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Papahara Dashami – Ganga Stutis

Dear All,
Papahara Dashami which marks the end of 10 days of prayers to Sri
Ganga. I am given to understand that special prayers are offered to
Mata Ganga on this day.

In this connection, I am happy to attach a rare stotram cum Mahatmya
of Ganga as told by Lord Rama in Brahma Puranam, Chapter 157.

On two other occasions last year, I had shared a couple of other rare
Stutis on Ganga and since the current Distribution List is much wider
than before, I am attaching them once again. Especially, the Ganga
Stuti from Skanda Puranam is meant to be chanted on this occasion, as
I understand.

As usual, a few snippets on Mata Ganga:

1. The Ganga Stuti by Lord Rama is unique. For instant purification
and destroyal of sins, we always think of Lord Rama (as below) but
Lord Rama mentions exactly the same about Mata Ganga in this stuti and
therefore there is no need to emphasize the sacredness of Ganga.

mAnasaM vAcikaM pApaM karmaNA sampuArjitam |
shrIrAma smaraNenaiva vyapohati na saMshayaH ||

2. There are many Ganga Stutis, including many Gangashtakams. There
are at least two Sahasranamas and there could be many more. The
Gangashtakam by Sridhara Ayyaval has a unique story behind it.

When Sridhara Ayyaval was preparing to perform Shraddha for his
parent, a poor and pregnant servant lady appeared and asked for food –
her plight was really pitiable. Sri Ayyaval thought for a minute and
asked his wife to give away all the food prepared for Shraddha,
although it is prohibited from the ritual point of view. On seeing
this the purohits refused to perform Shraddha on the pretext that he
has committed a heinous crime. He requested them for a remedy and they
suggested that the only way is to have bath in river Ganga. Sridhara
Ayyaval told them that it would be impossible for him to go to Kashi
at his age and therefore he would beseech Ganga to grace him. He sang
Gangashtakam and river Ganga overflowed from the well in his house. He
took shower and performed Shraddha (there is also a saying that
Trinity themselves came as Brahmanas to perform the Shraddha). This
event is celebrated even today annually at his residence in
Thiruvisanallur.

3. Though Sridhara Ayyaval was a Shiva Upasaka, his Krishna Bhakti is
well known and he never differentiated between the two excepting the
form. He mentions this in many of his works. The following is one such
beautiful exposition in Stuti Paddhati :

svakara pratipATita svacApaH – svadRRig ambhoja samarcita svakA~NghriH |
svapadAmbvavataMsita svamUrdhA – sharaNaM me.astu sa ko.api vishvahetuH ||

(Meaning : He broke his Dhanus with his own hands (referring to Rama
breaking Shiva Dhanus); He prayed Himself with His own Eyes as Lotus
flowers (referring to story of Vishnu praying Lord in
Thiruveezhimizhali in Tamil Nadu); He adorned his head with water
arising from his Padas (referring to Ganga that originates from Vishnu
Pada and adorning Shiva’s Jata). May That Mula Pursha, whatever name
it is, be my refuge.)

Though he has composed several hymns on Vishnu also, his Dola
Navaratna malika also has a special story behind. During annual
Dolotsavam, Sri Krishna’s portrait was kept in a chariot and was taken
around the village. As per tradition, every houseowner in the way will
offer prayers but the organizers did not stop at Sridhara Ayyaval’s
house on the pretext that he is a Shaivite (meaning he is not a
Vaishnavite). When they went a few steps beyond his residence, Lord
Krishna’s portrait disappeared and everyone was wondering what
happened. After a while, they entered the residence of Ayyaval and
found him to be perform Ekanta Seva to Lord Krishna with this this
Stuti. That differentiates ordinary mortals and noble souls and sages.

4. According to Brahma Vaivarta Puranam, River Ganga will be visible
only for 5,00 years in Kali Yuga (if I derstood correctly). If this
were true, we are already on borrowed time. Does it mean that Ganga
will also disappear like Saraswati? Only time will tell.

Sri Ganga Stuti – Brahma Puranam – TAM.pdf Download this file

Sri Ganga Stuti – Brahma Puranam.pdf Download this file

Sri Ganga Stuti – Skanda Puranam.pdf Download this file

Sri Vishnupadi Stotram – Brahma Vaivarta Puranam.pdf Download this file

Sri Ganga Stuti – Skanda Puranam – TAM.docx Download this file

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