Waking up every morning with the sun glistening and sparkling off the surface of the water reminds me of the inner light we have inside of us.

Hundreds of years ago Mother Ganga known as the Ganges River was pure and clean. You could drink the water right out of your hands.  This water was healing, purifying and cleansing so much the British would fill their ships with containers of this water.  

A local gentleman in Varanasi a/ka Banaras said the indian people had an ideology that Mother Ganga is their life force. She  provides protection, purifies, cleanses away your sins, and facilitates liberation. Moksha is liberation from the cycle of life and death.

This sacred river was given a lot of love and attention in honor of the blessings Mother Ganga bestowed upon the people who lived on the banks of the river and for those who traveled to experience her power.

The respect and love the people had for Mother Ganga dared no Hindu to lie or be deceitful in their intention. Their sacred practices and rituals insured they would reach the heavenly abode.

Today the Ganga river is one of the most polluted rivers. He told me the British saw the happiness and peace amongst the people and wanted to break the sacred ideology of the Hindus by polluting the river. This has not stopped the Hindu’s from practicing their sacred rituals and bathing in it

Although this may be true about the British’s intent, four hundred million people live near the banks who contribute to the pollution. Ninety percent of the pollution is fecal matter. If you grow up on the Ganga you are more immune to the bacterias and are more adapted to handle the water borne diseases.

Born a westerner, reading and hearing how sacred and cleansing Mother Ganga is led me in 2016 to experience her power. This experience landed me in the hospital with a severe respiratory infection with the threat of TB which test proved negative.  I had received a blessing from Mother Ganga  knowing it could have been deadly for me.

I count my blessings to return to India to study yoga and indian classical music.

Every year many pilgrims travel to participate in these ancient sacred practices and come to Varanasi to die, especially widows. I have witnessed the burning of bodies  wrapped and adorned with beautiful colored fabric and flowers. These ceremonies take place at the river ghats and the ashes are given to family and cast into the river. This experience is very auspicious, humbling  and yet feels purifying to your soul.

I respect these people for their disciplines and spiritual rituals. You can see and feel the pure light in these people despite the hardships and challenges they face. They seem truly happy and at peace.

When the divine light within me becomes dim I remember how it is up to me to rekindle that light of divine peace and happiness. We are that cycle of birth, sustenance and dissolution. We have the Mother Ganga in us to cleanse, purify and heal.

If you believe America is a place for the free and home of the brave try living in India. These people are truly free and very brave souls filled with love, peace and  happiness.

With love, Lynn

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