Thousands of devotees flocked around Har Ki Pauri to pay obeisance to Mother Ganga on the occasion of Ganga Saptami on Tuesday. They conducted ‘aarti’ too by way of offering puja to the holy river, universally revered as the cleanser of human sins and bestower of salvation. Families of priests and other devotees brought milk and food delicacies, prepared in pure ghee (clarified butter), to offer to the goddess Ganga and sought blessings from the goddess.
In the evening, the devotees performed ‘deepdan’ (floating earthen lamps on leaf palanquins) to please the Mother Ganga. A huge number of people thronged the ghats since the morning to take dip in the holy river on the auspicious occasion. The priests who presided over the rituals said that taking dip in Ganga on this day is auspicious, given what is written in the scriptures.
As per mythology, the holy river was resurrected on this day. Ganga descended on the earth on Ganga Dussehra. But as the river started to flow the gods got scared of the earth being swept out of existence by the mighty river. Lord Shiva came to the rescue of the endangered earth and held her in his matted locks. Later, the Lord released Ganga while tasking her with a mission of purge the cursed souls of Bhagirath’s ancestors. Talking to the dainik nation, president of Ganga Maha Sabha, Purushottam Sharma Gandhiwadi said, “The legend goes that after descending down to earth from heaven, Ganga submerged the ashram run by the sage Jhanu. Infuriated, the sage drank the water of Ganga following which Rishi Bhagirath prayed and practised austerities to please the sage Jhanu so that he could be prevailed over to release Ganga to help her complete her mission. Appeased with prayers, Jhanu released Ganga from his ear. It is believed that Rishi Jhanu released Ganga from his ear on the occasion of Saptami of Vaishakha Shukla Paksha.”