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See also Sagar

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

Gangaa and Bhageerath
Bhageerath Jee brought Gangaa on Prithvi to give Mukti to his 60,000 great grandfathers.

So Raajaa Bhageerath was in the lineage of Raajaa Sagar. Sagar > 60,000 sons and Asmanjas > Anshumaan > Dileep > Bhageerath. Bhageerath did a very hard Tap and pleased Gangaa Jee. She gave Darshan to him and asked him to ask for any Var. Bhageerath explained everything and politely requested her to come to Mrityu Lok. Gangaa said - "Yes, I can come, but there should be somebody who can bear my force of falling down. Otherwise I will break the Prithvi and and go to Rasaatal. Besides I will not go to Prithvi, only because that people commit sins and wash their sins in my waters, then where will I wash my sins? So think carefully and tell me."

Bhageerath said - "Hey Maa, Who have no desire of Lok Parlok, wealth, women and sons, and who are always busy in others welfare they will destroy your sins with their touch. And Rudra Dev will bear your force." After saying this to Gangaa, Bhageerath pleased Bhagvaan Shankar with his Tap. Then Shiv Jee bore Gangaa on His head. Gangaa thought to play a little game with Him, so she fell with a fierce force, but Shiv Jee was ready for that, so He also played a little game with her. He spread his hair so complexly that Gangaa couldn't find the way to come out.

Bhageerath got worried, he again prayed Shiv Jee to release Gangaa Jee. Then He unlocked his one flock of hair and a thin stream of Gangaa came out of His head. First Bhageerath took her to Kapil Muni's Aashram where his great grandfathers ashes were lying. As Gangaajal (Gangaa waters) touched it all his great grandfathers got Mukti. And Bhageerath and all Pitar went to Swarg. Kapil Muni's Aashram was on Gangaa Saagar Sangam.

My Note
Gangaa Saagar place is near Calcutta. This is an island under the sea, but it comes out once a year for three days at the time of Makar Sankraanti. People go there and take a holy dip and have a religious fair at that time. Government always tries his best to make sure that nobody remains on that island after the prescribed time, because after that it again merges in the sea; but still a few people always die there.

Gangaa and Kaartikeya
This story shows that Gangaa was the daughter of Himvaan (Himaalaya) and was the elder sister of Paarvatee Jee. Once she bore a son of Shiv Jee through Agni Dev. His name was Kaartikeya. Read the whole story in Kaarttikeya.

Gangaa and Prateep
This story comes in Mahaabhaarat, G-1-Beginning/3 - "There was a king named Prateep. He spent many years doing austere Tap at the source of Gangaa. Then one day Gangaa appeared before him in person and sat upon his right thigh. The King asked her - "What do you wish for?" Gangaa said - "I wish you as my husband. Wise people do not refuse to a woman who has come to them of her own." Prateep said - "I do not go to women who are not of my order just because of lust. This is my vow." Gangaa said - "I am not inauspicious or ugly. I am a celestial maiden of a rare beauty." Prateep said - "If I leave my course, I will be a sinner. You have embraced me sitting on my right thigh; this is place for daughters and daughters-in-law. The left lap is for wife, but you did not sit on that, that is why I accept you for my son." Gangaa said - "Since I respect you, I will have the honor of being the wife of a Kuru king. I cannot count all the virtues of this race even in hundred years. And I tell you that your son will not be able to understand the reason of my actions. Living like this, I will do good and give happiness to your son. He will go to Heaven because of the sons I will get from him."

Gangaa then disappeared from there and Prateep waited for his son to be born to fulfill his promise. When they grew old, a son was born to them (it was Mahaabhish himself). He was called Shaantanu because he was born at the time Prateep had controlled his passions through Tap. When Shaantanu became a youth, Prateep said to him - "Some time ago a celestial maiden came to me for your good. If she meets you sometime and asks for you for children, marry her. Do not ask her of any of her actions, who she is, where has she come from, just marry her at my command." After telling him this he installed him on the throne, and went away to forest.

One day when Shaantanu was on a hunting trip, he came across a place which was frequently visited by Siddh and Chaaran He saw a beautiful maiden, like another Lakshmee, sitting there. He was instantly attracted to her, and in turn she also got attracted to him. Shaantanu said to her - "Whoever you are, a Daanav, Devtaa, or an Apsaraa, I wish to marry you."

The woman thought about Vasu and spoke to him in a sweet voice - "I will become your wife, and I will obey you but you must not interfere whatever I do - agreeable or disagreeable to you. As long as you will keep your promise I will live with you, but as you will break it, I will leave you." Shaantanu agreed for this and brought her home. He lived with her happily and Gangaa also kept him satisfied with her beauty and love. Many years passed thus in enjoyment. During this period they had eight children. Gangaa threw them one by one in Gangaa River. The King could not speak anything to her as per his promise, but was not happy with her actions. Gangaa said - "It is good for you." But when the eighth child was born, and Gangaa was taking him to throw him in Gangaa River, the King said - "Please do not kill him. Who are you? Why do you kill your own children? This is a great sin."

Gangaa said - "You are the first who has children. I will not kill this child of yours, but as you have broken your vow, the period of my stay with you has come to an end now. I am Gangaa, the daughter of Jahnu. I have lived with you to accomplish a purpose of the celestials. The eight Vasu had to be born on Prithvi because of Vashishth's Shaap (read Vashishth's Curse to Vasu). There was nobody else than you who could have the honor of being their father. We, Vasu and I, had an agreement that as soon as they will be born on this Earth I will free them from human form. Thus I have freed them from the curse of Rishi Vashishth. But I will bring up your child with care. His name will be Gangaadatt."

Gangaa and Shaantanu
Once Gangaa came in the court of Indra with her father Brahmaa Jee. There was sitting Raajaa Mahaabhish also. He was Indra's friend and used to come there often to see Apsaraa's dance. He saw her and she saw him and both got lost in each other. In the meantime wind blew and removed her cloth from her body. All Devtaa sitting there lowered their eyes but neither Gangaa could know that, nor Raajaa moved his eyes. As Brahmaa Jee noticed this, he gave Shaap to Gangaa that she should be born on Prithvi. At the same time he gave Shaap to Raajaa Mahaabhish also that he should also be born on Prithvi and live with Gangaa. So Mahaabhish was born as Shaantanu on Prithvi.

When Gangaa was returning from there, she saw eight Vasu going sad and worried. On asking they told that they had the Shaap of Vashishth to be born on Prithvi (read this story in Vashishth under the heading "Vashishth's Curse to Vasu"). Gangaa said - "I can bear you as my children and I will give you Mukti from this Shaap, but one of you who has stolen the cow will have to stay there back on Prithvi. Vasu agreed and seven of them gave their part some qualities to the eighth one who was going to stay on Prithvi, so that he could live well there.

So Shaantanu was born as Hastinaapur Raajaa, and Gangaa lured him to marry her with a condition that he won't ask any question about what she was doing and why she was doing. The day he will ask, she will go back to her Lok after replying his question.

Both got married and started living happily. After a while she gave birth to Shaantanu's first son, she took him and flowed in Gangaa River and gave Mukti to him. Raajaa got extremely sad and wondered on her act. She did this to Raajaa's seven sons. When she was taking his eighth son, the King could not restrain himself and broke his promise by asking as why was she doing it to his sons?

As per her promise, she told the whole story to Shaantanu and said - "Hey Raajan, As you broke your promise, I am now free from my Shaap. Now my time to go away from here has come, but it seems that this Vasu's Shaap is not yet completed so he will have to stay back on Prithvi. She named him Devavrat. Then she went away along with the son that she would return his son when the time would come. She came back after 16 years to return Raajaa Shaantanu's son to him.  Read this story in Shaantanu.

Gangaa and Gautam Rishi
Gautam Rishi brought Gangaa in South too. This story is related to Gautam Rishi, so read it here Gautam Brings Gangaa.
Its another version is given in Shiv Section, under Stores - Paarvatee and Gangaa



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