The Ganges River
The Ganges River is most sacred in the Hindu tradition. It is understood as the personification of the Goddess Ganga.
Hindu belief holds that bathing in the river on certain occasions causes the forgiveness of transgressions and helps attain salvation. Many people believe that this will come from bathing in Ganga at any time. Hindus also believe life is incomplete without bathing in the Ganga at least once in their lifetime.
People travel from distant places to immerse the ashes of relatives in the waters of the Ganga; this immersion also is believed to send the departed to Moksha, ending the cycle of reincarnation.
Several sites along the banks of the river are considered especially sacred, including Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, and Varanasi (Benares).
People carry sacred water from the Ganges that is sealed in copper pots after making the pilgrimage to Kashi. It is believed that drinking water from the Ganga with one's last breath will take the soul to heaven.
the Goddess Ganga
In most Hindu families, a vial of water from the Ganga is kept in every house. This is done because it is auspicious to have water of the Holy Ganga in the house, and also if someone is dying, that person will be able to drink its water.
Many Hindus believe that the water from the Ganga can cleanse a person's soul of all past sins, and that it can also cure the ill.
The ancient scriptures mention that the water of Ganges carries the blessings of Lord Vishnu's feet; hence Mother Ganges is also known as Vishnupadi, which means "Emanating from the Lotus feet of Supreme Lord Sri Vishnu."
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