|Canto 5: The Creative Impetus||Chapter 17: The Descent of the River Ganges|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 5.17.9
tathaivālakanandā dakṣiṇena brahma-sadanād bahūni giri-kūṭāny atikramya hemakūṭād dhaimakūṭāny ati-rabhasatara-raḿhasā luṭhayantī bhāratam abhivarṣaḿ dakṣiṇasyāḿ diśi jaladhim abhipraviśati yasyāḿ snānārthaḿ cāgacchataḥ puḿsaḥ pade pade 'śvamedha-rājasūyādīnāḿ phalaḿ na durlabham iti
tathā eva — similarly; alakanandā — the branch known as Alakanandā; dakṣiṇena — by the southern side; brahma-sadanāt — from the city known as Brahmapurī; bahūni — many; giri-kūṭāni — the tops of mountains; atikramya — crossing over; hemakūṭāt — from Hemakūṭa Mountain; haimakūṭāni — and Himakūṭa; ati-rabhasatara — more fiercely; raḿhasā — with great force; luṭhayantī — plundering; bhāratam abhivarṣam — on all sides of Bhārata-varṣa; dakṣiṇasyām — in the southern; diśi — direction; jaladhim — the ocean of salt water; abhipraviśati — enters into; yasyām — in which; snāna-artham — for bathing; ca — and; āgacchataḥ — of one who is coming; puḿsaḥ — a person; pade pade — at every step; aśvamedha-rājasūya-ādīnām — of great sacrifices like the Aśvamedha yajña and Rājasūya yajña; phalam — the result; na — not; durlabham — very difficult to obtain; iti — thus.
Similarly, the branch of the Ganges known as Alakanandā flows from the southern side of Brahmapurī [Brahma-sadana]. Passing over the tops of mountains in various lands, it falls down with fierce force upon the peaks of the mountains Hemakūṭa and Himakūṭa. After inundating the tops of those mountains, the Ganges falls down onto the tract of land known as Bhārata-varṣa, which she also inundates. Then the Ganges flows into the ocean of salt water in the south. Persons who come to bathe in this river are fortunate. It is not very difficult for them to achieve with every step the results of performing great sacrifices like the Rājasūya and Aśvamedha yajñas.
The place where the Ganges flows into the salt water of the Bay of Bengal is still known as Gańgā-sāgara, or the meeting place of the Ganges and the Bay of Bengal. On Makara-sańkrānti, in the month of January-February, thousands of people still go there to bathe, hoping to be liberated. That they can actually be liberated in this way is confirmed herein. For those who bathe in the Ganges at any time, the results of great sacrifices like the Aśvamedha and Rājasūya yajñas are not at all difficult to achieve. Most people in India are still inclined to bathe in the Ganges, and there are many places where they can do so. At Prayāga (Allahabad), many thousands of people gather during the month of January to bathe in the confluence of the Ganges and Yamunā. Afterward, many of them go to the confluence of the Bay of Bengal and the Ganges to take bath there. Thus it is a special facility for all the people of India that they can bathe in the water of the Ganges at so many places of pilgrimage.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness