Rivers are considered as a mother in Hinduism, we worship rivers as goddesses in our culture. The virtues of rivers shine as the virtues of women in India, there are so many pious tales mentioned with respect to rivers in our Vedas and Granthas. Rivers play many roles in our lives and have been contributing in plenty of ways since time-honoured periods.
India, serves us, embraces us, and loves us like a mother. Her fondness never perishes just like the love of a mother for her child. We can feel this emotion in ‘Raghuvama’ by great poet Kalidas, how adorably he mentioned the relationship of Lord Rama and the River Sarayu like a mother-son bond. Rivers collect everything which comes in their way and they flow along with it, different waters get mixed and unify in the great ocean, which can be seen as a beautiful example of friendship. The Teertha Prayaga, wherein the white water of Ganga mixes with the dark water of Yamuna and the transparent water of Saraswati, this radiates the whole with the utmost divinity.
Rivers are also considered as the Purifier and the energetic force in Hinduism. Taking a bath in the river is known to efface our sins, which is mentioned in many of our Scriptures. The purity of rivers is denoted even in our temples, Hindus recite a sloka before taking a dip in the rivers:
Gangecha Yamunechaiva Godavari Saraswathi II
Narmada Sindhu Kaveri Jalesmin sannidham kuru II
Which means, all the holy rivers please enter this vessel with which I take a bath and sanctify me. The energy source and force of rivers are mentioned in another sloka:
Vishnupada prasudasi Vaishnavi Naama dharinim
Pahimaam sarvoto rakshe Ganga tripadgamini II
As per this sloka, Ganga is born from Lord Vishnu’s feet, as Aakasa Ganga which is flowing in heaven. The energy got praised and respected even by Lord Rama and his ancestors.
Rivers are selfless, humble and beloved. They sustain our lives, yet ask for nothing in return. Despite having such force, they choose to be humble and don’t boast of their power. The story of river Kaveri ascending to Earth from the Kamandala of Sage Agastya is an embodiment of these virtues. River Yamuna called herself the ardent devotee of Lord Krishna and River Ganga became beloved of Lord Shiva, dwelling in his hair locks and known as Gangadhara. These tales prove the sublime of our holy rivers.