gangotri in the Himalayas. She encounters many obstacles on Her way, but She finally reaches the goal-the ocean. Similarly, the spiritual aspirant should never give up his struggle, however insurmountable the obstacles in the path may appear to be. All difficulties and obstacles will be removed through the Grace of the Lord and, if he is sincere in his Yogic practices, he will reach the goal".

Last modified on Friday, 24 May 2024 01:57
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