Rāmāyana | Bala Kaṇḍa | Chapter 35

Sargam [Chapter]: 35
Ganga's Story

[Rāma along with the sages reach the banks of River Ganges and they stay there for a night. When Rāma asks about the River Ganges, Viśvāmitra starts telling him about the river. He tells them that she was the first daughter of Himalayas and as per the request of devas, she becomes a river and is taken to deva loka. Her sister Uma does penance and marries Lord Shiva.]

After spending the night in the banks of river Sona [Kauśikī], when the night was about to come to an end Viśvāmitra spoke. 35.1

"Oh Rāma, the night is giving way to the morning, the early dawn is going to break out. Wake up, please wake up. Safety to you. Get ready to depart." 35.2

Hearing those words, after waking up and performing the morning rituals, interested in making his departure, told the following. 35.3

"This clean and not so deep waters of Sona has lot of sand dunes and so oh Brahman, we can easily cross it by walk." 35.4

When Rāma told like this, Sage Viśvāmitra told Rāma, "I propose to take the same route as these great sages are taking." 35.5

After speaking like this, the great sage Viśvāmitra started travelling through different forests and their environs. 35.6

After going with difficulty for a distance during the next half a day, they stayed near the River Ganges, which was the greatest river and which was worshipped by sages. 35.7

Seeing those blessed waters, served by swans and water fowls, all the saints and Rāma as well as Lakṣmaṇa became extremely joyous. 35.8

They take their residence on the banks of River after taking bath and satisfying the pithru [mane] gods by offering oblations, after kindling the ritual fire and performing oblations; they dined on the food offered to gods during oblation. They take rest after surrounding sage Viśvāmitra on the banks of Ganges River with a happy mind. 35.9-35.10

After sitting comfortably there, as per the justified order, Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa, who were with a satisfied mind, spoke to sage Viśvāmitra. 35.11

"Oh God like sage, we would love to hear about River Ganga which goes in three ways and how this river is reaching out to their husband [ocean]." 35.12

Motivated by the words of Rāma, the great sage Viśvāmitra started telling about how the river Ganges was born and its further progress. 35.13

"Oh Rāma, the King among Mountains Himalayas, which is a great treasure of minerals, has two daughters, who are matchless beauties of this world." 35.14

"The daughter of that great Mountain Meru called Mena, who is mind catching and has a slender waist, is the darling wife of the Himalaya Mountain." 35.15

"River Ganges is the first daughter of Mena and Himalayas; Oh Rāma, they also have a daughter called Uma." 35.16

"Later, all the important devas, interested in the welfare of the people, requested that King of the Mountains to allow the elder daughter Ganga to become a three branched river." 35.17

"Thinking according to Dharma, that Himalayas allowed his daughter Ganga, who is the purifier of the world to flow according to her wish, for the sake of betterment of the three worlds." 35.18

"Welcoming her for the purpose of the three worlds and for doing welfare of the three worlds, they took Ganga with them with a satisfied mind." 35.19

"Oh son of Raghu clan, then there was one more maiden who was the second daughter of that great Mountain, who adopted very strict penance, performed supreme penance and became rich with penance." 35.20

"Coupled with that great penance, that daughter with a matchless form was given by the greatest of Mountains to Lord Rudra, who is saluted by the entire world." 35.21

"Like this, both the daughters of the land of the Mountain became fit to be venerated by the world, one was Ganga, the most prominent among rivers and the other Goddess Uma." 35.22

"Oh Rāma, whose walk is most attractive, this is the story of how that river in three steps went to heaven, about which I have related to you till now." 35.23

"That sinless river, which is pretty and is the daughter of the King of Mountains, went to the heavens this way." 35.24

This is the end of Thirty Fifth Sarga of Bala Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.