Ganga is known as river of faith. In comparison to the mighty rivers of the world Ganga nowhere comes close to the top list. In faith and reverence, others just don't stand a chance.
Mother, cow, land and river are givers of life. Its not difficult to understand this in India. The desire to live peacefully and 'share' the heritage overrides the desire to possess. The one who gives life is mother and Big mothers like rivers are common mothers. Ganga is special because it flows through the plains that shaped India's thoughts about life and beyond. When one sees countless Himalayan peaks of unattainable heights each contributing its ice to a mighty torrent raging down to plains and countless more rivers joining it till itself joins the sea, then he or she witnesses a powerful phenomenon. This vast glacier fed river systems swells several times its size annually during monsoon rains. Just like every flood adds a new layer of fertile soil on the plains, these plains have also been a fertile ground for spiritual revelations each new time. Every settler got settled with the already settled for never leaving again. Every thought got a space and nothing remains alien. In the world this swathe of plains is the most settled place. Empires and emperors could hold influence only when they got this. However, history more fondly remembers those who renunciated than those who possessed. What stays in mind is Lord Rama pleading an ordinary boatman to help cross Ganga and Buddha walking along Ganga with his disciples. Naked fakirs, wandering Jain monks, Kabir preaching alone in Benaras, Tulsidas writing on the Ghats the most impactful Indian literature and so on. A lot has happened here in all times. These vast plains that are known as the plains of Ganga. The theatre of civilisation known as India
Ganga is known as river of faith. In comparison to the mighty rivers of the world Ganga nowhere comes close to the top list. In faith and reverence, others just don't stand a chance. For millions who live close to where she flows and for hundreds of million Indians who don't live anywhere near, Ganga's powerful presence within hand's reach is important. It's common to find some Ganga water safely kept in the altar of any Hindu household. So that anyone dying due to natural cause may be fed last few drops for a blessed journey in the next stage. Or a newborn could be fed a few drops at some stage for a blessed life in the present incarnation. Or even for sprinkling a few drops in the home every now and then for an auspicious and pious feel. Ganga is believed to have the power to purify the soul. A bathing anywhere in Ganga is purely a personal matter. Scholars say it in plain fashion as something which is believed to wash away the sins. In the personal way, it is akin to going back in mother's womb, to come out purer for another chance within this life to begin afresh, vowing not to commit sins this time, a seemingly unreal promise in the world which is so full of sins. An unreal promise that one may only give to mother as the mother is ever forgiving. When a dead is cremated, his last mortal remains in the form of ashes are to be dispersed in Ganga so that at least after death nothing may keep the child and mother apart. Getting dissolved in Ganga signifies peaceful departure to the other world.