1 day ago
I’m constantly in awe at the number of people who go out of their way to tell me not to travel. “It’s too dangerous” “You wont make it home alive” are quotes I’m all too familiar with. Their fears are projected onto me as if they should be my own.
Here’s what I have to say to that:
“I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.”
Do you know much about the Ganges? Here’s a few facts:
• It’s a trans-boundary river that is 1,569 miles long, third largest in the world, and rises from the Western Himalayas.
• It is worshipped in Hinduism and is personified as the Goddess Ganga. Hindus consider the water of the Ganges to be both pure and purifying; Metaphorically and literally cleansing.
• Many people pay homage to their ancestors and Gods by cupping their hands in the river, lifting it, and letting it fall back into the river. On their way home, many carry small quantities of river water with them to use in rituals.
• Pidna Pradana (a rite for the dead) is often performed. Balls of rice and sesame seeds are offered to the Ganges while the names of the deceased are recited.
• The Ganges water is used in Vedic rituals after death. Those who die in Varanasi are cremated on the banks of the river. It is believed salvation can be reached by immersing the ashes in the Ganges. Those who are not cremated are left to float.
• Studies have shown the Ganges can decompose organic material faster than any other rivers in the world by 15-25%.
• Many forms of life surround the Ganges including 400 million+ people, birds, fish, crocodiles, turtles, the river dolphin and Ganges shark.
• The Ganges have been used for irrigation since ancient times.
• Sewage, industrial waste, religious offerings, and daily use of the river for cooking, cleaning, and bathing does not help to mitigate the extreme pollution levels found in the river.
• Many NGO’s have some forward to help rejuvenate the river and study human-environment interactions. ✨✨✨
“She has been a symbol of India’s age-long culture and civilization, ever-changing, ever-flowing, and yet ever the same Ganga.”