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Narmada River

Grandfather is a 4400 lb. giant black lingam and 9 feet tall.  It is important to note that the history we share here, as sacred as it is, is not the same as the relationship these amazing stones have with us in the west.  Peace across the Planet is a project in which the giant Shiva’s are planted on the earth and act much like acupuncture needles, similar perhaps to the Tibetan Peace Pole Project started after the dropping of the bomb at Hiroshyma.

Traditional History: The Narmada River and Shiva Lingams

The largest dam project on the Narmada River: the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP).

India is a country steeped in spiritual and religious culture.  It is largely a Hindu country that takes much of it’s inspiration from nature itself.  The rivers of India hold immense spiritual significance.  There are seven rivers counted as holy, they are the: Ganga , Yamuna, Sarasvati, Kshipra, Godavari, Kaveri and Narmada,

The most holy river in India is Ganga or The Gange. Rivers are India’s the lifeline for nearly all of India’s of one billion people.  These rivers enjoy a special place in prayers and its traditional practices. Most of the holy places in India like: Varanasi, Haridwar, Talakaveri, Nasik, Ujjain and Patna are situated along with the banks of the seven holy rivers.

The Narmada has a dynamic and potent history.  It is considered the most sacred river of India second only to the Ganges. A sighting of the Narmada River is considered equivalent to a bath in the Ganges. At numerous places along its course there are temples, and fairs are held. Pilgrims perform Pradakshina (circumambulation), i.e., walking along the southern bank from its source to the mouth and going back along the northern bank. The performance is regarded to be of the highest religious efficacy.

Lingams being lifted from the Narmada River.

Traditionally the Narmada river ((also called the Rewa, from its leaping motion (from the root rev through its rocky bed)) itself is said to have sprung from the body of Lord Shiva. It was created in the form of a lovely damsel who enamored gods and hence named by the Lord as Narmada – delight giving. It is, therefore, often called Shankari (Parvati), i.e., daughter of Lord Shankar (Shiva). It is the birthplace of the shiva lingam stones found in many temples throughout the east to symbolize the Lord Shiva. Banalinga, a stone found in nature, form in the bed of the Narmada riverin Madhya Pradeshstate, India, is an iconic symbol of worship, based on either the scriptures or cultural traditions among the Hindus.  Stones are ancient and connote divinity. It is a smooth ellipsoidstone. Banalinga is also called the Svayambhu Linga: (Sanskrit) "Self-existent mark or sign of God", as it is discovered in nature and not carved or crafted by human hands.[1]The Lingain the shrine of a temple is in stone.[2]Also signifying ‘pebble stones of Narmada gets a personified form of Shiva’. Thus, these lingam-shaped stones, called Banalinga are sought after for daily worship by the Hindus. (Wikipedia).

It is the considered the view of many researchers and geologists that the unique composition of the Narmada Shiva Lingams is due to an impact 14 million years ago by a large meteorite that crashed into what is now known as the Narmada River. The tremendous heat of the collision caused a fusion of the surrounding rock and the meteoric material. After many years, a river began to flow through this area; these extraordinary forces of nature produced a very unique condition in which pieces of the fused Star and Earth minerals tossed and tumbled along the riverbed for hundreds, even thousands of years causing them to take on their distinct elliptical form. This ancient oval shape is very different from the flatter, thinner rocks that normally appear in riverbeds. These sacred stones have a hardness of 7 on the Moh’s Scale and are known locally as the only naturally formed holy stone, called the Narmadeshvara. The density of this stone is close to emerald. The red markings you see on the stones are the fusion of meteorite material.

The Mineralogical composition of these fused stones is Cryptocrystalline Quartz, Chalcedony, Iron Oxide of Meteoric origin, Goethite, Agate and Basalt.

Once a year, after the long dry season and just before the beginning of the yearly monsoon weather, the river is at its lowest point. This is the time the villagers go out onto the riverbed, and working with oxen, rope and baskets gather and pull the stones from the water. These sacred stones are then hand rubbed and polished to bring out the natural colors of the meteoric Iron Oxide while producing a nicely even and smooth finish.

According to the Skanda Purana, and ancient Hindu scripture, the Lingam represents the all-pervading space in which the whole universe is in the process of constant creation and dissolution. (sugarcanecreek.blogspot.com).

The Narmada is 815 miles long and crosses 3 Indian states.  “The Narmada originates from the Maikala ranges at Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh and flows between the Vindhya and Satpura ranges in a generally southwestern direction and emptying into the Gulf of Khambhat or Gulf of Cambay, an inlet of the Arabian Sea India. The Narmada valley has many waterfalls, Dhuandhar waterfall and deepest waterfall Kapiladhara are best of them. Narmada Bridge is the Longest Road Bridge in Gujarat. Narmada River is one of only three major rivers in peninsular India that runs from east to west along with the Tapti River and Mahi River. The Hindu God Lord Shiva Omkareshwar temple on the banks of Narmada river situated in the Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh also this district host India’s largest water reservoir known as IndiraSagar” . (walkthroughindia.com)

Since the early 1900’s the Narmada has drawn attention for it’s vast potential to create hydroelectric power.  The displacement of vast populations has drawn grassroots resistance in mass.  “Of all the ongoing and proposed dam projects on the Narmada River, the largest and most famed is the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) in Navagam, Gujarat. SSP was first proposed in 1957. The original plan was to build the dam to a height of 160 ft in the first phase and increase it to 320 ft in the second phase so that water could reach Kutch and Saurashtra, both parts of Gujarat. Although the foundation stone of the SSP was laid on April 5, 1961 by Prime Minister Jawarharlal Nehru, construction did not begin until many years later, partly due to inter-state disagreements regarding the dam’s final height. In 1974, the NWDP finally set the height of the dam at 455 ft.Construction of SSP commenced in 1987with the support of a $450 million loan from the World Bank (granted in 1985).
The beginning of the SSP marked the birth of the now 27-year-old social justice movement, Narmada Bachao Andolan(NBA). The NBA was formed to bring together existing national social movements and challenge the inadequate resettlement and rehabilitation plans in place for displaced communities. Mounting pressure from the NBA and other international and national opposition groups strong-armed the World Bank into putting together an independent review of the project. The resulting evaluation, the Morse Report, was blunt in its assessment of the social and environmental repercussions of the SSP and caused the World Bank to pull out of the Narmada River in 1993”.
kanmaniwaterblog.com
 
Despite great grassroots organizing and opposition to the SSP dam project; it did get built.  It is unlikely that the Shiva Lingams will be made naturally by the Narmada River any longer.  Yearly harvests still take place to collect the available stones that are still in the riverbed. My understanding is that the stretch of river that made the stones was only about 5 miles long.  The effects of the dam remain to be seen.


sacred space

Grandfather

Peace Across the Planet

Space Holders