There is an old Puranic tale about Hanuman, the legendary hero of the Ramayana, that comes to my mind when I think about Ganga Darshan. As the story goes, one day Hanuman was feeling very hungry. As he looked around wondering what to devour, his gaze fell upon the sun. So he flew up to this mighty, fierce and burning hot sun, and consumed it with the same ease as you might consume a rosy red apple.
To the average man, this may sound like an incredible, bizarre story. After all, how can anybody possibly eat the sun? But to a yogi, this story is pregnant with meaning. For the sun stands for prana, the life force, and is symbolic of pingala nadi. And Hanuman had, no doubt, accomplished a rare feat when he consumed the sun, for in doing so he gained complete mastery of his pranic force and thus had the darshan of pingala or surya nadi.
What is the darshan of pingala nadi? We all know by now that the body consists of three forces which are of vital, importance in the awakening of kundalini. They are known as ida, pingala and sushumna. Ida is the mental force, pingala is the pranic force, and sushumna is the spiritual force. When these three forces meet, or merge into one another, the kundalini is aroused, and moves upwards. When this happens you have an inner vision. You are able to see with your eyes closed, hear with your ears plugged and smell without the aid of your nose. It is a whole new experience, this inner vision. And while it is taking place, it is as tangible as the floor you stand upon. It is this inner vision that is called darshan and without the awakening of kundalini, you cannot experience it.
Now these three forces are represented externally as Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. When these three rivers meet, there is Prayag, total dissolution. These three rivers have been considered sacred from time immemorial, because they stand as an external manifestation of an internal phenomena.
Ganga stands for pingala nadi. When you come to Ganga Darshan, you must bear in mind, that you have not come here simply to gaze at the awesome splendour of the river Ganga. That is just an external experience, although I must admit that the view of Ganga from the ashram is a great balm for the eyes. But instead, if you visit Ganga Darshan with the determination and zeal to have a vision of the inner Ganga, that is surging within you, then you will have come to the right place.