BY: SUN STAFF
Bhagiratha Does Penance Outside his Hermitage - Mamallapuram, c. 630
May 04, CANADA (SUN) Today marks the observance of Jahnu Saptami.
Jahnu Saptami is the celebrated observance of the release of the Ganga, which was swallowed by Jahnu Muni. Mother Ganga was on her way to deliver the ancestors of King Bhagiratha when Jahnu Muni intervened. The Ganges is also known as the Bhagirathi. Devotees take sacred dips in the Ganges on this day, making offerings and bathing in the holy waters.
In chapter 13 of his nectarian literary work, Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur described Vidyanagara and Jahnudvipa:
As Nityananda spoke, they went to Jannagara where they saw the enchanting hermitage of Jahnu Muni. Nityananda Prahhu explained, "This enchanting place named Jahnudvipa is known as Bhadravana. At this place, Jahnu Muni underwent penances and received darsana of the golden form of Gauranga.
"Jahnu Muni was sitting here chanting his gayatri mantra, when his acamana cup fell into the Bhagirathi (Ganges) and was swept away by the currents. He opened his mouth and drank all the water in one gulp. King Bhagiratha thought, 'Where has the Ganges gone?' He concluded that Jahnu Muni had drunk the Ganges. The king was overwhelmed with anxiety and worshipped the muni for several days. The muni then released the Ganges from his body. Because of this incident the Ganges is known as Jahnavi, the daughter of Jahnu, throughout the world."
In the Summary of Srimad Bhagavatam Ninth Canto, Chapter Fifteen, entitled "Parasurama, the Lord’s Warrior Incarnation", we read:
"This chapter describes the history of Gädhi in the dynasty of Aila.
From the womb of Urvasi came six sons, named Ayu, Srutayu, Satyayu, Raya, Jaya and Vijaya. The son of Srutayu was Vasumän, the son of Satyäyu was Srutanjaya, the son of Raya was Eka, the son of Jaya was Amita, and the son of Vijaya was Bhima. Bhima’s son was named Kacana, the son of Kacana was Hotraka, and the son of Hotraka was Jahnu, who was celebrated for having drunk all the water of the Ganges in one sip. The descendants of Jahnu, one after another, were Puru, Balaka, Ajaka and Kusa. The sons of Kusa were Kusambu, Tanaya, Vasu and Kusanabha. From Kusambu came Gadhi, who had a daughter named Satyavati. Satyavati married Rcika Muni after the muni contributed a substantial dowry, and from the womb of Satyavati by Rcika Muni, Jamadagni was born. The son of Jamadagni was Rama, or Parasuraäma. When a king named Kartaviryarjuna stole Jamadagni’s desire cow, Parasurama, who is ascertained by learned experts to be a saktyavesa incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, killed Kartaviryarjuna. Later, he annihilated the ksatriya dynasty twenty-one times. After Parasurama killed Kartaviryarjuna, Jamadagni told him that killing a king is sinful and that as a brahmana he should have tolerated the offense. Therefore Jamadagni advised Parasurama to atone for his sin by traveling to various holy places.
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.