This is a message from His Holiness Param Pujya Dr Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji! Episode 513 Srimadbhagavatam SGSPosts:
“Bhagīratha mounted his chariot and drove swiftly at the speed of wind. River Ganga rapidly flowed behind him purifying different lands as she flowed through them.”
Swamiji explains: What a meritorious deed Bhagīratha performed! He brought purity to all lands by bringing Ganga to Earth. Because of the existence of Ganga, all smaller tributaries and distributaries flow everywhere. You may wonder- do other rivers not have any speciality in them? Of course they have! Each river has its own speciality. But River Ganga surpasses all other rivers with its purity!
How should the auspicious river bath be taken in sacred rivers? It is incorrect to directly go and bathe in the river and cleanse oneself using soap. Prior to proceeding for a river bath, the person should bathe and cleanse himself. He should complete all his daily obligatory duties. He should then, with feelings of total purity and reverence, proceed to the river.
Washing clothes or utensils, bathing with soap, polluting the river with chemicals and factory wastes or dirtying the river by any other method are forbidden. Fetch the river water in a bucket and then use that water for your needs. It is incorrect to pollute the entire river in order to complete your tasks. A river is considered sacred and akin to nectar. A river flows through many mountains and herbs imbibing their medicinal properties. As it flows through varied types of rocks and gems, it absorbs their energies as well. It is natural mineral water. Drinking such water cures diseases. Crops grown with this water are nutritious.
Is it right to pollute such rivers? The Government’s efforts to clean the river are not yielding complete results due to lack of co-operation from citizens. They continue to pollute the river despite Government’s efforts. If at all polluted water needs to be let into the river, the water should be treated and then released. Sewage treatment plants should be set up for this purpose. When treated water is released into the river, the aquatic animals do not perish. By releasing polluted water, the plants perish, the animals are destroyed and the water is no longer fit for consumption. We are poisoning the water. We pollute the water and then blame the Government for not taking adequate steps. Government has been doing its best in this aspect.
When drainage waters are collected and left to dry, then Sun’s rays suck up the dirt and impurities. Germs are destroyed. When treated water is used for watering plants, the water enters into the earth. It gets purified there. Water table improves. We get purified drinking water again from earth.
We are careless in disposing garbage. We worry only about the cleanliness of our house when dirtying the streets and then shift the blame on to the Government. Shamelessly we use plastic covers and indiscriminately dispose them. Cows and buffaloes eat plastic and fall sick. Are we not sinning? When there are alternatives to plastic, why are we insistent on using plastic? Plastic rice and plastic noodles have flooded the markets. Let us now get back to the story.
When we go for a sacred river bath, we should at first bathe and cleanse ourselves at home. With devotion and reverence we should go to the river and dip thrice. That’s all. Applying soap and bathing in river increases the sins instead of destroying them. Sins of those who bathed earlier in those waters transfer to the person who dirties it.
“River Ganga flowed over the ashes of the sixty thousand sons of Sagara. With the touch of Ganga, these sons were purified and they reached heaven. From here originates the custom of taking the ashes of the deceased and offering them in River Ganga. She swallows up the sins”.