5

As I discuss in this question, Vishnu's incarnation sage Kapila burnt the sons of the Rama's ancestor Sagara to ashes. And at the time there was no sacred body of water in the area to put the ashes in. (Because Agastya drank the ocean as I discuss here.) So Sagara's descendant Bhagiratha engaged in Tapasya to get the Ganga river, which was a river in Devaloka, to descend to the Earth so that he could finally scatter the ashes of Sagara's sons. Brahma appeared before Bhagiratha and granted his boon, but the goddess Ganga did not want to leave Devaloka. So she tried to flood the Earth, but then Shiva caught the Ganga river in his hair, and released her in a more measured fashion.

So the Ganga river is said to have its origin point in Shiva's head. Yet Shiva lives on Mount Kailash, and the origin point of the Ganga river is Gangotri. And Gangotri is over 200 kilometers from Mount Kailash. So my question is, why are Gangotri and Mount Kailash so far apart?

What does Hindu scripture say on the subject? One thought I had is that Gangotri is the source of the Bhagirathi river, which is the source stream of the Ganga, but the Ghagara river, another tributary of the Ganga, has its origin point near Kailash. So could it be the Ghagara river, not the Bhagirathi, that originates from Shiva's head? Or could it be that there's a form of Shiva who dwells in Gangotri, and it's from his head that the Bhagirathi originates?

Note that I don't want scientific speculation; I want to know what Hindu scripture says.

  • 3
    1. The earthly mount kailash is only a reflection of the original kailash. 2. You should avoid deliberate attempts to plug your other questions and answers by providing superfluous references and historical information. – user1195 Apr 14 '17 at 4:27
  • 2
    @Keshav I don't think Shiva has an endless supply of Ganga in his hair. IMO he brought the river to the glacier and let nature do the rest. Because if I am right, his role was to bring down the force of the river, not act as a supplier of Ganga waters to earth. – Surya Apr 14 '17 at 5:48
  • 2
    "what's relevant here is the Earthly Kailash, because it was on Earth that the Ganga river descended and Shiva caught it." No, it is not relevant. All that is relevant is the place that Ganga landed on the earth. Its relative distance from earthly kailash is not of much consequence. – user1195 Apr 14 '17 at 7:15
  • 2
    " it's valuable to provide context for those who may not be familiar with the story." That's my contention. They do not provide context; the question would still be complete without these references. They serve to promote those other questions/answers. – user1195 Apr 14 '17 at 7:16
  • 3
    Adding 'so what does scripture say' does not make it a valid question. What is the scriptural source for your speculations? Speaking from personal experience, having been to Gangotri and Gomukh, at Gangotri there are rock formations that resemble long locks of hair. I think the story 'grew' around the formation of rocks, in other words, the rocks were there first. But remember, Gangotri and Gomukh are the source of Mother Ganga - not Shiva. Is not Shiva infinite? Cannot He reside on Mount Kailash and have his hair locks flow a few hundred kms if He is infinite? – Swami Vishwananda Apr 14 '17 at 7:31
3

Gangotri with Shiva's locks - 2004 or 2005

Speaking from personal experience, having been to Gangotri and Gomukh, at Gangotri there are rock formations that resemble long locks of hair. I think the story 'grew' around the formation of rocks, in other words, the rocks were there first. But remember, Gangotri and Gomukh are the source of Mother Ganga - not Shiva. Is not Shiva infinite? Cannot He reside on Mount Kailash and have his hair locks flow a few hundred kms if He is infinite?

enter image description here

1

Himalaya (in total) is depicted as the locks of hairs of Lord Shiva and where Ganga is visible to physical eyes is called Gangotri. Therefore is it right to say that Gangotri is far away from Kailash? May be for someone who sees Shiva as a human being.But Shiva is God ,God of three worlds and beyond. Gangotri is where Shiva wanted it to be...I hope this clarify.

  • 1
    Welcome to Hinduism Stack Exchange. Answers here should be accompanied by references preferable the scriptures, puranas and smritis. Other sources may also be quoted, but the reference must be there. If no references are provided, the answer is treated as a comment. Please edit your answer. Please take a tour of the site to understand the nuances of asking questions and providing answers.Welcome once again and please continue to participate actively. – Suresh Ramaswamy Aug 9 '18 at 1:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .