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Story Of Greatness Of Ganga And Salvation Of Kandara Rishi

Once upon a time, King Bhagirath, determined to bring the sacred Ganga to earth for the salvation of his ancestors, embarked on a journey accompanied by the river goddess. As they traversed the land, they arrived at the ashrama of Kandara Rishi, a sage notorious for his sinful past.

Kandara Rishi had lived a life steeped in vice from a young age, consorting with prostitutes and indulging in worldly pleasures. Among them, he had a particular fondness for one woman, spending most of his time in her abode, oblivious to the spiritual path.

One fateful day, while wandering in the forest, Kandara was attacked and killed by a ferocious tiger. As his lifeless body lay on the ground, the messengers of Yama, the god of death, came to claim his soul for the afterlife.

The tiger, having devoured most of Kandara's flesh, left his skeleton scattered on the forest floor. Amid the remains, a crow found a bone and picked it up to fly away. However, as it soared through the sky, an eagle spotted the crow and gave chase. In the ensuing struggle, the bone slipped from the crow's beak and fell into the sacred waters of the Ganga.

As soon as the bone touched the holy river, a miraculous event unfolded. The messengers of Narayana, the preserver of the universe, appeared and seized Kandara's soul from the clutches of Yama's emissaries. They carried his soul to Vaikuntha, the abode of Narayana, thereby granting him salvation.

Confounded and dismayed, the messengers of Yama returned to their lord to lodge a complaint. Yama, intrigued by this unusual turn of events, sought an explanation from Narayana.

Narayana, with a serene smile, replied, "This is the greatness of Ganga. The mere touch of her sacred waters has the power to cleanse the gravest sins and bestow liberation upon even the most wayward souls. Such is her sanctity and benevolence."

Thus, the story of Kandara Rishi serves as a testament to the boundless compassion and transformative power of the Ganga, illustrating her role as a divine purifier capable of redeeming even those lost in the depths of sin. King Bhagirath, witnessing this marvel, felt reassured in his mission, knowing that the sacred river he had brought to earth would continue to cleanse and bless humanity for generations to come.