Fire Ceremony Ganga Dussehra Havan
Ganga Dussehra is dedicated to Goddess Ganga and this day is commemorated as the day when Ganga was descended to the Earth to accomplish her mission to purge the cursed souls of Bhagiratha's ancestors. Before coming to the Earth, the Goddess Ganga was residing in Kamandal of Lord Brahma and along with her the Goddess Ganga brought the purity of heaven to the Earth.
According to Hindu mythology, the Ganges River in India originally flowed only in heaven.
In the form of a goddess, Ganga, the river was brought down to earth by King Bhagiratha in order to purify the ashes of his ancestors, 60,000 of whom had been burned under a curse from the great sage Kapila.
The river came down reluctantly, breaking her fall on the head of Shiva so that she wouldn't shatter the Earth.
By the time she reached the Bay of Bengal, she had touched the ashes of the 60,000 princes and fertilized the entire region.
On Ganga Dussehra, the 10th day of the waxing half of the month of Jyestha, Hindus who are able to reach the Ganges take a dip in the river to purify their sins and remedy their physical ills.
The largest crowds assemble at the Uttar Pradesh towns of Hardwar, Mukteshwar, Varanasi, and other locations on the banks of the Ganges that have legendary significance. Those who live far away from the Ganges immerse themselves in whatever river, pond, or sea they can get to on this day.
Part of the Hindu faith includes the hope of bathing in the Ganges at some point during one's life. Upon death, a Hindu's body is generally cremated and the ashes are immersed in its holy water to assure peace for the soul.
The Ganga came out of the Supreme Being. She entered the feet of
Lord Hari and reached Vaikuntha. She issued from GoLoka and
passed through the regions of Vishnu, Brahma, Siva, Dhruva, Chandra,
Surya, Tapa, Jana and Maha, and reached IndraLoka and flowed as
Mandakini. From the celestial regions it was brought to the earth by the
rigorous penance of Bhagiratha. It came about like this.
THE CURSE OF KAPILA
In the days of yore, there lived a great king, Sagara. He was one of the mighty monarchs in the Solar race. The incarnation of Lord Rama was in this race. The monarch performed one hundred Asvamedha sacrifices aspiring for Indrahood, kingship of the Devas. In the hundredth sacrifice, the sacrificial horse was stolen away by Indra for fear of being dethroned. by the aspirant. Tied to a post, the horse was left within the premises of Rishi Kapila’s Ashram. All the sons of Sagara, sixty thousand in number, set out in search of the horse. As soon as they found the horse in front of the sage’s Ashram, they mistook the sage unhesitatingly for the thief, and began to wage war with him. The innocent sage, aroused by their thoughtless actions, cursed them all and burnt them to ashes.
Time rolled on. Kings after kings ruled and died. Long after this lamentable incident, there arose another illustrious king, Bhagiratha, in the same family. He shuddered at the pitiable fate of his forefathers, and was extremely anxious to perform the necessary obsequies and religious rites levied by the scriptures. He consulted great Rishis and was advised to invoke Mother Ganga, who only could wash off the powerful curse of Rishi Kapila and satisfactorily fulfil his desire. Bhagiratha did great Tapas with all severities. Pleased with his penance, Mother Ganga appeared before him, and directed him to seek the help of somebody who could check Her flow, as otherwise the whole earth would be submerged in Her waters.
LORD SIVA RECEIVES THE GANGA
Again Bhagiratha sat doing rigorous penance for a full hundred years. It is needless to say that Lord Siva, the protector of all His devotees, was immensely pleased with the king and readily accepted to check and control Ganga through His matted locks. With surge, fury and foam, Ganga began to descend from celestial regions. Flashes of lightning, thunders from clouds, and the uncontrollable flow seemed as if a deluge was about to devour the whole world. But, Lord Siva coolly received Her in His matted locks and let Her drip over Him. This is the Ganga Saptami Day.
THROUGH RISHI JAHNU’S EARS
Taking Her course into the interior of the Himalayas, Ganga was about to wash away Rishi Jahnu’s Ashram. Sage Jahnu was naturally more powerful than Her and simply sipped the water. Bhagiratha was much disappointed. He did again severe penance to please Rishi Jahnu. At last, the sage let the Ganga through his ears. Flowing from this outlet, Ganga flowed with entire modesty and allembracing filial love and motherly affection. By Her Divine Grace, She uplifted all the sixty thousand princes to the Highest Abode of immortal bliss. This day is celebrated as the most sanctifying Ganga Dussehra.