“Rishikesh“, literally means the matlocks of Sadhus or Sages. It also means the lord of Senses. These two different definitions of the word gives two separate planes on which Rishikesh city is explored and experienced. Rishikesh on the material plane is a city of Sadhus, the saffron wearing people, a common sight on the streets, who have long braids, and are often locked in mats.
Next phrase depicts quite a subtle meaning of Rishikesh where you can observe a firm sensory control. Rishikesh is the one of the names of Lord Krishna, who is undoubtedly the ISH or Master of all the senses. Hence Rishikesh is the place where you can experience a state of sensory control, where you are not busy wandering around in the fancies of a mind continously haunted by the senses looking for objects of involvement. Here they can be fixed on a single plane of self introspection and understanding because of the available energy fields, accumulated over past thousands of years by various sages and masters in this gangetic belt.
Ganga is one of the most important river in India, in material and spiritual terms. It serves a total population of over 40 million people in its 2510 kms stretch from Gangotri to Gangasagar where it submerge into the bay of bengal, in terms of their livelihood, food, shelter, water and accomodates a diversity of flora and fauna throughout its entire territory.
The story behind Ganga coming out of regimes of heaven and begin to flow on earth has been told in ancient texts called Puranas in a very ellaborative manner. Bhagirath was the king of Bharat dynesty and he in a bid to bring prosperity to his kingdom and generations to come did extensive Tap (austerity) and requested the Devatas to bestow earth with the grace of Ganga’s divine flow. Due to his selfless efforts Ganga begin to flow through. Since then it was considered to a holy and life giving river
Ganga originates from Gomukh glacier in the higher Himalayan region of India, which is situated at an altitude of 4000 mts above sea level, and is called Bhagirathi at its source. From there it flows down and meets another river called Alaknanda to actually form Ganga, which is around 100 kms from Rishikesh. 20 kms down stream from Gomukh is a town called Gangotri, where is situated the Shrine of Ganga, which is one of the four majour Shrines of Hindus in the state of Uttrakhand, rest three being Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.
This diveristy and might of Ganga gave it a supreme position in the life style of Indian subcontinent. On a more spiritual plane it is said that a dip in this river can cause one to wash out the impression of all the sins being done in the past. This is more like a psychic relevance of the river where it is associated with the subconcious purification and sublimation.
Rishikesh is situated just on the banks of this river which gives it a more refine touch of spirituality. Rishikesh is considered to be the doorway to the mysteries of Himalayas and Ganga itself. The energy field of Ganga, its richness and vastness and the aura of Himalayas, makes Rishikesh a perfect spot for Yoga and a conducive abode for all those who wish to connect with themselves. Taking a dip in Ganga is similar to taking a dip inside of oneself and coming across hidden truths. Rishikesh is another name for spirituality and spirituality in very simple terms is reverting the flow of senses. As per the principles of Raj Yoga, the senses, if engaged in the objective realm of experiences, will bring about distractions, diversion and fluctuations of mind. A fluctuated mind is not a concentrated mind as all the energies are scattered and diluted. To be spiritual is to consolidate this state of mind into a particular direction. This is made possible with rewinding the senses inward on a more subjective plane.