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BHAGIRATHA

The Earth Smiles

Bhagiratha felt very happy. He again bowed to Sage Jahnu thanking him for his kindness, and left the place. He was afraid that some other obstacle would come up if he delayed in his work. He directly came to the hole dug by his ancestors.

Ganga had also grown more sensible by this time. She now understood that her own pride and childishness had brought her trouble and shame. Bhagiratha had worshipped her with devotion. But she had caused him physical and mental suffering. She realized this. So, giving up her foolishness, she followed Bhagiratha into the hole promptly. The whole area, which had been a huge hole earlier, now turned into a vast sheet of water. Since the sons of Sagara had dug it, it came to be known as 'Sagara', or the Ocean.

Bhagiratha went to Patala and stood near the pile of ashes there. He implored Ganga thus: "0 Mother, piled up here are the ashes of my ancestors. Please touch these ashes, help their souls attain salvation." Ganga straight rushed on the heap of ashes. The souls of all the sixty thousand sons of Sagara, neglected and restless for so many years, were now made holy. Freed from sin, the souls went to Heaven. All the gods in Heaven, who had been eagerly watching this, were full of praise for Bhagiratha's achievement. Bhagiratha had completed the holy task of his life. So his joy knew no limit. He bowed to the divine Ganga and all the gods and goddesses around. Everyone was full of praise for him. All of them also bowed to Ganga addressing her by various names.

They called her 'Bhagirathi' since she had followed Bhagiratha like his daughter.

She also came to be known as 'Tripathake' one who flowed in three-path -since she had flowed through three worlds Heaven, Earth and Patala. She was called 'Jahnavi' as she had come out of the ears of Sage Jahnu and was his daughter. Bhagiratha, who was returning to his kingdom, was praised by all for having thus brought down to the earth the divine Ganga, who was worshipped by many different names. They hailed him as a great man and a life-giver. Thus, worshipped by one and all, Bhagiratha came back to his capital. His mother was anxiously waiting for him. He touched her feet. He had done a great anct difficult task, facing many dangers. So the mother was overjoyed. She blessed him whole-heartedly.

Having thus performed a great task, which made everybody happy, Bhagiratha ruled over the kingdom for many years. He was a good king, and earned great fame for himself, his dynasty and his country. That is why the accomplishment of a very difficult task, with stupendous effort, is described as a Bhagiratha-like endeavor. With great difficulty, Bhagiratha brought Ganga to a desert region, which had no water and no green growth at all. The divine Ganga gavethat place clear streams  and. made it fertile and fruitful. What was a desert became a smiling land with plentiful crops. Thus, alongwith the ancestors, the  later generations also could be happy and Prosperous.

This, then, is the story of how Bhagiratha brought Ganga to the earth. It is not just thrilling? Bhagiratha's devotion to duty, and his strong determination, which was not shaken by any kind of difficulty, shines forth in the story. His will power, hard like a diamond, should be an example to US.

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Be pleased to forgive Ganga
About Bhagiratha
Introduction
"Who Was Sagara?"
'I Do Not Want A Son Who Plagues the People'
Behind The Horse - To The House Of Death
The Duty Of The Descendants
Answering The Call Of Duty
Bhagiratha's Tapas
Taming The Ganga
You are Here! The Earth Smiles
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