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Relationships of Devi Ganga

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Rehanism

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Posted: 14 April 2011 at 9:17pm | IP Logged
There are several legends regarding the birth and relationships of Ganga. Most acceptable versions say that when Lord Brahma washed the holy feet of Lord Vamana, Ganga was born and was brought up in Satyaloka, the abode of Brahma. Some other texts eg Skanda Puran says that Ganga was the first daughter of Himaavan, the Lord of Mountains, and elder sister to Parvati. This is little contradictory with the first one in the sense that Lord Vamana manifested in Satya Yuga, while Adi-Shakti manifested as Parvati in the beginning of Treta Yuga.

The version which speaks of her 'human' birth in the house of Himaavan, depicts her as an arrogant and short-tempered girl, who ascends to heaven at the request of the Gods. Her arrogance is broken only when Lord Shiva traps her in His locks and the touch of Shiva purifies her so that she in turn can purify the three worlds.

Now coming to her marital status. In Chapter 2.6 Hymns 13-95 of the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, it is stated that Lord Vishnu has three wives, namely Lakshmi, Ganga, and Saraswati. All the three wives love Vishnu dearly and fight for his attention at all times. In order to do so effectively, they proclaim their respective supremacy over the other, which leads to quarrels. Due to their constant quarreling amongst each other, finally Vishnu keeps Lakshmi for himself, and gives Ganga to Shiva and Saraswati to Brahma. Ganga is also sometimes referred to as Vishnupriya, the beloved of Vishnu.

Ganga serves as the mother of Ganesha and the foster-mother of Kartikkeya and hence is also known as the spouse of Shiva. Ganga's residence in the matted locks of Shiva further gives her the place as the second wife of Shiva besides Uma, who happens to be Ganga's sister, as they both are daughters of King Himaavan. Thus, in the Skanda Purana, Shiva is married to both the sisters, Ganga and Uma. That's why she's known as Harapriya, the beloved of Shiva while Ganesh is known as Gangeya - the son of Ganga.

In a regional tale, when the demons Madhu and Kaitabh were killed by Vishnu, they asked a boon from him prior to their death - they wished to be reborn as Vishnu's devotees. They were reborn as Mallasura and Manisura. They obtained boons of invincibility from Vishnu and began to torture and kill the Rishis. To kill them, Lord Shiva manifested as Khandoba, while Parvati manifested as his wife Mhalsa and Ganga manifested as his lover Banai.

I find Ganga strangely linking the Trimurti. She's born from Brahma's Kamandalu, touches Vishnu's feet and rests in Shiva's locks. She's the daughter of Brahma and the ambiguous second consort of both Shiva and Vishnu. However there is no text actually depicting Ganga's marriage with any God or directly referring her as anyone's wife (unless we consider her marriage with Shantanu). So who do you guys think was Ganga's husband and father?


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...PARiNA...

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Posted: 15 April 2011 at 8:46am | IP Logged
sorry no idea about that but thanks for the info
__
Due to their constant quarreling amongst each other, finally Vishnu keeps Lakshmi for himself, and gives Ganga to Shiva and Saraswati to Brahma.
___

sorry but what does it mean ??
yeah i know that they 3 quarrled and infact cured each other .. Lakshmi ji to be born and marry an evil... Ganga and Saraswati too to be born/ flow  on earth ! 
 i saw that in the show Maa Shakti of Star plus.




Edited by ...PARiNA... - 15 April 2011 at 8:53am

...Mina...

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Posted: 15 April 2011 at 8:47am | IP Logged
did shivji really marry ganga ma ?? i thought he only trapped her in his hair and then freed her when raja bhagiratha asked him to.Embarrassed

...PARiNA...

IF-Rockerz

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Posted: 15 April 2011 at 8:50am | IP Logged
Originally posted by ILuvGuruDebi

did shivji really marry ganga ma ?? i thought he only trapped her in his hair and then freed her when raja bhagiratha asked him to.Embarrassed


yeah too knew this thing only !
she said she wont be able to flow so much .. then Shiva asked her to reside in His matted locks n will help Her to flow


Edited by ...PARiNA... - 15 April 2011 at 8:51am

AishuHiBawari

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Posted: 15 April 2011 at 5:14pm | IP Logged
Well I don't know what to say to this. The information comes from a variety of sources that sort of contradict each other. There are different beliefs all over India.

And I too have heard of Khandoba. Actually, that is the Kuldevata of my mother's family. But I didn't know that Bani Aayi was an incarnation of Ganga. I thought all his wives were incarnations of Parvati as he is the incarnation of Shiva.

Rehanism

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Posted: 15 April 2011 at 7:16pm | IP Logged
@...PARiNA... I have heard of that legend. Ganga and Saraswati curses each other to be born as rivers in the world of mortals. But again its certain that Saraswati didn't stay with Vishnu. We know her as the consort of Brahma. Now what we need to understand is that this tale of 3 wives of Vishnu comes from Brahma Vaivarta Purana. This particular Purana is known for its contradictory theories, which are in many situations completely opposite to what other Puranas claim. For example Brahma Vaivarta Purana doesn't recognize Vishnu or his Avatars as Supreme. They claim Krishna alone the is supreme being and Vishnu is a manifestation of Krishna and not the other way round.

@ILuvGuruDebi...You are right, there is no evidence of Shiva-Ganga marriage, except for Skanda Purana which openly declare Ganga as the mother of Shiva's children. I am a Bengali and here in Bengal, the worship of Shakti is more prominent than Vishnu or Shiva. In most legends of Bengal, Parvati/Durga/Kali is the mother of Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesh and Kartik. But Ganga is believed to be their Maasi. So this is in line with the theory of Ganga and Parvati being sisters. Even in the serial Jai Ganga Maiyya, they showed Parvati calling Ganga her elder sister. You might have heard of the chant "Har Har Gange". Har is the name of Shiva which is associated with Ganga.

@AishuJSKfan...You are a Maharashtriyan I presume...I have heard a bit differently regarding Khandoba and Banai. There are two versions - one says that she's the manifestation of Ganga, the second one says that she's the manifestation of Mohini - the other ambiguous spouse/consort/lover of Shiva.

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Posted: 16 April 2011 at 10:37am | IP Logged
Yes! I am Maharashtrian! And yes, I can see that there are many different sources suggesting different things, but in the Malhari Mahatmya, it is mentioned that both Mhalsa and Banu, are one and not separate. That's also the notion that I grew up with.

And this site says that it is Mhalsa who is a combination avatar of Mohini and Parvati while Banai is the daughter of Indra.
http://www.bookrags.com/wiki/Khandoba


Edited by AishuJSKfan - 16 April 2011 at 10:39am

Rehanism

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Posted: 16 April 2011 at 1:37pm | IP Logged
Yeah I have read that Banai is daughter of Indra but whose incarnation is she?

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