Updated: Feb 27, 2022
So you think abortion is a new idea? How about woman's rights?
How about a woman's unconditional right to choose? third term abortion?
Does God have the right to forgive and condone all our actions?
When saved by divine absolution, what is our role now to seek forgiveness from those who we hurt?
The goddess Ganga seamless moves from other mythology into the story of the Mahabharata as the love of King Shantanu, the first protagonist. Walking down the banks of the Ganges, the lonely king sees a celestial beauty walking by the river and is instantly smitten. One condition from her before she accepts his marriage proposition- "If you ever question my words or methods, I will leave you". King Shantanu agrees and they get married. Ganga proceeds to have seven sons with him and she quietly drowns each newborn child in the river. The distraught father finally loses his cool after the eight birth and stops her. Ganga reveals the truth of the Vasu brothers and how this was an act of love and kindness letting them return to heaven. The last one she lets him keep and raise as she returns to her celestial abode. This son grows up to becomes the peerless, invincible Bhishma, the grandsire of the Pandavas and the Kauravas.
Ganga is not a central character of the Mahabharata but her undercurrents of purity and love flow strongly through the fabric of the great epic. In a remarkable return to relevance, she surfaces from the ground at the end of the 10th day of battle, summoned by Prince Arjuna's arrow to quench the thirst of her dying son, Bhishma and lovingly hold him in her lap. The last Vasu's long, arduous life of suffering and sacrifice as repentance for a celestial sin is finally over and he can return to heaven soon.
Our null hypothesis on the Ganga Persona
Ganga represents a celestial purity cherished by all of us. Purity of heart, purity of love, purity of purpose, purity of action, purity of repentance and indeed purity of a pristine mother nature. Ganga is revered as a goddess by the Hindus and she cleanses us of all our sins. We often seek such absolution for our imperfect thoughts and actions. The reality here in this epic is she does hurt others with her actions, even though they don't know the real cause until much later.
Ganga teaches us not to just dump all our dirt and sins in her and pretend we can wash it all away in her sparking, holy waters. Ganga teaches us that she is but a medium to remind us to be pure of thought and strive to be better everyday. She too is trying to be a better, caring mother to all of us and sometimes we overwhelm her with our thoughts and actions. Find the Ganga in you! What % Ganga are you?