The Holy River

My Favorite River

When I was growing up I remember going to a cabin in North GA with my family for vacations. While we were there we always went to a river that was close by. I still like going to swim around and play in the fresh clear water. It’s always cool in the summer and good for fishing! 

It is pretty much a ritual for us to go to this river whenever we are at that cabin. Maybe you can think of a river that you have gone to many times that is just a nice place to go and enjoy the water. In Nepal there are many rivers, but there is one river that is more important to the people of Nepal than any other river. 

Rivers in Kathmandu 

I was surprised to see so many rivers in Nepal. In the big city of Kathmandu the rivers are very polluted. The water is brown and smells bad. The gray water and sewage from the people that live close by is allowed to drain into the rivers. I remember thinking as I walked along one of the rivers “I hope I never fall into that water.”

Bagmati River 

Unlike the other rivers that are uncared for there is a holy river in Nepal that is well beloved. This river is called Bagmati River. There is a temple built beside it called Pushupatinath Temple. This river is where the Hindus take their dead. Beside the river there are altars built that make up part of the temple. There people bring their family members who have passed away to give them their best chance in the after life. 

What the River carries 

The river is filled with human ashes and carries them to the great mother Ganga. The Hindu ceremonies take place beside the river on the temple grounds. Bodies are brought and burned to release the spirit of the deceased. In the river you will find ash, bones, and other remains from human bodies. Often times there will be people in the water looking for gold teeth and other valuable things that may not have burned in the fire. 

What the River means 

Bagmati represents salvation for the millions of Hindus who have been burnt and pushed into the river. Most days you will see the flames of fires burning on the altars beside the river. Children take their dead parents to this river and put their hope for the parents salvation in the ceremonies. Parents bring their children with the same hope for salvation. 

What the River can’t do

As I am sure you already know, there is no salvation in a river in Kathmandu, Nepal. There is only one way to Heaven. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life! We know that the millions of people that place their hope in this river truly have no hope. 

What will you do? 

Jesus offers living water, and you have it! If it was your dad, mom, son, or daughter that looked to this river for hope would you care for them? What would you do to reach them with the message of salvation? Could you please pray for Nepal? Pray that missionaries would go, that people would have soft hearts, and that you would be used of God to reach these needy people. 

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