Ganga Saptami is a Hindu festival that is celebrated to mark the day when the Holy River Ganga descended on the earth. Ganga Dussehra falls on the tenth day during the bright fortnight, that is, during Dashmi Tithi of Jyeshtha Shukla Paksha (waxing moon period) and this year it falls in the month of May. Ganga Dussehra is also known as Gangavatran which means the descent of the Ganga.
It is believed that taking a dip in the river Ganges on this day can wash away all sins and bring salvation to the devotees. The festival is also significant for those who believe in astrology, as it is believed that the planetary positions on this day positively influence human life.
Ganga Dussehra 2023 : Date, Muhurat and timings
- This year, Ganga Saptami will be observed on Tuesday, May 30, 2023
- Dashami Tithi starts: 11:49 am on May 29, 2023
- Dashami Tithi ends: 01:07 pm on May 30, 2023
- Hasta Nakshatra Ends: 6:00 am on May 31, 2023
- Vyatipata Yoga Starts: 08:55 pm on May 30, 2023
- Vyatipata yoga ends: 08:15 pm on May 31, 2023
Significance of Ganga Dussehra
Ganga Dussehra one of the important festivals for Hindus holds great significance for the people who live along the bank of the river Ganga. So, let’s find some of the reasons why this festival is considered important.
According to Hindu mythology, Ganga descended from the heavens to the earth on the day of Ganga Dussehra. It is believed that taking a dip in the holy river on this day can purify the soul and wash away all sins.
Ganga Dussehra 2023 Rituals
On the day of Ganga Dussehra, there are several rituals that are traditionally followed by the Devotees on this day.
- Holy Dip: One of the important rituals of Ganga Dussehra is taking a dip in the holy river Ganga. It is believed that taking a dip in the river on this day can purify the soul and wash away all sins.
- Offering prayers: People visit the banks of the river and offer prayers to Goddess Ganga. They light diyas (lamps), participate in Deep Daan and offer flowers and sweets as a part of the puja (worship).
- Fasting: Many devotees observe a fast on Ganga Dussehra .some people fast throughout the day, while others fast until they take a dip in the river.
- Donating: It is considered auspicious to donate food, clothes, or money to the poor and needy on Ganga Dussehra.
- Reciting Mantras: Many people recite mantras dedicated to Maa Ganga, such as the Ganga Stotram, or the Ganga Chalisa.
- Visiting temples: Devotees also visit temples dedicated to goddess Ganga on this day and seek Maa Ganga’s blessings.
Mythological Legend Behind Ganga Dussehra
According to Hindu mythology and scriptures, there was a king named Sagara who ruled the Suryavansha Dynasty during the Satya Yuga .king Sagara once performed the Ashwamedha Yagya to demonstrate his sovereignty. Lord Indra, fearing the outcomes of this yagya, stole the horses of the ceremony and felt them on a hermitage of Sage Kapila. When King Sagara and his sons learned about the missing horses, they mistakenly accused sage Kapila and planned to attack the sage, he cursed them, and as a result, all of them were burnt.
Sage Kapila then return the horses to King Sagara’s grandson, Ayushman. On the request of King Ayushman to liberate his ancestors from the curse, sage Kapila informed him that the curse could only be lifted if Goddess Ganga descended to Earth and purified their souls with her divine water. Bhagirathi, one of the successors of the king, performed penance to seek the help of deities and to purify the souls, of his forefathers. Pleased with his penance, Lord Brahma assured King Bhagirath that Goddess Ganga would come to Earth to help him.
Hence, the day on which Ganga descended to earth is celebrated as Ganga Dussehra, and the day on which Bhagiratha’s prayers and penance were answered by lord Brahma is celebrated as Ganga Saptami. It is believed that by taking a dip in the holy river Ganga on Ganga Saptami as well as on Ganga Dussehra, one can purify their sins and attain salvation.
Ganga Dussehra Puja Vidhi
- In the morning the worshipers should observe ten conventional customs and rituals on the bank of a sacred river to worship the Goddess Ganga.
- Observe fast for 10 hours straight, without even drinking water, as is considered quite auspicious.
- Bhog, flowers, flames milk filled leaf boats, and other such ten-flavored items of Goddess Ganga are offered by the devotees to receive blessings from the deity. Worshipers should give ten edible items as a charity.
- Recite ten songs and mantras related to Goddess Ganga while ringing the bells and blowing the conches on the banks of the river.
- Worshipers can set up ten wooden or bamboo sticks that indicate the ten embodiments of Lord Vishnu at the center of the water stream or river.
Mark the date and perform the Ganga Dussehra Pooja Vidhi to get the many benefits of worshiping Goddess Ganga on this day. Make sure to be optimistic and perform the rituals with utmost devotion.
— Divyaa Sablok