Ganga Mata: Goddess of the River
Ganga Mata is a Hindu goddess personifying the Ganges River. She is a deity associated with forgiveness and purification. Water is a symbol of purity in many spiritual traditions, used for cleansing and baptism. Hindus bathe in the river Ganges for spiritual and ritual purposes.
Table of Contents
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Vehicle of Ganga Mata
The goddess Ganga Mata is often depicted riding on a crocodile. Sometimes Ganga Mata rides on a makara, an animal with the head of a crocodile and the tail of a dolphin. The crocodile represents the lower self or the reptilian mind over which Ganga has gained mastery.
Symbolism of the Ganges River
The Ganges river is viewed as a gateway to heaven. The ashes of the deceased are thrown into the river to be carried peacefully from this world to the next. Bathing in the Ganges river is also viewed as a spiritual ritual. The Vedas and Puranas, ancient Hindu scriptures, view the Ganges as the most sacred river on earth.
Symbolism of Water
Like oceans and other bodies of water, rivers are constantly changing, thus symbolizing limitless opportunities and possibilities. Water represents the emotional world. Water has also been symbolic of the highest good in life and the source of life. Agricultural peoples worship water in the form of rivers, clouds, mist and rain.
Goddess Ganga and the Water Element
The Vedic five element system includes water, earth, fire, air and space (ether). There are deities associated with each of these elements. Natural element systems describe the relationship between different energies and phenomena in the world around us.
Characteristics of the Five Elements
Each of the five elements have characteristics that can be identified as personality types as well as transformative powers. For example, water can change effortlessly without losing its essential nature. Water types are resourceful and single-minded, flowing over problems like a river.
Water Element Personality Types
Water archetypes or personalities can also store or “pool” their resources to be in a position of strength when opportunities arise. On the other hand, if a person has too much water, they may become overly emotional or stagnant.
GANGA MATA ARTICLE SUMMARY
Ganga Mata is a Hindu goddess personifying the Ganges River. She is a deity associated with forgiveness and purification. This article covers her symbolism and a beautiful chant to her as a personification of both the water element and the Ganges river.