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Report: Ganga Dussehra 2021

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Ganga Dussehra was celebrated on Sunday, 20 June 2021 via our online Home Satsang programme. Messages from our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda and Pujya Swamiji were read at this Satsang. We reproduce excerpts of their messages below.

In the book, Mother Ganga, our Master wrote, "Taking Her course into the interior of the Himalayas, Ganga was about to wash away Rishi Jahnu's Ashram. Sage Jahnu responded by simply sipping up her water. Bhagiratha was much disappointed. He did severe penance to please Rishi Jahnu. At last, the sage let Ganga through his ears. Flowing from this outlet, Ganga flowed with entire modesty and all-embracing filial love and motherly affection. By Her Divine Grace, She uplifted all the sixty thousand princes to the highest abode of immortal bliss. This day is celebrated as the most sanctifying Ganga Dussehra".

In Path of Divine Grace, Volume 1, Pujya Swami Sahajananda wrote: "Now through the Grace of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda and Mother Ganga, the celestial river has found its way even into our country. It is quite certain that in my past birth I lived near Mother Ganga and worshipped Her. Otherwise, how would I have had so much attraction for Her, and how would She have come into this country?

"Several great sages of our modern times all glorified Mother Ganga. Sri Ramana Maharishi, the sage of Tiruvannamalai, who never left his Ashram during his lifetime had high praise for Mother Ganga. Sri Ramakrishna had immense regard and love for Ganga. The Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a great saint, had high regard for Mother Ganga. She said that Ganga was a great Goddess. Once, a disciple of the Mother was engaged in erecting steel structures on the banks of the Ganga. Again, and again the structures collapsed. In desperation he wrote to the Mother for her advice. The Mother said that in the past all those who put up structures on the banks of the Ganga invoked Her first. She gave a stone to the disciple and asked him to put it into the Ganga near the structure. He did so and there was no further trouble. Such is the glory of Mother Ganga! Mother Krishnabai, the well-known saint of Anandashram, Kanhangad said that even a drop of Ganga water on the head would purify the whole body.

"In the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna says: "Among streams I am the Ganga". There are any number of verses in the Skanda Purana and other scriptures glorifying Mother Ganga.

"Among our modern saints no one had such love and reverence for Mother Ganga as our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda. He has written many lines glorifying Ganga. These can be read in the booklet, The Eternal Ganga. Till his last days he had a glimpse of Ganga from his room next to the river".

Spiritual Darlings of Divine Life Society of S.A. presented a video programme on "The Glory of Ganga". Scenic views of Mother Ganga and the Ganga Arati were screened with a commentary from our Spiritual Darlings. The commentary, among other details, pointed to the fact that: "Ganga is the most sacred river in India. Every Hindu thirsts for a dip in the Ganga and for a drop of Her water at the time of his death. Devi Bhagavatam says, 'He who utters the Name of Ganga, even from hundreds of miles afar, is freed from sins and attains the abode of Lord Hari'." Our Spiritual Darlings, playing the part of various Deities and spiritual personalities closely associated with Mother Ganga, spoke about Her importance.

In the reading entitled "Light for Women", taken from Sivananda's Gospel of Divine Life, the Master encouraged Smt Kanti Bereilly, who took the Vow of Celibacy, as follows: "Engage yourself heart and soul in the service of humanity. You have all the talents. They are rare gifts of the Almighty. Utilise them in His service. Take part in all women's movements but only take care not to lose your head. Do not allow yourself to be converted. Always try to convert others and bring them to the divine path. Talk to other women. Give short, simple discourses on the importance of a divine life, on righteousness, purity, truth and love. Serve all and win their hearts". Is this not a message for all women? As hampered as they still are in present day society, women can make a significant difference if they turn to Mother Ganga and invoke Her Grace, if they allow themselves to be inspired by Her!

Concluding remarks from Pujya Swami Sahajananda: "It is indeed a great wonder that the Divine Master, who was a God-realised saint, should have so much love and reverence for the celestial Ganga. To him Mother Ganga was not just a river, but the Divine Shakti of the Lord pervading the whole universe. At the end of a most beautiful poem written by our Master on Mother Ganga, he concludes that he and Mother Ganga are one".

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