Ganga Saptami, an auspicious day for Hindus, is celebrated in honour of Goddess Ganga. It is also known as ‘Ganga Jayanti’.
According to the Hindu legends, it is believed that Goddess Ganga took rebirth on this day. The day is observed on the ‘Saptami’ (7th day) of the Shukla Paksha during the month of ‘Vaishakha’ or ‘Baisakh’. On Ganga Saptami, special pujas and prayers are offered by devotees.
Rituals during Ganga Saptami:
On the day of Ganga Saptami, devotees bathe in the holy Ganges before sunrise. Worshipping Goddess Ganga is believed to be very auspicious on this day. They perform the famous ‘Ganga Aarti’. On Ganga Saptami, performing the ceremony of ‘deepadan’ that is donating the ‘deep’ is considered very fortunate.
Hindus consider River Ganga to be a ‘devi’ or Goddess; so the devotees worship Maa Ganga with dedication and devotion to be blessed with happiness, bliss and salvation. Huge fairs are also organized near the banks of River Ganga on this day. ‘Gayatri Mantra’ recitation is also considered to be very propitious on this day.
Significance of Ganga Saptami:
The significance of Ganga Saptami is described in the religious scriptures like ‘Padma Purana’, ‘Brahma Purana’ and ‘Narada Purana’, etc. according to the Hindu mythological beliefs, Goddess Ganga descended to Earth for the first time on the day of ‘Ganga Dussehra’. However once a scholar named Jahnu drank water from Ganga. Only after being pleaded by Gods and King Bhagiratha, he released Ganga once again on the day of Vaishakha Shukla Paksha Saptami. Since then, this day marks the rebirth of Goddess Ganga. It is also referred to as ‘Jahnu Saptami’.
River Ganga is considered to be very sacred in India. The celebrations of Ganga Saptami are well-known in places where Ganga and its tributaries flow. Devotees believe that by taking a pious bath in Ganga River on the day of Ganga Saptami, all their sins will be washed away.