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पतितपावनी गंगा: Holy Ganga

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Item Code: HAT671
Author: Amba Shankar Nagar
Publisher: Bharatiya Vidhya Mandir Shodh Pratishthan, Bikaner
Language: English and Hindi
Edition: 2018
ISBN: 9788189302627
Pages: 379
Other Details 9x6 inch
Weight 536 gm
Book Description
About The Book

Ganga is held by Indians as a sanctifying river goddess. She is revered as holy mother, granting emancipation from the worldly weals and woes. Apart from the fascinating lores written in the Puranas about Ganga, she has always been looked upon as an epitome of Indian culture, as great cultural traditions flourished on her banks. Many saints and poets have paid high tributes to Ganga in their poems which are essentially in the form of prayers, psalms of eulogies. She has penetrated very depth of Indian psyche.

Dr. Ambashankar Nagar has culled the essential features from several puranic episodes and has presented a well-knit integrated homogeneous story flowing from the ancient past to modern times. Though steeped in tradition it is modern to the core. He has highlighted three important aspects of Ganga as a river, as a woman, and as Indian culture as well. She is a well wisher of mankind bestowing peace and prosperity.

Ganga is described in the Puranas as supreme consciousness or Brahma flowing perennially as a celestial river. Her descent has made the earth verdure, bountiful and prosperous. Since times immemorial Indian Culture has been flourishing on her Banks. She has become its custodian and purveyor of moral, spiritual and human values, so dear to her heart.

Dr. Nagar has woven well the Puranic episodes in "Holy Ganga" He has used ancient myths and interpreted them in modern context and relevance. This is the mark of originality of the poet. He has brought to the fore many of the predicaments of the age and tided over them by profound human understanding. He has conveyed his thoughts and reflections through beautiful images, symbols and dramatic dialogues. He has opted for eight lines stanzas with lyrical rhythm, maintaining lucid and gentle flow by using simple and picturesque language. This makes the poem highly communicable. He gives a clarion call of resurgent India. I am confident the book will find a distinctive place among modern epic poems.


Most of the poems written on Holy Ganga in Sanskrit and Hindi are in the form of prayers, hymns and psalms साम धार्मिक = भजन. They glorify the holiness of Ganga and sacredness of its water. This poem precisely is based on the ancient lores of Ganga in which she is depicted both as river and woman and an epitome of culture as well. Why did she become a woman from river and had to become river again is the theme of this poem 'Holy Ganga'.

Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavata and other puranas have looked upon Ganga as a living goddess. In puranas she has several names such as Vishnu-priya, Brahama-tanaya, Shivaranjani, Mahabhisha-priya, Shailaja, Jahnu-Kanya, Bhishma-mata etc. So many episodes are written describing the relevance of these names in the form of stories. It is not possible to go through all of them, yet I have selected some events from some of these and woven the present poem 'Holy Ganga'.

One significant aspect of India's ancient lores of puranakathas is that both the inanimate and animate beings have been narrated as living human beings. Not only birds and animals, but mountains, rivers and hills, trees and foliage also have been personified as gods and goddesses. Air, fire, sun, clouds, lightning, dawn, night etc. have been described in the Vedic lores as human being with divine qualities.

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