Ganga, Yamuna & Triveni devi


Painting from the collection of St. Petersburg Institute of Oriental Studies

Jun 27, CANADA (SUN) — A study of seventeen of the Lord's primary Administrators.

Ganga Ma

Mother Ganga is the personification of the sacred river Ganges. She rides on her carrier fish called Makara.

Dilipa's son, Bhagiratha, performed very severe austerities to bring the Ganges to this material world. Thereafter, mother Ganges appeared before King Bhagiratha and said, "I am very much satisfied with your austerities and am now prepared to give you benedictions as you desire." Being thus addressed by Gangadevi, mother Ganges, the King bowed his head before her and explained his desire.

"...any water, as soon as it touches the lotus feet of Krsna, it becomes Ganga. Why Ganga is so adored? Because it is coming from the toes of Krsna. So any water touching Krsna's toes, that becomes Ganga. "

"If you go to the Ganges, they are taking bath, and they are offering worship to the Ganges. What is that worship? Now, you take little water from the Ganges, and with mantra you again throw it down. So that water you are offering to the Ganges, is it your property? That water you have taken from the Ganges, but with devotion, if you say, "Mother Ganges, Gangaji, it is your thing. Please take my offering," then mother Ganges is pleased. Similarly, everything belongs to Krsna."

Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. Excerpted from various sources, including text and Purport of HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.

Yamuna Ma

The River Yamuna is considered to be the younger sister of Yamaraja. Krsna is the life of the river Yamuna, because He used to enjoy jumping over the river of Yamuna.

Because of constant rain sent by the demigod Indra, the River Yamuna was filled with deep water, foaming about with fiercely whirling waves. But as the great Indian Ocean had formerly given way to Lord Ramacandra by allowing Him to construct a bridge, the River Yamuna gave way to Vasudeva and allowed him to cross.

While Balarama was in that happy mood, He desired to enjoy the company of the gopis in the water of the Yamuna. Therefore He called Yamuna to come nearby. But Yamuna neglected the order of Balaramaji, considering Him to be intoxicated. Lord Balarama became very much displeased at Yamuna's neglecting His order. He immediately wanted to scratch the land near the river with His plowshare. Lord Balarama has two weapons, a plow and a club, and He takes service from them when they are required. This time He wanted to bring the Yamuna by force, and He took the help of His plow. He wanted to punish Yamuna because she did not come in obedience to His order. He addressed Yamuna: "You wretched river! You did not care for My order. Now I shall teach you a lesson! You did not come to Me voluntarily. Now with the help of My plow I shall force you to come. I shall divide you into hundreds of scattered streams!"

When Yamuna was threatened like this, she became greatly afraid of the power of Balarama and immediately came in person, falling at His lotus feet and praying thus: "My dear Balarama, You are the most powerful personality, and You are pleasing to everyone. Unfortunately, I forgot Your glorious, exalted position, but now I have come to my senses, and I remember that You hold all the planetary systems on Your head merely by Your partial expansion of Sesa. You are the sustainer of the whole universe. My dear Supreme Personality of Godhead, You are full of six opulences. Because I forgot Your omnipotence, I have mistakenly disobeyed Your order, and thus I have become a great offender. But, my dear Lord, please know that I am a surrendered soul unto You. You are very much affectionate to Your devotees. Therefore please excuse my impudence and mistakes and, by Your causeless mercy, may You now release me."

Upon displaying this submissive attitude, Yamuna was forgiven, and when she came nearby, Lord Balarama wanted to enjoyed the pleasure of swimming within her water along with the gopis in the same way that an elephant enjoys himself along with his many she-elephants. After a long time, when Lord Balarama had enjoyed to His full satisfaction, He came out of the water, and immediately a goddess of fortune offered Him a nice blue garment and a valuable necklace made of gold. After taking bath in the Yamuna, Lord Balarama, dressed in blue garments and decorated with golden ornaments, looked very attractive to everyone. Lord Balarama's complexion is white, and when He was properly dressed He looked exactly like the white elephant of King Indra in the heavenly planets. The river Yamuna still has many small branches due to being scratched by the plowshare of Lord Balarama. And all these branches of the river Yamuna are still glorifying the omnipotence of Lord Balarama.

Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. Excerpted from various sources, including text and Purport of HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.


The word triveni indicates the confluence of three rivers - the Ganges, Yamuna and Sarasvati. While the Sarasvati River is not presently visible, the River Ganges and the River Yamuna merge at Allahabad. Triveni Devi is the personfication of these three sacred rivers.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu selected His residence beside the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna at a place called Triveni. The two brothers, Rupa Gosvami and Sri Vallabha, selected their residence near the Lord's.


The Sun News Editorials Features Sun Blogs Classifieds Events Recipes PodCasts

About Submit an Article Contact Us Advertise

Copyright 2005, All rights reserved.