No river has kindled Man's imagination like the Ganges.
From its icy origins high in the Himalayas, this sacred river flows through the holy cities and
the great plains of northern India to the Bay of Bengal.
In a country where the red heat of summer inspires prayer for the coming monsoon, the life-giving
waters of the Ganges have assumed legendary powers in the form of the Hindu goddess Ganga, the
source of creation and abundance. Pilgrims flock to her shores to cleanse and purify themselves,
to cure ailments, and to die that much closer to paradise.
Steven Darian writes to the human experience and the legendry myths that surrounded the Ganges.
The inspiration of poets and artists for centuries, the mysterious Ganga is the essence of the
Divine Mother bringing increase and salvation, but also death and destruction.
Nowhere are her powers felt more that in Bengal where Hindu and Moslem practices coalesce in
worship of the capricious Ganga. Here the shifting riverbed of the great Ganges has built and
plague as well as life and benediction to the people.
While collecting material for this book, Dr. Darian lived by the Ganges, explored her shores,
and was a pilgrim to the Ganga Sagar festival at Sagar Island off Calcutta where the sacred
river and the ocean merge.
About the Author
Steven G. Darian, professor of linguistics and comparative literature at Rutgers University,
holds a doctorate in linguistics from New York University and degrees in applied linguistics,
Asian studies, and creative writing. He taught at Columbia Educational Project in Afghanistan
and has contributed to major professional journals. His previous book was English as a Foreign
1. The Source
2. The Waters of Creation
3. The Indus Legacy
4. The Settlers
5. Ganga and Saraswati: The Transformation of Myth
6. Ganga and Artemis: Two Versions of a Single Theme
7. The New Vision
8. The Rise of Ganges Civilization
9. Ganga, Shiva, and the Hindu Temple
10. The Image of Ganga in Indian Art
11. The Ganges in Bengal
12. The Image of Ganga in the west
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