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Ganga: The River that Flows from Heaven to Earth Hardcover – Illustrated, 10 Nov 2008

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Description for Ganga: The River that Flows from Heaven to Earth


"This lovely re-telling of a classic story from India will capture imaginations of children everywhere. . . . Highly recommended for ages 6 and older, especially those interested in world cultures." (Awareness magazine, July 2009)

"This book begins long before the birth of Ganga and then follows through her birth, her life, and ends with how she becomes a river saving the souls of hundreds. Beautifully written and lovingly illustrated, this hardcover book is a wonderful keepsake for any family interested in Indian Culture or in teaching their children about various pantheons." (The Pagan Review, Jan 09)

"Illustrated with richly beautiful watercolor and tempura paints in the style of classic Indian art, Ganga: The River that Flows from Heaven to Earth is a wonderful addition to children's multicultural lore shelves." (The Midwest Book Review, Jan 09)

"There is also a note to parents and teachers, explaining that althoughthis is a story about ethereal beings, it is also about ethics and values that human beings can attain. Author Vatsala Sperling also includes a page of the cast of characters with a drawing of each one, as well as the phonetic pronunciation of the name and a brief description of the character. This addition makes the characters more easily differentiated and understood." (Susan LosCalzo, New Age Retailer, Spring 2009)

From the Back Cover


The Ganges River, which flows from the high reaches of the Himalayas all the way down to the Bay of Bengal, is sacred to the Hindu people, who consider it to be the earthly form of the goddess Ganga. The story of how Ganga was born, and how she became a river, tells of a journey from a place even higher than the Himalayan mountaintops--a journey from Heaven itself.

Born in a pot of sacred water, the baby Ganga grows into a beautiful and lighthearted girl, the darling of Heaven. But one day her sense of humor gets her in trouble. When grumpy Sage Durvasa is caught in a whirlwind that blows his clothes right off him, Ganga makes the mistake of laughing at him. In a rage, the sage puts a curse on her: “You must go to Earth as a river!” Ganga is heartbroken and begs the sage to forgive her. He can’t take back the curse, but seeing that she is truly sorry, he gives her a blessing as well: her water will purify the souls of men, releasing them from sin.

When Sage Baghirath prays to the gods to help him release the souls of his ancestors, Ganga comes tumbling from the sky and follows the sage across India, the river unfurling behind her. To this day millions of people take comfort in her healing waters, and Ganga, too, takes comfort in relieving their suffering.

VATSALA SPERLING, Ph.D., a native of India, learned these stories at her mother’s feet and enjoys introducing them to children of the Western world. She is the author of several books in this series, including, most recently, Karna: The Greatest Archer in the World. She lives in Vermont with her husband and son.

HARISH JOHARI (1934-1999) authored many books that bring Eastern spiritual traditions to Western audiences, including How Ganesh Got His Elephant Head, How Parvati Won the Heart of Shiva, and The Monkeys and the Mango Tree.

PETER WELTEVREDE began his artistic studies with Harish Johari in 1977 and also studied with Shri Chandra Bal. He has illustrated several books in this series, including, most recently, Ram the Demon Slayer. He lives in Holland with his wife and three children and travels to India annually.

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Product details

  • Reading level: 6 - 11 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Bear Cub Books (10 November 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591430895
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591430896
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 1.3 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,06,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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