Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
chownah
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Re: Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?

Post by chownah »

binocular wrote: Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:44 am
chownah wrote: Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:19 amIt really is remarkable that you seem to think that you understand what my thai mother in law was teaching me and her attitudes toward money.......you must be clairvoyant in the extreme since you don't know who I am or who my thai mother in law was.......but I guess you know better than me.....
People who are into science seem to have the most intense penchant for superstition ...
I don't know what this has to do with what I am talking about but it is certainly a new idea to me.....do you have any reference which supports it?
chownah
binocular
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Re: Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?

Post by binocular »

chownah wrote: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:10 pmI don't know what this has to do with what I am talking about but it is certainly a new idea to me.....do you have any reference which supports it?
I'm speaking from experience. It's people who are into science that seem likely to interpret a ritual as superstitious and to miss out on some vital part of the ritual.

For example, there is a ritual for how to treat sacred objects, such as books of scripture in case one drops them to the ground: one is supposed to pick the item up, lift it to one's forehead, say a prayer (this can be found in different religions, with some variations). I have noticed that it is the scientifically minded people who think this is silly and superstitious. They seem to miss out on the part that sacred objects should be shown proper respect because one relies on them for one's spiritual progress (and that allowing a book of scripture to fall to the ground is a sign of spiritual carelessness).
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chownah
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Re: Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?

Post by chownah »

binocular wrote: Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:48 pm
chownah wrote: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:10 pmI don't know what this has to do with what I am talking about but it is certainly a new idea to me.....do you have any reference which supports it?
I'm speaking from experience. It's people who are into science that seem likely to interpret a ritual as superstitious and to miss out on some vital part of the ritual.

For example, there is a ritual for how to treat sacred objects, such as books of scripture in case one drops them to the ground: one is supposed to pick the item up, lift it to one's forehead, say a prayer (this can be found in different religions, with some variations). I have noticed that it is the scientifically minded people who think this is silly and superstitious. They seem to miss out on the part that sacred objects should be shown proper respect because one relies on them for one's spiritual progress (and that allowing a book of scripture to fall to the ground is a sign of spiritual carelessness).
Oh, good. Now I understand. I know that english is not your first language....when you say "People who are into science seem to have the most intense penchant for superstition ..." it is usually taken to mean that scientists are superstitious.
Thanks for the clarification.
Now, can you explain what this has to do with what I was talking about?
chownah
SarathW
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Re: Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?

Post by SarathW »

When I was young my mother insist that I bow down and prostrate to my school books!!
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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Re: Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?

Post by No_Mind »

SarathW wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:12 pm Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?
Addressing the original question .. in places the Ganges which usually flows in southeasterly direction turns north or northerly for few miles, and that stretch is considered auspicious among Hindus.

The holy places where it does so are Haridwar and Varanasi and the not so famous places are Barh and Bhagalpur.

P.S - When you watch a documentary like the one above .. always remember you are hearing from one scholar or priest of one sect of Hindus. There are many views. All Hindus do not consider dying in Varanasi to be free ticket to heaven. I do not know why documentaries about Hinduism do not carry this caveat.

:namaste:

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SarathW
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Re: Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?

Post by SarathW »

in places the Ganges which usually flows in southeasterly direction turns north or northerly for few miles,
What is the reason for this?
Aren't all rivers backflow in some places?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
chownah
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Re: Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?

Post by chownah »

SarathW wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:04 am
in places the Ganges which usually flows in southeasterly direction turns north or northerly for few miles,
What is the reason for this?
Aren't all rivers backflow in some places?
This is not backflow. Backflow occurs where some large rivers empty into the ocean. It happens when the tide is rising. The tide rises higher than the water flowing out and this causes water from the ocean to flow back up the river....in some cases for quite a ways...but not far enough to reach varanasi....I even looked at a map to see if varanasi was near the ocean...which it is not.
It can happen in unusual circumstances farther from the ocean.....for instance where two rivers meet if one river drains an area with a huge downpour and the other river drains an area with little or no rain (for instance if one river drains the rainy side of a mountain and the other river drains the dry side of the mountain. In cases like this the high water in one of them may be higher than the flow in the other one causing the flow to reverse in the one with the lower flow.
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Re: Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?

Post by No_Mind »

SarathW wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:04 am
in places the Ganges which usually flows in southeasterly direction turns north or northerly for few miles,
What is the reason for this?
Aren't all rivers backflow in some places?
Ganges turns north in places due to the slope of the land/terrain. I am sure north flowing rivers like Russia's Ob, Lena, and Yenisey rivers turn south in places due to same reason.

At least one other river is considered holy due to a northward turn it takes. There has to be many more.

Back flow of a large river is usually due to tidal reasons but back flow of a tributary may occur due to a cloud burst upstream along the principal river.

Your suspicion that the bowl may have floated upstream due to back flow from a larger river with which Nairañjanā joined is not unfounded. The other name of Nairañjanā is Phalgu. Phalgu rises from confluence of two streams the Lilajan and Mohana. Phalgu meets a tributary of Ganges called Punpun. It is dry most of the year except during monsoons.

So it is quite possible that if cloudburst had happened some place upstream on the Ganges .. water entering the Punpun (instead of the other way around) would cause Nairañjanā river to flow backward.

Like most seasonal rivers there is flow only between late June and September. It is dry at other times. Here is a video.



Before becoming a Buddhist, I must have crossed it few times but it never seemed special to me. Cannot walk a mile in this country without tripping over a holy or historically significant river or stone or hill or forest or meadow.

:namaste:

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binocular
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Re: Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?

Post by binocular »

This is like when people discuss the virgin birth of Jesus, trying to come up with all kinds of explanations of how a virgin birth is possible (or why it isn't) ...
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chownah
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Re: Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?

Post by chownah »

binocular wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:32 pm This is like when people discuss the virgin birth of Jesus, trying to come up with all kinds of explanations of how a virgin birth is possible (or why it isn't) ...
For a woman to become pregnant without having sex is not a mystery....I would explain how it is done but I don't want to risk censure so I won't.
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binocular
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Re: Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?

Post by binocular »

All that trying to explain away with common sense how a bowl could float in the opposite direction of the river's flow, is portraying the Buddha as someone performing parlor tricks, or, in the best case, as someone who was just lucky (both in terms of the movement of his bowl in the river, as well as in terms of his enlightenment).
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binocular
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Re: Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?

Post by binocular »

chownah wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:51 amOh, good. Now I understand. I know that english is not your first language....when you say "People who are into science seem to have the most intense penchant for superstition ..." it is usually taken to mean that scientists are superstitious.
Thanks for the clarification.
Now, can you explain what this has to do with what I was talking about?
I'll recap a part of a plot from an Indian soap opera because it really captures the essence of what I'm talking about:
Long story short, Gauri is a medical doctor, she is devoted to science and doesn't believe any of the Indian rituals and beliefs, she thinks they are mere superstitions. Jagdish is also a doctor, in a marriage with Anandi since they were small children. Gauri seduces Jagdish and they marry. Anandi is thus left disgraced and without means. Anandi's mother is so distressed over her daughter's fate that she gets ill and dies. Gauri has nightmares about Anandi's mother, and appears to be unable to get rid of them, feeling guilty that she hastened her death. Eventually, Gauri's mother, a traditional Hindu woman, goes to a brahmana to get help. The brahmana gives her some sacred ashes and instructs that Gauri needs to scatter the ashes where Anandi's mother died and ask her spirit for forgiveness. Gauri agrees to do that, but here's the twist: even though Gauri's mother relayed the brahmana's instructions correctly, all that sticks in Gauri's mind is that the ashes need to be scattered in the home of Anandi's mother. She completely misses the part that she needs to do it and that she needs to ask forgiveness.
The brahmana actually gave good psychological advice, but it's Gauri who sees only superstition in it and acts superstitiously herself.

You can see this pattern in scientifically minded people who omit some vital part of a ritual, thus effectively making it a superstition.
Like when people try to come up with common-sense explanation for how a bowl could float in the opposite direction of a river's flow, completely omitting the relevance of whose that bowl was, who spoke of it, and in what circumstances.
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chownah
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Re: Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?

Post by chownah »

binocular wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:29 am
Like when people try to come up with common-sense explanation for how a bowl could float in the opposite direction of a river's flow,
But this is EXACTLY the topic of this thread
Title: Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?
Go read the original post.
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Re: Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?

Post by SarathW »

You can see this pattern in scientifically minded people who omit some vital part of a ritual, thus effectively making it a superstition.
Like when people try to come up with common-sense explanation for how a bowl could float in the opposite direction of a river's flow, completely omitting the relevance of whose that bowl was, who spoke of it, and in what circumstances.
This is exactly the point I want to make in this thread.
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Re: Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?

Post by binocular »

chownah wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:57 amBut this is EXACTLY the topic of this thread
Title: Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?
Go read the original post.
And it says:
SarathW wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:12 pm Is Ganges river back flow in Varanasi?

Is this the support for the story that Buddha's alms bowel went up word the Ganges river?
Even if the river would, for some entirely mundane physical reason change direction of the flow, this should still have no bearing on how a devoted Buddhist understands the story about the Buddha's bowl floating upwards the stream on a special occasion.
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