Pooja or rituals are being performed in one way or other almost in everybody’s house almost in all the religions. The only difference between Hindu Pooja and other religion is the way we perform but the ultimate aim, object remains the same to everybody. I suppose the rituals, traditions are more in Hindus as compared to any other religion. Many Pooja items are being used while performing the Puja and one among them is the Gangajal
No Pooja or Ritual is said to be complete without use of Gangajal. Lots of traditions are there behind this Gangajal as there are lots of purifying properties. Lots of ceremonies take place in presence of Ganga waters as it is used for conduct of rituals. Most of them don’t know the interesting factors behind this holy waters.
According to ‘AGNI-PURANA’ which is a holy ritual, wherever the water of the Ganga reaches that place becomes sacred and clean from all evils and above all it is sacred. It is supposed that a few drops of Ganga Jal makes everything Holy (Pavitra).Ganga is the holiest river to all Hindus.
Ganga Jal is considered as one of the holiest “Upachar” of any Hindu Puja. In any Pooja (Worship to God& Goddess) this “GANGA JAL”(Ganga water) is utmost required. But people, who are away from the river Ganga, cannot get this holy water easily and as matter of fact they have to worship God & Goddess without it.
Ganga has a long theological history too. Ganga water has certain chemical qualities. Many chemical and scientific tests have been carried out with Ganga water and now it has been scientifically proved that Ganga water enriched with some extraordinary properties.
Indian environmental engineers confirmed that Ganga water has super self-cleaning properties. It’s seen that this water does not deteriorate largely even for years after year if it is being kept in closed vessels due to its self cleaning properties.
Scientifically it is also seen that Ganga water Soil (Soil on the bank of Ganga River) has got medicinal effect. Ganga Jal also perhaps got this effect and that is why a man can keep Ganga jal for long days in any bottle.
1. Gangajal in Puja
The sanctified and inseparable place given to the holy waters of Ganges in Indian culture and tradition is unparalleled. No puja or ritual is said to be complete without the use of Gangajal. Several verses from the Agamic tradition feature praises to the incredible purifying properties of Gangajal and during every ceremony the mantras invoke the presence of Ganga in the waters used for the conduct of rituals. It is highly interesting to know what factors account for this exalted place given to these holy waters.
2. The heavenly origins
Tracing back the origin of the Ganges, we need to talk of the puranic story of Bagiratha who was instrumental in getting Ganges on to the earth. It is believed that Ganges is the cosmic river (Brahma Tirth) which poured down on the heavens when the left toe of Trivikrama (the manifestation of Mahavishnu) pierced the skies.
The Ghantak near Kathmandu is another major tribute to the holy river. More holy waters are poured together into Ganges to enrich its content. There are lots of special properties too. The distinct aura itself creates more positive vibrations.
3. The heavenly origins
Through his intense penance, Bagiratha brought down the heavenly Ganges to emancipate the souls of the sixty thousand sons of Sagara which lay imprisoned in their ashes due to the curse of sage Kapila. Since then, Ganges has been said to be engaged in the divine mission of warding off the sins of all people and emancipating them.
4. The physical origins
With the Puranic stories attributing Bagiratha’s efforts to have brought the Ganges onto the earth, the principal source of the Ganges is named as Bagirathi which originates at a place called Gaumukh in the Himalayas. The source for Bagirathi is a huge glacier stretching over 75 square miles. After Bagirathi merges with Alakanada at Devaprayag, the name Ganges ensues.
5. The physical origins
One another large tributary to the Ganges is Ghagara that originates very near to Mount Kailas and joins the Ganges near Patna. The Ghantak near Kathmandu is another major tributary to the holy river. Thus, several holy waters pour their contents into the Ganges enriching it quantitatively and qualitatively.
6. Association with Trimurtis
Ganges is associated with the trinity of Hinduism namely Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. In the first place, Brahma is said to undertake the act of creation with the help of Gangajal stored in his Kamandal. He used Gangajal to wash to divine feet of Lord Mahavishnu during the Trivikrama Avatar.
7. Association with Trimurtis
Since the torrential flow of Ganges would be enough to shatter the earth into pieces, Lord Shiva accepted to receive it on his matted hair and release it mildly on the earth. Thus the Lord assumed the name Gangadhar with the icon of Shiva always depicted with the strands of Ganga waters flowing down from his hairs.
8. Special Properties of Ganges Water
Maharishi Vedavyas has stated that Ganges water has the inimitable potentials to ward of all the evils of the age of Kali. A holy dip in Ganges is said to remove the sins of several births. Merging the ashes of the departed in the Ganges is said to confer them liberation. Physically, the Ganges water is found to have several germicidal properties. Gangajal has a distinctive aura around it and creates several positive vibrations making it the most ideal waters for pujas.