Not only in this country but in the entire world, Ganga signifies not just a mere stream of water but it stands for the numerous streams of Indian culture, the evolution and the eternal continuity of Indian civilization and the power to redeem the fallen. The visible Ganga is a flow of water, from the point of view of faith and philosophy she is the Goddess Makrasanastha, and at the transcendental level she is considered to be Saccidananda-svarupa Brahmadravarupini. Even one dip in her water is able to wash away the accumulated sins of many past lives.
As the immeasurable waters of Ganga can not be contained in any vessel, similarly the Vedas, Puranas and later literature have not been able to contain her majesty. For this reason, until today the glorification of Ganga happens to be a sacred act for poets. In the words of Panditraj Jagannath, the creator of the great literary work Rasaganga-dhara (Gangalahari), she is 'Quintessence of the Vedas' and the 'embodied punya of great souls'.
Ganga Lahari Waves as generated in the rivers either naturally or by disturbances created by the wind. By entitling his book Ganga Lahari ('The waves of the Ganga'), the poet is drawing our attention to his inherent reverence for Ganga and also to the waves created by the act that made him an outcaste. Punditraj Jagannath was an ocean of scholarship. The salient features seen in the entire collection of his creative writings are embedded in his Ganga Lahari too. One finds here at every step aesthetic beauty, ornate style, beauty of emotions, maturity of scholarship and effectiveness. The way of making a statement is peerless. His scholarship expresses itself like a fierce lion which is irrepressible but even there it is not bereft of soft rhymes, graceful expressions, mature prose, exquisite beauty, appealing thoughts as well as practical views. For this reason he says in the 4 sloka of the book "O Ganga! On obtaining your shelter I have ignored all the gods", but at the same time he also supplicates, "please do not be indifferent to me, to who then shall I go for shelter?" Therefore, in the 40th sloka of the book in which the poet celebrates the victory of the waves of Ganga, there too he delineates authentically the cause of he beginning of these and the state of Parvati's angry mind. This book is a total exposition of various aspects of Ganga: the metaphysical, the divine and the practical.
The author: Panditraja Jagannatha Panditraj Jagannath was a great Sanskrit scholar and critic. He was born in South India in a Tailang Brahmin family. His parents were Peru Bhatt and Lakshmi Devi. After the completion of his studies he came to Delhi to get some stipend and went to the court of the then Mughal Emperor Shahjahan (r. 1628-1658) but failed to draw his attention. While going back rejected, he composed a verse. 'Either the Lord of Delhi (i.e. Shahjahan) or God can alone fulfill the needs of a human being. The help extended by any other king will get exhausted in buying victuals." When the courtiers drew the emperor's attention to this verse he was very pleased. He not only rewarded the poet, but also adorned him with the honorific title of 'Panditraja' ('King of pandit') and requested him to teach Sanskrit to his son Darashikoh. The entire span of Panditraj's youth was thus spent in the company of the emperor, as he himself acknowledged in his verses. He was one of the very close associates of Shahjahan and used to play chess with him.
Back Of The Book
Ganga signifies not just a mere stream of water but it stands for the numerous streams of Indian culture, the evolution and the eternal continuity of Indian civilization and the power to redeem the fallen. The visible Ganga is a flow of water, from the point of view of faith and philosophy she is the Goddess Makarasanastha, and at the transcendental level she is considered to be Saccidananda-svarupa Brahmadravarupini.
Ganga Lahari is the most known poem in praise of Ganga. Panditraj Jagannath, displaying his immense scholarship and mastery of Sanskrit, wrote this stotra, presented here is Sanskrit, English and Hindi, which has become a symbol of the love of Indian culture for this river-goddess.
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