Saraswati – The Lost Vedic River & The Triveni Sangam
GEOLOGICALLY, satellite imagery charts the underground path of River Saraswati starting from a Himalayan glacier in Uttarakhand, flowing through Uttarakhand, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan & Gujarat to finally merge into the Arabian Sea. It is also said that the desert-regions of modern day Rajasthan and Gujarat, were once fertile lands through which River Saraswati flowed.
This same river, in its full glory, flowed over surface level, at an enormous width of 15kms, was probably 1500kms long, and had an average depth of 5mts – making it the most majestic river in the Hindu-Kush region, the Mother-of-all-rivers. I
The Saraswati river is said to have flowed independently in the pre-historic region of present day Allahabad – where at a certain point in its flow, it is said to have briefly met & mingled with the waters of Ganga and Yamuna – which still remains as the confluence point known in present day as Triveni Sangam in Allahabad.
EXCEPT, that today, the waters of Saraswati spurt into the Sangam from an underwater source. The Sangam in Allahabad, is perhaps the only point today, in the course of original Saraswati, where is makes a brief upward, visible appearance.
So GEOLOGICALLY what happened to River Saraswati?
The study of Saraswati river has stumped river geologists for many decades now. It is geologically impossible to fathom the complete disappearance of a river that wide, that long, that deep.
But to give a logical answer, geologists say that tectonic shifts in the Earth, dating back to roughly 4000 years ago, caused gradient shifts & massive subterranean cavities in the Earth, causing the waters of Saraswati to seep below the Earth into its deepest fissures.
River dating has shown that the oldest `element’ of Saraswati is roughly 8000 years old & the youngest `element’ is about 2500 years old.
MYTHOLOGICALLY, we have to rewind back to the point where Gods, Demons & Humans interacted somewhat freely with each other, amongst each other’s terrain.
The evolved human race of Sages & Rishis, who were responsible for establishing a tangible link between Gods & Earth; and who had the powers to travel freely between Heaven & Earth – these Sages & Rishis, were forever in a perennial quest to achieve this for all of mankind.
This link between Heaven & Earth could only be established via KNOWLEDGE. Hence they undertook upon themselves the task of determining & creating a channel through which this knowledge could be transported from Heavens to Earth.
The Element FIRE; The Fire of Knowledge; The BADABHAAGNI from Heavens
This channel could only be FIRE. The element Fire had all the properties through which Knowledge could be acquired & dispersed. Fire needs the Air element (symbolic of a link to Heavens). Fire is rooted in mother Earth (symbolic of the knowledge pulled from Air/Heavens & embedded into Earth). Fire is ever-shifting (symbolic that Knowledge can never be static or stagnant). Fire burns (symbolic of burning ignorance). Fire ignites (symbolic of igniting a spark of knowledge in the mind). Fire cannot be contained (symbolic of Knowledge that will die if contained but blaze when released).
Hence FIRE it had to be. So Sages & Rishis of ancient era, requested Lord Vishnu in Heavens above, to send down to mother Earth the Holy Fire of Knowledge from Heavens. Lord Vishnu diverted this request to Lord Brahma, as he is the official holder & keeper of all eternal Knowledge. Brahma agreed to comply. But this Knowledge converted to a physical form created a Fire, the enormity of which would encompass all of Heaven & Earth. This Fire was christened BADABHAAGNI – The Monumental Fire of Destiny.
The Big Question – who would transport this Holy Fire (BADABHAAGNI) to mother Earth? Who would be able to contain it?
Brahma summons His consort Saraswati to help Him in this task. Symbolically also, Saraswati is the Goddess of Knowledge, hence She is the only one whose energies can successfully contain the BADABHAAGNI.
Saraswati agrees. She needs an element that is fluid, fast & can counteract the heat of Fire. Water it is. She then takes the form of a river that extends across Heaven & Earth in its mightiness – receives the Fire of Knowledge from Brahma & deftly falls from the Heavens above to flow onto Earth.
Saraswati begins her evaporation as She falls; holding onto the Fire across the ethers from Heaven to Earth, she has to make it in time to hand over the pot-of-Fire to the waiting Sages & Rishis. Plunging into the mighty Himalayas, she successfully achieves Her mission; hands over the Fire to the waiting Sages & Rishis; and rushes forth madly through the glaciers to cool her burning body. She continues to flow, bend & fall in line with the contours of the Earth till she finally submerges herself into the waters of the Ocean.
Her waters still retain the heat of the fire she has carried. In due course, spanning over thousands of years, the river evaporates from the face of the Earth, but continues its glorious flow beneath the surface. The River Saraswati – as it is imaged today by satellites. It also interesting to note that – geologically, Saraswati is documented as having had “warm waters”.
Brahma-Kapaalam, Gangotri, Yamunotri
When the Holy Rivers descended from Heavens, they needed a container to break their fall – else they risked splitting the Earth into 2 with their force.
Saraswati originates from a Himalayan Glacier in KAPAAL-TIRTH also known as BRAHMA-KAPAALAM (skull-of-Brahma). Mythologically, on Earth, She descends & breaks her fall into skull of Brahma, who awaits her entry on Earth.
Brahma-Kapaalam in Vedic texts is the ALSO place where all souls destined to Heaven converge after death. It is like a waiting-area for the train to Heavens. Only souls who have made the cut to Heaven with their good deeds gain an entry into Brahma-Kapaalam.
Ganga originates from a Himalayan Glacier in GANGOTRI. Mythologically, on Earth, Ganga comes from Heavens, as a boon, to give salvation to the ancestors of SageBhagirath. She descends & breaks her fall, into the matted-hair-locks of Shiva, who awaits her entry on Earth.
Yamuna originates from a Himalayan Glacier in YAMUNOTRI, also known as BANDARPOOCH PEAK. Mythologically, on Earth, at the time of Lord Rama’s exit from his incarnation on Earth, he instructs Hanuman to wait at an appointed peak in Himalayas. He tells Hanuman he will reincarnate on Earth at the onset of Treta Yug, as Shri Krishna. At that time, he will bring down a river from Heavens. That river would need someone to break her fall & that Hanuman should do the needful.
Hanuman dutifully waits near the glacier till the onset of Treta Yug, and the time of Yamuna’s descent. When Yamuna, as ordered by Vishnu, falls into the Himalayas, Hanuman regulates her flow by breaking her fall with his tail. Bandarpooch Peak. (Monkey-Tail Mountain).
It is also documented in Vedic scriptures that Yamuna charts her flow half-heartedly from Himalayas as she is not yet touched by Vishnu. Finally, Baby Krishna fulfills her wish when being transported by Vasudeva across the Yamuna. Yamuna rises in excitement till she reaches a flood; she needs to be touched by Krishna; understanding her agony & excitement, Krishna hangs his baby foot into the waters – tingeing Yamuna with his Energy. It’s from that point onwards that Yamuna takes on a dark (shyam) hue.
The Triveni Sangam – Its Significance
The Holy 3 waters – Saraswati with the Energies of Brahma; Yamuna with the Energies of Vishnu; Ganga with the Energies of Shiva – meet at Triveni Sangam in Prayag.
The Triveni Sangam – a meeting point (Confluence) of the Energies of the Supreme Trio in Hindu Heavens – Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva. It represents the Unification of Body (Brahma the Creator), Mind (Vishnu the Preserver), Spirit (Shiva the Destroyer).
Taking a dip in the waters at Triveni Sangam, brings our own Body, Mind & Spirit into alignment. And taking this holy dip during Kumbh festival cleanses not only OUR past, present, future but ALSO THAT OF OUR ANCESTORS.
Thanks to you – your ancestors’ souls (those who never made the cut to Heaven) are transported – via River Saraswati – to the spot of Brahma-Kapaalam – where they earn the eligibility to take a train to Heaven. And if your ancestors’ are already in Heavens, then they earn an eligibility to take a train to Higher Heavens.