“The Ganga, especially, is the river of India, beloved of her people, round which are intertwined her memories, her hopes and fears, her songs of triumph, her victories and her defeats. She has been a symbol of India’s age-long culture and civilization, ever changing, ever flowing, and yet ever the same Ganga.”
– Jawaharlal Nehru, First Prime Minister of India, born in Allahabad on the Ganges
The reverend river Ganga or Ganges is known for its purifying effects, where one gets rid of his past sins and attains a peaceful position in heaven. The river is adored as a mother and she is the bestower of grace, humility, healer of sickness (both internal and external) and freedom from the vicious cycle of birth and death. From Gangotri glacier to Bay of Bengal, the river makes it way for thousands of devotees, remaining calm, peaceful and stern.
- According to the ‘Vishnu Purana,’ Ganga was created from the sweat of Lord Vishnu’s feet. Hence, also known as ‘Vishmupadi‘ – the one flowing from the foot of Vishnu or his mighty locks. She resides on the top of Shiva’s head as his consort.
- It is also said that Ganga was devoted to Lord Krishna in heaven, which made his lover Radha jealous, who cursed Ganga to go down to earth and flow as a river.
- The point where Ganga meets Saraswati and Yamuna River in Allahabad is the central point of Kumbh Mela celebration for Hindus.
- Water from the Ganga has the unusual property that any water mixed with even the smallest quantity of Ganga water becomes Ganga water, and inherits its healing and other holy properties.
- Apart from the spiritual significance, River Ganga is the major source of irrigation for wide variety of crops and creation of goods. It is essential for industrial and agricultural use and also as drinking water.
- It inspires us to imbibe the trait of ‘giving without expecting’ and remaining calm, peaceful and grounded.
Thus Ganga Ma is the sacred body which acts as a saviour from the continuous trap of rebirth and permits us to take advantage of all the special holy traits that it bears, which leaves us with a huge responsibility of keeping it safe and healthy for our future generations too, as they can grab the same opportunities like us. It’s contradictory to say, but we are destroying our own sacred mother and still flaunting to be true Indians.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
Few of us burdened under the weighty words of westernization and globalization are many times compelled to follow few norms, which are against our will and acceptability. Remember those days when mom used to run behind us with a plate and trying to bluff their toddler for feeding them with their own hands. Those heavenly days were mostly cherished by every Indian kid, but here my intentions are to highlight the fact ‘Why were we fed with hands rather than classy cutlery’.
Today we have broken those natural essence and jumped on to the modern ways of society, yet for some ‘eating with hands’ is still in trend. Eating with cutlery is thought to be more modern, hygienic and convenient, however most people don’t realise that there is a rationale behind eating food with your hands.
- According to the Vedas, our hands are the representation of the five elements of nature.
Index finger: Air
Middle finger: Heaven
Ring finger: Earth
Little finger: Water
So these elements work on your food by cleansing it and preparing us to eat and digest them well.
- A certain kind of bacteria resides in our hands, mouth, throat, intestine, gut and rest of the digestive system; that saves us from the outside harmful bacteria. So the pattern of bacteria is maintained when you eat through your hands.
- In our Indian culture, it is said that “eating food with your hands feeds not only the body but also the mind and the spirit”. Even our Vedas gives utmost importance to this pattern of eating.
- The satiety value of food enlarges when one eats with hands rather than spoon or fork.
- Even while we watch television and eat, our complete senses are involved in the process of eating through hands and we engage ourselves in feeling the texture, warmness and taste of the food.
- As soon as you touch your food with your hands, the brain signals your stomach that you are about to eat. This in turn, prepares the stomach to digest the food it will receive, aiding in better digestion.
- People who eat with their hands are more conscious about hygiene than others, thus it inculcate the habit of washing hands and staying clean. It also keeps you away from certain diseases.
- Eating with hands provides you with another level of awareness and your mind, body and soul are indulged in the entire process making you feel full.
So few of these points might encourage you to get back to the original avatar and get your hands dirty, off course when it’s healthy 🙂
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja