Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
has been raking in applauds from around the country for its bold and progressive storyline. If in 2019 we still shakily call this a progressive storyline, then let us look at a story from the 14th-century Bengali devotional texts.

This is the story of the great King Bhagiratha who was born of two mothers. His name derived from the word ‘Bhaga‘ meaning vagina since he was born of a union between two bhagas!

As per the story mentioned in these texts, King Sagara lost his 60,000 sons to sage Kapila’s wrath. They were reduced to ashes without proper funerary rites and hence their souls were banished to the pataal loka. Anshuman was their descendant, he pleaded in front of sage Kapila, seeking to acquire moksha for his ancestors. Sage Kapila told him that they could attain moksha only when the divine river Ganga would wash away their mortal remains scattered across the earth. This was not an easy task because river Ganga resided in a celestial realm. Several generations of this dynasty attempted every possible penance to convince her to descend down on earth, all their efforts were futile because she wasn’t pleased.

The crisis worsened as King Dilip, the last descendant of King Sagara, died without an heir. The entire empire was devastated with grief. Lord Shiva took pity and appeared before the two grieving widows of King Dilip. He told them, “With my blessings, you will have a son!”. The women were puzzled and asked, “How is that possible?”. Lord Shiva told them that his boon will come to pass, its divine strength will help them to bear a child without a man! The two women already shared a close bond, with Lord Shiva‘s assurance, they copulated and in the tenth month, one of them miraculously conceived a son. Since the son was born of two bhagas, he was named ‘Bhagiratha‘.

Legend says that Bhagiratha with his immense penance finally brought river Ganga down to earth. He then guided river Ganga and she followed him across the north and east of India, finally merging with the oceans. During this journey, she washed away the ashes of his 60,000 ancestors, who ascended to heaven praising and blessing Bhagiratha. Hence Ganga is also known as Bhagirathi, as a homage to Bhagiratha.

Does this story make you think?
Which age was really more progressive?
Did we regress by any chance?