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O Gaṅgā, Who is the daughter and delight of Bhagīratha! Victory to you. Glory to you. You are the moonlight for the Cakora bird1 of the assembly of Muni (sages). Humans, snakes and gods laud You. O daughter of Jahnu!2 Hail to You. You are borne from the lotus feet of Viṣṇu, You are resplendent on the forehead of Lord Śiva, You flow through the three paths (heaven, earth and the lower world Pātāla), You are the treasure of holiness, and You wash away (all) sins.
You carry pure and abundant water, which is cool, and which is the remover of the three afflictions namely — Ādhibhautika, Ādhidaivika and Ādhyātmika. You have beautiful and undulating whirlpools and you are wearing a garland of waves. Your beautiful and dazzling white current is splendid like the moon (with) the oblations offered by the city dwellers in (Your) worship. This current is the destroyer of the wordly onus (of births and deaths) and is the plate of worship for (protecting) the Kalpavṛkṣa of devotion.
You equitably look after everybody living on your own banks — the birds, the aquatic and terrestrial animals, the cattle, the moths, the insects and the ascetics wearing long hairs. O Gaṅgā, Who is Goddess Kālikā for Mahiṣāsura.3 like delusion! Grant Tulasīdāsa the determination to move from Your one bank to another remembering Rāma, the hero of the dynasty of Raghu.
1 The Cakora, a kind of partridge, is believed to survive on moonbeams only.
2 When Bhagīratha was paving the way for Gaṅgā on his chariot, the Āśrama of Ṛṣi Jahnu fell on the way and was flooded. Jahnu, indignant at this, drank Her completely. When Bhagīratha prayed to him to release Gaṅgā, he let Her out of his ear. Since now she was borne out of Jahnu, Gaṅgā came to be known as Jāhnavī, the daughter of Jahnu.
3 A demon killed by Kālī.
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© Stutimandal 2008-10-19