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See also    Gangaa

1. Birth of Gangaa: Two Versions
2. Gangaa and Others

Who is Gangaa? There are two versions of it.

Who is Gangaa?: One Version
In Mahaabhaarat, Gangaa introduces herself to Raajaa Shaantanu as Brahmaa's daughter (see Next Page) who came out of Vishnu's big toe's nail when Brahmaa Jee washed His foot when Bhagavaan measured the Swarg Lok in His second foot. It is when Raajaa Bali was doing a Yagya to become very powerful so that after that he could not be defeated. So Bhagavaan took Avataar in Kashyap and Aditi's house as Vaaman Avataar and asked for three feet land from Bali in alms. Raajaa Bali promised Him to give this much land.

His Guru Shukraachaarya Jee warned him that, that child was not a small child but He was Bhagvaan Himself, but once promised Bali did not break his promise, saying, "First, nobody goes empty-handed from my door whosoever he is; second, I have already promised Him to give whatever he asks for, so I have to give Him whatever He wants; third, it is a great privilege for me that Bhagvaan who gives to everybody, Himself has come to ask for anything from me, if at all He is Bhagvaan. So considering all the three reasons I cannot go back from my promise."

So Bali gave Him permission to measure three steps land Himself. In one step He measured Prithvi Lok, and in second step He measured Swarg Lok. When His second foot reached Swarg Lok, then Brahmaa Jee and other Devtaa worshipped it. At that time the water came out of Brahmaa Jee's Kamandal to wash Vishnu's foot it converted into Gangaa River and blessed Dev Lok with her holy water.

Another Version:
From Bhaagvat Puraan

Manu had two sons Pryavrat and Uttaanpaad; and three daughters: Aakooti, Devahooti and Prasooti. Aakooti was married to Ruchi Prajaapati according to Putrikaa Dharm; Devhooti was married to Kardam Rishi and Prasooti was married to Brahmaa's son Daksh Prajaapati. So this Swaayambhuv Manvantar was full of Manu and Shataroopaa's children.

Kardam Jee had nine daughters. Their one daughter Kalaa was married to Maharshi Mareechi. They had two sons: Kashyap Jee and Poornimaa. Poornimaa had two sons: Viraaj and Vishwag; and one daughter: Devkulyaa. She appeared as Devnadee Gangaa from the water after washing the feet of Shree Hari. Thus Poornimaa's daughter Devkulyaa is turned into Devadee Gangaa.

Yet Another Version
When one reads Kaarttikeya's story, she is said to be the elder daughter of Himvaan. His younger daughter was Paarvatee. Gangaa agreed to bear Shiv's semen to give birth to Kaarttikeya.

Gangaa's Other Names
(1) She is known as Bhaageeerathee as Bhageerath brought her on prithvi.

(2) She is known as Jaahnavee also, because she is said to be the daughter of Muni Jahnu. When she was coming on Prithvi behind Bhageerath, Jahnu was doing a Yagya. She passed from there and took away Jahnu's all Yagya materials with her. Jahnu got angry at this and he drank all her water. On Bhageerath's request he released her water from his Kamandal (some say through his ears) in a thin stream. Then Brahmaa Jee said - "From today she will be known as your daughter Jaahnavee." Thus she is known as Jaahnavee.

(3) She is known as "Tri-Pathagaa", as she flows through the three worlds - as "Aakaash Gangaa" or "Dev Gangaa" in Swarg for Devtaa; "Gangaa" on Prithvi for human beings; and as "Paataal Gangaa" in nether world for the beings living there. In Swarg Lok there are four forms of Gangaa, on Prithvi she flows in several streams and in Paataal also she flows in four forms.

(4) She is called Sur-sari, or Dev Nadee also as she is the river for Devtaa.

(5) As Gangaa flows in Tri-koot Parvat, those in Tri-koot Parvat, or Mount Meru, or Himaalaya mountains, call it River Jaahnavee, or Gangaa; and here at Mount Prashravan, this River is called Tung-bhadraa which is affectionately called Gangaa also. Lankaa is not on this Tri-koot Parvat.



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 03/22/13