Glories of the Ganges

Ganges River at Varanasi India

The Ganges is glorified because it emanates from the toes of the lotus feet of the Lord. Similarly, if one takes to the service of the lotus feet of the Lord, or takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is immediately cleansed of the many dirty things which have accumulated in his innumerable births. We have seen that in spite of the very black record of their past lives, persons who take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness become perfectly cleansed of all dirty things and make spiritual progress very swiftly.

Srimad-Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 4, Chapter 21, Text 31

Instructions by Maharaja Prthu

yat-pāda-sevābhirucis tapasvinām
aśeṣa-janmopacitaṁ malaṁ dhiyaḥ
sadyaḥ kṣiṇoty anvaham edhatī satī
yathā padāṅguṣṭha-viniḥsṛtā sarit

yat-pāda—whose lotus feet; sevā—service; abhiruciḥ—inclination; tapasvinām—persons undergoing severe penances; aśeṣa—innumerable; janma—birth; upacitam—acquire; malam—dirtiness; dhiyaḥ—mind; sadyaḥ—immediately; kṣiṇoti—destroys; anvaham—day after day; edhatī—increasing; satī—being; yathā—as; pada-aṅguṣṭha—the toes of His lotus feet; viniḥsṛtā—emanating from; sarit—water.

By the inclination to serve the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, suffering humanity can immediately cleanse the dirt which has accumulated in their minds during innumerable births. Like the Ganges water, which emanates from the toes of the lotus feet of the Lord, such a process immediately cleanses the mind, and thus spiritual or Kṛṣṇa consciousness gradually increases.

In India, one can actually see that a person who takes a bath in the Ganges waters daily is almost free from all kinds of diseases. A very respectable brāhmaṇa in Calcutta never took a doctor’s medicine. Even though he sometimes felt sick, he would not accept medicine from the physician but would simply drink Ganges water, and he was always cured within a very short time. The glories of Ganges water are known to Indians and to ourselves also.

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Knowledge by Way of the Mahātmās, Great Souls

No one can be equal to God, and no one can be above Him. Even Lord Brahmā and Śiva, the most exalted demigods, are subservient to Him and pay their respectful obeisances. Instead of trying to become God by some meditational process or other, we had better hear about God submissively and try to understand Him and our relationship to Him. The representative of God or the incarnation of God never claims to be God but the servant of God. This is the sign of the bona fide representative.

Raja-Vidya: The King of Knowledge
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 4

Knowledge by Way of the Mahātmās, Great Souls

The presence of Kṛṣṇa in all aspects of the creation is perceived by the mahātmās, the great souls, who are always engaged in the worship of Kṛṣṇa. As Kṛṣṇa Himself states, these great souls are conversant with the confidential knowledge found in the Ninth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, and they know Kṛṣṇa to be the source of all things.

mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha
daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ
bhajanty ananya-manaso
jñātvā bhūtādim avyayam

“O son of Pṛthā, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible.” (Bg. 9.13)

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