Residing in the Kamandal of Lord Brahma, Ganga, like Sarasvati and Laksmi, is one of the seven Shaktis of Suprem Goddess Mahamaya. The story goes far back when Kapila Muni curses King Sagar’s sixty thousand and one sons and reduces them to ashes. On repeated requests of the sole son of King Sagar, Kapila Muni finally changes his mind and says that King Sagar’s sons would attain mukti only if the ashes are cleansed by the holy water of Goddess Ganga.
Generation after generation apologize to pacify Brahma but without success – and finally after much praying, pleading and tapasya by Bhagirath – the seventh generation of King Sagar, Ganga reluctantly consents to descent to Earth. To contain Her powerful fall, Lord Siva steps in the way and lets the river thumble gently through his long hair onto the Himalayas. Ganga then flows accross India to the edge of ocean, where she washes over the ashes and give mukti to the sons of King Sagar, an event commemorated even today.
Ganga represents the innermost strain of pristine coolness, piety and purity. The river itself epitomizes all the characteristics India is known for: mythical, serene, all pervading and assimilative.
Ganga enriches the spiritual lives of millions of Indians for whom the river is Holy because river Ganga personifies Goddess Ganga who descends to Earth to cleanse the sins of mankind.