Home > Forms of God > mAhEshvara mUrtham
purANa of the deity:
ga.ngA dharar : Lord wearing ga.ngA (river to head).
bhagIratha was the renowned king forefather of rAma of raghu vamsa.
His forefathers known as sagaras were burnt down due to a curse. For the upliftment
of those ancestors from the cursed state to get to the heavens, he wanted to bring the river
ga.ngA to earth. The idea is that when ganga waters touch the ash of sagaras, they
would be uplifted from their sin. He did very severe austerities and to get the permission
from indra. He gave permission to bring the ganaga flowing in the heaven to the
earth, however he told, coming down to earth would be the decision of ganga. So bagIrata
again started his penance and prayed the goddess ga.ngA. She agreed to come down,
but warned him that he should find a person who could withstand the force with which she
will descend to earth! He agreed and found out that the refuge would be at Lord shiva. He
did the austerities pleasing Lord Shiva. Appreciating his devotion and efforts, Lord
agreed to hold the ga.ngA when she descends to earth. ga.ngA out of her
pride and ignorance thought that the Lord won't be able to withstand the force! She came
down with an intention to gush down the Lord with heavy force. Can the Lord, Who holds the
entire world He created, be pushed down by a river ? The Lord, who is the creator of the
entire universe and who has taken the forms just out of the grace on creatures, arrested
her flow in His matted hair! She tried her best to rush out of His matted hair, but in vain.
Not a drop of water could escape! bhagIratha, worried by this (as he would not get
ganga to earth otherwise), prayed to the Lord to show mercy on her. The Gracious Lord
allowed the ga.ngA through a strand of His matted hair. ga.ngA then
flowed humbly, gracefully and giving prosperity on her way to pAtALa. Thus the
ancestors of bhagIratha were resurrected by the holy water of ga.ngA.
The Lord in the posture holding the ganga in the matted hair is called gangAdhara
Back to mAhEshvara mUrtham page
The Forms of Lord Shiva
Back to Shaivam Home Page
Back to Shaiva Siddhantha Home Page