This refers to the article “When the Ganga descends” (June 28). Concepts, human traits and nature are all personified in Hindu mythology and told as stories. Lord Shiva is described as Vyomakesa — one who has the sky or space as his hair. On his hair knot sits Ganga. Bhagiratha wanted to make the lands of his kingdom fertile. The turbulent Ganga, if she fell directly on earth, could cause damage. So, for the welfare of creation, Shiva agreed to let Ganga fall on his head and, from there, on the Himalayas.
The Himalayan regions in which the Ganga flows were once abundant with many varieties of trees. Ancient Telugu Poet Allasani Peddana says in Manucharithra that even Bramha could not describe the beauty and power of the Himalayan mountains. Alas, everything has vanished gradually due to human greed.
Karavadi Raghava Rao,
The article was a wonderful interpretation of the myths relating to the descent of Ganga. What we have to learn is to shun the arrogant attitude of Sagara towards nature, which cost him his 60,000 sons, and adopt Bhagiratha’s humble and patient attitude of co-existence. Humans can’t dominate or subjugate nature. If we continue in our bid to conquer nature, its fury will visit us in frequent intervals.
Nature is mightier than we can imagine. As described in our historical accounts, the flow of Ganga during her descent from heaven was so forceful that it was feared she would destabilise the earth. It was then that Lord Shiva agreed to tie her in his locks.
Recently, there was a report about the discovery of a new archaeological site in Gujarat, related to the Harappan civilisation. The site went under the soil carried by mighty rivers. This shows how powerful nature is and how it uses its instruments like rivers to construct and destroy civilisations. Mythology is an account of historical events that took place lakhs of years ago. It should be respected and lessons learnt from it.