गङ्गा

विकिशब्दकोशः तः
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यन्त्रोपारोपितकोशांशः[सम्पाद्यताम्]

कल्पद्रुमः[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।


गङ्गा, स्त्री, (गमयति प्रापयति ज्ञापयति वा भगवतपदं या शक्तिः यद्वा गम्यते प्राप्यते ज्ञाप्यते मोक्षार्थिभिर्या । गम गतौ + “गन् गम्यद्योः ।” उणां । १ । १२२ । इति गन् तत- ष्टाप् ।) स्वनामख्यातनदी । तदधिष्ठात्री देवता च । तत्पर्य्यायः । विष्णुपदी २ जह्रुतनया ३ सुरनिम्नगा ४ भागीरथी ५ त्रिपथगा ६ तिस्रोताः ७ भीष्मसूः ८ । इत्यमरः । १ । १० । ३१ ॥ अर्घ्यतीर्थम् ९ तीर्थराजः १० । इति पद्मपुराणम् ॥ त्रिदशदीर्घिका ११ कुमारसूः १२ सरिद्वरा १३ सिद्धापगा १४ स्वरापगा १५ स्वर्ग्यापगा १६ खापगा १७ ऋषिकुल्या १८ हैमवती १९ स्वर्वापी २० हरशेखरा २१ । इति हेमचन्द्रः ॥ सुरापगा २२ धर्म्मद्रवी २३ सुधा २४ जह्न- कन्या २५ गान्दिनी २६ रुद्रशेखरा २७ नन्दिनी २८ अलकनन्दा २९ सितसिन्धुः ३० । इति जटाधरः ॥ अध्वगा ३१ उग्रशेखरा ३२ सिद्धसिन्धः ३३ इति त्रिकाण्डशेषः ॥ स्वर्ग- सरिद्वरा ३४ मन्दाकिनी ३५ जाह्नवी ३६ पुण्या ३७ समुद्रसुभगा ३८ स्वर्नदी ३९ सुर- दीर्घिका ४० सुरनदी ४१ स्वर्धुनी ४२ ज्येष्ठा ४३ जह्नुसुता ४४ भीष्मजननी ४५ शुभ्रा ४६ शैले- न्द्रजा ४७ भवायना ४८ । इति शब्दरत्ना- वली ॥ अस्या जलस्य गुणाः । शीतत्वम् । स्वादु- त्वम् । स्वच्छत्वम् । अत्यन्तरुच्यत्वम् । पथ्यत्वम् । पावनत्वम् । पापहारित्वम् । तृष्णामोहध्वंसन- त्वम् । दीपनत्वम् । प्रज्ञाधारित्वञ्च । इति राज- निर्घण्टः ॥ * ॥ (“गङ्गा सरस्वती कोनं यमुना सरयूः सची । वेणा इरावती नीला उत्तरात् पूर्ब्बवाहिनी ॥ हिमवत्-प्रभवा ह्येता हिमसम्भवशीतलाः । समाः सर्व्वगुणैर्नद्यो वातश्लेष्महरा नृणाम् ॥ आसां नवशतैर्युक्ता गङ्गा पूर्ब्बसमुद्रगा ॥” इति हारीते प्रथमस्थाने सप्तमेऽध्याये ॥) अस्या उत्पत्तिस्तु हिमालयात् सुमेरु- दुहितरि मनोरमायाम् । हिमालयः प्रार्थितः सन् देवेभ्य इमां दत्तवान् । तां नीत्वा देवाः स्वर्गं गतवन्तः ॥ * ॥ पृथिव्यामस्या अव- तरणकारणम् । सगरराजस्य सुतान् कपिल- शापेन भस्मीभूतानुद्धर्त्तं भगीरथराजः पृथिव्यां गङ्गानयनाय तपस्तेपे । ततो ब्रह्मा तुष्टस्तस्मै तं वरं दत्त्वा गङ्गाधारणार्थं शिवाराधनं कर्त्तु- मुक्तवान् । स शिवं पर्य्यतोषयत् । शिवोऽपि हिमालयपर्व्वतं गत्वा जटा विकीर्य्य पतेति गङ्गामब्रवीत् । सा तज्जटासु पतित्वा संवत्सर- पर्य्यन्तं बभ्राम । ततः शिवो भगीरथप्रार्थनया जटामेकामुत्क्षिप्य तामुत्ससर्ज्ज । साऽतिवेगेन पृथिवीतलमागत्य भगीरथस्य पञ्चात् षश्चा- दाजगाम । स सगरपुत्त्रकृतखातेन तां रसातल- शरीरस्था इडा नाडी । यथा, हटयोगदीपि- कायाम् । ३ । ११० । “इडा भगवती गङ्गा पिङ्गला यमुनानदी । इडापिङ्गलयोर्मध्ये बालरण्डा च कुण्डली ॥”) दुर्गा । यथा, देवीपुराणे ४५ अध्याये । “क्रियाकारणरूपत्वात् सरणाच्च सरिन्मता । सङ्गमाद्गमनाद्गङ्गा लोके देवी विभाव्यते ॥”

अमरकोशः[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।


गङ्गा स्त्री।

गङ्गा

समानार्थक:गङ्गा,विष्णुपदी,जह्नुतनया,सुरनिम्नगा,भागीरथी,त्रिपथगा,त्रिस्रोतस्,भीष्मसू

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गङ्गा विष्णुपदी जह्नुतनया सुरनिम्नगा। भागीरथी त्रिपथगा त्रिस्रोता भीष्मसूरपि॥

पदार्थ-विभागः : नाम

वाचस्पत्यम्[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।


गङ्गा¦ स्त्री गम--गन्। विष्णुपादं नदीभेदे

२ हिमवत्कन्याभेदे च।
“इमं मे गङ्गे! यमुने! सरखति। शुतुद्रि! स्तोमं सचता परुष्ण्या। असिक्न्या मरुद्वृधे!वितस्तयार्जोकीये शृणुह्यासुषोमया” ऋ॰

१० ,

७५ ,

५ । इमामृचमधिकृत्य दशप्रधाननदीनां निरुक्तिर्यास्केन

९ ,

२६ दर्शितम् यथा
“अथककपदनिरुक्तम् गङ्गा

१ गम-गात्। यमुना

२ प्रयुवती गच्छतीति वा विप्रयुतं गच्छ-तीति वा। सरस्वती

३ सर इत्युदकनाम सर्त्तेः तद्वती। शुतुद्री

४ शुद्राविणी क्षिप्रद्राविणी आशुतुन्नेव द्रवतीति वा। इरावतीं परुष्णी

५ त्याहुः पर्ववती भास्वती कुटिलगामिनी। असिक्नी

६ अशुक्लाऽसिता सितमिति वर्णनाम तत्प्रतिषेधो-ऽसितम्। मरुद्वृधा

७ सर्वा नद्यः, मरुत एना बर्द्धयन्ति। वितस्ता

८ विदग्धा विवृद्धा महाकूला। आर्जीकीया

९ वि-पाडित्याहुः ऋजुकप्रभवा वा ऋजुगामिनी। विपाट् विपा-टनाद्वा विपाशनाद्वा विप्रापणात् वा पाशा अस्यां व्यपा-स्यन्त वसिष्ठस्य मुमूर्षतस्तस्माद्विपाडुच्यते पूर्वमासीदुरु-ञ्जिरा। सुषोमा

१० सिन्धुर्यदेनामभिषुवन्ति सिन्धुः स्वन्द-नात्”।
“अष्टाबिंशतिं” (हयान्) भरतो दौष्मन्तिर्यमना-मगु। गङ्गायां वृत्रघ्नेऽबघ्नात् पञ्चपञ्चाशतं हयान्” शत॰ब्रा॰

१३ ,

५ ,

४ ,

११ ।
“न वै गावोमन्दीरस्य गङ्गाया उदकंषपुः” कात्या॰ श्रौ॰

१३ ,

३ ,

२० ।
“तेन चेदविवादस्ते मा गङ्गांमा कुरून् गमः” मनुः।
“गङ्गायाहिमवत्कन्यारूपत्वे-{??}पि नदीरूपतया पृथिव्यवतरणकथा रामा॰ आदि॰ यथा[Page2483-b+ 38]
“भगीरथस्तु राजर्मिर्धार्म्मिको रघुनन्दनः!। अनपत्थोमहाराजः प्रजाकामः स च प्रजाः। सन्त्रिष्वाघायतद्राज्यं गङ्गावतरणे रतः। तपो दीर्षं समातिष्ठद्गो-कर्णे रघुनन्दन!। ऊर्द्ध्ववाहुः पञ्चतपा मासाहारोजितेन्द्रियः!। तस्य वर्षहस्राणि घोरे तपसि तिष्ठतः। अतीतानि महावाहो! तस्य राज्ञो महात्मनः। सुप्रीतोभगवान् ब्रह्मा प्रजानां प्रभुरीश्वरः। ततः सुरगणैःसार्द्धमुपागम्य पितामहः। भगीरथं महात्मानं तप-सालमथाब्रवीत्। भगीरथ! महाराज! प्रीतस्तेऽहंजनाधिप!। तपसा च सुतप्तेन, वरं वरय सुव्रत!। गमुवाच महातेजाः सर्व्वलोकपितामहम्। भगीरथोमहाबाहुः कृताञ्जलिपुटः स्थितः। यदि मे भगवान्प्रीतो यद्यस्ति तपसः फलम्। सगरस्यात्मजाः सर्वेमत्तः सलिममाप्नुयुः। गङ्गायाः सलिलक्लिन्ने भस्म-न्येषां महात्मनाम्। खर्गं गच्छेयुरत्यन्तं सर्व्वे चप्रपितामहाः। देव! याचे ह सन्तत्यै गावसीदेत् कुलञ्चनः। इक्ष्वाकूणां कुले देव! एष मेऽस्तु वरः परः। उक्तवाक्यं तु राजानं सर्वलोकपितामहः। प्रत्युवाचशुभां वाणीं मधुरां मधुराक्षराम्। मनोरथो महानेषभगीरथ! महारथ!। एवम्भवतु भद्रन्ते इक्ष्वाकुकुलव-र्द्धन!। इयं हैमवती ज्येष्ठा गङ्गा हिमवतः सुता। तां वै धारयितुं राजन्! हरस्तत्र नियुज्यताम्। गङ्गायाः पतनं राजन्! पृथिवी न सहिष्यते। तांवै धारयितुं राजन्नान्यं पश्यामि शूलिनः। तमेव-मुक्त्वा राजानं गङ्गां चामाष्य लोककृत्। जगामत्रिदिवं देवैः सर्व्वैः सह मरुद्गणै। ”

४२ स॰।
“देवदेवे गते तस्मिन् सोऽङ्गुष्टाग्रनिपीडिताम्। कृत्वावसुमतीं राम! वत्सरं समुपासत। अवसंवत्सरे पूर्णे सर्व्व-लोकनमस्कृतः। उमापतिः पशुपतीराजानमिदमब्रवी-त्। प्रीतस्तेऽहं नरश्रेष्ठ! करिष्यामि तव प्रियम्। शि-रसा धारयिष्यामि शैलराजगुतामहम्। ततो हैमवतीज्येष्ठा सर्वलोकनमस्कृता। तदा सातिमहद्रूप कृत्वावेगञ्च दुःसहम्। आकाशादपतद्राम! शिवे शिवशिर-स्युत। अचिन्तयच्च सा देवी गङ्गा परमदुर्द्धरा। विशाम्यहं हि पातालं स्रोतसागृह्य शङ्करम्। तस्या-वलेपनं ज्ञात्वा क्रुद्धस्तु भगवान् हरः। तिरोभावयितुंवुद्धिञ्चक्रे त्रिनयनस्तदा। सा तस्मिन् पतिता पुण्यापुण्ये रुद्रस्य मूर्द्धनि। हिमवत्प्रतिमे राम! जटाम-[Page2484-a+ 38] ण्डलगह्वरे। सा कथञ्चिन्महा गन्तुं नाशक्नोद्थत्नमा-स्थिता। नैव सा निर्गमं लेभे जटामण्डलमध्यतः। तत्रैवाबभ्रमद्देवी संवत्सरगणान् बहून्। तामपश्यन्पुनस्तत्र तपः परममास्थितः। स तेन तोषितश्चासीदत्यन्तंरधुनन्दन!। विससर्ज ततो गङ्गां हरो विन्दुसरःप्रति। तस्यां विसृज्यमानायां सप्त स्रोतांसि जज्ञिरेह्वादिनी पावनी चैव नलिनी च तथैव च। तिस्रःप्राचीं दिशं जग्मुर्गङ्गाः शिवजलाः शुभाः। सवङ्क्षु-श्चैव सीता च सिन्धुश्चैव महानदी। तिस्रश्चैता दिशंजग्मुः प्रतीचीन्तु शुभोदकाः। सप्तमी चान्वगात्तासांभगीरथरथं तदा। भगीरथोऽपि राजर्षिर्दिव्यस्यन्दन-मास्थितः। प्रायादग्रे महातेजा गङ्गा तं चाप्यनु-व्रजत्। ”

४३ स॰।
“स गत्वा सागरं राजा गङ्गयानुगतस्तदा। प्रविवेशतलं भूमेर्यत्र ते भस्मसात्कृताः। भस्मन्यथाप्लुते राम!गङ्गायाः सलिलेन वै। सर्व्वलोकप्रभुर्ब्रह्मा राजानमि-दमब्रवीत्। तारिता नरशाद्र्दूल! दिवं याताश्च देव-वत्। षष्टिः पुत्राः सहस्राणि सगरस्य महात्मनः। साग-रस्य जलं लोके याबत् स्थास्यति पार्थिव!। सगरस्या-त्मजाः सर्व्वे दिवि स्थास्यन्ति देववत्। इयञ्च दुहिताज्येष्ठा तव गङ्गा भविष्यति। त्वत्कृतेन च नाम्नाथलोके स्थास्यति विश्रुता। गङ्गा त्रिपथना नाम दिव्याभागीरथीति च। त्रीन् पथो भावथन्तीति तस्मात्त्रिपथगा स्मृता। ”

४४ स॰। पुराणसर्वस्वे तु तस्या अवतरणप्रकारोऽन्यथा उक्तःकल्पभेदादविरोधः। यथामहाभारते
“महापुण्यां गगनतः पतन्तीं वै महे-श्वरः! दधार शिरसा गङ्गां तामेव दिवि सेवते”। ब्र-ह्माण्डे
“महादेवस्य या शम्भोरुत्तमाङ्गोत्तमाच्छुमात्। विनिर्गता महानन्दा दक्षिणेक्षणतः शुभा” स्कान्दे-
“त्रिविक्रमपदोद्भिन्नब्रह्माण्डशुषिरोद्भवा। परा विष्णु-पदीगङ्गा समुद्रापूर्त्तिकारिणी। ” वैष्णवे
“ततः प्रभ-बति ब्रह्मन्! सर्वपापहरा सरित्। गङ्गा देवाङ्गनाङ्गानामनुलेपनपिञ्जरा। विष्णुपादविनिष्क्रान्ता प्लावयित्वेन्दुमण्डलम्। समन्ताद्ब्रह्मणः पुर्य्यागङ्गा पतति वै दिवः। सा तत्र पतिता दिक्षु चतुद्धो प्रत्यपद्यत। सीता चालक-नन्दा च वङ्क्षुर्भद्रा च वै क्रमात्। ” पाद्मे
“क्षितौ तार-यत मत्यान्नागांस्तारयतेऽप्यषः। ढिवि तारयते देवां[Page2484-b+ 38] स्तेन त्रिपथगा स्मृता। ” भविष्यं
“महेश्वरस्य या श-म्भोर्मूर्त्तिरेषा सनातनी। त्रैलक्यपावनार्थाय दयया-धरणीङ्गता। ” तत्स्वभावप्रकरणं व्रह्माण्डे
“पापिष्ठानांपापहन्त्री स्वर्गमोक्षाप्तिहेतुका। स्वभाव एष गङ्गायाःशैत्यं शीतरुचो यथा” भविष्ये
“पापखण्डनशीलाहि सद्योगङ्गा स्वभावतः। उपपातकराशीनां सा हिहन्त्री यतः स्मृता” स्कान्दमात्स्ययोः
“क्रोधलोभैकवृत्तीनां विपरीतक्रियावताम्। कामिनाञ्च तथान्यत्रतपोयज्ञादि निष्फलम्। गङ्गायान्तु कृतं सर्वंसफलं स्यान्न संशयः। परब्रह्मस्वरूपाया गङ्गायास्तुस्वभावतः”। सर्वदेवादिमयप्रकरणम् भविष्ये
“शिव-वाक्यं
“त्रैलोक्ये यानि तीर्थानि पुण्यान्यायतनानि च। पर्वतादीनि रम्याणि पुण्यक्षेत्राणि यानि च। धर्माश्चसर्वदेवाश्च सर्वयज्ञतपांसि च। अहं ब्रह्मा च विष्णुश्चसर्वशक्तिसमन्वितः। अष्टाविंशतिकोट्यस्तु देवता व्याप्यवै सदा। गङ्गायां सर्व एवैते सूक्ष्मरूपेण संस्थिताः। तिस्रः कोट्यर्द्धकोटी च तीर्थानां वायुरब्रवीत्। सर्वदाकलिकाले च गङ्गायां नात्र संशयः” भविष्ये
“सर्वदेव-मयी गङ्गा सर्ववेदस्वरूपिणी” भगवद्गीतायां
“स्रोत-सामस्मि जाह्नवीति” अथ तस्या विशिष्टताप्रकरणम्
“देवानान्तुमहादेवो यथा श्रेष्ठतमः स्मृतः। सर्वेषामेव तीर्थान। तथा गङ्गा विशिष्यते” महाभारते
“सर्वतीर्थमर्या गङ्गासर्वधर्ममयो मनुः। सर्वशास्त्रमयी गीता सर्वदेवमयो-हरिः” स्कान्दे
“भूतेश्वरादिह परोऽस्ति न पूजनीयोनैवाश्वमेधसदृशः क्रतुरस्ति लोके। गङ्गासमं त्रिभुवनेन हि तीर्थमस्ति नान्यद्व्रतं च शिवरात्रिसम तथास्ति” महाभारते
“न गङ्गासदृशं तीर्थं न देवः केशवात् परः। ब्राह्मणेभ्यः परं नास्तीयेवमाह पितामहः” ब्रह्माण्डे
“कलौ तु सर्वतीर्थानि स्यमहात्म्यप्रभावतः। गङ्गामभि-मुखं यान्ति सा तु देवी न कुत्रचित्” नारदीये
“कोटिष्वष्टासु दशसु तीर्थानां यत् फलं भवेद्। तत्सन-स्तमिहैकत्र गङ्गायां लभते नरः” भविष्ये
“अभिभूतिप्रयाणेन भक्तिग्राह्या महेश्वरी। भावानुरूपफलदागङ्गा सर्वजगद्धिता” ब्रह्माण्डे
“प्रभासे गोसहस्रेणराहुग्रस्ते दिवाकरे। यत्फलं पाण्डवश्रेष्ठ! गङ्गायांतद्दिने दिने। महापुण्या महावेगा सद्यः शुद्ध्विकरीपरा। महापुण्यप्रदा सद्यः स्वर्गमोक्षप्रदैव सा” दानधर्मे
“स्वायम्भुवं यथा स्थानं सर्बेषामुत्तमं स्मृतम्। तीर्थानां[Page2485-a+ 38] सरितां श्वेष्ठा तथा गङ्गा इहोच्यते” मात्स्ये
“तीर्थानांपरमं तीर्थं नदीनामुत्तमा नदी। मोक्षदा मर्वभूतानांमह्यं प्राह दिवामणिः” भविष्ये
“ध्यानं कृतेमोक्षहेतुस्त्रेतायां तच्च वै तपः। द्वापरे यज्ञमेवाहुःकङ्गौ षङ्गैव केवलम्। चिन्तामणिगणाच्चापि गङ्गाया-स्तोयवि{??}या। विशिष्टा यत् प्रयच्छन्ति भक्तेभ्यश्चिन्तितंफलम्” शैवे
“नास्ति गङ्गासमं तीर्थं नास्ति वेदसमा श्रुतिः। नास्ति मृत्युसमः शास्ता नास्ति भूतिसमं तपः” कौर्ममात्स्ययोः
“कृते च सर्वतीर्थानि त्रेतायांपुष्करं परम्। द्वापरे तु कुरुक्षेत्रं कलौ गङ्गैवकेवलम्” दानधर्मे
“ते देशास्ते जनपदास्ते शैलास्तेऽपिचाश्चमाः। येषां भागीरथी गङ्गा मध्ये याति सरिद्वरा” स्मरणप्रकरणम् हरिवंशे
“दिव्या त्रिधारा दृष्टा यैःघुण्या त्रिपथगा नदी। स्मरणादेव सर्वेषामहंसां याविभेदिनी” ब्रह्माण्डे
“मनसा संस्मरेद्यस्तु गङ्गां दूर-स्थितो नरः। चान्द्रायणसहस्रन्तु लभते नात्र संशयः” भविष्ये
“स्मरणादेव गङ्गायाः पापसंघातपिञ्जरम्। भेदं सहस्रधा याति गिरिर्वज्रहतो यथा” ब्रह्माण्डे
“यत्र तत्र स्थितोवापि मरणे समुपस्थिते।
“भक्त्यागङ्गां स्मरन् याति नरः शिवपुरं परम्” भविष्ये
“गच्छन् तिष्ठन् स्वपन् ध्यावन् जाग्रद्भुञ्जन् वस{??} वदन्। यः स्मरेत् सततं गङ्गां स च मुच्येत संकटात्” कीर्त्तनप्रकरणम् वैष्णवे
“गङ्गा गङ्गेति यैर्नाम योजनानांशतैरपि। स्थितैरुच्चारितं हन्ति पापं जन्मत्रयार्जि-तम्”।
“गङ्गा गङ्गेति यो व्रूयात् योजनानांशतैरपि। मुच्यते सर्वपापेभ्यो विष्णुलोकं स गच्छति” यात्राप्रकरणम् ब्रह्माण्डे
“येषां बुद्धिं शुभां देवाःप्रयच्छन्ति महात्मनाम्। तेऽपि गच्छन्ति नियता गङ्गा-अभिगतां सुरैः” तत्रैव
“स्नानञ्च भक्त्या गङ्गायां कर्त्तु-कामस्य गच्छतः। पदेपदेऽश्वमेधस्य फलं प्राप्नोतिमानवः”। भविष्ये
“वृथा कुलं वृथा विद्या वृथा यज्ञावृथा तपः। वृथा दानानि तस्येह कलौ गङ्गां न यातियः”। वाराहव्रह्माण्डयोः
“अर्घ्यादिकं गृहीत्वा तुसेन्द्रा देवाः समासते। आगच्छन्ति कदा मर्त्यागङ्गामभि-गता नराः”। भविष्ये
“अनुषङ्गेण सङ्गेन वाणिज्ये-नापि सेवया। कामासक्तोऽपि च नरो गङ्गां प्राप्य दिवंव्रजेत्। दानधर्मे
“गङ्गाङ्गता ये त्रिदिवं गतास्ते” अथ क्षेत्रप्रकरणम्
“सार्द्धहस्तशतं यावत् गर्भतस्तीर-[Page2485-b+ 38] मुच्यते। न मन्त्रो न विधिः कालो न मृदो न चगोमयम्”। अत्र ऋषयः पठन्ति
“अत्र न पतिगृह्णीयात्प्राणैः कण्ठगतैरपि”। स्कान्दे
“तीराद्गव्यूतिमात्रन्तुपरितः क्षेत्रमुच्यते। अत्र दानं जपोहोमो गङ्गायां नात्र-संशयः”। दानधर्मे
“भाद्रकृष्णचतुर्द्दश्यां यावदाक्रमते-जलम्। तावद्गर्भं विजानीयात तदूर्द्धं तीरमुच्यते” ब्रह्माण्डे
“प्रवाहमवधिं कृत्वा यावद्धस्तचतुष्टयम्। अत्र-नारायणः स्वामी नान्यः स्वामी कदाचन”। स्पर्शादि-प्रकरणम् वैष्णवे
“श्रुताभिलषिता दृष्टा स्पृष्टा गीताऽ-वगाहिता। या पावयति भूतानि कीर्त्तिता सा दिनेदिने”( गतिप्रकरणम् भविष्ये
“परदारपरद्रव्यवाञ्छा द्रोहःपरस्य च। गतिमन्विष्यमाणस्य गङ्गेव परमा गतिः। प्लवनप्रकरणम्” महाभारते
“गङ्गोर्मिभिरथोदिग्धःपुरुषः पवनो यथा। स्पृशते सोऽस्य पाप्मानं सद्यएवापकर्षति” दर्शनप्रकरणम् दानघर्मे।
“जात्यन्धै-रिह तुल्यास्ते स्युर्वै प्रङ्गुभिरेव वा। समर्था ये नपश्यन्ति गङ्गां पुण्यजलां शुभाम्” ब्रह्माण्डे
“ज्ञानमै-श्वर्य्यमायुश्च प्रतिष्ठा सर्वमान्यता। शुभानामाश्रयत्वञ्चगङ्गादर्शनजं फलम्” अथ नमस्कारप्रकरणम् भवैष्ये
“सर्वतीर्थमयीं गङ्गां परमात्मस्वरूपिणीम्। त्रैलो-क्यपावनार्थाय गाङ्गतां प्रणमेत् सदा”। स्पर्शनपकरणम्ब्रह्माण्डे
“सुभक्त्या हि महापापी गङ्गां स्पृष्ट्वा शुचि-र्भवेत् अनिच्छयापि संस्पृष्टोदहत्येव हि पावकः” नारदीये
“तथेह गङ्गां संस्पृश्य ब्रह्मरूपां सुपुण्यदाम्। शुद्धा भवन्तीह सर्वे सद्य एव न संशयः” वाराहे
“ब्रह्महा गुरुहा गोघ्नः स्पृष्टो वा सर्वपातकैः। तस्या-स्तोयं नरः स्पृष्ट्वा सर्वपापैः प्रमुच्यते”। अथावगाहन-प्रकरणम् वनपर्वणि
“यद्यकार्य्यशतं कृत्वा कृतं गङ्गा-वगाहनम्। सर्वं दहति गङ्गाम्भस्तूलराशिमिवानलः” स्नानप्रकरणम् वैष्णवे
“स्नातस्य सलिले यस्याः सद्यःपापं प्रणश्यति। अखर्वपुण्यप्राप्तिश्च सदा मैत्रेय! जायते” भविष्ये
“शक्तस्य पण्डितस्यापि गुणिनः सत्यशालिनः। गङ्गास्नानविहोनस्य तस्य जन्म निरर्थकम्” तत्रैव
“पितरोयोगिनश्चैव गाथां गायन्ति सादराः। अपि नः स्वकुलेकश्चित् गङ्गास्नायी भविष्यति। देवेभ्यश्च पितृभ्यश्चदास्यते सलिलाञ्जलिम्। गङ्गास्नानरतं मर्त्यं दृष्ट्वैव यम-किङ्कराः। दिशो दश पलायन्ते सिंहं दृष्ट्वा यथा मृगाः। यमो भीतस्त तं दृष्ट्वा प्रणिपत्य प्रपूज्य च। न शक्नोति[Page2486-a+ 38] तथा स्थातुं तस्याग्रे पुण्यकर्मणः। मेरुमन्दरमात्रोऽपिराशिः पापस्य कर्म्मणः। गङ्गास्नानेन दग्धः स्यात्तूल-राशिरिवानलैः” ब्रह्माण्डे
“स्पृष्ट्वा स्वर्गमवाप्नोतिपीत्वा ज्ञानमवाप्नुयात्। गङ्गास्नाने तु भक्त्या वै प्राप्तोतिपरमं पदम्” ब्रह्मवैवर्त्ते
“गङ्गायां मौसलं स्नानं महा-पातकनाशनम्। अज्ञानात् स्वर्गसंप्राप्तिर्ज्ञानान्मुक्तिर्नसंशयः”। पुण्यकालविशेषस्नानप्रकरणम् भविष्ये
“द्वादश्यांश्रवणर्क्षेण अष्टम्यां पुष्ययोगतः। आर्द्रायाञ्च चतु-र्दश्यां गङ्गास्नानं विशेषतः। वैशाखे पूर्णिमा या स्या-न्माघे वै कार्त्तिके तथा। तथा माघी त्वमावास्या गङ्गा-स्नाने सुदुर्लभा। कृष्णाष्टम्यां सहस्रन्तु शतं स्यात्सर्वपर्वसु। अमावास्यादिने चैव सहस्रन्तु दिनक्षये। चन्द्रसूर्य्यग्रहे लक्षं व्यतीपाते त्वनन्तकम्” ब्राह्मे
“चन्द्रसूर्य्यग्रहे चैव योऽवगाहति जाह्नवीम्। स स्नातःसर्वतीर्थेषु किमर्थमटते महीम्” स्मृतिः
“इन्दोर्लक्षगुणंप्रोक्तं रवेर्दशगुणं तथा। गङ्गातोये तु संप्राप्ते इन्दोःकोटीरवेर्दश” (नन्दामहाज्येष्ठीवारुणीदशहरार्द्धोदय-स्नानफलं तत्तच्छव्दे दृश्यम्)। मृद्धारणप्रकरणम्दानधर्मव्रह्माण्डाग्नेयेषु।
“जाह्नवीतीरसंभूतां मृदं मूर्द्भा विभर्त्तियः। विभर्त्ति रूपंसोऽर्कस्य तमोनाशाय केवलम्” तर्पणप्रकरणम् ब्रह्मा-ण्डाग्नेयदानधर्मेषु
“य इच्छेत् सफलं जन्म जीवनंश्रुतमेव च। सपितॄंस्तर्पयेद्गङ्गामभिगम्य सुरांस्तथा” अथ दानप्रकरणम् भविष्ये
“वासो हिरण्यरत्नानि पत्र-{??}ष्पफलानि च। अन्नदानादिकञ्चापि आत्मनो यद-भीप्सितम्। तत्तु भक्त्या तु गङ्गायां यः प्रयच्छतिमानवः। तत्तत्सुखमनन्तञ्च सम्प्राप्य चेह जन्मनि। प्रेत्थ चाप्नोति निर्वाणं परमं यन्निरञ्जनम्। यज्ञोदानंतपो ज्ञान श्राद्धञ्च सुरपूजनम्। गङ्गायान्तु कृतं सर्वंकोटिकोटिगुणं भवेत्” व्रतप्रकरणम् ब्रह्माण्डे
“शाखि-तण्डलप्रस्थेन द्विप्रस्थपयसा तथा। पायसं पाचयित्वातु मधुखण्डं घृतं तथा। प्रत्येकं पलमात्रन्तु तत्र नि-क्षिप्य भक्तितः। तत् पायसमपूपञ्च लड्डुकान् यावका-नपि। तथा गुञ्जार्द्धमात्रन्तु सुवर्णं रूप्यमेव च। चन्द-नागुरुकर्पूरकुङ्कुमानि च गुग्गुलुम्। विल्वपत्राणिदूर्वाश्च रोचनां सितसर्षपम्। नीलोत्पलस्य पत्राणिपत्राभावे फलानि च। यथा शक्त्या महाभक्त्या न-ङ्गायां यो विनिक्षिपेत्। मासि मासि पौर्णमास्यां[Page2486-b+ 38] दर्श वा प्रहरद्वये। श्रद्धयानेन मन्त्रेण यावत् संवत्सरंतथा। (ओं गङ्गायै नारायण्य ते नमो नमः)। इतिमन्त्रेण सततं शतमष्टोत्तरं जपेत्। गङ्गाजलान्तर्भूत्वातु तन्मनास्त्यक्तसंशयः। हविष्याशी मिताहारी य-मी तेषु दिनेषु च। संवत्सरान्ते तस्यैषा गङ्गा दिव्यवपुर्धरा। दिव्यमाल्याम्बरधरा दिव्यगन्धानुलेपना। चारुरूपधरा देवी दिव्यरत्नविभूषिता। प्रत्यक्षरूपापुरतस्तिष्ठत्येव वरप्रदा। एवं प्रत्यक्षतः साक्षात् गङ्गांदिव्यवपुर्धराम्। दृष्ट्वा स्वचक्षुषा मर्त्यो वरदानससुद्य-ताम्। यान् यान् कामयते कामांस्तांस्तान् सर्वानवाप्नु-यात्। निष्कामस्तु परं मोक्षं लभते नात्र संशयः” श्राद्धप्रकरणम् भविष्ये
“गयाश्राद्धं कृतं तेन उत्सृ-ष्टश्च वृषस्तथा। येन गङ्गाम्भसा सिक्ते तीरे श्राद्धमका-रि च। पितॄनुद्दिश्य यो भक्त्या पायसं मधुसंयुतम्। गुडसर्पिःसमायुक्तं गङ्गाम्भसि विनिक्षिपेत्। तृप्ताःपिबन्ति पितरस्तस्य वर्षशतत्रयम्” देवीपुराणे
“अकाले-ऽप्यथ वा काले तीरे श्राद्धं तथा नरैः। प्राप्तैरेव सदाकार्य्यं कर्त्तव्यं पितृतर्पणम्” अथ पिण्डप्रकरणम्देवीपुराणे
“सकृद्गङ्गाभिगमनं कृत्वा पिण्डं ददातियः। तारिताः पितरस्तेन भवाम्भोधेस्तिलोदकैः। ” तत्रैव
“गङ्गायाञ्च गयायाञ्च पिण्डदानं समं स्मृतम्। विशेषतः कलियुगे गङ्गापिण्डं प्रशस्यते। गङ्गायांपिण्डदानेन पितरस्तु तिलोदकैः। नरकस्था दिवंयान्ति स्वर्गस्था मोक्षमाप्नुयुः। माहेन्द्रे विरजे चैवगयायां जाह्नवीतटे। अत्र पिण्डप्रदो याति ब्रह्म-लोकमनामयम्” जलप्रकरणम् ब्राह्मे
“योऽसौ निरञ्जनोदेवश्चित्स्वरूपी जनार्द्दनः। स एव द्रवरूपेण गङ्गाम्भोनात्र संशयः”। लैङ्गे
“ब्रह्महा गुरुहा गोघ्नस्तेयी चगुरुतल्पगः। नङ्गाम्भसा च पूयन्ते नात्र कार्य्या विचा-रणा”। ब्राह्मे
“तिष्ठद्युगसहस्रन्तु पादेनैकेन यः पुमान्। मासमेकन्तु गङ्गाम्भः सेवते स विशिष्यते। मेरोः समु-द्रस्य च रत्नरागेः संख्योपलानामुदकस्य वाचा। शक्यंवक्तुं नेह गङ्गाजलानां गुणाख्यानं परिमाणं तथैव” तोयदानप्रकरणम् भविष्ये
“अन्नदानैश्च गोदानैश्च स्व-र्णदानादिमिस्तथा। रथाश्वगजदानैश्च यत्फलं परि-कीर्त्तितम्। ततः शतगुणं गङ्गातोयदानादवाप्नुयात्” महाभारते
“चान्द्रायणसहस्रेण यश्चरेत् कायशोधनम्। यः पिवेद्वै यथेष्टञ्च गङ्गाम्भः सविशिष्यते गङ्गा-[Page2487-a+ 38] तीरे वसेन्नित्यं गङ्गातोयं पिवेत् सदा। दीक्षितः सर्वयज्ञेषु सोमपानं दिने दिने। गङ्गातोयाभिसंसिक्तांभिक्षामश्राति यो नरः। सर्पवत् कञ्चुकं मुक्त्वा पापानीहनरोत्तमः। स्वार्गापवर्गिकीं सिद्धिं प्राप्नोत्येव न संशयःस्कान्दे
“गण्डूषमात्रपानैन अश्वमेधफलं लभेत्। स्व-च्छन्दं यः पिबेदपस्तस्य मुक्तिः करे स्थिता” पाद्मे
“त्रिभिः सारस्वतं तोयं सप्तभिश्चैव यामुनम्। नार्मदंदशभिर्मासैर्गाङ्गं वर्षेण जीर्य्यति” अथ वासरूपसेवाप्रक-रणम्। ब्राह्मे
“तपसा ब्रह्मचर्य्येण यज्ञैस्त्यागेन वागतिम्। न तां संलभते जन्तुर्गङ्गां संसेव्य यां लभेत्” नारदीये
“किमष्टाङ्गेन योगेन किं तपोभिः किमध्वरैः। वास एव हि गङ्गायां ब्रह्मज्ञानस्य कारणम्” महाभारते
“पूर्वे वयस्यधर्मांश्च कृत्वा पापानि ये नराः। पश्चाद्-गङ्गां समाश्रित्य तेऽपि यान्ति परां गतिम्” ब्रह्माण्डे
“महापातकिनो ये च सेवन्ते यदि जाह्नवीम्। पात-केभ्योऽपि पञ्चभ्यः का कथाऽन्यस्य पाप्मनः” भविष्ये
“त्रिरात्रं सप्तरात्रं वा स्थितिमात्रेण भक्तितः। गङ्गातीरे नरो यस्तु नरकं स न पश्यति”। विघ्नप्रकर-णम् भविष्ये
“षष्टिर्विघ्नसहस्राणि गङ्गां रक्षन्ति य-त्नतः। निरासयन्त्यभक्तांश्च पापकर्मरतांस्तथा। का-मक्रोधमदोत्साहलोभादिनिशितैः शरैः। प्रहरन्तिमनस्तेषां स्थितिं वै नाशयन्ति च” प्रतिग्रहप्रकरणम्मात्स्ये
“यस्तत्र प्रतिगृह्णाति तीर्थेष्वायतनेषु च। हिरण्यं रजतं ताम्रं यच्चान्यद्वस्तु किञ्चन। निःफलंतस्य तत् तीर्थं यावत्तद्वस्तु चाश्नुते। वरं विक्रयणंमातुर्वरं विक्रयणं पितुः। अपि गङ्गाजलस्थन्तु नगृह्णीयात् कदाचन” स्मृतिः।
“गङ्गाविक्रयणाद्राजन्विष्णोर्विक्रयणं भवेत्। जनार्दने तु विक्रीते विक्रीतंस्याज्जगत्त्रयम्” अभक्तिप्रकरणम् भविष्ये
“गङ्गां प्रा-प्याथ ये मर्त्याः श्रद्धां भक्तिं न कुर्वते। तीर्थान्तरे रातंकुर्य्युस्ते वै निरयगामिणः”। कृतकृत्यप्रकरणम् ब्रह्माण्डे
“गङ्गां संश्रित्य यस्तिष्ठेत्तस्याकार्य्यं न विद्यते। कृत-कृत्यः स वै मुक्तो जीवन्मुक्तो भवेन्नरः”। मृत्युफलप्रकर-णम् ब्राह्मे
“ज्ञानतोऽज्ञानतो वापि कामतोऽकामतोऽपिवा। गङ्गायान्तु मृतो मर्त्यो मोक्षं स्वर्गञ्च विन्दति” भविष्ये
“कृमिकीटपतङ्गाद्या ये मृता जाह्नवीजले। कूलान्निष्पतिता वृक्षास्तेऽपि यान्ति परां गतिम्” तथा
“अपि योजनपर्य्यन्ते गङ्गां स्मृत्वा तनुं त्यजेत्। वैवस्व-[Page2487-b+ 38] तोऽपि तस्यार्घ्यं दत्त्वा स्वर्गं प्रयच्छति” स्कान्दे
“अर्द्धोदकेतु जाह्नव्या म्रियतेऽनशनेन यः। स याति न पुन-र्जन्म ब्रह्मसायुज्यमेव च” अस्थिप्रक्षेपप्रकरणम् वनपर्वणिकौर्मे च
“यावन्त्यस्थीनि गङ्गायां तिष्ठन्ति पुरुषस्य च। तावद्वर्षसहस्राणि ब्रह्मलोके महीयते। यावदस्थि मनु-ष्यस्य गङ्गायाः स्पृशते जलम्। तावद्वर्षसहस्राणि स्वर्ग-लोके महीयते” ब्रह्माण्डे
“गङ्गातोये तु यस्यास्थि नीत्वासंक्षिप्यते नरैः। तत्कालमादितः कृत्वा स्वर्गे तस्यभवेत् स्थितिः। गङ्गाटोयेषु यस्यास्थि प्लाव्यते पुण्यक-र्मणः। न तस्य पुनरावृत्तिर्ब्रह्मलोकात् कदाचन” के-शादिप्रकरणम् ब्रह्माण्डे
“केशलोमनखादीनि येषांपुंसान्तु वायुना। निक्षिप्यन्ते च गङ्गायां तेषां स्याद्वि-यति स्थितिः” अथ प्रकीर्णकम् ब्रह्माण्डे
“दृष्ट्वाशतकृतं पापं स्पृष्ट्वा जन्मशतानि च। स्नात्वा जन्म-सहस्राणि हन्ति गङ्गा कलौ युगे”। गङ्गाद्वारवाराणसी-प्रयागादिप्रकरणम् मात्स्ये
“सर्वत्र सुलभा गङ्गा त्रिषुस्थानेषु दुर्लभा। गङ्गाद्वारे प्रयागे च गङ्गासागरसङ्गमे” वनपर्वणि
“स्वर्गद्बारेण तत्तुल्यं गङ्गाद्वारं न संशयः। तत्राभिषेकं यः कुर्य्यात् सोऽश्वमेघमवाप्नुयात्” ब्रह्माण्डेवाराणस्यां विशेषेण गङ्गा नित्यं विमुक्तिदा। अनन्त-कोटिकल्पोत्थं पापं पुंसां प्रणाशयेत्। वाराणस्यां वि-शेषेण सद्यः पापविनाशिनी। गङ्गायान्तु जले मोक्षोवाराणस्यां जले स्थले। जले स्थले चान्तरीक्षे गङ्गासागर-सङ्गमे”। मोक्षप्रकरणम् स्कान्दे
“ब्रह्मादिदेवलोकानांमुक्तेश्च प्राप्तये नृणाम्। गङ्गा च परमा हेतुः कलि-काले विशेषतः”। गङ्गामाहात्म्यं काशीख॰ विष्णुं प्रति शिवेनोक्तम् यथा(
“ममैव सा परा मूर्त्तिस्तोयरूपा शिवात्मिका। ब्रह्माण्डानामनेकेषामाधारः प्रकृतिः परा। सिद्ध-विढ्यास्वरूपा च त्रिशक्तिः करणात्मिका। आनन्दाऽ-मृतरूपा च शुद्धधर्मखरूपिणी। तामेनां। जगतांधात्रीन्धारयामि खलीलया। विश्वस्य रक्षणार्थाय परब्रह्मस्यरूपिणीम्। त्रैलोक्ये यानि तीर्थानि पुण्य-क्षेत्राणि यानि च। सर्वत्र सर्वे ये धर्म्माः सर्वे यज्ञाःसदक्षिणाः। तपांसि विष्णो! सर्वाणि श्रुतिः साङ्गाचतुर्मिता। अहञ्च त्वञ्च ब्रह्माच देवतानां गणाश्च ये। पुरुषार्थाश्च सर्वे वै शक्तयो विविधाश्च याः। गङ्गायांसर्व एवैते सूक्ष्मरूपेण संस्थिताः। स स्नातः सर्व-[Page2488-a+ 38] तीर्थेषु सर्वक्रतुषु दीक्षितः। चीर्ण्णसर्वव्रतः सोऽपियस्तु गङ्गां निषेवते। तपांसि तेन तप्तानि सर्वदान-प्रदः स च। स प्राप्तयोगनियमो यस्तु गङ्गां निषेवते। सर्ववर्ण्णाश्रमिभ्यश्च वेदविद्भ्यश्च वै तथा। शास्त्रार्थपारगेभ्यश्च गङ्गास्नायी विशिष्यते। मनोवाक्कायजैर्दोषैर्दुष्टो बहुविधैरपि। वीक्ष्य गङ्गां भवेत् पूतःपुरुषो नात्र संशयः। कृते सर्वाणि तीर्थानि त्रेतायांपुष्करं परम्। द्वापरे तु कुरुक्षेत्रं कलौ गङ्गैवकेवलम्। ध्यानं कृते मीक्षहेतुस्त्रेतायां तच्च वै तपः। द्वापरं तद्द्वयं यज्ञः कलौ गङ्गैव केवलम्। पूर्वजन्मा-न्तराभ्यासवासनावशतो हरे!। गङ्गातीरे निवासःस्यान्मदनुग्रहतः परम्। यो देहपातनाद्यावद्गङ्गा-तीरं न मुञ्चति। स हि वेदान्तविद्योगी व्रह्मचर्य्यव्रतीसदा। कलौ कलुषचित्तानां पापद्रव्यरतात्मनाम्। विधिहीनक्रियाणाञ्च गतिर्गङ्गां विना नहि। अलक्ष्मीःकालकर्णी च दुःस्वप्नो दुर्विचिन्तितम्। गङ्गागङ्गेतिजपनात्तानि नोपविशन्ति हि। गङ्गा हि सर्वभूताना-मिहामुत्र फलप्रदा। भावानुरूपतो विष्णो। सदा सर्व-जगद्धिता। यज्ञदानतपोयोगजपाः सनियमा यमाः। गङ्गासेवासहस्रांशं न लभन्ते कलौ हरे!। किमष्टाङ्गेनयोगेन किं तपोभिः किमध्वरैः। वासएव हि गङ्गायांब्रह्मज्ञानस्य कारणम्। अपि दूरस्थितस्यापि गङ्गा-माहात्म्यवेदिनः। अयोगस्यापि गोविन्द!। भक्त्या गङ्गाप्रसीदति। श्रद्धा धर्मः परः सूक्ष्मः श्रद्धा ज्ञानं पर-न्तपः। श्रद्धा स्वर्गश्च मोक्षश्च श्रद्धया सा प्रसीदति। अज्ञानरागलोभाद्यैः पुंसां संमूढचेतसाम्। श्रद्धा नजायते धर्मे गङ्गायाञ्च विशेषतः। बहिःस्थितं जलंयद्वन्नारिकेलान्तरस्थितम्। तथा ब्रह्माण्डबाह्यस्थं परंब्रह्माम्बु जाह्नवम्। गङ्गालाभात् परो लाभः क्वचिदन्योन बिद्यते। तस्माद्गङ्गामुपासीत गङ्गैव परमः पुमान्। शक्तस्य पण्डितस्यापि गुणिनो दानशालिनः। गङ्गास्नान-विहीनस्य हरे! जन्मनिरर्थकम्। वृथा कुलं वृथा विद्यावृथा यज्ञो वृथा तपः। वृथा दानानि तस्येह गङ्गाभक्तो नयो भवेत्। गुणवत्पात्रपूजायां न स्याद्वै तादृशं फलम्। यथा गङ्गाजले स्नातः पूजने विधिना फलम्। मम तेजो-ऽग्निगर्भेयं मम वीर्य्यातिसम्भृता। दाहिका सर्वदोषाणांसर्वपापविनाशिनी। स्मरणादव गङ्गायाः पापसङ्घात-पञ्जरम्। शतधा भेदमायाति गिरिर्वज्रहतो यथा। [Page2488-b+ 38] गङ्गां गच्छति यस्त्वेको यस्तं भक्त्यानुमोदयेत्। तयो-स्तुल्यं फलं प्राहुर्मक्तिरेवात्र कारणम्। गच्छंस्तिष्ठन्स्वपन् भुञ्जन् ध्यायन् जाग्रत् श्वसन् वदन्। यः स्मरेत्सततं गङ्गां स हि मुच्येत बन्धनात्। पितॄनुद्दिश्य योभक्त्या पायसं मधुसंयुतम्। गुडसर्पिंस्तिलैः सार्द्धंगङ्गाम्भसि विनिःक्षिपेत्। तृप्ता भवन्ति पितरस्तस्यवर्षशतं हरे!। यच्छन्ति विविधान् कामान् भूरिभूतान्पितामहाः। लिङ्गेशे पूजिते सर्वमर्चितं स्याज्जग-द्यथा। गङ्गास्नानेन लभते सर्वतीर्थफलं तथा। गङ्गा-यान्तु नरः स्नात्वा यो लिङ्गं नित्यमर्च्चति। एकेनजन्मना मुक्तिं परां प्राप्नोति स घ्रुवम्। अग्निहो-होत्राणि यज्ञाश्च तथा दानतपांसि च। गङ्गायांलिङ्गपूजायाः कोट्यंशेनापि नो समाः। गङ्गां गन्तुंविनिश्चित्य कृत्वा श्राद्धादिवं गृहे। स्थितस्य सम्यक्सङ्कल्पात् तस्यानन्दन्ति पूर्वजाः। पापानि च रुद-न्त्याशु हा क्व यास्याम इत्यलम्। लोभमोहादिभिः सार्द्धंमन्त्रयन्ति पुनः पुनः। यथा गङ्गां न यात्येष तथा विघ्नंप्रकुर्महे। गङ्गां गतो यदा चैव न उच्छित्तिं विधा-स्यति। गृहाद्गङ्गावगाहार्थं गच्छतस्तु पदे पदे। निराशानि व्रज्रन्त्येव पापान्यस्य शरीरतः। पूर्वजन्मकृतैःपुण्यैस्त्यक्त्वा लोभादिकं हरे!। व्युदस्य सर्वविघ्नाघान्गङ्गां प्राप्नोति पुण्यवान्। अनुषङ्गेण शुल्केन बाणि-ज्येनापि सेवया। कामासक्तोऽपि वा मर्त्योर्गङ्गास्नायीदिवं व्रजेत्। अनिच्छयापि संस्पृष्टो दहनोऽपि यथादहेत्। अनिच्छयापि संस्नाता गङ्गा पापं तथा दहेत्। तावद्भ्रमति संसारे यावदगङ्गां न सेवते। संसेव्यगङ्गां नो जन्तुर्भवक्लेशं प्रपश्यति। यो गङ्गाम्भसिसंस्नातो भक्त्या संत्यक्तसंशयः। मनुष्यचर्मणा नद्धःस देवो नात्र संशयः। गङ्गास्नानार्थमुद्युक्तो मध्येमार्गंमृतो यदि। गङ्गास्नानफलं सोऽपि तदाप्नोति नसंशयः। महात्म्यं ये च गङ्गायाः शृण्वन्ति च पठन्तिंच। तेऽप्यशेषैर्महापापैर्मुच्यते नात्र संशयः। दुर्बुद्धयोदुराचारा हैतुका बहुसंशयाः। पश्यन्ति मोहिताविष्णी! गङ्गामन्यां नदीमिव। जन्मान्तरकृतैर्दानैस्तपो-भिर्नियमैर्ब्रतैः। इह जन्मनि गङ्गायां नृणां भक्तिःप्रजायते। गङ्गाभक्तिमतामर्थे महेन्द्रादिपुरेषु च। हर्म्याणि रस्यभोगाणि निर्मितानि स्वयम्भुवा। सिद्धयःसिद्धलिङ्गानि स्पर्शलिङ्गान्यनेकशः। प्रासादा रत्न-[Page2489-a+ 38] रचिताश्चिन्तामणिगणा अपि। गङ्गाजले न तिष्ठन्तिकलिपापानि भीतितः। अतएव हि संसेव्या कलौगङ्गेष्टसिद्धिदा। सूर्य्योदये तमांसीव वज्रिवज्रमया-न्नगाः। तार्क्ष्येक्षणाद्यथा सर्पाः मेघा वाताहता यथा। तत्त्वज्ञानाद्यथा मोहाः सिंहं दृष्ट्वा यथा मृगाः। तथा सर्बाणि पापानि यान्ति गङ्गेक्षणात् क्षयम्। दिव्यौषधैर्यथा रोगा लोभेन च यथा गुणाः। यथाग्रीष्मोष्मसन्तप्तिरगाधह्रदमज्जनात्। तूलशैलाः स्फुलि-ङ्गेन यथा नश्यन्ति तत्क्षणोत्। तथा दोषाः प्रणश्यन्तिगङ्गाम्भःस्पर्शनाद्ध्रुवम्। क्रोधेन च तपोयद्वत् कामेन चयथा मतिः। अनयेन यथा लक्ष्मीर्विद्या मानेन वै यथा। दम्भकौटिल्यमायाभिर्यथा धर्मो विनश्यति। तथा नश्यन्तिपापानि गङ्गायादर्शनेन तु। मानुष्यं दुर्लभं प्राप्यविद्युत्सम्पातचञ्चलम्। गङ्गां यः सेवते सोऽत्र बुद्धेःपारं परं गतः। विधूतपापाये मर्त्याः परज्योतिः-स्वरूपिणीम्। सहस्रसूर्य्यप्रतिमां गङ्गां पश्यन्ति तेभुवि। साधारणाम्भसा पूर्णां साधारणनदीमिव। पश्यन्ति नास्तिका गङ्गां पापोपहतलोचनाः। संसारमो-चकश्चाहं जनानामनुकम्पया। गङ्गातरङ्गरूपेण सो-पानं निर्ममे दिवः। सर्व एव शुभः कालः सर्वो देश-स्तथा शुभः। सर्वे जना दानपात्रं श्रीमति जाह्नवी-तटे। यथाश्वमेधो यज्ञानां नगानां हिमवान् यथा। व्रतानान्तु यथा सत्यं दानानामभयं यथा। प्राणाया-मश्च तपसां मन्त्राणां प्रणवो यथा। धर्माणामप्यहिंसा चकन्यानां श्रीर्यथा वरा। यथात्मविद्या विद्यानां स्त्रीणांगौरी यथोत्तमा। सर्वदेवगणानाञ्च यथाहं परमेश्वरः। सर्वेषामेव भक्तानां शिवमक्तो यथा वरः। तथा सर्वेषुतीर्थेषु गङ्गातीर्थं विशिश्यते। हरे! यस्त्वावयोर्भेदंन करोति महामतिः। शिवभक्तः स विज्ञेयो महा-पाशुपतश्च सः। पापपांशुमहावात्या पापद्रुमकुठारिका। यापेन्धनदवाग्निश्च गङ्गेयं पुण्यवाहिनी। नानारूपाश्चपितरो गाथां गायन्ति सर्वदा। अपि कश्चित् कुलेऽ-स्माकं गङ्गास्नायी भविष्यति। देवर्षीन् परिसन्तर्प्यदीनानाथांश्च दुःखितान्। श्रद्धया विधिना स्नात्वा दास्यतेसलिलाञ्जलिम्। अपि नः स कुले भूयाच्छिवे विष्णौ चसाम्यदृक्। तदालयकरो भक्त्या तत्र सम्मार्ज्जनादि-कृत्। अकामो वा सकामो वा तिर्थ्यग्योनिगतोऽपिवा। गङ्गायां यो मृतो मर्त्यो नरकं न स पश्यति। [Page2489-b+ 38] तीर्थमन्यत् प्रशंसन्ति गङ्गातीरे स्थिताश्च ये। गङ्गां नबहु मन्यन्ते ते स्युर्निरयगामिणः। माञ्च त्वाञ्चैव गङ्गाञ्चयो द्वेष्टि पुरुषाधमः। स्वकीयैः पितृभिः सार्द्धं स घोरंनरकं व्रजेत्। षष्टिर्गणसहस्राणि गङ्गां रक्षन्तिसर्वदा। अभक्तानाञ्च पापानां वासे विघ्नं प्रकुर्बते। कामक्रोधमहामोहलोभादिनिशितैः शरैः। घ्नन्ति तेषांमनस्तत्र स्थितिञ्चापनयन्ति च। गङ्गां समाश्रयेत् यस्तुस मुनिः स च पण्डितः। कृतकृत्यः स विज्ञेयः पुरु-षार्थचतुष्टये। गङ्गायाञ्च सकृत्स्नातो हयमेधफलंलभेत्। तर्पयंश्च पितॄंस्तत्र तारयेन्नरकार्णवात्नैरन्तर्य्येण गङ्गायां मासं यः स्नाति पुण्यभाक्। सशक्रलोके वसति यावच्छक्रः सपूवैजः। अव्दं स्नातिच गङ्गायां नैरन्तर्य्येण पुण्यवान्। विष्णुलोकंसमागत्य समुखं संवसेन्नरः!। गङ्गायां स्नाति योमर्त्यो यावज्जीवं दिने दिने। जीवन्मुक्तः स विज्ञेयोदेहान्ते मुक्त एव सः। तिथिनक्षत्रपर्वादि ना-पेक्ष्यं जाह्नवीजले। स्नानमात्रेण गङ्गायां स-ञ्चिताघं विनश्यति। पण्डितोऽपि स मूर्खः स्याच्छा-क्तियुक्तोऽप्यशक्तिकः। यस्तु भागीरथीतीरं सुख-सेव्यं न संश्रयेत्। किमायुषाप्यरोगेण विकाशिन्याथकिं श्रिया। किंवा बुद्ध्या विमलया यदि गङ्गां नसेवते। यः कारयेदायतनं गङ्गाप्रतिकृतेर्नरः। भुक्त्वास भोगान् प्रेत्यापि याति गङ्गासलोकताम्। शृण्वन्तिमहिमानं ये गङ्गाया नित्यमादरात्। गङ्गास्नानफलंतेषां वाचकप्रीणनाद्धनैः। पितॄनुद्दिश्य यो लिङ्गंस्नपयेद्गाङ्गवारिणा। तृप्ताः स्युस्तस्य पितरोमहानिरयगा अपि। अष्टकृत्वो मन्त्रजप्तैर्वस्त्रपूतैःसुगन्धिभिः। प्रोचुर्गाङ्गैर्जलैः स्नानं घृतस्नानादिकंबुधाः। आपः क्षीरकुशाग्राणि घृतं दधि गवां मघु। रक्तानि करवीराणि रक्तचन्दनमित्यपि। अष्टद्रव्य-विमिश्रेण गङ्गातोयेन यः सकृत्। माघव! प्रस्थमात्रेणताम्रपात्रस्थितेन च। भानवेऽर्घं प्रदद्याच्च स्वकीय-पितृभिः सह। सोऽतितेजोविमानेन सूर्य्यलोकेमहीयते। अष्टाङ्गोऽर्घोऽयमुद्दिष्टस्त्वतीव रवितोषणः। गाङ्गैर्वाभिः कोटिगुणो ज्ञेयो विष्णोऽन्यवारितः। नङ्गातीरेषु शक्त्या यः कुर्य्याद्देवालयं सुधीः। अन्यतीर्थ-प्रतिष्ठातो लभेत् कोटिगुणं फलम्। कूपवापीतडा-गादिप्रपादानादिभिस्तथा। अन्यत्र यद्भवेत् पुण्यं तदगङ्गा-[Page2490-a+ 38] दर्शनाद्भवेत्। अश्वत्थवटवृक्षादिवृक्षारोपेण यत् फलम्। पुष्पवाट्यादिभिश्चापि गङ्गास्पर्शस्ततोऽधिकः। कन्या-दानेन यत् पुण्यं यत् पुण्यं गोप्रदानतः। तत् पुण्यंस्याच्छतगुणं गङ्गागण्डूषपानतः। चान्द्रायणसहस्रेणयत् फलं स्याज्जनार्दन!। ततोऽधिकं फलं गङ्गाऽमृत-पानादवाप्नुयात्। भक्त्या गङ्गावगाहस्य किमन्यत्फलमुच्यते। अक्षयः स्वर्गवासोऽपि निर्वाणमथ वाहरे!। गङ्गायाः पादुकायुग्मं नित्यमर्च्चति योनरः। आयुः पुण्यं धनं पुत्रान् स्वर्गमोक्षौ चविन्दति। नास्ति गङ्गासमं तीर्थं कलिकल्मष-नाशनम्। नास्ति मुक्तिप्रदं क्षेत्रमविमुक्तसमं हरे!। गङ्गास्नानरतं मर्त्यं दृष्ट्वैव यमकिङ्करा। दिशो दशपलायन्ते सिंहं दृष्ट्वा यथा मृगाः। गङ्गाव्रजनशींलस्यगङ्गातटनिवासिनः। अर्च्चां कृत्वा यथान्यायमश्वमेध-फलं लभेत्। गोभूहिरण्यदानेन भक्त्या गङ्गातटेशुभे। नरो न जायते भूयः संसारे दुःखसङ्कटे। दीर्घायुष्यञ्च वासोभिर्ज्ञानं पुस्तकदानतः। अन्नदानेनसम्पत्तिः कीर्त्तिः कन्याप्रदानतः। अन्यत्र यत् कृतंकर्म व्रतं दानं जपस्तपः। गङ्गातटे तु तत् सर्वं हरे!कोटिगुणं भवेत्। धेनुं पयस्विनीं दद्यात् गङ्गातीरेविधानतः। गोरोमसंख्यया विष्णोर्युगान् सर्वंसमृद्धिदान्। गोलोके मम लोके वा कामधेनु-व्रजावृतः। भुञ्जानः सर्वकामांस्तु दिव्यान् नानाविधान्बहून्। देवानामप्यलभ्यांश्च भुक्त्वा तु सह बान्धवैः। पिवृभिश्च सुहृद्भिश्च सर्वरत्नविभूषितः। जायते सुकुलेपश्चाद्धनधान्यसमाकुले। रत्नकाञ्चनसम्पूर्णे शील-विद्यासमन्विते। भुक्त्वा च विपुलान् भोगान् पुत्रपौत्र-सप्तन्वितः। पुनर्गङ्गां समासाद्य काश्यामुत्तरवाहिनीम्। विश्वेश्वरं समाराध्य प्राग्जनुर्वासनावशात्। काला-द्देहान्तमासाद्य ब्रह्म सम्पद्यते ततः। निर्वर्त्तनद्वय-मपि भूमेर्भागीरथीतटे। नरो ददाति योभक्त्या तस्यपुण्यफलं शृणु। तद्भूमित्रसरेणूनां संख्यया युगमानया। महेन्द्रचन्द्रलोकेषु भुक्त्वा भोगान् मनःप्रियान्। सप्त-द्वीपपतिर्भूत्वा महाधर्मपरायणः। नरकस्थानपिपितॄन्। प्रापय्य त्रिदिवं व्रजेत्। स्वर्गस्थांश्च पितॄन्सर्वान् मोचयित्वा महाद्युतिः। अन्तेज्ञानासिना छित्त्वाहाविद्यां पाञ्चभौतिकीम्। परं वैराग्यमापन्नो युञ्जानोयोगमुत्तमम्।{??} वाऽवि मुक्तञ्च परं ब्रह्माधि-[Page2490-b+ 38] गच्छति। सुवर्णमात्रमपि यः सुवर्णं वा प्रयच्छति। सुवर्णञ्च सुविप्राय हरे! भागीरथीतटे। स हेमरत्नखचितेविमाने सर्वगे शुभे। सर्वैश्वर्य्यसमायुक्तः सर्वलोकेषु पू-जितः। ब्रह्माण्डान्तरसंस्थेषु भुक्त्वा भोगान् मनो-रमान्। तर्वैः संपूजितो विष्णो! यावदाहूतसंप्लवम्। एकराट् च ततोभूत्वा जम्बुद्वीपे प्रतापवान्। ततोऽवि-मुक्तमासाद्यपरं निर्वाणमृच्छति। जन्मर्क्षे तु कृते स्नानेगङ्गायां भक्तिपूर्वकम्। जन्मप्रभृतिपापौघात् संचितात्मुच्यते क्षणात्। वैशाखे कार्त्तिके माघे गङ्गास्नानंसुदुर्लभम्। दर्शे शतगुणं पुण्यं संक्रान्तौ च सहस्र-कम्। चन्द्रसूर्य्यग्रहे लक्षं व्यतीपाते त्वनन्तकम्। अयुतंविषुवे चैब नियुतन्त्वयनद्वये। सोमग्रहः सोमदिने, रवि-वारे रवेर्ग्रहः। तच्चूडामणिपूर्वाख्यं तत्र स्नानमसं-ख्यकम्। स्नानं दानं जपोहोमो यच्च चूडामणौकृतम्। तदक्षयमिदं सर्वं विष्णो! भागीरथीतटे। श्रद्धया भक्तियुक्तस्तु गङ्गां स्नात्वा विधानतः। ब्रह्म-हापि विशुद्ध्येत किं पुनस्त्वन्यपातकी। कृमिकीट-पतङ्गाद्या ये मृता जाह्नवीजले। कूलात् पतन्ति ये वृक्षास्तेऽपि यान्ति परां गतिम्”। अन्यान्यपि तत्रत्यफलानि प्रा॰ त॰ उक्तानि तत्र दृश्यानि। व्रह्माण्डे
“गङ्गां पुण्यजलां प्राप्य त्रयोदश विवर्जयेत्। शौचमाचमनं सेकं निर्माल्यं मलघर्षणम्। गात्रसंवाहनंक्रीडां प्रतिग्रहमथोऽरतिम्। अन्यतीर्थरतिञ्चैव अन्यती-र्थप्रशंसनम्। विण्मूत्रादिमलोत्सर्गं सन्तारञ्च विशेषतः”। तस्याश्च वैशाखशुक्लतृतीयायां ब्रह्मलोकात् हिमवतिपतनं ततो भूमौ पतनञ्च दशहरायां यथा
“वैशाखशुक्ल-पक्षे तु तृतीयायां जनार्दनः। यवानुत्पादयामास युगंचारब्धवान् कृतम्। ब्रह्मलोकात्त्रिपथगां पृथिव्यामवातार-यत्” ब्रह्मपुराणम्।
“ज्येष्ठे मासि क्षितिसुतदिने शुक्लपक्षेदशम्यां हस्ते शैलान्निरगमदियं जाह्नवी मर्त्यलोकम्” ति॰ त॰ धृतवाक्यम्। एतयोरविरोधाय तथा व्यवस्था।

३ तज्जलाधिष्ठातृदेवीभेदे। गङ्गाया इदम् नदीपरत्वेअवृद्धत्वात् अण्। गाङ्ग तत्सम्बन्धिनि।
“गाङ्गमम्बु-सितमम्बुयामुनम्” काव्यप्र॰।
“गाङ्गं जलं निर्मलम्” गङ्गास्तीत्रम्।
“गाङ्गं वर्षेण जीर्य्यति” पद्मपु॰। नदीपरत्वाभावेगङ्गाया अपत्यं ढक्। गाङ्गेय गङ्गादेव्यपत्ये भीष्मे कार्त्ति-केये च।
“गङ्गाप्रवाहोक्षितदेवदारु” कुमा॰
“गङ्गास्रोतो-ऽन्तरेषु सः” रघुः।

४ नदीमात्रे च। सप्तनङ्गम् सि॰ कौ॰। [Page2491-a+ 38]

शब्दसागरः[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।


गङ्गा¦ f. (-ङ्गा) The river Ganges, or its personification as a goddess. E. [Page227-a+ 60] गम् to go, Unadi affix गन्, or गां the accusative of गो the earth, and ग who goes, form irr.

Apte[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।


गङ्गा [gaṅgā], [गम्-गन्; Uṇ.1.12]

The river Ganges, the most sacred river in India; अधोधो गङ्गेयं पदमुपगता स्तोकमथवा Bh.2.1; R.2.26;13.57; (mentioned in Rv.1.75.5, along with other rivers considered sacred in India).

The Ganges personified as a goddess. [Gaṅgā is the eldest daughter of Himavat. It is said that a curse of Brahmā made her come down upon earth, where she became the first wife of King Śantanu. She bore him eight sons, of whom Bhīṣma, the youngest, became a well-known personage, renowned for his valour and life-long celibacy. According to another account she came down on earth being propitiated by Bhagīratha; see भगीरथ and जह्नु also; and cf. Bh.2. 1]. इमं मे गङ्गे यमुने सरस्वति Mahānār. Up.5.4.-Comp. -अम्बु, -अम्भस् n.

water of the Ganges.

pure rain-water (such as falls in the month of आश्विन).

अवतारः the descent of the Ganges on the earth; भगीरथ इव दृष्टगङ्गावतारः K.32 (where गङ्गा˚ also means 'descent into the Ganges' for ablution).

N. of a sacred place. -अष्टकम् a collection of eight verses addressed to the Ganges; गङ्गाष्टकं पठति यः प्रयतः प्रभाते वाल्मीकिना विरचितं शुभदं मनुष्यः । -उद्भेदः the source of the Ganges. -क्षेत्रम् the river Ganges and the district two Koss on either of its banks. -चिल्ली Gangetic kite.

जः, सुतः N. of Bhīṣma.

of Kārtikeya; गङ्गासुतस्त्वं स्वमतेन देव स्वाहामहीकृत्तिकानां तथैव Mb.3.232.15. -जलम् the holy water (by which it is customary to administer oaths). -दत्तः an epithet of Bhīsma. -द्वारम् the place where the Ganges enters the plains (also called हरिद्वार); गङ्गाद्वारं प्रति महान्बभूव भगवानृषिः Mb.1.13.33.

धरः an epithet of Śiva.

the ocean. ˚पुरम् N. of a town.

पुत्रः N. of Bhīṣma.

of Kārtikeya.

a man of a mixed and vile caste whose business is to remove dead bodies.

a Brāhmaṇa who conducts pilgrims to the Ganges. -भृत् m.

N. of Śiva.

the ocean. -मध्यम् the bed of the Ganges.

यात्रा a pilgrimage to the Ganges.

carrying a sick person to the river-side to die there. -लहरी N. of poem by Jagannātha Paṇḍita.-सप्तमी the 7th day in the light half of वैशाख. -सागरः the place where the Ganges enters the ocean.

सुप्तः an epithet of Bhīsma.

of Kartikya. -ह्रदः N. of a तीर्थ.

Monier-Williams[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।


गङ्गा f. ( गम्Un2. )" swift-goer " , the river Ganges (personified and considered as the eldest daughter of हिमवत्and मेनाR. i , 36 , 15 ; as the wife of शान्तनुand mother of भीष्मMBh. i , 3800 Hariv. 2967 ff. ; or as one of the wives of धर्मPadmaP. Page341,3 ; there is also a गङ्गाin the sky [ आकाश-or व्योम-ग्, qq. vv. ; See. खा-पगा, गगना-पगाetc. ] and one below the earth Hariv. 12782 ; भगी-रथis said to have conducted the heavenly गङ्गाdown to the earth , 810 ff. R. i , ch. 44 ) RV. x , 75 , 5 S3Br. xiii TA1r. etc.

गङ्गा f. N. of the wife of नील-कण्ठand mother of शंकर

गङ्गा f. ifc. See. द्विवेद-गङ्ग.

Purana Encyclopedia[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।


Gaṅgā^1, : ( Mahāgaṅgā 3. 155. 85) f.: Name of a river, also called Bhāgīrathī (Bhagīrathasutā 5. 179. 5) and Jāhnavī (Jahnusutā 1. 92. 49; Jahnukanyā 13. 14. 37) at various places (see below); also referred to as Tripathagā 1. 92. 39; 2. 39. 11; 3. 106. 27; 3. 108. 18; 6. 7. 44; 12. 38. 8; 13. 27. 76; 13. 44. 13; 14. 44. 13; 15. 41. 13; also cf. 13. 27. 72; Tripathā 13. 27. 101; Trimārgā 13. 27. 87; Trivartmagā 13. 27. 83; Tripathagāminī 1. 92. 39; Trilokagā 1. 91. 18; 18. 3. 37; Trilokapathagā 12. 29. 62; Trilokagoptrī 13. 27. 83.


A. Location: Geographical references:

(1) The heavenly Tripathagā issuing from the Brahmaloka first settled down at Bindusaras near the Hiraṇyaśṛṅga mountain and then became sevenfold 6. 7. 44 (the seven names are given in 6. 7. 45); this is how the god had arranged (prabhor eṣaiva saṁvidhiḥ) 6. 7. 46 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 6. 6. 49: prabhor īśvarasyaiṣa saptanadyātmakaḥ saṁvidhiḥ samīcīnaṁ lokopakārārthaṁ vidhānam); the seven divine rivers are known as the seven Ganges 6. 7. 47; Gaṅgā can be seen from the lake Bindusaras which is on the slope of the mountain Hiraṇyaśṛṅga 6. 7. 41;

(2) Gaṅgā Bhāgīrathī falls with a terrific speed from the summit of the mount Meru down into the lake Cāndramasa which was created by it 6. 7. 26-27;

(3) Lomaśa could hear the sound of distant Gaṅgā falling on top of Indra's golden mountain 3. 140. 14;

(4) Flowing near the hermitage of Nara and Nārāyaṇa at Badarī on mount Kailāsa 3. 145. 15-16; 3. 45. 20; at this āśrama Gaṅgā has two currents, hot and cold, and has sand of gold (uṣṇatoyavahā gaṅgā śītatoyavahāparā/suvarṇasikatā rājan viśālāṁ badarīm anu) 3. 88. 23;

(5) Flows constantly by the hermitage of Upamanyu on the Himavant mountain 13. 14. 27-28;

(6) The river struck the Himavant mountain (at its foot) at Gaṅgādvāra 3. 88. 18;

(7) Listed by Saṁjaya twice as Gaṅgā and as all the Gaṅgās (sarvā gaṅgāḥ) among the rivers of the Bhāratavarṣa; its water used by people for drinking 6. 10. 13, 35;

(8) Vārāṇasī, established by Divodāsa, is to the north of Gaṅgā and south of Gomatī 13. 31. 16-18;

(9) There are three firepits at Prayāga through which Jāhnavī flows out of Prayāga (tatra trīṇy agnikuṇḍāni yeṣāṁ madhye ca jāhnavī/prayāgād abhiniṣkrāntā) 3. 83. 69; Gaṅgā and Yamunā meet at Prayāga; the region between the two rivers is known as the hip (jaghana) of the earth 3. 83. 70-71;

(10) The bank of the Gaṅgā, known as the Aśvatīrtha, is not far from Kanyakubja 13. 4. 17;

(11) Gaṅgā flows through the Pañcāla country dividing it into northern and southern Pañcāla 1. 128. 12; 1. 154. 24; the country of Mākandī lay to its south with Kāmpilya as its capital 1. 128. 15;

(12) Pramāṇakoṭi was on the bank of the Gaṅgā 3. 13. 74;

(13) Arjuna in his journey towards the east crossed many rivers one of them being Gaṅgā 1. 207. 7;

(14) Kṛṣṇa, Bhīma and Arjuna, on their way to the Magadha in the east crossed Gaṅgā after they crossed Mithilā 2. 18. 28-29;

(15) The Bāhlīka country and the Madra country were kept out by the river Gaṅgā (bāhlīkadeśaṁ madrāṁś ca kutsayan vākyam abravīt/bahiṣkṛtā himavatā gaṅgayā ca tiraskṛtāḥ) 8. 30. 9-10;

(16) The country between the Gaṅgā and the Yamunā was the middle of the earth (madhye pṛthivyāḥ) 1. 82. 5;

(17) In the Madhyadeśa, between the rivers Gaṅgā and Yamunā and at the foot of the Yāmuna mountain there was a large settlemeni of the Brāhmaṇas known as Parṇaśālā 13. 67. 3-4;

(18) On the northern bank of the Gaṅgā there were many routes of the Nāgas (bahūni nāgavartmāni gaṅgāyās tīra uttare) 1. 3. 141;


B. Description:

(1) Best among the rivers: saricchreṣṭhā 1. 91. 4; 1. 94. 22; 3. 108. 4; 7. 57. 24; 9. 36. 47; 13. 134. 22; 13. 154. 32; saritāṁ śreṣṭhā 12. 274. 16; 12. 311. 12; 13. 27. 50; 13. 84. 66; saridvarā 1. 91. 8; 13. 27. 25, 86; 13. 84. 64; 13. 134. 14; 13. 154. 33; saritām varā 1. 91. 10; 13. 134. 19; saritāṁ variṣṭhā 13. 72. 40; sarvasaridvarā 13. 134. 17;

(2) pure, auspicious, blessed, holy: śuci 1. 158. 18; 11. 13. 4; (its water) 12. 221. 6; 13. 27. 30; śivā 3. 108. 2; 3. 145. 40; 11. 27. 1; 13. 27. 66, 85; 13. 134. 22; śubhā 1. 158. 20; 3. 155. 85; 6. 7. 27; 14. 82. 15; (its water) 13. 27. 33, 36; (its bank) 13. 53. 55; subhagā 3. 140. 14; puṇyā 3. 85. 10, 17; 3. 97. 27; 3. 108. 2; 3. 155. 85; 6. 7. 27; 12. 335. 46; 15. 41. 13; (its water) 1. 158. 21; 3. 108. 14; 5. 40. 4; puṇyajalā 3. 108. 6; 13. 27. 66; puṇyapavitratoyā 13. 14. 27; supuṇyatoyā 13. 27. 92; (its bank) 12. 1. 8; (its water) puṇyagandha 11. 13. 4; mahāpuṇyā 13. 27. 71, 83; puṇyatamā 13. 134. 22; supuṇyā 6. 10. 35; has holy hermitages on it puṇyāśramavatī 7. 57. 25; liked by most holy men puṇyatamair juṣṭā 6. 7. 27; frequented by holy men puṇyajanocitā 11. 27. 1; (its bank) 15. 25. 1; confers holiness on the three worlds lokānāṁ puṇyadā vai trayāṇām 13. 27. 88; its bank is pure (medhya) 15. 25. 1; Gaṅgā is famous in the three worlds due to its holiness 13. 27. 79; sinless vipāpmā 13. 27. 87; the country through which it flows becomes a hermitage (yatra gaṅgā mahārāja sa deśas tat tapovanam) 3. 83. 83; secures heaven svargasaṁpādanī 1. 158. 20;

(3) proceeds from the foot of Viṣṇu viṣṇupadī 13. 27. 92;

(4) It is as good as all the tīrthas: it arises from waters of all the tīrthas, it has water of all the tīrthas in it sarvatīrthajalodbhavā 12. 274. 16; sarvatīrthodakair yutā 13. 134. 12; sarvatīrthābhisaṁvṛtā 13. 134. 17; sarvatīrthapuraskṛtā 3. 83. 69; viśvatoyā 13. 27. 87, 94; has good tīrthas on it sutīrthā 3. 145. 40;

(5) resorted to by all kinds of sages, by Siddhas, Cāraṇas and Brāhmaṇas, and praised by sages: devarsijuṣṭā 12. 221. 7; siddhacāraṇasevitā 1. 92. 25; 3. 45. 20; 5. 179. 4; maharṣigaṇasevitā 1. 92. 49; śobhitā brāhmaṇaiḥ 13. 27. 89; (its tīra) ṛṣijuṣṭa 13. 154. 15; ṛṣiṣṭutā 13. 27. 92; lokanamaskṛtā 3. 107. 20; the region on its bank becomes siddhakṣetra 3. 83. 83; honoured by Brāhmaṇas saṁmatā brāhmaṇānām 13. 27. 91;

(6) famous, famous in the three worlds yaśasvinī 13. 27. 82; triṣu lokeṣu viśrutā 6. 7. 47; (13. 27. 79);

(7) river of gods, heavenly, of divine conception, scattered with heavenly flowers devanadī 1. 158. 20; 3. 108. 2; 3. 155. 85; 13. 134. 22; 13. 151. 24 (not named); suranadī 6. 79. 5; devī 1. 92. 39; 1. 93. 4; 3. 140. 14; 5. 179. 4, 26, 28; 5. 187. 32; 6. 7. 44; 13. 84. 72; 13. 134. 17; 13. 154. 18, 32; divyā 3. 108. 2; 6. 7. 47; 12. 38. 8; divyarūpā 1. 92. 39; divyasaṁkalpā 6. 7. 46; divyapuṣpasamākīrṇā 3. 145. 41;

(8) its constituents: honey, ghṛta, milk and pure water: full of honey madhumatī 13. 27. 83; madhupravāhā 13. 27. 89; full of ghṛta, having the colour of ghṛta, ghṛtinī 13. 27. 81; ghṛtavahā 13. 27. 87 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 13. 26. 86: jalavāhinī); ghṛtarāgā 13. 27. 89; full of milk kṣīradhārā 6. 7. 26; payasvinī 13. 27. 81; full of nectar amṛtā 13. 27. 85, 94; sweet surasā 13. 27. 85; śītāmatajalā 3. 145. 40; full of refreshment irā 13. 27. 90, 94, and nourishment ūrjāvatī 13. 27. 83;

(9) flows through the sky: ākāsagā 1. 158. 18; forms the girdle of the sky gaganamekhalā 3. 108. 9, of the heaven and the earth divo bhuvaś cāpi kakṣyānurūpā 13. 27. 88; garland of the heaven tridivasya mālā 13. 27. 89;

(10) some important features: (a) true ṛtā 13. 27. 85; (b) furthering the earth pṛthivyā bhāvinī 13. 27. 88; support of all beings sarvabhūtapratiṣṭhā 13. 27. 85; wishing welfare to all beings sarvabhūtahitaiṣiṇī 5. 179. 22; kind to people who resort to her abhigatajanavatsatā 13. 27. 100; one of the rivers described as mothers of the universe viśvasya mātaraḥ 6. 10. 35;

(11) its other qualities: bright, shining vibhāvarī 13. 27. 85; bhāminī 14. 82. 14; (its wave) bhānumatī 13. 27. 80; pleasing ramyā 3. 108. 6; 7. 57. 25; gracious, very kindly disposed bhavyā 13. 27. 88; suprasannā 13. 27. 85; causing delight to mind manasaḥ prītivardhanīm 3. 145. 41; noble minded mahānubhāvā 13. 27. 100; highly illustrious mahābhāgā 5. 179. 5; 5. 187. 36; one of the rivers described as very strong mahābalāḥ 6. 10. 35; very generous atyudārā 13. 27. 81; energetic dakṣā 13. 27. 85; inconceivable acintyā 6. 7. 46; ancient purāṇī 13. 27. 92; (in short) possessed of all qualities sarvaguṇopapannā 13. 27. 93;

(12) its length, breadth and force stressed: mahānadī 1. 91. 11; 3. 107. 14, 16, 19; 3. 135. 5; 5. 179. 28; 9. 17. 10; 12. 335. 46; 13. 154. 26; mahāgaṅgā 3. 155. 85; pṛthvī 13. 27. 85; bṛhatī 13. 27. 85; viprakṛṣṭā 13. 27. 85; unimpeded asaṁbādhā 1. 158. 20; (its water) asaṁbādha 1. 158. 21; (its water) anivārya 1. 158. 21; irresistible durdharṣā 5. 149. 49; having ample water bahūdakā 7. 57. 24;

(13) some special features as a river: has only one bank while flowing through the sky ekavaprā 1. 158. 18 (Nī on Bom. Ed. 1. 170. 21: ekaṁ ākāśarūpaṁ vapraṁ taṭaṁ yasyāḥ sā); its shore has thin, golden sand pulinam… sūkṣmakāñcanavālukam 12. 221. 8; covered with sprouts of jewels maṇipravālaprastārā 3. 145. 40; when it flowed towards the ocean its course was divided into three streams (sā babhūva visarpantī tridhā rājan samudragā) 3. 108. 10; having reached the ocean it was divided into seven streams (gaṅgā gatvā samudrāmbhaḥ saptadhā pratipadyate) 1. 158. 17;

(14) conceived of as the daughter and the wife:

(1) due to her rise in the Himavant called the daughter of the Himavant or of the mountain haimavatī 3. 107. 16; himavataḥ sutā 3. 108. 8; 6. 114. 90; śailasutā 3. 140. 14; śailarājasutā 3. 108. 4; sutāvanīdhrasya 13. 27. 88;

(2) as the principal river meeting the ocean called the chief queen of the ocean samudramahiṣī 3. 185. 18;

(3) for her role in mythology called the wife of Hara (Śiva) harasya bhāryā 13. 27. 88;

(15) for the description of Gaṅgā as a river also see 3. 108. 8, 10-11; 3. 145. 40; 5. 149. 49; 5. 163. 10; 5. 187. 33; 6. 7. 26, 27; 6. 19. 17; 7. 57. 24-25; 11. 27. 1; 13. 27. 57-58, 8081, 85, 89-90, 94; 13. 35. 20; 13. 50. 14; 13. 54. 22;

(16) for her description as a personified woman see 1. 92. 2-11; 13. 134. 2324; 13. 154. 27, 28, 31.


C. Holy:

(1) The river confers holiness on the three worlds (gaṅgā lokānāṁ puṇyadā vai trayāṇām) 13. 27. 88;

(2) Bathing on confluences: (i) one who bathes at the confluence of the river Saṅgamā and the Gaṅgā gets the fruit of performing ten Aśvamedha sacrifices and lifts up his family 3. 82. 31; one who bathes at the confluence of the river Sarasvatī and the Gaṅgā gets the fruit of performing an Aśvamedha and goes to heaven 8. 82. 34; (ii) one who bathes at the worldfamous confluence of the Gomatī and the Gaṅgā gets the fruit of performing an Agniṣṭoma and lifts up his family 3. 82. 70; (iii) by bathing at the confluence of the Yamunā and the Gaṅgā one gets the merit of studying the four Vedas and of speaking the truth 3. 83. 80; the gift given after bathing (upaspṛśya) at this confluence is better than any other gift (dānaṁ nānyad viśiṣyate) 13. 26. 34; (iv) by bathing at the confluence of the Gaṅgā and the ocean (gaṅgāyās…sāgarasya ca saṁgame) one gets tenfold the fruit of an Aśvamedha (aśamedhaṁ daśaguṇam) 3. 83. 4;

(3) Bathing in the Gaṅgā: By bathing (kṛtodakaḥ) in the Bhāgīrathī at Campā and by approaching Daṇḍārka (daṇḍārkam abhigamyaiva ?) one gets the fruit of donating a thousand cows 3. 82. 142; by bathing in the second island of the Gaṅgā (? gaṅgāyās tv aparaṁ dvīpam) and by fasting for three nights one achieves all desires 3. 83. 5; one who observes chastity and is composed (brahmacārī samāhitaḥ) and bathes in the Gaṅgā at Śṛṅgaverapura is cleansed of his sins and obtains the fruit of a Vājapeya sacrifice 3. 83. 63; by worshipping there Mahādeva and by making a pradakṣiṇā one gets the position of a Gaṇapati (gāṇapatyam avāpnuyāt) 3. 83. 64; by bathing ceremonially (yo naras tv abhiṣicyate) at a place where the Bhāgīrathī Gaṅgā turns northwards near the abode (?) of Maheśvara (maheśvarasya niṣṭhane) and by living there for a month, abstaining from food, one sees the deities in person (svayaṁ paśyati devatāḥ) 13. 26. 14; by going to the tīrtha Brahmaśiras, by bathing (kṛtodakaḥ) in the Bhāgīrathī and by abstaining from food for a month one goes to the Somaloka 13. 26. 38; for the benefits of bathing in the Gaṅgā and of resorting to it also cf. 13. 27. 26, 29-30 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 13. 26. 31: vyuṣṭiḥ puṇyavṛddhiḥ), 32, 3749, 56, 59-63, 65-72, 77-86, 90, 92-95, 100;

(4) Meditating on the Gaṅgā: One who is controlled and is respected by the learned (prayataḥ śiṣṭasaṁmataḥ) if, while leaving his body, he thinks of the Gaṅgā he obtains the best condition (after death) (sa gatiṁ paramāṁ labhet) 13. 27. 69;

(5) Fasting on the Gaṅgā: One who fasts near the river for thirteen days and eats a part of the oblation in the evening of the fourteenth day, and he does this for twelve months, he gets the fruit of a great sacrifice and he lives in the company of the Devakanyās for a full year on the sandy banks of the river Jāhnavī (caturdaśe tu divase yaḥ pūrṇe prāśate haviḥ/sadā dvādaśamāsān vai mahāmedhaphalaṁ labhet//…devakanyānivāse ca tasmin vasati mānavaḥ/jāhnavīvālukākīrṇe pūrṇaṁ saṁvatsaraṁ naraḥ) 13. 110. 60, 63;

(6) Sand and earth on its banks and the breeze coming from its waves are holy 13. 27. 53-55.

(7) Rites after death performed at the Gaṅgā: Those beings whose bones (gātrāṇi; Nī. on Bom. Ed. 13. 26. 28: gātrāṇī asthīni), when thrown in the Gaṅgā come in contact with its water are not thrown out of heaven (na punas teṣāṁ tyāgaḥ svargād vidhīyate) 13. 27. 27; those beings whose obsequies (kṛtyāni) are performed with the water of the Gaṅgā remain permanently in the heaven (divi tiṣṭhanti te 'calāḥ) 13. 27. 28; also cf. 13. 27. 31, 36, 64;

(8) The country through which the Gaṅgā flows is as good as a penance grove; a place along the river Gaṅgā is to be looked upon as the place of the Siddhas (yatra gaṅgā mahārāja sa deśas tat tapovanam/siddhakṣetraṁ tu taj jñeyaṁ gaṅgātīrasamāśritam//) 3. 83. 83; the countries (deśāḥ), the Janapadas, the āśramas, the mountains through which the Bhāgīrathī Gaṅgā, the best among the rivers, flows excel in holiness (prakṛṣṭāḥ puṇyataḥ) 13. 27. 24-25 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 13. 26. 18: deśāḥ bhūmibhāgāḥ janapadāḥ mahājananivāsasthānāni āśramāḥ ṛṣisthānāni); the countries and the quarters which do not enjoy the benefit of the auspicious water of the Gaṅgā are like nights without the moon and trees without flowers 13. 27. 33; also cf. 13. 27. 34-35;

(9) Many tīrthas on the river Gaṅgā: (i) Daśāśvamedhika 3. 83. 82; (ii) Brahmaśiras 13. 26. 38; (iii) Mārkaṇḍeyatīrtha 3. 82. 70; (iv) Aśvatīrtha 13. 4. 17; (v) Prayāga 3. 83. 69, 71; (vi) Daṇḍārka (?) 3. 82. 142; (also see the next section: Importance).


D. Importance: (i) Sages and gods pay homage to Nārāyaṇa on the river Gaṅgā 3. 88. 18; (ii) Gaṅgā is listed by Mārkaṇḍeya among rivers famous as mothers of fire-hearths, i. e. sacrifices were performed on their banks (gaṅgā ca…/etā nadyas tu dhiṣṇyānāṁ mātaro yāḥ prakīrtitāḥ//) 3. 212. 24 (for Nī. see Kapilā ); (iii) Gaṅgā, and all the Gaṅgās, listed by Saṁjaya among rivers which are called mothers of the univere 6. 10. 13; (sarvā gaṅgāś ca māriṣa/viśvasya mātaraḥ sarvāḥ) 6. 10. 35; (iv) Finds place twice in the Daivata-Ṛṣi-Vaṁśa 13. 151. 7, 15, 2; (v) Worlds which one gets by adoring with faith and devotion the virtues of the Jāhnavī were created by Gaṅgā herself (gaṅgākṛtān acireṇaiva lokān yatheṣṭam iṣṭān vicariṣyasi tvam); such a person became famous in the three worlds and achieved perfection which was difficult to obtain 13. 27. 98-99; (vi) The narration of the great importance and virtues of the Gaṅgā is called a holy Itihāsa containing the praise of the river; one who recites it, or listens to it, is freed of all sins (itihāsam imaṁ puṇyaṁ śṛṇuyād yaḥ paṭheta vā/gaṅgāyāḥ stavasaṁyuktaṁ sa mucyet sarvakilbiṣaiḥ) 13. 27. 105; (vii) Virtues of the river Gaṅgā are countless; no one can fully describe or determine them (vaktuṁ śakyaṁ neha gaṅgājalānāṁ guṇākhyānaṁ parimātuṁ tathaiva) 13. 27. 97, 96; (viii) Gaṅgā offered shelter, protection, support to those who are without it 13. 27. 44; Lomaśa invoked the blessings of the Gaṅgā, besides those of Varuṇa, Yama, and the Yamunā, on Yudhiṣṭhira and requested her to protect him from the mountains which he was about to enter while on his way to the Gandhamādana 3. 140. 13-14; (ix) Grief due to separation from the Gaṅgā more unbearable than from near relatives or wealth; on the other hand, just the sight of the Gaṅgā is more pleasing than that of the desired objects or sons 13. 27. 74-76; (x) Gaṅgā offers sustenance to those who depend on her 13. 27. 51-52;

(11) Relationship with other rivers: (i) Tripathagā Gaṅgā looked upon as the first to be created among the rivers (tathā tripathagā gaṅgā nadīnām agrajā smṛtā) 14. 44. 13; (ii) among the Vibhūtis of the Bhagavān, Jāhnavī is said to be the best among the rivers (srotasām asmi jāhnavī) 6. 32. 31; also cf. 13. 27. 50; (iii) the Gaṅgā has the same relationship to other rivers as the sun has to other luminaries (?) in the sky, the moon to the manes, and the king (?) to men (divi jyotir yathādityaḥ pitṝṇāṁ caiva candramāḥ/deveśaś ca yathā nṝṇāṁ gaṅgeha saritāṁ tathā//) 13. 27. 73 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 13. 26. 74: divi devānām iti śeṣaḥ/deveśaḥ rājendraḥ);

(12) Service to deities: Gaṅgā is mentioned among those rivers who wait on Śiva for his ablutions (upasparśanahetos tvā samīpasthā upāsate) 13. 134. 12, 17; the Bhāgīrathī is one of the rivers who wait upon Varuṇa in his sabhā 2. 9. 17;

(13) Limitation: Bhagīratha told Brahmadeva that his stay even for a hundred years on the bank of the Jāhnavī, practising austerities and giving as gift a thousand mules and a host of maidens (adāṁ ca tatrāśvatarīsahasraṁ nārīpuram) was not enough to take him to the Brahmaloka which was beyond the world of the gods, the cows and the sages 13. 106. 10, 5.


E. Epic events related to the Gaṅgā:

(1) Marriage with Saṁtanu and birth of Bhīṣma: King Pratīpa once went to the bank of the Gaṅgā (gaṅgātīragataḥ) and sat down for many years muttering prayers (japan) 1. 92. 1; Gaṅgā, in the form of a beautiful woman, rose from the waters and sat on the right thigh of king Pratīpa 1. 92. 2-3; when asked by the king what he might do to please her she requested him to make love with her (tvām ahaṁ kāmaye rājan kuruśreṣṭha bhajasva mām) 1. 92. 4-5; but, at the king's suggestion, she agreed to be his daughter-in-law and disappeared 1. 92. 9-12, 15-16; she laid down the condition that the king's son (her future husband) should not know her identity and should never question the propriety of her actions (sa me nābhijanajñaḥ syād ācareyaṁ ca yad vibho/tat sarvam eva putras te na mīmāṁseta karhicit) 1. 92. 13-14; king Śāṁtanu, son of Pratīpa, once went for hunting on the bank of the Gaṅgā; the river appeared before him in the form of a beautiful woman 1. 92. 25-26; when Śaṁtanu requested her to be his wife she agreed on condition that he did not prevent her from doing anything, auspicious or otherwise (śubhaṁ vā yadi vāśubham); should the king question her, she whould abandon him 1. 92. 31-35; when the king consented, she, full of lustre, attended on him as his wife 1. 92. 39-40; Gaṅgā, as the wife of Śaṁtanu, gave birth to eight sons seven of whom, as soon as they were born, she threw away in the waters of the river Gaṅgā; the king did not object to her on the first seven occasions, but on the eighth occasion he asked her to spare him a son; he also wanted to know who she really was 1. 92. 44-47; when thus questioned, she told Śaṁtanu that she was the river Gaṅgā, the daughter of Jahnu, and that she lived with him to achieve some purpose of the gods (devakāryārthasiddhyartham 1. 92. 49); the eight sons she bore him were the eight Vasus who were born as human beings due to the curse of Vasiṣtha; she had promised the Vasus that she would release them from their human birth as soon as they were born (cf. 1. 93. 40); she blessed the king before her departure (svasti te 'stu gamiṣyāmi); she told the king that she had lived with the Vasus (while they were in her womb) in succession (eṣa paryāyavāso me vasūnāṁ saṁnidhau kṛtaḥ) and that the eighth son who was to be given to him later by her was the one born of her (Gaṅgā) (matprasūtaṁ vijānīhi gaṅgādattam imaṁ sutam) 1. 92. 48-55; Śaṁtanu asked Jāhnavī who was Āpava (Vasiṣṭha) and what fault the Vasus had committed to invite the curse of Vasiṣṭha; he also asked why the eighth son (Gaṅgādatta) was required to live long among human beings 1. 9. 1-3; Gaṅgā Jāhnavī then told the king the whole story 1. 93. 5-42; Gaṅgā then disappeared taking the last-born son with her 1. 93. 43; many years later, King Śaṁtanu, while once hunting along the river Gaṅgā Bhāgīrathī, noticed that the river had little water (alpajalām 1. 94. 21) and was not flowing as before (syandate kiṁ nv iyaṁ nādya 1. 94. 22); trying to find out the cause of it the king saw a young boy who had covered waters of the entire Gaṅgā with his arrows 1. 94. 24-25; Śaṁtanu suspected the boy to be his son and hence asked Gaṅgā to show herself to him; Gaṅgā appeared before the king holding the boy in her right hand, but the king did not immediately recognize her; Gaṅgā handed over the son to the king 1. 94. 28-31, 36; Śaṁtanu's marriage with Gaṅgā Bhāgīrathī and the birth of Devavrata by her mentioned in 1. 57. 76; 1. 90. 50; 5. 179. 5; 12. 38. 8; 12. 46. 15; the birth of the Vasus from Bhāgīrathī in the house of Śaṁtanu mentioned in 1. 2. 78; 1. 61. 68;

(2) Her role in Bhīṣma's fight with Rāma Jāmadagnya: When the fight between Bhīṣma and Rāma Jāmadagnya was imminent, the latter threatened to kill Bhīṣma so that Jāhnavī might see him lying on the bed of arrows and the daughter of Bhagīratha (Gaṅgā), who gave birth to him, might weep seeing him dead 5. 179. 3-5; when Bhīṣma was ready to fight with Rāma, his mother appeared before him in her original form (svarūpiṇī) to try to dissuade Bhīṣma from the fight, and expressed her readiness to go to Jāmadagnya to beg him not to engage Bhīṣma, who was his pupil, in fight; Bhīṣma then told her the incidents which had led to the fight; then the river (Gaṅgā) went to Rāma to dissuade him; when told that it was Bhīṣma who was to be dissuaded, Gaṅgā returned to Bhīṣma and again pleaded with him; but Bhīṣma, angered, did not agree to her request 5. 179. 22-30; Bhāgīrathī again appeared later in this event when she joined the sages, Nārada and others, who stood between Bhīṣma and Rāma to stop them fighting with each other 5. 186. 27;

(3) Her pleading with Ambā: Gaṅgā, the mother of Bhīṣma, rose from the waters and asked Ambā the purpose she wanted to achieve by performing the austerities; when told by Ambā that her effort was aimed at the destruction of Bhīṣma, Gaṅgā (sāgaragā) told her that her purpose was crooked (jihmaṁ carasi bhāmini); if she persisted in observing her vows and if she died during the observance of the vows she would become a crooked river having water only during the rainy season and not in the remaining eight months (nadī bhaviṣyasi śubhe kuṭilā vārṣikodakā/…vārṣikī nāṣṭamāsikī); Bhīsma's mother then returned from the place where Ambā practised austerities 6. 187. 29-36;

(4) Death of Bhīṣma: When Bhīṣma, after his fall on the battle-field, resolved to hold his life till the start of the Uttarāyaṇa, Gaṅgā, knowing his resolve, sent to him the great sages in the form of swans 6. 114. 90; much later, after the cremation of Bhīṣma, Dhṛtarāṣṭra and the rest, including Vyāsa, Nārada, Asita and Kṛṣṇa, went to the bank of the Bhāgīrathī and all the Kṣatriya warriors and citizens offered water offerings to him; then Bhāgīrathī arose from water and, crying, lamented the death of her son; she addressed her words to the Kauravas praising and recounting the good qualities of Bhīṣma 13. 154. 17-26; the grieved Bhāgīrathī was consoled by Dāmodara (Kṛṣṇa) assuring her that her son was brought down from the chariot by Arjuna and not by Śikhaṇḍin and that he had returned to the Vasus in heaven 13. 154. 27-32; Bhāgīrathī then gave up grief and entered her own waters; Kṛṣṇa and others, after honouring the river (satkṛtya te tāṁ saritam) returned from that place (to Hāstinapura) when permitted by her to do so (anujñātās tayā) 13. 154. 33-34; when Dhṛtarāṣṭra had offered water offerings to Bhīṣma, Yudhiṣṭhira came out of water with Dhṛtarāṣṭra and, grief-stricken, fell on the bank of the Gaṅgā 14. 1. 1-2;

(5) Arjuna punished for his role in the fall of Bhīṣma: Ulūpī told Arjuna that his defeat at the hands of his son Babhruvāhana was an expiation (niṣkṛtiḥ) he had to undergo for the adharma committed by him in bringing about the fall of Bhīṣma 14. 82. 8; this expiation was prescribed by the Vasus and the Gaṅgā (eṣā tu vihitā śāntiḥ putrād yāṁ prāptavān asi/vasubhir vasudhāpāla gaṅgayā ca mahāmate) 14. 82. 11; when Bhīṣma died (hate śāntanave nṛpe) the Vasus emerged from waters and meeting the great river, told her that they wanted to curse Arjuna for his misdeed in the war, to which Bhāgīrathī agreed (idam ūcur vaco ghoraṁ bhāgīrathyā mate tadā//…vayam apy arjunaṁ…śāpena yojayāmeti tathāstv iti cābravīt//) 14. 82. 12-15;

(6) The Pāṇḍavas came across the Gaṅgā at various places: (i) When Yudhiṣṭhira and his brothers decided to go on a pilgrimage, the Brāhmaṇas expressed their wish to visit with them the Gaṅgā and other rivers 3. 91. 10; when they arrived at Prayāga at the confluence of the Gaṅgā and the Yamunā the Pāṇḍavas bathed in their waters (āplutya gātrāṇi), practised the severest austerities and gave gifts to the Brāhmaṇas 3. 93. 5-6; (ii) They again arrived at the Bhāgīrathī flowing by the side of the Agastyāśrama where Lomaśa advised them to bathe at will (yatheṣṭam avagāhyatām) 3. 97. 27; (iii) Going further from the river Kauśikī, they arrived at the place where the Gaṅgā met the ocean and bathed there in waters of five hundred rivers (nadīśatānāṁ pañcānāṁ madhye cakre samāplavam) 3. 114. 2; (iv) On reaching the vicinity of the Maināka mountain, Lomaśa showed the river Gaṅgā to Yudhiṣṭhira; he advised Yudhiṣṭhira to bathe in the Gaṅgā to be freed of all sins; he also advised him to bathe silently (tūṣṇīṁ gaṅgām…samupaspṛśa) 3. 135. 5-7; (v) When the Pāṇḍavas had crossed the Uśīrabīja, the Maināka, the Śvetagiri and the Kālaśaila mountains, Lomaśa showed them the Gaṅgā flowing in seven currents (eṣā gaṅgā saptavidhā) 3. 140. 1-2; Lomaśa could hear the sound of the Gaṅgā on the top on the mountain Jāmbūnada 3. 140. 14; (vi) The Pāṇḍavas saw the Bhāgīrathī on the Kailāsa mountain; they lived there giving offerings to gods and manes again and again 3. 145. 37, 40, 42;

(7) Some events after the war and the funeral rites offered to the dead: (i) When Yudhiṣṭhira went to meet Dhṛtarāṣṭra who had left Hāstinapura, he saw the Kaurava women lamenting on the bank of the Gaṅgā 11. 11. 5; (ii) Vyāsa, who knew that Gāndhārī would curse the Pāṇḍavas in their first meeting with her after the war, hastened to them after bathing (upaspṛśya) in the Gaṅgā 11. 13. 4; (iii) After lifting the funeral pyre of Droṇa, his pupils, keeping Kṛpī in the front, proceeded to the Gaṅgā 11. 23. 42; (iv) After arranging for the cremation of all the heroes who fell in the war, Yudhiṣṭhira, accompanied by Dhṛtarāṣṭra, went towards the Gaṅgā 11. 26. 44; on reaching the Gaṅgā, Yudhiṣṭhira and the Kaurava women offered water offerings to the departed (pracakruḥ salilakriyāḥ); at that moment the Gaṅgā became easily fordable spreading herself out widely (sūpatīrthābhavad gaṅgā bhūyo viprasasāra ca); the bank of the Gaṅgā then was without joy and merriment (nirānandam anutsavam …gaṅgātīram aśobhata) 11. 27. 1-5; (v) Yudhisṭhira, after giving water offerings to Karṇa (cakārāsyodakaṁ prabhuḥ 11. 27. 21) and after performing the funeral rites for him with the wives of Karṇa, came out of the river Gaṅgā (sa tābhiḥ saha dharmātmā pretakṛtyam anantaram kṛtvōttatāra gaṅgāyāḥ) 11. 27. 24; (vi) When the Pāṇḍavas, who had given water offerings, were still on the Bhāgīrathī, Dvaipāyana, Narada and others and their pupils and hundreds of thousands of other Brāhmaṇas gathered there to console Yudhiṣṭhira 12. 1. 1-2, 4-5, 8;

(8) Cremation of Pāṇḍu and Mādrī: The cremation was performed on an auspicious and even spot in the forest on the river Gaṅgā (ramaṇīye vanoddeśe gaṅgātīre same śubhe); the bier (śibikā) in which their dead bodies were brought from Hāstinapura were placed on this spot 1. 118. 16-17;

(9) Certain other epic events in which the Gaṅgā is referred to: (i) At Pramāṇakoṭi, Duryodhana tied up Bhīma, while he was asleep, and threw him in the waters of the Gaṅgā 1. 55. 10; 3. 13. 74; (ii) Droṇa with his pupils once went to the Gaṅgā for bathing when a crocodile caught him by his ankle (jaṅghānte) 1. 123. 69; (iii) When Drupada was brought captive by his pupils to Droṇa, the latter told Drupada that in future he (Drupada) would rule over the Pañcāla country which lay to the south of the Bhāgīrathī while he (Droṇa) himself would rule over the part of the country which lay to its north; Drupada then established himself in the capital city of Kampilya in the countryside of Mākandī on the river Gaṅgā ruling the southern Pāñcālas as far as the river Carmaṇvatī 1. 128. 12, 15; 1. 154. 24; (iv) Drupada while reaming along the bank of the Gāṅgā, came across a settlement of the Brāhmaṇas (brāhmaṇāvasatha) 1. 155. 5; (v) The Aṅgāraparṇa episode: The Pāṇḍavas on their way to the Pañcālas reached the Somaśravāyaṇa tīrtha on the river Gaṅgā; Aṅgāraparṇa, king of the Gandharvas, had already arrived there to sport with his wives in the waters of the river Gaṅgā Bhāgīrathī; he was angered when he heard the voice of the Pāṇḍavas approaching the river; he told the Pāṇḍavas to leave the place as the forest along the rivers Gaṅgā and Vākā belonged to him; Arjuna questioned the sole right of the Gandharva over the river either at night, or by day, or in twilight (nadyām asyām …kasya kḷptaḥ parigrahaḥ 1. 158. 15); it was therefore not proper for the Gandharva to withhold the river from others since that was against the age old custom (katham icchasi tāṁ roddhuṁ naiṣa dharmaḥ sanātanaḥ 1. 158. 20); why should the Pāṇḍavas be restrained from touching the waters of the Bhāgīrathī 1. 158. 2, 4, 5, 11, 13, 15, 20, 21; defeat of Aṅgāraparṇa in this episode alluded to in 1. 2. 86; later the Gandharva and the Pāṇḍavas took leave of each other on the bank of the Bhāgīrathī 1. 174. 5; (vi) Arjuna, during the period of his exile, entered the river Gaṅgā for bathing; as he wanted to come out of the water he was dragged by Ulūpī in the water of that river 1. 206. 11-13; (vii) Arjuna, during his exile, while going to the east, crossed many rivers one of them being the Gaṅgā 1. 207. 5-6; (viii) Kṛṣṇa, Bhīma and Arjuna crossed the rivers Mālā, Carmaṇvatī and Gaṅgā on their way to the Magadha 2. 18. 21; (ix) On account of the cries of thousands of animals that were burnt at the Khāṇḍava forest the fish in the waters (?) of the Gaṅgā were terrified 1. 219. 28 (tena śabdena vitresur gaṅgodadhicarā jhaṣāḥ; Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 228. 32: gaṅgododhicarā iti atidūrasthopalakṣaṇam); (x) The Pāṇḍavas spent their first night of forest life under a banyan tree called Pramāṇa on the river Jāhnavī; they bathed in it and had only the water of the Jāhnavī to drink for the night 3. 1. 39-40; from the bank of the river Jāhnavī they started towards the Kurukṣetra 3. 6. 1; (xi) On the mountain Himavant Arjuna took bath in the Gaṅgā before ascending Indra's chariot to go to the Indraloka 3. 43. 20; (xii) Bhīṣma once lived as a muni on the bank of the river Bhāgīrathī practising the vow taken by his father (pitryaṁ vratam); there he heard from Pulastya the fruit obtained by visiting the tīrthas 3. 80. 11-12; there, on the bank of the Gaṅgā, he also heard the narrative of Vipula from Mārkaṇḍeya 13. 43. 17; (xiii) When the Pāṇḍavas were near the Gandhamādana mountain (3. 155. 34) Yudhiṣṭhira showed to Bhīma the river Mahāgaṅgā 3. 155. 69, 85; (xiv) The basket (mañjūṣā) containing the newly born Karṇa went down from the river Aśvanadī to the Gaṅgā (via the Carmaṇvatī and the Yamunā) and then to the city of Campā 3. 292. 25-26; when the Sūta Adhiratha went with his wife to the Jāhnavī, she saw there by chance the floating basket brought to the bank by the waves of the Jāhnavī 3. 293. 1, 3; (xv) The army of the Kauravas, collected for the war, spread along the bank of the Gaṅgā 5. 19. 30; (xvi) Kuntī, who wished to approach Karṇa to tell him the truth about his birth, went to the Bhāgīrathī to meet him; there on the bank of the Gaṅgā she heard the sound of the prayers recited by Karṇa 5. 142. 26-27; (xvii) Arjuna wishing to propitiate Śiva to seek his help in fulfilling the vow to kill Jayadratha saw the Gaṅgā on his way 7. 57. 24; (xviii) Bhīma, in search of Aśvatthāman, reached the bank of the Bhāgīrathī where he saw Vyāsa and the other sages seated on the bank (udakānte) 10. 13. 12-13; (xix) After the great war, Kṛpa, Aśvatthāman and Kṛtavarman, after their meeting with Dhṛtarāṣṭra, rode fast on horse-back towards the Gaṅgā 11. 10. 19; (xx) Bhīṣma, having narrated to Yudhiṣṭhira the Itihāsa connected with the praise of the Gaṅgā (itihāsaṁ…gaṅgāyāḥ stavasaṁyutam), advised him to approach the Gaṅgā with great devotion in order to obtain the highest perfection (siddhim uttamām); he and his brothers were delighted to hear this Itihāsa of the Gaṅgā from Bhīṣma 13. 27. 103-104; (xxi) When Dhṛtarāṣṭra decided to retire to the forest he, along with Gāndhārī, Kuntī, Vidura and Saṁjaya, went in a day a long distance from Hastinapura and camped on the bank of the Bhāgīrathī; next morning they started from there towards the north 15. 24. 16, 23; after going some distance they again camped on the bank of the Bhāgīrathī; in the evening he and Gāndhārī went to the Gaṅgā and performed the prescribed purificatory rites (cakāra vidhivac chaucam); Vidura and other men performed individually all the neccessary rites (cakruḥ sarvāḥ kriyās tatra puruṣā vidurādayaḥ) after bathing in the various tīrthas (tīrtheṣv āplutya); when the purificatory rites were over Kuntī led Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Gāndhārī to the bank of the Gaṅgā; there the priests of the king laid a Vedī (kṛto vedīparistaraḥ) on which Dhṛtarāṣṭra gave offerings in the fire; from the bank of the Bhāgīrathī they all proceeded to the Kurukṣetra 15. 25. 1, 4-8;

(10) Meeting with the dead: Vyāsa asked Dhṛtarāṣṭra and all those staying with him to go to the bank of the Bhāgīrathī to meet all those who fell in the war; accordingly all of them went to the Gaṅgā and resided there 15. 39. 18-22; then in the evening Vyāsa bathed in the Bhāgīrathī and invoked all those who fought on the side of the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas; at his call, all the kings, Bhīṣma, Droṇa, and the rest, together with their armies, rose in thousands from the water (of the Bhāgīrathī) 15. 40. 4, 7, 13; after some time, at the instance of Vyāsa, they again disappeared plunging into the river Tripathagā (Gaṅgā) and repaired to their respective places; then Vyāsa, standing in the water (of the Tripathagā), told the Kaurava women that those who wished to obtain the worlds of their respective deceased husbands should quickly enter the water of the Jāhnavī; the women, fully believing the words of Vyāsa, took permission of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and entered the water of the Jāhnavī; freed of their bodies they were united with their husbands and acquired the worlds of their husbands 15. 41. 13, 17-21;

(11) End of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Gāndhārī and Kuntī: When Nārada arrived at Hāstinapura to meet Yudhiṣṭhira he paid a visit to the Gaṅgā on his way; people residing near the Gaṅgā had told Yudhiṣṭhira that Dhṛtarāṣṭra was engaged in severe austerities; Yudhiṣṭhira therefore asked Nārada if he had met Dhṛtarāṣṭra and the rest during his visit to the Gaṅgā and how they fared; Nārada told him that after their last meeting with Dhṛtarāṣṭra the latter had repaired to the Gaṅgādvāra; once, after his bath in the Gaṅgā, when Dhṛtarāṣṭra had started for his hermitage, wind arose, fire engulfed the forest, and burnt it (gaṅgāyām āpluto dhīmān āśṛamābhimukho 'bhavat 15. 45. 18); Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Gāndhārī and Kuntī were burnt in the fire; only Saṁjaya escaped from the forest fire and was seen, surrounded by ascetics, by Nārada on the bank of the Gaṅgā 15. 45. 5-6, 10, 29-32; Nārada further informed Yudhiṣṭhira that Dhṛtarāṣṭra was burnt on the bank of the Jāhnavī not by the ordinary fire but by the sacred fire which Dhṛtarāṣṭra himself and his priests had left after performing the rites (i. e. the forest fire was caused by the sacred fire left by Dhṛtarāṣṭra) (nāsau vṛthāgninā dagdho yathā tatra śrutaṁ mayā); this was reported to Nārada by the sages whom he met on the bank of the Bhāgīrathī 15. 47. 1-6; when asked by Nārada to give the water offerings to Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Gāndhārī and Kuntī (kartum arhasi kaunteya teṣāṁ tvam udakakriyām), Yudhiṣṭhira went to the Gaṅgā with his brothers and wife; there, going into the water, they all offered water (dadus toyam) and stayed outside the city to undergo purification (śaucaṁ nivartayantaḥ) 15. 47. 9-13;

(12) Ulūpī entered the Gaṅgā when, at the end, the Pāṇḍavas and Draupadī started for the forest 17. 1. 25;


F. Past and mythological events in which the river Gaṅgā figures:

(1) Past events: (i) Bhagīratha brought her down from the heaven: The sage Kapila had told Aṁśumant, the grandson of Sagara, that his grandson will bring down the Tripathagā from the heaven by propitiating Maheśvara for the purification of the burnt sons of Sagara 3. 107. 27; however, the descent of the Gaṅgā from the heaven was first attempted by Dilīpa, father of Bhagīratha, without success 3. 106. 38; Bhagīratha, desirous of seeking the favour of the Gaṅgā, went to the Himavant to practise austerities 3. 107. 4; after one thousand years the Gaṅgā appeared before Bhagīratha in a bodily form 3. 107. 14; when requsted by Bhagīratha to wash the bones (śarīrāṇi) of the sons of Sagara so that they might go to heaven, she agreed, but first asked Bhagīratha to propitiate Śiva by tapas so that he might agree to hold her on his head; no one else could check her speed when she descended from heaven; Bhagīratha succeeded in securing a boon from Śaṅkara to hold the Gaṅgā 3. 107. 18-25; Śiva assured Bhagīratha to hold the Devanadī (Gaṅgā) when she came down from heaven; Śiva then went to the Himavant and asked Bhagīratha to request the daughter of the king of the mountains (Gaṅgā not directly named) to come down from the heaven; when Bhagīratha thought of the Gaṅgā (gaṅgāṁ samanucintayat 3. 108. 5), the river descended from heaven on Śiva's forehead; the river became triple while flowing thence to the ocean (sā babhūva visarpantī tridhā rājan samudragā 3. 108. 10); the river asked Bhagīratha to show her the way; Bhagīratha led her to the place where lay the bones (śarīṛāṇi) of the sons of Sagara; after holding the Gaṅgā on his head Hara went to the Kailāsa; Bhagīratha having reached the ocean with the Gaṅgā filled it with the water of the river; Bhagīratha made Gaṅgā his daughter (duhitṛtve ca nṛpatir gaṅgāṁ samanukalpayat); he offered water of the Gaṅgā to the manes 3. 108. 17; 12. 29. 62; Lomaśa thus told Yudhiṣṭhira how the Gaṅgā came to be Tripathagā (flowing in three regions-heaven, mid-region, and the earth) and how she was made to descend also to fill the ocean with water (pūraṇārthaṁ samudrasya pṛthivīm avatāritā) 3. 108. 2-18; the incident of the descent of the Gaṅgā on the head of Śiva also alluded to in 5. 109. 6; 6. 7. 28; 13. 27. 71, 87, 89, 95; 13. 106. 26; 13. 134. 17; (ii) Other events related to Bhagīratha and the Gaṅgā: (a) Gaṅgā Bhāgīrathī formerly sat on the lap of Bhagīratha while he was seated on the slope (near the river), hence she came to be known as Urvaśī (upahvare nivasato yasyāṅke niṣasāda ha/gaṅgā bhāgīṛathī tasmād urvaśī hy abhavat purā 12. 29. 61 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 12. 29. 68: urvaśī ūrau vāso yasyāḥ sā iti yogāt/ūrvasīty apekṣite hrasvatvaṁ varṇaviparyaś ca pṛṣodarāditvāt jñeyaḥ); (b) From the lake Bindusaras Bhagīratha watched Bhāgīrathī Gaṅgā and lived there for many years 2. 3. 9; 6. 7. 41; (c) Bhagīratha gave on the Gaṅgā a myriad of hundreds of cows (gavāṁ śatānām ayutam) 13. 106. 37; he gave gifts (of cows ?) which would cover the entire current of the Gaṅgā (srotaś ca yāvad gaṅgāyāś channam āsīj jagatpate/ dakṣiṇābhiḥ pravṛttābhiḥ) 13. 106. 24; (iii) Jahnu and the Gaṅgā: The Gaṅgā became the daughter of Jahnu (duhitṛtvam anuprāptā gaṅgā yasya (i. e. jahnoḥ)) 13. 4. 3; Jahnu waited on her (jahnur jāhnavisevitā) 13. 151. 44; (iv) King Yayāti, desirous of arranging a Svayaṁvara for his daughter Mādhavī, went to a hermitage situated on the confluence of the Gaṅgā and the Yamunā; his sons Pūru and Yadu put their sister on a chariot and rushed to the same hermitage 5. 118. 1-2; the entire region between the Gaṅgā and the Yamunā in the middle of the earth was given by Yayāti to his son Pūru as his kingdom (gaṅgāyamunayor madhye kṛtsno 'yaṁ viṣiyas tava/ madhye pṛthivyās tvaṁ rājā) 1. 82. 5; (v) A battle was fought between Haryaśva and the Haihayas, the kinsmen of Vītahavya, in the region lying between the Gaṅgā and the Yamunā; in this battle Haryaśva was killed 13. 31. 11; Divodāsa, son of Sudeva, established Vārāṇasī on the north bank of the Gaṅgā and to the south of Gomatī (to avoid the attack by the Haihayas) 13. 31. 18, 16; when, later, Pratardana, the son of Divodāsa, wanted to attack the Vaitahavyas (= Haihayas) he crossed the river Gaṅgā 13. 31. 35; (vi) On the river Gaṅgā, near Kanyakubja, king Gādhi married his daughter Satyavatī to Ṛcīka Bhārgava 3. 115. 17; (vii) The sage Cyavana Bhārgava once took the vow of staying in water for twelve years (udavāsakṛtārambho babhūva sumahāvrataḥ…varṣāṇi dvādaśa munir jalavāse dhṛtavrataḥ) 13. 50. 3-4; he became stiff like a post (sthāṇubhūtaḥ) and after worshipping the deities entered the waters of the Gaṅgā and the Yamunā; he withstood with his head the terrific current of the two rivers; the two rivers, and those which followed them, made a pradakṣiṇā of the sage and did not cause harm to him; the sage slept in the waters like a log of wood and then stood erect (antar jale sa suṣvāpa kāṣṭhabhūto mahāmuniḥ/ tataś cordhvasthito dhīmān abhavad bharatarṣabha) 13. 50. 6-9; (viii) Sage Cyavana took his residence for some time on the bank of the river Gaṅgā to observe a vrata 13. 53. 55; (ix) At a place not far from Kanyakubja on the bank of the Gaṅgā is the Aśvatīrtha where from the waters of the Gaṅgā arose a thousand horses having one black ear; Ṛcīka, the son of Cyavana, got them by the favour of Varuṇa 13. 4. 16-17; (x) A certain Brāhmaṇa once lived in the city Mahāpadma on the southern bank of the Gaṅgā 12. 341. 1; (xi) When Śuka was born on the mountain Meru (merupṛṣṭhe), Gaṅgā in her original form (svarūpiṇī) arrived there to bathe him 12. 311. 12; (xii) Once, Suvarṇaṣṭhīvin, the young son of Sṛñjaya, accompanied by his nurse, ran while playing on the bank of the Bhāgīrathī; he was then attacked by Indra's vajra in the form of a tiger 12. 31. 31; (xiii) Gautama and his brothers put their eldest brother Dīrghatamas in a wooden box and put it on the Gaṅgā; king Bali, who had gone to bathe in the river Gaṅgā (not named), saw the box brought to him by the current of the water 1. 98. 18, 21; (xiv) When the Kṣatriyas were destroyed by Rāma Jāmadagnya, Aṅga, the son of Diviratha, was protected by Gautama on the bank of the Gaṅgā 12. 49. 72; (xv) Bharata, the son of Duḥṣanta, offered on different rivers a thousand horse-sacrifices of which he bound fourteen horses on the river Gaṅgā (yo baddhvā…aśvān devebhyo… gaṅgām anu caturdaśa//aśvamedhasahasreṇa…iṣṭavān sa mahātejā dauḥṣantir bharataḥ purā//) 12. 29. 41-42; (xvi) Bharadvāja, when he went to the Gaṅgā for bath, saw there the Apsaras Ghṛtācī who had also come there to bathe 1. 154. 2; (xvii) Vasiṣṭha turned the Gaṅgā, proceeding towards the Kailāsa, to the Mānasa lake; when that lake got mixed with the river, the Gaṅgā became the Sarayū 13. 140. 23-24; (xviii) Rājadharman, the son of Kaśyapa and Dākṣāyaṇī, offered to Gautama, his guest, large fishes (mahāmīnāḥ) obtained from the regions through which the river Gaṅgā flew 12. 164. 4; (xix) A certain Brāhmaṇa, Kauśika by name, told the truth to the robbers about the whereabouts of the people who were afraid of them; by this act he incurred sin on the river Gaṅgā 12. 110. 8 (reference to 8. 49. 41-46 where in st. 32 Gaṅgā is not named); (xx) The following persons attained perfection (siddhi) on the Gaṅgā:

(1) Śilavṛtti, when instructed by Siddha on the virtues of the Tripathā, worshipped the Gaṅgā according to the rites and attained perfection which was very difficult to attain; Siddha himself, after instructing Śilarati, entered the sky 13. 27. 101-102;

(2) Sage Sanatkumāra attained great perfection on the Gaṅgā 3. 135. 6; (xxi) Indra, in the form of a very weak Brāhmaṇa, appeared before Yavakrī and started doing an impossible deed viz. constructing a dam in the Bhāgīrathī by filling the Gaṅgā with sand; he poured constantly handfuls of sand in the Bhāgīrathī; when asked by Yavakrī smilingly why he was busy with this fruitless effort Indra told him that he wanted to construct a dam in the Gaṅgā so that the river can be crossed easily 3. 135. 30-36;

(2) Mythological: (i) Gaṅgā once went to pay a visit to Pitāmaha (Brahmadeva) in his assembly; there her garment was displaced by the wind; King Mahābhiṣa, who happened to be there, constantly looked at her in that condition; he was therefore cursed to be born again as a human being; Gaṅgā returned from the assembly continuing to think about Mahābhīṣa; she saw the Vasus, dejected, going along the way; she asked them the cause of their dejection; the Vasus told her that they were cursed by Vasiṣṭha to be born as humans; they requested Gaṅgā to assume a human form so that she could give birth to them as humans; Gaṅgā agreed and asked them whom would they like to be their father; they chose Śaṁtanu, the son of Pratīpa; Gaṅgā also had thought of the same person, hence she would do what was dear to the king and to the Vasus; Vasus requested Gaṅgā to throw them into water no sooner they were born; Gaṅgā agreed to even that request, but asked them to spare one of them so that Śaṁtanu's union with her would not be totally fruitless; Vasus consented to do that, each one of them contributing one-eighth share for Gaṅgā's son; and they also told her that the son of the Gaṅgā would beget no son; having come to this agreement with the Gaṅgā the Vasus, delighted, went their way 1. 91. 4-22; (ii) The lustre (tejaḥ 13. 84. 11) of Rudra fell in Agni; Agni was to beget through that lustre a son on the Gaṅgā for killing the enemy of the gods; Agni went to the Gaṅgā Bhāgīrathī and became mixed with her; as a result, Gaṅgā became pregnant; Gaṅgā could not bear the embryo, was mentally distressed, and was in great agony; when Agni laid the lustrous embryo in the Gaṅgā, an Asura (not named) roared fiercely; terrified, the Gaṅgā was unable to bear the embryo; Jāhnavī, with her body covered with lustre and trembling, told Agni that she could not contain his lustre within her; she was very much uneasy and was agitated; she would like to cast away the embryo, as she could hold it no longer, and not because of her sweet will; she was no longer her usual self; Agni, however, asked her to contain the embryo within her: as she was capable of bearing and containing the whole earth there was nothing which Gaṅgā could not achieve except (perhaps) containing the seed of Agni; in spite of the entreaties of Vahni and the other gods the Gaṅgā cast off the embryo on mount Meru; Gaṅgā was capable of holding an embryo, but she could not do it on this occasion as she was overcome by the lustre of Rudra; when she cast it off, she appeared before Agni who asked her if the delivery was happy (kaccid garbhaḥ sukhodayaḥ); he asked her to describe to him the colour, the form and the lustre of the child; having described to Agni the form of his son the goddess (devī) Gaṅgā disappeared 13. 84. 8, 12, 52-72; 9. 43 8-9 (where the embryo is said to have been cast off on the mountain Himavant; when the embryo was cast off that part of the mountain became of gold 9. 43. 14); the son Kumāra was first Gāṅgeya (son of Gaṅgā), then became Kārttikeya (the son of the Kṛttikās); the Gaṅgā, the best among the rivers, waited on him 9. 43. 20; when the child approached Śiva, Pārvatī, Gaṅgā and Pāvaka (Agni) each one of them wondered whom he would show his honour by going to him or her first (kiṁ nu pūrvam ayaṁ bālo gauravād abhyupaiṣyati/api mām iti sarveṣām teṣām āsīd manogatam) 9. 43. 34-35; knowing their mind the child assumed four forms (tato 'bhavac caturmūrtiḥ), of which the form Naigameṣa went to the Gaṅgā 9. 43. 37, 39; then all the four, Rudra, Devī, Pāvaka and the Gaṅgā, bowed down to Pitāmaha (Brahmadeva) and requested him to grant Kumāra the overlordship of all beings i. e. of the kings of all the classes of gods (ādhipatyam; senāpatyam dadau tasmai sarvabhūteṣu bhārata/sarvadevanikāyānāṁ ye rājānaḥ pariśrutāḥ/tān sarvān vyādideśāsmai sarvabhūtapitāmahaḥ) 9. 43. 42, 44, 48, 49; when the gods gave different gifts to Kumāra, Gaṅgā gave him a divine water vessel which was the source of the nectar (kamaṇḍaluṁ divyam amṛtodbhavam uttamam) 9. 45. 45; people call Kumāra differently the son of Pitamaha, or of Maheśvara, or of Umā, or of the Kṛttikās, or of the Gaṅgā 9. 45. 86; the incident is also alluded to in 3. 207. 4; 13. 27. 87 (iyaṁ gāṅgā …guhasya rukmasya ca garbhayoṣā; Nī. on Bom. Ed. 13. 26. 88: garbhayoṣā garbhadhāriṇī strī); (iii) Once when the gods performed a satra in the Naiṁiṣa forest (3. 189. 1), they saw a (golden) lotus coming floating on the river Bhāgīrathī; to find out its source, Indra went to the place of the origin of the Gaṅgā (yatra gaṅgā satataṁ saṁprasūtā); he saw there a woman weeping while standing in the water of the river; the tear which fell in the water became a golden lotus 1. 189. 10-11; (iv) When, in former times, Pitāmaha (Brahmadeva) once performed a sacrifice on the Mahendra mountain, Bhāgīrathī was present in the sadas (yatra bhāgīrathī puṇyā sadasyāsīt) 3. 85. 17; (v) When the fish, reared by Manu, outgrew the size of the large vāpī, it requested Manu to take it to the Gaṅgā, the chief wife of the ocean (samudramahīṣīm…gaṅgām); as requested, Manu took the fish to the Gaṅgā and put it in its water; when the fish further so grew in size that it could not move in the Gaṅgā (gaṅgāyāṁ hi na śaknomi bṛhatvāc deṣṭituṁ prabho), it requested Manu to take it to the ocean; accordingly Manu pulled it out of the Gaṅgā and took it to the ocean 3. 185. 18-19, 21-22; (vi) Nārada, once early in the morning, descended into the water of the Gaṅgā arising at the Dhruvadvāra to take bath (pispṛkṣuḥ); Indra also happened to go there; both of them bathed in its water (āplutya) and, with controlled mind, performed japa; then they sat down on the bank, covered with thin golden sand, to tell each other stories told by gods and sages narrating holy deeds (puṇyakarmabhir ākhyātā devarṣikathitāḥ kathāḥ) 12. 221. 6-9; (vii) The two rivers, the Gaṅgā and the Sarasvatī, became the eyebrows of Nārāyaṇa when he assumed a different form by his mighty device (aiśvareṇa prayogeṇa dvitīyāṁ tanum āśrītaḥ) to get back the Vedas stolen by the two Dānavas Madhu and Kaiṭabha 12. 335. 43, 46; (viii) Mṛtyu, conceived as a woman (12. 249. 15-18), avoiding to kill men, went to the river Gaṅgā on the mountain Meru and stood there motionless like a piece of wood 12. 250. 22; (ix) Mārkaṇḍeya saw the Gaṅgā, among other rivers, in the belly of the Bāla (3. 186. 83, i. e. Nārāyaṇa 3. 187. 3) 3. 186. 93; (x) When Śiva asked Umā to instruct him in the duties of women (strīdharma 13. 134. 10), she first wanted to consult the rivers, the Gaṅgā and others, who were expert in that subject (strīdharmakuśalāḥ); when Umā approached the rivers they appointed the Gaṅgā to address Umā on their behalf; the river told Umā that they felt blessed since Umā held them in high esteem, but it was indeed Umā who was the right person to instruct them in the strīdharma; when the goddess (Umā) was thus honoured by the Gaṅgā she discoursed on the strīdharmas to them 13. 134. 17-30; (xi) Once, when the ocean asked the rivers why they carried away large trees but not the small and weak cane growing on their banks, the Gaṅgā told him the reason convincingly giving the grounds 12. 114. 3-7; (xii) Rāma crossed (the Gaṅgā) at Śṛṅgaverapura 3. 83. 4; (xiii) Once, while Śiva was seated on the peak of the mountain Meru and was being attended upon by gods and others, the Gaṅgā in bodily form (rūpiṇī) waited on him 12. 274. 16.


G. Similes: The Gaṅgā, in various aspects, figures as an upamāna:

(1) To compare an army with: (i) The army of Duryodhana, returning to the Hāstinapura, with its white parasols, banners, and the very white chowries was an image of the current of the Gaṅgā (gaṅgaughapratimā camūḥ) 3. 240. 42; (ii) The army of Duryodhana, eleven akṣauhiṇīs strong, looked like the Gaṅgā while at some distance from the Yamunā (gaṅgeva yamunāntare) 6. 18. 18; (iii) The army of the Pāṇḍavas proceeding to the battle-field looked full and irresitible like the Gaṅgā (gaṅgeva pūrṇā durdharṣā) 5. 149. 49; (iv) The army, led by Dhṛṣṭadyumna, with its formidable archers looked full, tranquil and flowing like the Gaṅgā (bhīmadhanvāyanī senā… gaṅgeva pūrṇā stimitā syandamānā vyadṛśyata) 5. 197. 10 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 5. 196. 12: bhīmadhanvānaḥ ayante pracaranty asyām iti bhīmadhanvāyanī); 6. 19. 17; (v) Just as the sweet water of the Gaṅgā becomes salty due to the property of the ocean, similarly the valour of the heroes of Duryodhana would be futile on meeting the Pāṇḍavas 6. 79. 5-6; (vi) Duryodhana desired to cross (the army of the Pāṇḍavas) as one would want to cross in rainy season the current of the Gaṅgā full of sharks, alligators and crocodiles (sagrāhanakramakaraṁ gaṅgāvegam ivoṣṇage; Nī. on Bom. Ed. 5. 139. 11: uṣṇage uṣṇātigame varṣākale) 5. 137. 11; (vii) Bhīma would enter the army of the Kauravas as does the current of the Gaṅgā the trees growing on its banks 5. 50. 35; (viii) The Trigartas (five brothers), in the war, would agitate the army of the Pāṇḍavas as the crocodlies agitate water of the Gaṅgā 5. 163. 10; (ix) The army of the Kauravas, attacked by Arjuna, was split into two (some going to Droṇa, some to Duryodhana) as does the Gaṅgā on meeting a mountain 7. 29. 29; (x) The army of the Kauravas, at the sight of Ghaṭotkaca, was struck with fear and was agitated, as are the surging waves of the Gaṅgā, whose eddies are agitated by wind 7. 131. 31; (xi) The Pāñcālas attacked the army of Duryodhana on all sides as the swans, returning from the Mānasa lake, rush towards the Gaṅgā 8. 43. 64; (xii) The army of the Pāṇḍavas was agitated by the Madra warriors as is the Gaṅgā by the hostile wind (purovātena gaṅgeva) 9. 17. 10; (xiii) When the Kaurava heroes (Droṇa and others), who were ready (for attack) at a distance of twenty steps attacked Abhimanyu, they appeared, for a while, like an eddy of the Gaṅgā and the ocean (where the former meets the latter) (te viṁśatipade yattāḥ saṁprahāraṁ pracakrire/āsīd gāṅga ivāvarto muhūrtam udadher iva) 7. 35. 13 (Nī., however, on Bom. Ed. 7. 36. 13: viṁśatir iti vyūhaparyāyaḥ/tad uktam ‘viṁśatyaṅgatayā vyūho viṁśatir vyapadiśyate’ iti/viṁśateḥ pade rakṣaṇe); (xiv) The armies of Duryodhana and Yudhiṣṭhira clashed speedily with each other as do the swollen waters of the Gaṅgā and the Sarayū in the rainy season 7. 16. 49; (xv) The two large armies led by Droṇa and Dhṛsṭadyumna, having clashed with each other, sped along as do the swollen waters of the Jāhnavī and the Yamunā in the rainy season 7. 70. 8; (xvi) The armies led by Karṇa and Arjuna clashed fiercely as do the Gaṅgā and the Yamunā 8. 31. 68;

(2) In other contexts: (i) The river of smoke which connected the heaven and the earth looked like the river Gaṅgā (coming down from the heaven to the earth) (bhūmau svarge ca saṁbaddhām nadīṁ dhūmamayīm nṛpaḥ (= yayātiḥ)/sa gaṅgām iva gacchantīm ālambya jagatīpatiḥ) 5. 119. 12; (ii) The sages (the Vālakhilyas and others) sat near the Sarasvatī adorning it as do the gods the river Gaṅgā 9. 36. 47; (iii) Duḥṣanta entered the forest on the river Mālinī which was like the hermitage of Nara and Nārāyaṇa on the river Gaṅgā 1. 64. 24; (iv) King Bṛhadratha between his two wives looked like the ocean in the bodily form between the Gaṅgā and the Yamunā (gaṅgāyamunayor madhye mūrtimān iva sāgaraḥ) 2. 16. 19; (v) King Divodāsa enjoyed pleasures with Mādhavī as does the ocean with the Jāhnavī 5. 115. 10; (vi) The eyebrow with its three tips on the forehead of the angered Bhīma looked like the Gaṅgā flowing in three courses on the Trikūṭa (triśikhāṁ bhrukuṭīm cāsya dadṛśuḥ sarvapārthivāḥ/lalāṭasthāṁ trikūṭasthāṁ gaṅgāṁ tripathagām iva) 2. 39. 11; (vii) As the Gaṅgā is the best among the rivers, so is the Kapilā among the cows (yathā hi gaṅgā saritāṁ variṣṭhā tathārjunīnām kapilā variṣṭhā) 13. 72. 40; (viii) A certain Nāga named Padma was born in a family which was (pure) like the water of the Gaṅgā (gaṅgāhradāmbho 'bhijanopapannaḥ) 12. 343. 11; (ix) A man who does not have anything desirable never gets anything that is splendid; he goes into nothing as does the Gaṅgā on reaching the ocean (priyābhāvāc ca puruṣo naiva prāpnoti śobhanam/dhruvaṁ cābhāvam abhyeti gatvā gaṅgeva sāgaram) 5. 133. 16; (x) Wealth causes hankering after it as does the sweet water of the Gaṅgā (anutarṣula evārthaḥ svādu gāṅgam ivodakam) 12. 171. 28; (xi) Gaṅgā is comparable to the earth in forbearance, protection and sustenance; to the fire and the sun in brightness; and to Guha in being always favourable to the Brāhmaṇas (kṣāntyā mahyā gopane dhāraṇe ca dīptyā kṛśānos tapanasya caiva/tulyā gaṅgā saṁmatā brāhmaṇānām guhasya brahmaṇyatayā ca nityam//) 13. 27. 91.


H. Measure:

(1) King Amūrtarayasa Gaya gave away in a horse sacrifice as many cows as there is sand on the river Gaṅgā 12. 29. 111;

(2) Śaibya, the son of Uśīnara, gave in a sacrifice as dakṣiṇā as many cows as would, while drinking (the water of the Gaṅgā), drink up the current of the Gaṅgā (? pibantyo dakṣiṇāṁ yasya gaṇgāsrotaḥ samapiban/tāvatīr gā dadau vīra uśīnarasuto 'dhvare//) 7. 9. 62. [See Alakanandā, Ākāśagaṅga, Āpaga^2, Urvaśī, Gangādvara, Gaṅgāhrada, Vaitaraṇī ]


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Mahabharata Cultural Index[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।


Gaṅgā^1, : ( Mahāgaṅgā 3. 155. 85) f.: Name of a river, also called Bhāgīrathī (Bhagīrathasutā 5. 179. 5) and Jāhnavī (Jahnusutā 1. 92. 49; Jahnukanyā 13. 14. 37) at various places (see below); also referred to as Tripathagā 1. 92. 39; 2. 39. 11; 3. 106. 27; 3. 108. 18; 6. 7. 44; 12. 38. 8; 13. 27. 76; 13. 44. 13; 14. 44. 13; 15. 41. 13; also cf. 13. 27. 72; Tripathā 13. 27. 101; Trimārgā 13. 27. 87; Trivartmagā 13. 27. 83; Tripathagāminī 1. 92. 39; Trilokagā 1. 91. 18; 18. 3. 37; Trilokapathagā 12. 29. 62; Trilokagoptrī 13. 27. 83.


A. Location: Geographical references:

(1) The heavenly Tripathagā issuing from the Brahmaloka first settled down at Bindusaras near the Hiraṇyaśṛṅga mountain and then became sevenfold 6. 7. 44 (the seven names are given in 6. 7. 45); this is how the god had arranged (prabhor eṣaiva saṁvidhiḥ) 6. 7. 46 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 6. 6. 49: prabhor īśvarasyaiṣa saptanadyātmakaḥ saṁvidhiḥ samīcīnaṁ lokopakārārthaṁ vidhānam); the seven divine rivers are known as the seven Ganges 6. 7. 47; Gaṅgā can be seen from the lake Bindusaras which is on the slope of the mountain Hiraṇyaśṛṅga 6. 7. 41;

(2) Gaṅgā Bhāgīrathī falls with a terrific speed from the summit of the mount Meru down into the lake Cāndramasa which was created by it 6. 7. 26-27;

(3) Lomaśa could hear the sound of distant Gaṅgā falling on top of Indra's golden mountain 3. 140. 14;

(4) Flowing near the hermitage of Nara and Nārāyaṇa at Badarī on mount Kailāsa 3. 145. 15-16; 3. 45. 20; at this āśrama Gaṅgā has two currents, hot and cold, and has sand of gold (uṣṇatoyavahā gaṅgā śītatoyavahāparā/suvarṇasikatā rājan viśālāṁ badarīm anu) 3. 88. 23;

(5) Flows constantly by the hermitage of Upamanyu on the Himavant mountain 13. 14. 27-28;

(6) The river struck the Himavant mountain (at its foot) at Gaṅgādvāra 3. 88. 18;

(7) Listed by Saṁjaya twice as Gaṅgā and as all the Gaṅgās (sarvā gaṅgāḥ) among the rivers of the Bhāratavarṣa; its water used by people for drinking 6. 10. 13, 35;

(8) Vārāṇasī, established by Divodāsa, is to the north of Gaṅgā and south of Gomatī 13. 31. 16-18;

(9) There are three firepits at Prayāga through which Jāhnavī flows out of Prayāga (tatra trīṇy agnikuṇḍāni yeṣāṁ madhye ca jāhnavī/prayāgād abhiniṣkrāntā) 3. 83. 69; Gaṅgā and Yamunā meet at Prayāga; the region between the two rivers is known as the hip (jaghana) of the earth 3. 83. 70-71;

(10) The bank of the Gaṅgā, known as the Aśvatīrtha, is not far from Kanyakubja 13. 4. 17;

(11) Gaṅgā flows through the Pañcāla country dividing it into northern and southern Pañcāla 1. 128. 12; 1. 154. 24; the country of Mākandī lay to its south with Kāmpilya as its capital 1. 128. 15;

(12) Pramāṇakoṭi was on the bank of the Gaṅgā 3. 13. 74;

(13) Arjuna in his journey towards the east crossed many rivers one of them being Gaṅgā 1. 207. 7;

(14) Kṛṣṇa, Bhīma and Arjuna, on their way to the Magadha in the east crossed Gaṅgā after they crossed Mithilā 2. 18. 28-29;

(15) The Bāhlīka country and the Madra country were kept out by the river Gaṅgā (bāhlīkadeśaṁ madrāṁś ca kutsayan vākyam abravīt/bahiṣkṛtā himavatā gaṅgayā ca tiraskṛtāḥ) 8. 30. 9-10;

(16) The country between the Gaṅgā and the Yamunā was the middle of the earth (madhye pṛthivyāḥ) 1. 82. 5;

(17) In the Madhyadeśa, between the rivers Gaṅgā and Yamunā and at the foot of the Yāmuna mountain there was a large settlemeni of the Brāhmaṇas known as Parṇaśālā 13. 67. 3-4;

(18) On the northern bank of the Gaṅgā there were many routes of the Nāgas (bahūni nāgavartmāni gaṅgāyās tīra uttare) 1. 3. 141;


B. Description:

(1) Best among the rivers: saricchreṣṭhā 1. 91. 4; 1. 94. 22; 3. 108. 4; 7. 57. 24; 9. 36. 47; 13. 134. 22; 13. 154. 32; saritāṁ śreṣṭhā 12. 274. 16; 12. 311. 12; 13. 27. 50; 13. 84. 66; saridvarā 1. 91. 8; 13. 27. 25, 86; 13. 84. 64; 13. 134. 14; 13. 154. 33; saritām varā 1. 91. 10; 13. 134. 19; saritāṁ variṣṭhā 13. 72. 40; sarvasaridvarā 13. 134. 17;

(2) pure, auspicious, blessed, holy: śuci 1. 158. 18; 11. 13. 4; (its water) 12. 221. 6; 13. 27. 30; śivā 3. 108. 2; 3. 145. 40; 11. 27. 1; 13. 27. 66, 85; 13. 134. 22; śubhā 1. 158. 20; 3. 155. 85; 6. 7. 27; 14. 82. 15; (its water) 13. 27. 33, 36; (its bank) 13. 53. 55; subhagā 3. 140. 14; puṇyā 3. 85. 10, 17; 3. 97. 27; 3. 108. 2; 3. 155. 85; 6. 7. 27; 12. 335. 46; 15. 41. 13; (its water) 1. 158. 21; 3. 108. 14; 5. 40. 4; puṇyajalā 3. 108. 6; 13. 27. 66; puṇyapavitratoyā 13. 14. 27; supuṇyatoyā 13. 27. 92; (its bank) 12. 1. 8; (its water) puṇyagandha 11. 13. 4; mahāpuṇyā 13. 27. 71, 83; puṇyatamā 13. 134. 22; supuṇyā 6. 10. 35; has holy hermitages on it puṇyāśramavatī 7. 57. 25; liked by most holy men puṇyatamair juṣṭā 6. 7. 27; frequented by holy men puṇyajanocitā 11. 27. 1; (its bank) 15. 25. 1; confers holiness on the three worlds lokānāṁ puṇyadā vai trayāṇām 13. 27. 88; its bank is pure (medhya) 15. 25. 1; Gaṅgā is famous in the three worlds due to its holiness 13. 27. 79; sinless vipāpmā 13. 27. 87; the country through which it flows becomes a hermitage (yatra gaṅgā mahārāja sa deśas tat tapovanam) 3. 83. 83; secures heaven svargasaṁpādanī 1. 158. 20;

(3) proceeds from the foot of Viṣṇu viṣṇupadī 13. 27. 92;

(4) It is as good as all the tīrthas: it arises from waters of all the tīrthas, it has water of all the tīrthas in it sarvatīrthajalodbhavā 12. 274. 16; sarvatīrthodakair yutā 13. 134. 12; sarvatīrthābhisaṁvṛtā 13. 134. 17; sarvatīrthapuraskṛtā 3. 83. 69; viśvatoyā 13. 27. 87, 94; has good tīrthas on it sutīrthā 3. 145. 40;

(5) resorted to by all kinds of sages, by Siddhas, Cāraṇas and Brāhmaṇas, and praised by sages: devarsijuṣṭā 12. 221. 7; siddhacāraṇasevitā 1. 92. 25; 3. 45. 20; 5. 179. 4; maharṣigaṇasevitā 1. 92. 49; śobhitā brāhmaṇaiḥ 13. 27. 89; (its tīra) ṛṣijuṣṭa 13. 154. 15; ṛṣiṣṭutā 13. 27. 92; lokanamaskṛtā 3. 107. 20; the region on its bank becomes siddhakṣetra 3. 83. 83; honoured by Brāhmaṇas saṁmatā brāhmaṇānām 13. 27. 91;

(6) famous, famous in the three worlds yaśasvinī 13. 27. 82; triṣu lokeṣu viśrutā 6. 7. 47; (13. 27. 79);

(7) river of gods, heavenly, of divine conception, scattered with heavenly flowers devanadī 1. 158. 20; 3. 108. 2; 3. 155. 85; 13. 134. 22; 13. 151. 24 (not named); suranadī 6. 79. 5; devī 1. 92. 39; 1. 93. 4; 3. 140. 14; 5. 179. 4, 26, 28; 5. 187. 32; 6. 7. 44; 13. 84. 72; 13. 134. 17; 13. 154. 18, 32; divyā 3. 108. 2; 6. 7. 47; 12. 38. 8; divyarūpā 1. 92. 39; divyasaṁkalpā 6. 7. 46; divyapuṣpasamākīrṇā 3. 145. 41;

(8) its constituents: honey, ghṛta, milk and pure water: full of honey madhumatī 13. 27. 83; madhupravāhā 13. 27. 89; full of ghṛta, having the colour of ghṛta, ghṛtinī 13. 27. 81; ghṛtavahā 13. 27. 87 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 13. 26. 86: jalavāhinī); ghṛtarāgā 13. 27. 89; full of milk kṣīradhārā 6. 7. 26; payasvinī 13. 27. 81; full of nectar amṛtā 13. 27. 85, 94; sweet surasā 13. 27. 85; śītāmatajalā 3. 145. 40; full of refreshment irā 13. 27. 90, 94, and nourishment ūrjāvatī 13. 27. 83;

(9) flows through the sky: ākāsagā 1. 158. 18; forms the girdle of the sky gaganamekhalā 3. 108. 9, of the heaven and the earth divo bhuvaś cāpi kakṣyānurūpā 13. 27. 88; garland of the heaven tridivasya mālā 13. 27. 89;

(10) some important features: (a) true ṛtā 13. 27. 85; (b) furthering the earth pṛthivyā bhāvinī 13. 27. 88; support of all beings sarvabhūtapratiṣṭhā 13. 27. 85; wishing welfare to all beings sarvabhūtahitaiṣiṇī 5. 179. 22; kind to people who resort to her abhigatajanavatsatā 13. 27. 100; one of the rivers described as mothers of the universe viśvasya mātaraḥ 6. 10. 35;

(11) its other qualities: bright, shining vibhāvarī 13. 27. 85; bhāminī 14. 82. 14; (its wave) bhānumatī 13. 27. 80; pleasing ramyā 3. 108. 6; 7. 57. 25; gracious, very kindly disposed bhavyā 13. 27. 88; suprasannā 13. 27. 85; causing delight to mind manasaḥ prītivardhanīm 3. 145. 41; noble minded mahānubhāvā 13. 27. 100; highly illustrious mahābhāgā 5. 179. 5; 5. 187. 36; one of the rivers described as very strong mahābalāḥ 6. 10. 35; very generous atyudārā 13. 27. 81; energetic dakṣā 13. 27. 85; inconceivable acintyā 6. 7. 46; ancient purāṇī 13. 27. 92; (in short) possessed of all qualities sarvaguṇopapannā 13. 27. 93;

(12) its length, breadth and force stressed: mahānadī 1. 91. 11; 3. 107. 14, 16, 19; 3. 135. 5; 5. 179. 28; 9. 17. 10; 12. 335. 46; 13. 154. 26; mahāgaṅgā 3. 155. 85; pṛthvī 13. 27. 85; bṛhatī 13. 27. 85; viprakṛṣṭā 13. 27. 85; unimpeded asaṁbādhā 1. 158. 20; (its water) asaṁbādha 1. 158. 21; (its water) anivārya 1. 158. 21; irresistible durdharṣā 5. 149. 49; having ample water bahūdakā 7. 57. 24;

(13) some special features as a river: has only one bank while flowing through the sky ekavaprā 1. 158. 18 (Nī on Bom. Ed. 1. 170. 21: ekaṁ ākāśarūpaṁ vapraṁ taṭaṁ yasyāḥ sā); its shore has thin, golden sand pulinam… sūkṣmakāñcanavālukam 12. 221. 8; covered with sprouts of jewels maṇipravālaprastārā 3. 145. 40; when it flowed towards the ocean its course was divided into three streams (sā babhūva visarpantī tridhā rājan samudragā) 3. 108. 10; having reached the ocean it was divided into seven streams (gaṅgā gatvā samudrāmbhaḥ saptadhā pratipadyate) 1. 158. 17;

(14) conceived of as the daughter and the wife:

(1) due to her rise in the Himavant called the daughter of the Himavant or of the mountain haimavatī 3. 107. 16; himavataḥ sutā 3. 108. 8; 6. 114. 90; śailasutā 3. 140. 14; śailarājasutā 3. 108. 4; sutāvanīdhrasya 13. 27. 88;

(2) as the principal river meeting the ocean called the chief queen of the ocean samudramahiṣī 3. 185. 18;

(3) for her role in mythology called the wife of Hara (Śiva) harasya bhāryā 13. 27. 88;

(15) for the description of Gaṅgā as a river also see 3. 108. 8, 10-11; 3. 145. 40; 5. 149. 49; 5. 163. 10; 5. 187. 33; 6. 7. 26, 27; 6. 19. 17; 7. 57. 24-25; 11. 27. 1; 13. 27. 57-58, 8081, 85, 89-90, 94; 13. 35. 20; 13. 50. 14; 13. 54. 22;

(16) for her description as a personified woman see 1. 92. 2-11; 13. 134. 2324; 13. 154. 27, 28, 31.


C. Holy:

(1) The river confers holiness on the three worlds (gaṅgā lokānāṁ puṇyadā vai trayāṇām) 13. 27. 88;

(2) Bathing on confluences: (i) one who bathes at the confluence of the river Saṅgamā and the Gaṅgā gets the fruit of performing ten Aśvamedha sacrifices and lifts up his family 3. 82. 31; one who bathes at the confluence of the river Sarasvatī and the Gaṅgā gets the fruit of performing an Aśvamedha and goes to heaven 8. 82. 34; (ii) one who bathes at the worldfamous confluence of the Gomatī and the Gaṅgā gets the fruit of performing an Agniṣṭoma and lifts up his family 3. 82. 70; (iii) by bathing at the confluence of the Yamunā and the Gaṅgā one gets the merit of studying the four Vedas and of speaking the truth 3. 83. 80; the gift given after bathing (upaspṛśya) at this confluence is better than any other gift (dānaṁ nānyad viśiṣyate) 13. 26. 34; (iv) by bathing at the confluence of the Gaṅgā and the ocean (gaṅgāyās…sāgarasya ca saṁgame) one gets tenfold the fruit of an Aśvamedha (aśamedhaṁ daśaguṇam) 3. 83. 4;

(3) Bathing in the Gaṅgā: By bathing (kṛtodakaḥ) in the Bhāgīrathī at Campā and by approaching Daṇḍārka (daṇḍārkam abhigamyaiva ?) one gets the fruit of donating a thousand cows 3. 82. 142; by bathing in the second island of the Gaṅgā (? gaṅgāyās tv aparaṁ dvīpam) and by fasting for three nights one achieves all desires 3. 83. 5; one who observes chastity and is composed (brahmacārī samāhitaḥ) and bathes in the Gaṅgā at Śṛṅgaverapura is cleansed of his sins and obtains the fruit of a Vājapeya sacrifice 3. 83. 63; by worshipping there Mahādeva and by making a pradakṣiṇā one gets the position of a Gaṇapati (gāṇapatyam avāpnuyāt) 3. 83. 64; by bathing ceremonially (yo naras tv abhiṣicyate) at a place where the Bhāgīrathī Gaṅgā turns northwards near the abode (?) of Maheśvara (maheśvarasya niṣṭhane) and by living there for a month, abstaining from food, one sees the deities in person (svayaṁ paśyati devatāḥ) 13. 26. 14; by going to the tīrtha Brahmaśiras, by bathing (kṛtodakaḥ) in the Bhāgīrathī and by abstaining from food for a month one goes to the Somaloka 13. 26. 38; for the benefits of bathing in the Gaṅgā and of resorting to it also cf. 13. 27. 26, 29-30 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 13. 26. 31: vyuṣṭiḥ puṇyavṛddhiḥ), 32, 3749, 56, 59-63, 65-72, 77-86, 90, 92-95, 100;

(4) Meditating on the Gaṅgā: One who is controlled and is respected by the learned (prayataḥ śiṣṭasaṁmataḥ) if, while leaving his body, he thinks of the Gaṅgā he obtains the best condition (after death) (sa gatiṁ paramāṁ labhet) 13. 27. 69;

(5) Fasting on the Gaṅgā: One who fasts near the river for thirteen days and eats a part of the oblation in the evening of the fourteenth day, and he does this for twelve months, he gets the fruit of a great sacrifice and he lives in the company of the Devakanyās for a full year on the sandy banks of the river Jāhnavī (caturdaśe tu divase yaḥ pūrṇe prāśate haviḥ/sadā dvādaśamāsān vai mahāmedhaphalaṁ labhet//…devakanyānivāse ca tasmin vasati mānavaḥ/jāhnavīvālukākīrṇe pūrṇaṁ saṁvatsaraṁ naraḥ) 13. 110. 60, 63;

(6) Sand and earth on its banks and the breeze coming from its waves are holy 13. 27. 53-55.

(7) Rites after death performed at the Gaṅgā: Those beings whose bones (gātrāṇi; Nī. on Bom. Ed. 13. 26. 28: gātrāṇī asthīni), when thrown in the Gaṅgā come in contact with its water are not thrown out of heaven (na punas teṣāṁ tyāgaḥ svargād vidhīyate) 13. 27. 27; those beings whose obsequies (kṛtyāni) are performed with the water of the Gaṅgā remain permanently in the heaven (divi tiṣṭhanti te 'calāḥ) 13. 27. 28; also cf. 13. 27. 31, 36, 64;

(8) The country through which the Gaṅgā flows is as good as a penance grove; a place along the river Gaṅgā is to be looked upon as the place of the Siddhas (yatra gaṅgā mahārāja sa deśas tat tapovanam/siddhakṣetraṁ tu taj jñeyaṁ gaṅgātīrasamāśritam//) 3. 83. 83; the countries (deśāḥ), the Janapadas, the āśramas, the mountains through which the Bhāgīrathī Gaṅgā, the best among the rivers, flows excel in holiness (prakṛṣṭāḥ puṇyataḥ) 13. 27. 24-25 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 13. 26. 18: deśāḥ bhūmibhāgāḥ janapadāḥ mahājananivāsasthānāni āśramāḥ ṛṣisthānāni); the countries and the quarters which do not enjoy the benefit of the auspicious water of the Gaṅgā are like nights without the moon and trees without flowers 13. 27. 33; also cf. 13. 27. 34-35;

(9) Many tīrthas on the river Gaṅgā: (i) Daśāśvamedhika 3. 83. 82; (ii) Brahmaśiras 13. 26. 38; (iii) Mārkaṇḍeyatīrtha 3. 82. 70; (iv) Aśvatīrtha 13. 4. 17; (v) Prayāga 3. 83. 69, 71; (vi) Daṇḍārka (?) 3. 82. 142; (also see the next section: Importance).


D. Importance: (i) Sages and gods pay homage to Nārāyaṇa on the river Gaṅgā 3. 88. 18; (ii) Gaṅgā is listed by Mārkaṇḍeya among rivers famous as mothers of fire-hearths, i. e. sacrifices were performed on their banks (gaṅgā ca…/etā nadyas tu dhiṣṇyānāṁ mātaro yāḥ prakīrtitāḥ//) 3. 212. 24 (for Nī. see Kapilā ); (iii) Gaṅgā, and all the Gaṅgās, listed by Saṁjaya among rivers which are called mothers of the univere 6. 10. 13; (sarvā gaṅgāś ca māriṣa/viśvasya mātaraḥ sarvāḥ) 6. 10. 35; (iv) Finds place twice in the Daivata-Ṛṣi-Vaṁśa 13. 151. 7, 15, 2; (v) Worlds which one gets by adoring with faith and devotion the virtues of the Jāhnavī were created by Gaṅgā herself (gaṅgākṛtān acireṇaiva lokān yatheṣṭam iṣṭān vicariṣyasi tvam); such a person became famous in the three worlds and achieved perfection which was difficult to obtain 13. 27. 98-99; (vi) The narration of the great importance and virtues of the Gaṅgā is called a holy Itihāsa containing the praise of the river; one who recites it, or listens to it, is freed of all sins (itihāsam imaṁ puṇyaṁ śṛṇuyād yaḥ paṭheta vā/gaṅgāyāḥ stavasaṁyuktaṁ sa mucyet sarvakilbiṣaiḥ) 13. 27. 105; (vii) Virtues of the river Gaṅgā are countless; no one can fully describe or determine them (vaktuṁ śakyaṁ neha gaṅgājalānāṁ guṇākhyānaṁ parimātuṁ tathaiva) 13. 27. 97, 96; (viii) Gaṅgā offered shelter, protection, support to those who are without it 13. 27. 44; Lomaśa invoked the blessings of the Gaṅgā, besides those of Varuṇa, Yama, and the Yamunā, on Yudhiṣṭhira and requested her to protect him from the mountains which he was about to enter while on his way to the Gandhamādana 3. 140. 13-14; (ix) Grief due to separation from the Gaṅgā more unbearable than from near relatives or wealth; on the other hand, just the sight of the Gaṅgā is more pleasing than that of the desired objects or sons 13. 27. 74-76; (x) Gaṅgā offers sustenance to those who depend on her 13. 27. 51-52;

(11) Relationship with other rivers: (i) Tripathagā Gaṅgā looked upon as the first to be created among the rivers (tathā tripathagā gaṅgā nadīnām agrajā smṛtā) 14. 44. 13; (ii) among the Vibhūtis of the Bhagavān, Jāhnavī is said to be the best among the rivers (srotasām asmi jāhnavī) 6. 32. 31; also cf. 13. 27. 50; (iii) the Gaṅgā has the same relationship to other rivers as the sun has to other luminaries (?) in the sky, the moon to the manes, and the king (?) to men (divi jyotir yathādityaḥ pitṝṇāṁ caiva candramāḥ/deveśaś ca yathā nṝṇāṁ gaṅgeha saritāṁ tathā//) 13. 27. 73 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 13. 26. 74: divi devānām iti śeṣaḥ/deveśaḥ rājendraḥ);

(12) Service to deities: Gaṅgā is mentioned among those rivers who wait on Śiva for his ablutions (upasparśanahetos tvā samīpasthā upāsate) 13. 134. 12, 17; the Bhāgīrathī is one of the rivers who wait upon Varuṇa in his sabhā 2. 9. 17;

(13) Limitation: Bhagīratha told Brahmadeva that his stay even for a hundred years on the bank of the Jāhnavī, practising austerities and giving as gift a thousand mules and a host of maidens (adāṁ ca tatrāśvatarīsahasraṁ nārīpuram) was not enough to take him to the Brahmaloka which was beyond the world of the gods, the cows and the sages 13. 106. 10, 5.


E. Epic events related to the Gaṅgā:

(1) Marriage with Saṁtanu and birth of Bhīṣma: King Pratīpa once went to the bank of the Gaṅgā (gaṅgātīragataḥ) and sat down for many years muttering prayers (japan) 1. 92. 1; Gaṅgā, in the form of a beautiful woman, rose from the waters and sat on the right thigh of king Pratīpa 1. 92. 2-3; when asked by the king what he might do to please her she requested him to make love with her (tvām ahaṁ kāmaye rājan kuruśreṣṭha bhajasva mām) 1. 92. 4-5; but, at the king's suggestion, she agreed to be his daughter-in-law and disappeared 1. 92. 9-12, 15-16; she laid down the condition that the king's son (her future husband) should not know her identity and should never question the propriety of her actions (sa me nābhijanajñaḥ syād ācareyaṁ ca yad vibho/tat sarvam eva putras te na mīmāṁseta karhicit) 1. 92. 13-14; king Śāṁtanu, son of Pratīpa, once went for hunting on the bank of the Gaṅgā; the river appeared before him in the form of a beautiful woman 1. 92. 25-26; when Śaṁtanu requested her to be his wife she agreed on condition that he did not prevent her from doing anything, auspicious or otherwise (śubhaṁ vā yadi vāśubham); should the king question her, she whould abandon him 1. 92. 31-35; when the king consented, she, full of lustre, attended on him as his wife 1. 92. 39-40; Gaṅgā, as the wife of Śaṁtanu, gave birth to eight sons seven of whom, as soon as they were born, she threw away in the waters of the river Gaṅgā; the king did not object to her on the first seven occasions, but on the eighth occasion he asked her to spare him a son; he also wanted to know who she really was 1. 92. 44-47; when thus questioned, she told Śaṁtanu that she was the river Gaṅgā, the daughter of Jahnu, and that she lived with him to achieve some purpose of the gods (devakāryārthasiddhyartham 1. 92. 49); the eight sons she bore him were the eight Vasus who were born as human beings due to the curse of Vasiṣtha; she had promised the Vasus that she would release them from their human birth as soon as they were born (cf. 1. 93. 40); she blessed the king before her departure (svasti te 'stu gamiṣyāmi); she told the king that she had lived with the Vasus (while they were in her womb) in succession (eṣa paryāyavāso me vasūnāṁ saṁnidhau kṛtaḥ) and that the eighth son who was to be given to him later by her was the one born of her (Gaṅgā) (matprasūtaṁ vijānīhi gaṅgādattam imaṁ sutam) 1. 92. 48-55; Śaṁtanu asked Jāhnavī who was Āpava (Vasiṣṭha) and what fault the Vasus had committed to invite the curse of Vasiṣṭha; he also asked why the eighth son (Gaṅgādatta) was required to live long among human beings 1. 9. 1-3; Gaṅgā Jāhnavī then told the king the whole story 1. 93. 5-42; Gaṅgā then disappeared taking the last-born son with her 1. 93. 43; many years later, King Śaṁtanu, while once hunting along the river Gaṅgā Bhāgīrathī, noticed that the river had little water (alpajalām 1. 94. 21) and was not flowing as before (syandate kiṁ nv iyaṁ nādya 1. 94. 22); trying to find out the cause of it the king saw a young boy who had covered waters of the entire Gaṅgā with his arrows 1. 94. 24-25; Śaṁtanu suspected the boy to be his son and hence asked Gaṅgā to show herself to him; Gaṅgā appeared before the king holding the boy in her right hand, but the king did not immediately recognize her; Gaṅgā handed over the son to the king 1. 94. 28-31, 36; Śaṁtanu's marriage with Gaṅgā Bhāgīrathī and the birth of Devavrata by her mentioned in 1. 57. 76; 1. 90. 50; 5. 179. 5; 12. 38. 8; 12. 46. 15; the birth of the Vasus from Bhāgīrathī in the house of Śaṁtanu mentioned in 1. 2. 78; 1. 61. 68;

(2) Her role in Bhīṣma's fight with Rāma Jāmadagnya: When the fight between Bhīṣma and Rāma Jāmadagnya was imminent, the latter threatened to kill Bhīṣma so that Jāhnavī might see him lying on the bed of arrows and the daughter of Bhagīratha (Gaṅgā), who gave birth to him, might weep seeing him dead 5. 179. 3-5; when Bhīṣma was ready to fight with Rāma, his mother appeared before him in her original form (svarūpiṇī) to try to dissuade Bhīṣma from the fight, and expressed her readiness to go to Jāmadagnya to beg him not to engage Bhīṣma, who was his pupil, in fight; Bhīṣma then told her the incidents which had led to the fight; then the river (Gaṅgā) went to Rāma to dissuade him; when told that it was Bhīṣma who was to be dissuaded, Gaṅgā returned to Bhīṣma and again pleaded with him; but Bhīṣma, angered, did not agree to her request 5. 179. 22-30; Bhāgīrathī again appeared later in this event when she joined the sages, Nārada and others, who stood between Bhīṣma and Rāma to stop them fighting with each other 5. 186. 27;

(3) Her pleading with Ambā: Gaṅgā, the mother of Bhīṣma, rose from the waters and asked Ambā the purpose she wanted to achieve by performing the austerities; when told by Ambā that her effort was aimed at the destruction of Bhīṣma, Gaṅgā (sāgaragā) told her that her purpose was crooked (jihmaṁ carasi bhāmini); if she persisted in observing her vows and if she died during the observance of the vows she would become a crooked river having water only during the rainy season and not in the remaining eight months (nadī bhaviṣyasi śubhe kuṭilā vārṣikodakā/…vārṣikī nāṣṭamāsikī); Bhīsma's mother then returned from the place where Ambā practised austerities 6. 187. 29-36;

(4) Death of Bhīṣma: When Bhīṣma, after his fall on the battle-field, resolved to hold his life till the start of the Uttarāyaṇa, Gaṅgā, knowing his resolve, sent to him the great sages in the form of swans 6. 114. 90; much later, after the cremation of Bhīṣma, Dhṛtarāṣṭra and the rest, including Vyāsa, Nārada, Asita and Kṛṣṇa, went to the bank of the Bhāgīrathī and all the Kṣatriya warriors and citizens offered water offerings to him; then Bhāgīrathī arose from water and, crying, lamented the death of her son; she addressed her words to the Kauravas praising and recounting the good qualities of Bhīṣma 13. 154. 17-26; the grieved Bhāgīrathī was consoled by Dāmodara (Kṛṣṇa) assuring her that her son was brought down from the chariot by Arjuna and not by Śikhaṇḍin and that he had returned to the Vasus in heaven 13. 154. 27-32; Bhāgīrathī then gave up grief and entered her own waters; Kṛṣṇa and others, after honouring the river (satkṛtya te tāṁ saritam) returned from that place (to Hāstinapura) when permitted by her to do so (anujñātās tayā) 13. 154. 33-34; when Dhṛtarāṣṭra had offered water offerings to Bhīṣma, Yudhiṣṭhira came out of water with Dhṛtarāṣṭra and, grief-stricken, fell on the bank of the Gaṅgā 14. 1. 1-2;

(5) Arjuna punished for his role in the fall of Bhīṣma: Ulūpī told Arjuna that his defeat at the hands of his son Babhruvāhana was an expiation (niṣkṛtiḥ) he had to undergo for the adharma committed by him in bringing about the fall of Bhīṣma 14. 82. 8; this expiation was prescribed by the Vasus and the Gaṅgā (eṣā tu vihitā śāntiḥ putrād yāṁ prāptavān asi/vasubhir vasudhāpāla gaṅgayā ca mahāmate) 14. 82. 11; when Bhīṣma died (hate śāntanave nṛpe) the Vasus emerged from waters and meeting the great river, told her that they wanted to curse Arjuna for his misdeed in the war, to which Bhāgīrathī agreed (idam ūcur vaco ghoraṁ bhāgīrathyā mate tadā//…vayam apy arjunaṁ…śāpena yojayāmeti tathāstv iti cābravīt//) 14. 82. 12-15;

(6) The Pāṇḍavas came across the Gaṅgā at various places: (i) When Yudhiṣṭhira and his brothers decided to go on a pilgrimage, the Brāhmaṇas expressed their wish to visit with them the Gaṅgā and other rivers 3. 91. 10; when they arrived at Prayāga at the confluence of the Gaṅgā and the Yamunā the Pāṇḍavas bathed in their waters (āplutya gātrāṇi), practised the severest austerities and gave gifts to the Brāhmaṇas 3. 93. 5-6; (ii) They again arrived at the Bhāgīrathī flowing by the side of the Agastyāśrama where Lomaśa advised them to bathe at will (yatheṣṭam avagāhyatām) 3. 97. 27; (iii) Going further from the river Kauśikī, they arrived at the place where the Gaṅgā met the ocean and bathed there in waters of five hundred rivers (nadīśatānāṁ pañcānāṁ madhye cakre samāplavam) 3. 114. 2; (iv) On reaching the vicinity of the Maināka mountain, Lomaśa showed the river Gaṅgā to Yudhiṣṭhira; he advised Yudhiṣṭhira to bathe in the Gaṅgā to be freed of all sins; he also advised him to bathe silently (tūṣṇīṁ gaṅgām…samupaspṛśa) 3. 135. 5-7; (v) When the Pāṇḍavas had crossed the Uśīrabīja, the Maināka, the Śvetagiri and the Kālaśaila mountains, Lomaśa showed them the Gaṅgā flowing in seven currents (eṣā gaṅgā saptavidhā) 3. 140. 1-2; Lomaśa could hear the sound of the Gaṅgā on the top on the mountain Jāmbūnada 3. 140. 14; (vi) The Pāṇḍavas saw the Bhāgīrathī on the Kailāsa mountain; they lived there giving offerings to gods and manes again and again 3. 145. 37, 40, 42;

(7) Some events after the war and the funeral rites offered to the dead: (i) When Yudhiṣṭhira went to meet Dhṛtarāṣṭra who had left Hāstinapura, he saw the Kaurava women lamenting on the bank of the Gaṅgā 11. 11. 5; (ii) Vyāsa, who knew that Gāndhārī would curse the Pāṇḍavas in their first meeting with her after the war, hastened to them after bathing (upaspṛśya) in the Gaṅgā 11. 13. 4; (iii) After lifting the funeral pyre of Droṇa, his pupils, keeping Kṛpī in the front, proceeded to the Gaṅgā 11. 23. 42; (iv) After arranging for the cremation of all the heroes who fell in the war, Yudhiṣṭhira, accompanied by Dhṛtarāṣṭra, went towards the Gaṅgā 11. 26. 44; on reaching the Gaṅgā, Yudhiṣṭhira and the Kaurava women offered water offerings to the departed (pracakruḥ salilakriyāḥ); at that moment the Gaṅgā became easily fordable spreading herself out widely (sūpatīrthābhavad gaṅgā bhūyo viprasasāra ca); the bank of the Gaṅgā then was without joy and merriment (nirānandam anutsavam …gaṅgātīram aśobhata) 11. 27. 1-5; (v) Yudhisṭhira, after giving water offerings to Karṇa (cakārāsyodakaṁ prabhuḥ 11. 27. 21) and after performing the funeral rites for him with the wives of Karṇa, came out of the river Gaṅgā (sa tābhiḥ saha dharmātmā pretakṛtyam anantaram kṛtvōttatāra gaṅgāyāḥ) 11. 27. 24; (vi) When the Pāṇḍavas, who had given water offerings, were still on the Bhāgīrathī, Dvaipāyana, Narada and others and their pupils and hundreds of thousands of other Brāhmaṇas gathered there to console Yudhiṣṭhira 12. 1. 1-2, 4-5, 8;

(8) Cremation of Pāṇḍu and Mādrī: The cremation was performed on an auspicious and even spot in the forest on the river Gaṅgā (ramaṇīye vanoddeśe gaṅgātīre same śubhe); the bier (śibikā) in which their dead bodies were brought from Hāstinapura were placed on this spot 1. 118. 16-17;

(9) Certain other epic events in which the Gaṅgā is referred to: (i) At Pramāṇakoṭi, Duryodhana tied up Bhīma, while he was asleep, and threw him in the waters of the Gaṅgā 1. 55. 10; 3. 13. 74; (ii) Droṇa with his pupils once went to the Gaṅgā for bathing when a crocodile caught him by his ankle (jaṅghānte) 1. 123. 69; (iii) When Drupada was brought captive by his pupils to Droṇa, the latter told Drupada that in future he (Drupada) would rule over the Pañcāla country which lay to the south of the Bhāgīrathī while he (Droṇa) himself would rule over the part of the country which lay to its north; Drupada then established himself in the capital city of Kampilya in the countryside of Mākandī on the river Gaṅgā ruling the southern Pāñcālas as far as the river Carmaṇvatī 1. 128. 12, 15; 1. 154. 24; (iv) Drupada while reaming along the bank of the Gāṅgā, came across a settlement of the Brāhmaṇas (brāhmaṇāvasatha) 1. 155. 5; (v) The Aṅgāraparṇa episode: The Pāṇḍavas on their way to the Pañcālas reached the Somaśravāyaṇa tīrtha on the river Gaṅgā; Aṅgāraparṇa, king of the Gandharvas, had already arrived there to sport with his wives in the waters of the river Gaṅgā Bhāgīrathī; he was angered when he heard the voice of the Pāṇḍavas approaching the river; he told the Pāṇḍavas to leave the place as the forest along the rivers Gaṅgā and Vākā belonged to him; Arjuna questioned the sole right of the Gandharva over the river either at night, or by day, or in twilight (nadyām asyām …kasya kḷptaḥ parigrahaḥ 1. 158. 15); it was therefore not proper for the Gandharva to withhold the river from others since that was against the age old custom (katham icchasi tāṁ roddhuṁ naiṣa dharmaḥ sanātanaḥ 1. 158. 20); why should the Pāṇḍavas be restrained from touching the waters of the Bhāgīrathī 1. 158. 2, 4, 5, 11, 13, 15, 20, 21; defeat of Aṅgāraparṇa in this episode alluded to in 1. 2. 86; later the Gandharva and the Pāṇḍavas took leave of each other on the bank of the Bhāgīrathī 1. 174. 5; (vi) Arjuna, during the period of his exile, entered the river Gaṅgā for bathing; as he wanted to come out of the water he was dragged by Ulūpī in the water of that river 1. 206. 11-13; (vii) Arjuna, during his exile, while going to the east, crossed many rivers one of them being the Gaṅgā 1. 207. 5-6; (viii) Kṛṣṇa, Bhīma and Arjuna crossed the rivers Mālā, Carmaṇvatī and Gaṅgā on their way to the Magadha 2. 18. 21; (ix) On account of the cries of thousands of animals that were burnt at the Khāṇḍava forest the fish in the waters (?) of the Gaṅgā were terrified 1. 219. 28 (tena śabdena vitresur gaṅgodadhicarā jhaṣāḥ; Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 228. 32: gaṅgododhicarā iti atidūrasthopalakṣaṇam); (x) The Pāṇḍavas spent their first night of forest life under a banyan tree called Pramāṇa on the river Jāhnavī; they bathed in it and had only the water of the Jāhnavī to drink for the night 3. 1. 39-40; from the bank of the river Jāhnavī they started towards the Kurukṣetra 3. 6. 1; (xi) On the mountain Himavant Arjuna took bath in the Gaṅgā before ascending Indra's chariot to go to the Indraloka 3. 43. 20; (xii) Bhīṣma once lived as a muni on the bank of the river Bhāgīrathī practising the vow taken by his father (pitryaṁ vratam); there he heard from Pulastya the fruit obtained by visiting the tīrthas 3. 80. 11-12; there, on the bank of the Gaṅgā, he also heard the narrative of Vipula from Mārkaṇḍeya 13. 43. 17; (xiii) When the Pāṇḍavas were near the Gandhamādana mountain (3. 155. 34) Yudhiṣṭhira showed to Bhīma the river Mahāgaṅgā 3. 155. 69, 85; (xiv) The basket (mañjūṣā) containing the newly born Karṇa went down from the river Aśvanadī to the Gaṅgā (via the Carmaṇvatī and the Yamunā) and then to the city of Campā 3. 292. 25-26; when the Sūta Adhiratha went with his wife to the Jāhnavī, she saw there by chance the floating basket brought to the bank by the waves of the Jāhnavī 3. 293. 1, 3; (xv) The army of the Kauravas, collected for the war, spread along the bank of the Gaṅgā 5. 19. 30; (xvi) Kuntī, who wished to approach Karṇa to tell him the truth about his birth, went to the Bhāgīrathī to meet him; there on the bank of the Gaṅgā she heard the sound of the prayers recited by Karṇa 5. 142. 26-27; (xvii) Arjuna wishing to propitiate Śiva to seek his help in fulfilling the vow to kill Jayadratha saw the Gaṅgā on his way 7. 57. 24; (xviii) Bhīma, in search of Aśvatthāman, reached the bank of the Bhāgīrathī where he saw Vyāsa and the other sages seated on the bank (udakānte) 10. 13. 12-13; (xix) After the great war, Kṛpa, Aśvatthāman and Kṛtavarman, after their meeting with Dhṛtarāṣṭra, rode fast on horse-back towards the Gaṅgā 11. 10. 19; (xx) Bhīṣma, having narrated to Yudhiṣṭhira the Itihāsa connected with the praise of the Gaṅgā (itihāsaṁ…gaṅgāyāḥ stavasaṁyutam), advised him to approach the Gaṅgā with great devotion in order to obtain the highest perfection (siddhim uttamām); he and his brothers were delighted to hear this Itihāsa of the Gaṅgā from Bhīṣma 13. 27. 103-104; (xxi) When Dhṛtarāṣṭra decided to retire to the forest he, along with Gāndhārī, Kuntī, Vidura and Saṁjaya, went in a day a long distance from Hastinapura and camped on the bank of the Bhāgīrathī; next morning they started from there towards the north 15. 24. 16, 23; after going some distance they again camped on the bank of the Bhāgīrathī; in the evening he and Gāndhārī went to the Gaṅgā and performed the prescribed purificatory rites (cakāra vidhivac chaucam); Vidura and other men performed individually all the neccessary rites (cakruḥ sarvāḥ kriyās tatra puruṣā vidurādayaḥ) after bathing in the various tīrthas (tīrtheṣv āplutya); when the purificatory rites were over Kuntī led Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Gāndhārī to the bank of the Gaṅgā; there the priests of the king laid a Vedī (kṛto vedīparistaraḥ) on which Dhṛtarāṣṭra gave offerings in the fire; from the bank of the Bhāgīrathī they all proceeded to the Kurukṣetra 15. 25. 1, 4-8;

(10) Meeting with the dead: Vyāsa asked Dhṛtarāṣṭra and all those staying with him to go to the bank of the Bhāgīrathī to meet all those who fell in the war; accordingly all of them went to the Gaṅgā and resided there 15. 39. 18-22; then in the evening Vyāsa bathed in the Bhāgīrathī and invoked all those who fought on the side of the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas; at his call, all the kings, Bhīṣma, Droṇa, and the rest, together with their armies, rose in thousands from the water (of the Bhāgīrathī) 15. 40. 4, 7, 13; after some time, at the instance of Vyāsa, they again disappeared plunging into the river Tripathagā (Gaṅgā) and repaired to their respective places; then Vyāsa, standing in the water (of the Tripathagā), told the Kaurava women that those who wished to obtain the worlds of their respective deceased husbands should quickly enter the water of the Jāhnavī; the women, fully believing the words of Vyāsa, took permission of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and entered the water of the Jāhnavī; freed of their bodies they were united with their husbands and acquired the worlds of their husbands 15. 41. 13, 17-21;

(11) End of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Gāndhārī and Kuntī: When Nārada arrived at Hāstinapura to meet Yudhiṣṭhira he paid a visit to the Gaṅgā on his way; people residing near the Gaṅgā had told Yudhiṣṭhira that Dhṛtarāṣṭra was engaged in severe austerities; Yudhiṣṭhira therefore asked Nārada if he had met Dhṛtarāṣṭra and the rest during his visit to the Gaṅgā and how they fared; Nārada told him that after their last meeting with Dhṛtarāṣṭra the latter had repaired to the Gaṅgādvāra; once, after his bath in the Gaṅgā, when Dhṛtarāṣṭra had started for his hermitage, wind arose, fire engulfed the forest, and burnt it (gaṅgāyām āpluto dhīmān āśṛamābhimukho 'bhavat 15. 45. 18); Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Gāndhārī and Kuntī were burnt in the fire; only Saṁjaya escaped from the forest fire and was seen, surrounded by ascetics, by Nārada on the bank of the Gaṅgā 15. 45. 5-6, 10, 29-32; Nārada further informed Yudhiṣṭhira that Dhṛtarāṣṭra was burnt on the bank of the Jāhnavī not by the ordinary fire but by the sacred fire which Dhṛtarāṣṭra himself and his priests had left after performing the rites (i. e. the forest fire was caused by the sacred fire left by Dhṛtarāṣṭra) (nāsau vṛthāgninā dagdho yathā tatra śrutaṁ mayā); this was reported to Nārada by the sages whom he met on the bank of the Bhāgīrathī 15. 47. 1-6; when asked by Nārada to give the water offerings to Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Gāndhārī and Kuntī (kartum arhasi kaunteya teṣāṁ tvam udakakriyām), Yudhiṣṭhira went to the Gaṅgā with his brothers and wife; there, going into the water, they all offered water (dadus toyam) and stayed outside the city to undergo purification (śaucaṁ nivartayantaḥ) 15. 47. 9-13;

(12) Ulūpī entered the Gaṅgā when, at the end, the Pāṇḍavas and Draupadī started for the forest 17. 1. 25;


F. Past and mythological events in which the river Gaṅgā figures:

(1) Past events: (i) Bhagīratha brought her down from the heaven: The sage Kapila had told Aṁśumant, the grandson of Sagara, that his grandson will bring down the Tripathagā from the heaven by propitiating Maheśvara for the purification of the burnt sons of Sagara 3. 107. 27; however, the descent of the Gaṅgā from the heaven was first attempted by Dilīpa, father of Bhagīratha, without success 3. 106. 38; Bhagīratha, desirous of seeking the favour of the Gaṅgā, went to the Himavant to practise austerities 3. 107. 4; after one thousand years the Gaṅgā appeared before Bhagīratha in a bodily form 3. 107. 14; when requsted by Bhagīratha to wash the bones (śarīrāṇi) of the sons of Sagara so that they might go to heaven, she agreed, but first asked Bhagīratha to propitiate Śiva by tapas so that he might agree to hold her on his head; no one else could check her speed when she descended from heaven; Bhagīratha succeeded in securing a boon from Śaṅkara to hold the Gaṅgā 3. 107. 18-25; Śiva assured Bhagīratha to hold the Devanadī (Gaṅgā) when she came down from heaven; Śiva then went to the Himavant and asked Bhagīratha to request the daughter of the king of the mountains (Gaṅgā not directly named) to come down from the heaven; when Bhagīratha thought of the Gaṅgā (gaṅgāṁ samanucintayat 3. 108. 5), the river descended from heaven on Śiva's forehead; the river became triple while flowing thence to the ocean (sā babhūva visarpantī tridhā rājan samudragā 3. 108. 10); the river asked Bhagīratha to show her the way; Bhagīratha led her to the place where lay the bones (śarīṛāṇi) of the sons of Sagara; after holding the Gaṅgā on his head Hara went to the Kailāsa; Bhagīratha having reached the ocean with the Gaṅgā filled it with the water of the river; Bhagīratha made Gaṅgā his daughter (duhitṛtve ca nṛpatir gaṅgāṁ samanukalpayat); he offered water of the Gaṅgā to the manes 3. 108. 17; 12. 29. 62; Lomaśa thus told Yudhiṣṭhira how the Gaṅgā came to be Tripathagā (flowing in three regions-heaven, mid-region, and the earth) and how she was made to descend also to fill the ocean with water (pūraṇārthaṁ samudrasya pṛthivīm avatāritā) 3. 108. 2-18; the incident of the descent of the Gaṅgā on the head of Śiva also alluded to in 5. 109. 6; 6. 7. 28; 13. 27. 71, 87, 89, 95; 13. 106. 26; 13. 134. 17; (ii) Other events related to Bhagīratha and the Gaṅgā: (a) Gaṅgā Bhāgīrathī formerly sat on the lap of Bhagīratha while he was seated on the slope (near the river), hence she came to be known as Urvaśī (upahvare nivasato yasyāṅke niṣasāda ha/gaṅgā bhāgīṛathī tasmād urvaśī hy abhavat purā 12. 29. 61 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 12. 29. 68: urvaśī ūrau vāso yasyāḥ sā iti yogāt/ūrvasīty apekṣite hrasvatvaṁ varṇaviparyaś ca pṛṣodarāditvāt jñeyaḥ); (b) From the lake Bindusaras Bhagīratha watched Bhāgīrathī Gaṅgā and lived there for many years 2. 3. 9; 6. 7. 41; (c) Bhagīratha gave on the Gaṅgā a myriad of hundreds of cows (gavāṁ śatānām ayutam) 13. 106. 37; he gave gifts (of cows ?) which would cover the entire current of the Gaṅgā (srotaś ca yāvad gaṅgāyāś channam āsīj jagatpate/ dakṣiṇābhiḥ pravṛttābhiḥ) 13. 106. 24; (iii) Jahnu and the Gaṅgā: The Gaṅgā became the daughter of Jahnu (duhitṛtvam anuprāptā gaṅgā yasya (i. e. jahnoḥ)) 13. 4. 3; Jahnu waited on her (jahnur jāhnavisevitā) 13. 151. 44; (iv) King Yayāti, desirous of arranging a Svayaṁvara for his daughter Mādhavī, went to a hermitage situated on the confluence of the Gaṅgā and the Yamunā; his sons Pūru and Yadu put their sister on a chariot and rushed to the same hermitage 5. 118. 1-2; the entire region between the Gaṅgā and the Yamunā in the middle of the earth was given by Yayāti to his son Pūru as his kingdom (gaṅgāyamunayor madhye kṛtsno 'yaṁ viṣiyas tava/ madhye pṛthivyās tvaṁ rājā) 1. 82. 5; (v) A battle was fought between Haryaśva and the Haihayas, the kinsmen of Vītahavya, in the region lying between the Gaṅgā and the Yamunā; in this battle Haryaśva was killed 13. 31. 11; Divodāsa, son of Sudeva, established Vārāṇasī on the north bank of the Gaṅgā and to the south of Gomatī (to avoid the attack by the Haihayas) 13. 31. 18, 16; when, later, Pratardana, the son of Divodāsa, wanted to attack the Vaitahavyas (= Haihayas) he crossed the river Gaṅgā 13. 31. 35; (vi) On the river Gaṅgā, near Kanyakubja, king Gādhi married his daughter Satyavatī to Ṛcīka Bhārgava 3. 115. 17; (vii) The sage Cyavana Bhārgava once took the vow of staying in water for twelve years (udavāsakṛtārambho babhūva sumahāvrataḥ…varṣāṇi dvādaśa munir jalavāse dhṛtavrataḥ) 13. 50. 3-4; he became stiff like a post (sthāṇubhūtaḥ) and after worshipping the deities entered the waters of the Gaṅgā and the Yamunā; he withstood with his head the terrific current of the two rivers; the two rivers, and those which followed them, made a pradakṣiṇā of the sage and did not cause harm to him; the sage slept in the waters like a log of wood and then stood erect (antar jale sa suṣvāpa kāṣṭhabhūto mahāmuniḥ/ tataś cordhvasthito dhīmān abhavad bharatarṣabha) 13. 50. 6-9; (viii) Sage Cyavana took his residence for some time on the bank of the river Gaṅgā to observe a vrata 13. 53. 55; (ix) At a place not far from Kanyakubja on the bank of the Gaṅgā is the Aśvatīrtha where from the waters of the Gaṅgā arose a thousand horses having one black ear; Ṛcīka, the son of Cyavana, got them by the favour of Varuṇa 13. 4. 16-17; (x) A certain Brāhmaṇa once lived in the city Mahāpadma on the southern bank of the Gaṅgā 12. 341. 1; (xi) When Śuka was born on the mountain Meru (merupṛṣṭhe), Gaṅgā in her original form (svarūpiṇī) arrived there to bathe him 12. 311. 12; (xii) Once, Suvarṇaṣṭhīvin, the young son of Sṛñjaya, accompanied by his nurse, ran while playing on the bank of the Bhāgīrathī; he was then attacked by Indra's vajra in the form of a tiger 12. 31. 31; (xiii) Gautama and his brothers put their eldest brother Dīrghatamas in a wooden box and put it on the Gaṅgā; king Bali, who had gone to bathe in the river Gaṅgā (not named), saw the box brought to him by the current of the water 1. 98. 18, 21; (xiv) When the Kṣatriyas were destroyed by Rāma Jāmadagnya, Aṅga, the son of Diviratha, was protected by Gautama on the bank of the Gaṅgā 12. 49. 72; (xv) Bharata, the son of Duḥṣanta, offered on different rivers a thousand horse-sacrifices of which he bound fourteen horses on the river Gaṅgā (yo baddhvā…aśvān devebhyo… gaṅgām anu caturdaśa//aśvamedhasahasreṇa…iṣṭavān sa mahātejā dauḥṣantir bharataḥ purā//) 12. 29. 41-42; (xvi) Bharadvāja, when he went to the Gaṅgā for bath, saw there the Apsaras Ghṛtācī who had also come there to bathe 1. 154. 2; (xvii) Vasiṣṭha turned the Gaṅgā, proceeding towards the Kailāsa, to the Mānasa lake; when that lake got mixed with the river, the Gaṅgā became the Sarayū 13. 140. 23-24; (xviii) Rājadharman, the son of Kaśyapa and Dākṣāyaṇī, offered to Gautama, his guest, large fishes (mahāmīnāḥ) obtained from the regions through which the river Gaṅgā flew 12. 164. 4; (xix) A certain Brāhmaṇa, Kauśika by name, told the truth to the robbers about the whereabouts of the people who were afraid of them; by this act he incurred sin on the river Gaṅgā 12. 110. 8 (reference to 8. 49. 41-46 where in st. 32 Gaṅgā is not named); (xx) The following persons attained perfection (siddhi) on the Gaṅgā:

(1) Śilavṛtti, when instructed by Siddha on the virtues of the Tripathā, worshipped the Gaṅgā according to the rites and attained perfection which was very difficult to attain; Siddha himself, after instructing Śilarati, entered the sky 13. 27. 101-102;

(2) Sage Sanatkumāra attained great perfection on the Gaṅgā 3. 135. 6; (xxi) Indra, in the form of a very weak Brāhmaṇa, appeared before Yavakrī and started doing an impossible deed viz. constructing a dam in the Bhāgīrathī by filling the Gaṅgā with sand; he poured constantly handfuls of sand in the Bhāgīrathī; when asked by Yavakrī smilingly why he was busy with this fruitless effort Indra told him that he wanted to construct a dam in the Gaṅgā so that the river can be crossed easily 3. 135. 30-36;

(2) Mythological: (i) Gaṅgā once went to pay a visit to Pitāmaha (Brahmadeva) in his assembly; there her garment was displaced by the wind; King Mahābhiṣa, who happened to be there, constantly looked at her in that condition; he was therefore cursed to be born again as a human being; Gaṅgā returned from the assembly continuing to think about Mahābhīṣa; she saw the Vasus, dejected, going along the way; she asked them the cause of their dejection; the Vasus told her that they were cursed by Vasiṣṭha to be born as humans; they requested Gaṅgā to assume a human form so that she could give birth to them as humans; Gaṅgā agreed and asked them whom would they like to be their father; they chose Śaṁtanu, the son of Pratīpa; Gaṅgā also had thought of the same person, hence she would do what was dear to the king and to the Vasus; Vasus requested Gaṅgā to throw them into water no sooner they were born; Gaṅgā agreed to even that request, but asked them to spare one of them so that Śaṁtanu's union with her would not be totally fruitless; Vasus consented to do that, each one of them contributing one-eighth share for Gaṅgā's son; and they also told her that the son of the Gaṅgā would beget no son; having come to this agreement with the Gaṅgā the Vasus, delighted, went their way 1. 91. 4-22; (ii) The lustre (tejaḥ 13. 84. 11) of Rudra fell in Agni; Agni was to beget through that lustre a son on the Gaṅgā for killing the enemy of the gods; Agni went to the Gaṅgā Bhāgīrathī and became mixed with her; as a result, Gaṅgā became pregnant; Gaṅgā could not bear the embryo, was mentally distressed, and was in great agony; when Agni laid the lustrous embryo in the Gaṅgā, an Asura (not named) roared fiercely; terrified, the Gaṅgā was unable to bear the embryo; Jāhnavī, with her body covered with lustre and trembling, told Agni that she could not contain his lustre within her; she was very much uneasy and was agitated; she would like to cast away the embryo, as she could hold it no longer, and not because of her sweet will; she was no longer her usual self; Agni, however, asked her to contain the embryo within her: as she was capable of bearing and containing the whole earth there was nothing which Gaṅgā could not achieve except (perhaps) containing the seed of Agni; in spite of the entreaties of Vahni and the other gods the Gaṅgā cast off the embryo on mount Meru; Gaṅgā was capable of holding an embryo, but she could not do it on this occasion as she was overcome by the lustre of Rudra; when she cast it off, she appeared before Agni who asked her if the delivery was happy (kaccid garbhaḥ sukhodayaḥ); he asked her to describe to him the colour, the form and the lustre of the child; having described to Agni the form of his son the goddess (devī) Gaṅgā disappeared 13. 84. 8, 12, 52-72; 9. 43 8-9 (where the embryo is said to have been cast off on the mountain Himavant; when the embryo was cast off that part of the mountain became of gold 9. 43. 14); the son Kumāra was first Gāṅgeya (son of Gaṅgā), then became Kārttikeya (the son of the Kṛttikās); the Gaṅgā, the best among the rivers, waited on him 9. 43. 20; when the child approached Śiva, Pārvatī, Gaṅgā and Pāvaka (Agni) each one of them wondered whom he would show his honour by going to him or her first (kiṁ nu pūrvam ayaṁ bālo gauravād abhyupaiṣyati/api mām iti sarveṣām teṣām āsīd manogatam) 9. 43. 34-35; knowing their mind the child assumed four forms (tato 'bhavac caturmūrtiḥ), of which the form Naigameṣa went to the Gaṅgā 9. 43. 37, 39; then all the four, Rudra, Devī, Pāvaka and the Gaṅgā, bowed down to Pitāmaha (Brahmadeva) and requested him to grant Kumāra the overlordship of all beings i. e. of the kings of all the classes of gods (ādhipatyam; senāpatyam dadau tasmai sarvabhūteṣu bhārata/sarvadevanikāyānāṁ ye rājānaḥ pariśrutāḥ/tān sarvān vyādideśāsmai sarvabhūtapitāmahaḥ) 9. 43. 42, 44, 48, 49; when the gods gave different gifts to Kumāra, Gaṅgā gave him a divine water vessel which was the source of the nectar (kamaṇḍaluṁ divyam amṛtodbhavam uttamam) 9. 45. 45; people call Kumāra differently the son of Pitamaha, or of Maheśvara, or of Umā, or of the Kṛttikās, or of the Gaṅgā 9. 45. 86; the incident is also alluded to in 3. 207. 4; 13. 27. 87 (iyaṁ gāṅgā …guhasya rukmasya ca garbhayoṣā; Nī. on Bom. Ed. 13. 26. 88: garbhayoṣā garbhadhāriṇī strī); (iii) Once when the gods performed a satra in the Naiṁiṣa forest (3. 189. 1), they saw a (golden) lotus coming floating on the river Bhāgīrathī; to find out its source, Indra went to the place of the origin of the Gaṅgā (yatra gaṅgā satataṁ saṁprasūtā); he saw there a woman weeping while standing in the water of the river; the tear which fell in the water became a golden lotus 1. 189. 10-11; (iv) When, in former times, Pitāmaha (Brahmadeva) once performed a sacrifice on the Mahendra mountain, Bhāgīrathī was present in the sadas (yatra bhāgīrathī puṇyā sadasyāsīt) 3. 85. 17; (v) When the fish, reared by Manu, outgrew the size of the large vāpī, it requested Manu to take it to the Gaṅgā, the chief wife of the ocean (samudramahīṣīm…gaṅgām); as requested, Manu took the fish to the Gaṅgā and put it in its water; when the fish further so grew in size that it could not move in the Gaṅgā (gaṅgāyāṁ hi na śaknomi bṛhatvāc deṣṭituṁ prabho), it requested Manu to take it to the ocean; accordingly Manu pulled it out of the Gaṅgā and took it to the ocean 3. 185. 18-19, 21-22; (vi) Nārada, once early in the morning, descended into the water of the Gaṅgā arising at the Dhruvadvāra to take bath (pispṛkṣuḥ); Indra also happened to go there; both of them bathed in its water (āplutya) and, with controlled mind, performed japa; then they sat down on the bank, covered with thin golden sand, to tell each other stories told by gods and sages narrating holy deeds (puṇyakarmabhir ākhyātā devarṣikathitāḥ kathāḥ) 12. 221. 6-9; (vii) The two rivers, the Gaṅgā and the Sarasvatī, became the eyebrows of Nārāyaṇa when he assumed a different form by his mighty device (aiśvareṇa prayogeṇa dvitīyāṁ tanum āśrītaḥ) to get back the Vedas stolen by the two Dānavas Madhu and Kaiṭabha 12. 335. 43, 46; (viii) Mṛtyu, conceived as a woman (12. 249. 15-18), avoiding to kill men, went to the river Gaṅgā on the mountain Meru and stood there motionless like a piece of wood 12. 250. 22; (ix) Mārkaṇḍeya saw the Gaṅgā, among other rivers, in the belly of the Bāla (3. 186. 83, i. e. Nārāyaṇa 3. 187. 3) 3. 186. 93; (x) When Śiva asked Umā to instruct him in the duties of women (strīdharma 13. 134. 10), she first wanted to consult the rivers, the Gaṅgā and others, who were expert in that subject (strīdharmakuśalāḥ); when Umā approached the rivers they appointed the Gaṅgā to address Umā on their behalf; the river told Umā that they felt blessed since Umā held them in high esteem, but it was indeed Umā who was the right person to instruct them in the strīdharma; when the goddess (Umā) was thus honoured by the Gaṅgā she discoursed on the strīdharmas to them 13. 134. 17-30; (xi) Once, when the ocean asked the rivers why they carried away large trees but not the small and weak cane growing on their banks, the Gaṅgā told him the reason convincingly giving the grounds 12. 114. 3-7; (xii) Rāma crossed (the Gaṅgā) at Śṛṅgaverapura 3. 83. 4; (xiii) Once, while Śiva was seated on the peak of the mountain Meru and was being attended upon by gods and others, the Gaṅgā in bodily form (rūpiṇī) waited on him 12. 274. 16.


G. Similes: The Gaṅgā, in various aspects, figures as an upamāna:

(1) To compare an army with: (i) The army of Duryodhana, returning to the Hāstinapura, with its white parasols, banners, and the very white chowries was an image of the current of the Gaṅgā (gaṅgaughapratimā camūḥ) 3. 240. 42; (ii) The army of Duryodhana, eleven akṣauhiṇīs strong, looked like the Gaṅgā while at some distance from the Yamunā (gaṅgeva yamunāntare) 6. 18. 18; (iii) The army of the Pāṇḍavas proceeding to the battle-field looked full and irresitible like the Gaṅgā (gaṅgeva pūrṇā durdharṣā) 5. 149. 49; (iv) The army, led by Dhṛṣṭadyumna, with its formidable archers looked full, tranquil and flowing like the Gaṅgā (bhīmadhanvāyanī senā… gaṅgeva pūrṇā stimitā syandamānā vyadṛśyata) 5. 197. 10 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 5. 196. 12: bhīmadhanvānaḥ ayante pracaranty asyām iti bhīmadhanvāyanī); 6. 19. 17; (v) Just as the sweet water of the Gaṅgā becomes salty due to the property of the ocean, similarly the valour of the heroes of Duryodhana would be futile on meeting the Pāṇḍavas 6. 79. 5-6; (vi) Duryodhana desired to cross (the army of the Pāṇḍavas) as one would want to cross in rainy season the current of the Gaṅgā full of sharks, alligators and crocodiles (sagrāhanakramakaraṁ gaṅgāvegam ivoṣṇage; Nī. on Bom. Ed. 5. 139. 11: uṣṇage uṣṇātigame varṣākale) 5. 137. 11; (vii) Bhīma would enter the army of the Kauravas as does the current of the Gaṅgā the trees growing on its banks 5. 50. 35; (viii) The Trigartas (five brothers), in the war, would agitate the army of the Pāṇḍavas as the crocodlies agitate water of the Gaṅgā 5. 163. 10; (ix) The army of the Kauravas, attacked by Arjuna, was split into two (some going to Droṇa, some to Duryodhana) as does the Gaṅgā on meeting a mountain 7. 29. 29; (x) The army of the Kauravas, at the sight of Ghaṭotkaca, was struck with fear and was agitated, as are the surging waves of the Gaṅgā, whose eddies are agitated by wind 7. 131. 31; (xi) The Pāñcālas attacked the army of Duryodhana on all sides as the swans, returning from the Mānasa lake, rush towards the Gaṅgā 8. 43. 64; (xii) The army of the Pāṇḍavas was agitated by the Madra warriors as is the Gaṅgā by the hostile wind (purovātena gaṅgeva) 9. 17. 10; (xiii) When the Kaurava heroes (Droṇa and others), who were ready (for attack) at a distance of twenty steps attacked Abhimanyu, they appeared, for a while, like an eddy of the Gaṅgā and the ocean (where the former meets the latter) (te viṁśatipade yattāḥ saṁprahāraṁ pracakrire/āsīd gāṅga ivāvarto muhūrtam udadher iva) 7. 35. 13 (Nī., however, on Bom. Ed. 7. 36. 13: viṁśatir iti vyūhaparyāyaḥ/tad uktam ‘viṁśatyaṅgatayā vyūho viṁśatir vyapadiśyate’ iti/viṁśateḥ pade rakṣaṇe); (xiv) The armies of Duryodhana and Yudhiṣṭhira clashed speedily with each other as do the swollen waters of the Gaṅgā and the Sarayū in the rainy season 7. 16. 49; (xv) The two large armies led by Droṇa and Dhṛsṭadyumna, having clashed with each other, sped along as do the swollen waters of the Jāhnavī and the Yamunā in the rainy season 7. 70. 8; (xvi) The armies led by Karṇa and Arjuna clashed fiercely as do the Gaṅgā and the Yamunā 8. 31. 68;

(2) In other contexts: (i) The river of smoke which connected the heaven and the earth looked like the river Gaṅgā (coming down from the heaven to the earth) (bhūmau svarge ca saṁbaddhām nadīṁ dhūmamayīm nṛpaḥ (= yayātiḥ)/sa gaṅgām iva gacchantīm ālambya jagatīpatiḥ) 5. 119. 12; (ii) The sages (the Vālakhilyas and others) sat near the Sarasvatī adorning it as do the gods the river Gaṅgā 9. 36. 47; (iii) Duḥṣanta entered the forest on the river Mālinī which was like the hermitage of Nara and Nārāyaṇa on the river Gaṅgā 1. 64. 24; (iv) King Bṛhadratha between his two wives looked like the ocean in the bodily form between the Gaṅgā and the Yamunā (gaṅgāyamunayor madhye mūrtimān iva sāgaraḥ) 2. 16. 19; (v) King Divodāsa enjoyed pleasures with Mādhavī as does the ocean with the Jāhnavī 5. 115. 10; (vi) The eyebrow with its three tips on the forehead of the angered Bhīma looked like the Gaṅgā flowing in three courses on the Trikūṭa (triśikhāṁ bhrukuṭīm cāsya dadṛśuḥ sarvapārthivāḥ/lalāṭasthāṁ trikūṭasthāṁ gaṅgāṁ tripathagām iva) 2. 39. 11; (vii) As the Gaṅgā is the best among the rivers, so is the Kapilā among the cows (yathā hi gaṅgā saritāṁ variṣṭhā tathārjunīnām kapilā variṣṭhā) 13. 72. 40; (viii) A certain Nāga named Padma was born in a family which was (pure) like the water of the Gaṅgā (gaṅgāhradāmbho 'bhijanopapannaḥ) 12. 343. 11; (ix) A man who does not have anything desirable never gets anything that is splendid; he goes into nothing as does the Gaṅgā on reaching the ocean (priyābhāvāc ca puruṣo naiva prāpnoti śobhanam/dhruvaṁ cābhāvam abhyeti gatvā gaṅgeva sāgaram) 5. 133. 16; (x) Wealth causes hankering after it as does the sweet water of the Gaṅgā (anutarṣula evārthaḥ svādu gāṅgam ivodakam) 12. 171. 28; (xi) Gaṅgā is comparable to the earth in forbearance, protection and sustenance; to the fire and the sun in brightness; and to Guha in being always favourable to the Brāhmaṇas (kṣāntyā mahyā gopane dhāraṇe ca dīptyā kṛśānos tapanasya caiva/tulyā gaṅgā saṁmatā brāhmaṇānām guhasya brahmaṇyatayā ca nityam//) 13. 27. 91.


H. Measure:

(1) King Amūrtarayasa Gaya gave away in a horse sacrifice as many cows as there is sand on the river Gaṅgā 12. 29. 111;

(2) Śaibya, the son of Uśīnara, gave in a sacrifice as dakṣiṇā as many cows as would, while drinking (the water of the Gaṅgā), drink up the current of the Gaṅgā (? pibantyo dakṣiṇāṁ yasya gaṇgāsrotaḥ samapiban/tāvatīr gā dadau vīra uśīnarasuto 'dhvare//) 7. 9. 62. [See Alakanandā, Ākāśagaṅga, Āpaga^2, Urvaśī, Gangādvara, Gaṅgāhrada, Vaitaraṇī ]


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Vedic Index of Names and Subjects[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।


Gaṅgā, the modern Ganges, is mentioned directly in the Rigveda only once, in the Nadī-stuti or ‘Praise of Rivers.’[१] But it is also referred to in the derivative form gāṅgyaḥ as an epithet of Urukakṣa.[२] The name of this river does not occur

[३] in the other Saṃhitā, but appears in the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa,[४] where victories of Bharata Dauḥṣanti on both Gaṅgā and Yamunā are referred to, and in the Taittirīya Āraṇyaka[५] especial honour is assigned to those who dwell between the Gaṅgā and the Yamunā, this being. To doubt, the region in which that text originated. The identification of the Gaṅgā with the Apayā[६] made by Ludwig[७] must be rejected: see Āpayā.

Vedic Rituals Hindi[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।


गङ्गा स्त्री.
गंगा नाम के नदी, का.श्रौ.सू. 13.3.26 ः (महाव्रतदासी) नृत्य करती हुई सेविकाओं का गीत।

  1. x. 75, 5.
  2. The reference to the Gaṅgā remains, even if with Oldenberg (ṚgvedaNoten, 1, 396) we assume that a thicket i meant, and not a proper name (cf. Wackernagel, Altindische Grammatik, 2, 288). See also Weber, Proceedings of the Berlin Academy, 1898, 563, n. 1.
  3. vi. 45, 31.
  4. xiii. 5, 4, 11. The victory on the Gaṅgā represents the farthest extent of Bharata or Kuru rule. Cf. Aitareya Brāhmaṇa, viii. 23, and a verse in the Vaitāna Sūtra, xxxiv. 9, where the Sarasvatī is also referred to.
  5. ii. 20.
  6. Rv. iii. 23, 4.
  7. Translation of the Rigveda, 3, 200.

    Cf. Zimmer, Altindisches Leben, 4. 5.
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