Ganga Dussehra is one of the festival which waves off our sins by taking a holy dip in holy river Ganga.

Ganga, Varanasi

Namaste!

Welcome to the oasis of divine readings at www.onindianpath.com. Today, we are going to fetch information on date, tithi, meaning and relevance of Ganga Dussehra in contemporary times.

Introduction

India is the land of festivals. We never leave any stone unturned when it comes to celebrations and reverence. Thus, we not only celebrate the human life but also nature and environment around us. Consequently, Ganga Dussehra is one of them providing us an opportunity to celebrate Mother Ganga.

What is Ganga Dussehra?

Firstly, Ganga Dussehra is also known as Gangavtaran. Jeth ka Dussehra is another name of this festival well known in northern states of India. Secondly, this Hindu festival denotes the arrival of River Ganga from heaven to the Earth. Mainly, it is celebrated with glee in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.

As per religious belief, it is advised to have holy dip at Ganga or any other holy river near by to get rid of all the sins and bad deeds.

Why River Ganga is relevant in Hinduism?

River Ganga is considered the most pious and sacred water entity in Hinduism. Our older generations and even our ancestors used to swear by Ganga.

However, in all the major aartis and other religious hymns and texts dedicated to Hindu Gods and Goddesses, the Ganga River is reverently mentioned as a sacred and pure entity, believed to possess the divine power to absolve humans of their sins.

In addition to this, Gangajal (the holy water of the Ganga River) is the most revered item used in all pujas. It is used for making panchamrit, cleansing houses and offices after any inauspicious event, and welcoming a new baby into the home by sprinkling Gangajal on the new mother and baby.

Additionally, as a ritual during the departure of a deceased family member, Gangajal is put into the mouth of the deceased.

Date and Tithi of Ganga Dussehra 2024

As per Hindu Panchang, Ganga Dussehra is celebrated on Dashmi (tenth day) of shukla paksha of jeysth mas.

Although, in 2024, Ganga Dussehra will be celebrated on June 16, 2024. The dashmi tithi will start at 2:30 AM on June 16, 2024 and will end at 4:43 AM on June 17, 2024.

Significance of Ganga Dussehra

Ganga Dussehra holds profound significance in Hindu culture. Additionally, it is considered as an important day for shahi snan (bathing ritual). As per Skand purana, on Ganga Dussehra, a person must go to any holy river, bathe, meditate and donate.

By doing this, he gets freedom from all his sins. Certainly, if the person is unable to go to the holy river then he should take bath in any river near his home.

According to Varaha Purana, on Jyeshtha Shukla Dashami, Ganga came to earth from heaven in Hasta Nakshatra. Ten types of sins are destroyed by bathing in this holy river. Hence, one can be freed from ten sins equal to those of great sinners on this fortunate day.

Key highlights of Ganga Dussehra

a) Moreover, it is advised that devotees should donate the donating item in ten in number. Further, by doing this, devotee will gent improved auspiciousess.

b) Likewise, taking a holy dip at River Ganga will destroy ten types of sin of the devotee on Ganga Dussehra. That’s why it is called Dussehra. In Sanskrit, Dusha means ten and hara means destroyed. Thus, out of these ten sins, three sins are kaayik( physical), four sins are vachik (verbal) and rest three sins are mansik(mental).

  • Kaayik paap includes keeping someone’s belongings without his knowledge, violence as restricted in religious text, prostitution etc
  • Vachik paap includes cursing someone,a false statements, lie , etc
  • Mansik paap includes take someone’s holdings ,unethical living ,imaging hurting soneone in mind and telling false lies.etc

c) In many families, it is a custom to make churma and kheer to distribute to sadhus, brahmins and poors on Ganga Dussehra. The quantity may vary from making 1.25 kgs of churma per person in the family. Also, it is a common believe that by donating sweets on this day brings goodluck.

d) Infact, on this day, eating mangoes, muskmelon, watermelons and donating mangoes are also given special importance.

e) Indeed, Jyeshtha month is of superior summers, people do give cold water and khus khus sharbat(Indian colddrink made of poppyseeds) to needy, poor people travelling on road in scorching heat. It is a common sight scenario on streets in the hustle of city life.

f) Not only this, taking a dip in the holy river on this day also bring the devotee to a state of purification and can cure any physical ailments he may have.

Story of Ganga Dussehra

Once upon a time, a king named Sagar ruled in Ayodhya. He had two queens named Keshini and Sumati. The king had a son named Anshuman from Keshini and Sumati had sixty thousand sons. Once King Sagar performed Ashwamedha Yagya. As peer ritual, the horse of Ashwamedha yagya was left. In order to break the Yagya, god Indra stole the horse and tied it in the ashram of sage Kapil Muni.

Apparently, sage Kapil Muni was doing penance. As per the orders of King, all the sons of King went to the ashram to get back the horse. Because of disturbance created by sons of king, Kapil Muni’s penance was broken. Hence, sage was furious. The sage burnt all the sons to ashes.

As a result, the souls of sons of King Sagar got cursed. Later, nephew of sons of King Sagar named Anshuman and Dilip performed penance to impress Lord Brahma. But, their efforts failed. Years later, son of Dilip, Bhagirath did penance for arrival of River Ganga on Earth. Particularly, this time Lord Brahma was pleased and allowed River Ganga to come to Earth. Eventually, the full force of Ganga was hard to directly come to Earth from the Kamandhal of Lord Brahma.Thus, Lord Shiva trapped her in his locks and then later Ganga came to Earth on Ganga Dussehra.

Henceforth, all the unsatisfied soils were given last rites and they were freed.

As per Bhavata Purana, when Lord Vishnu was measuring the universe in his Vamana Awatar. He stretched his left foot to the endpoint of universe. Although, the nail of his big toe made a hole and touched the divine Brahm Water. Later it flowed form lotus feet of Shri Hari known as Vishnupadi or Bhagwata padi.

As per the great epic, Mahabharata, Ganga took human form and married to King Shantanu and gave birth to the great warrior Bhishma.

Rituals

Certainly, therevare given rituals, one must perform on Ganga Dussehra :

a) Wake up early in Brhama muhrat and take a holy dip with chanting the following mantra :

b)गङ्गे च यमुने चैव गोदावरि सरस्वति।
नर्मदे सिन्धु कावेरि जलेऽस्मिन् संनिधिं कुरु॥

Offer Surya Arghya to Lord Sun in the water only. Try to do it at any holy river near you.

c) Always end your snan by donating food items to needy people as per your budget.

d) Read Ganga chalisa on this day. Try to focus on your inner cleansing by meditating and chanting Aum.

Conclusion

At the end, I would like to reaffirm the timeless value of the sacred river Ganga. Even science has validated the purifying and holistic properties of Gangajal. While we embrace modernity in attire, lifestyle and living, it’s crucial to cherish our heritage and remain rooted in our essence, teaching these values to future generations. Sanatana Dharma advocates for safeguarding and harmonizing with natural resources and all living beings. With heartfelt gratitude to my readers and the environment, let’s continue to grow together.

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