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Gaganganja

Gaganganja is also one of the great bodhisattvas among the group of eight bodhisattvas. Gaganganja is either yellow or red in color. His symbol is a Kalpa tree. In some instance he is described as golden yellow in color. Gaganganja holds the Vajra in his left hand while the right is pointed to the sky. In Tibetan Kanjur a special sutra dedicated to this Bodhisattva is extant with the name of Gaganganja Sutra.

According to the Swayambhu legend Bodhisattva Gaganganja is said to have appeared in Kathmandu valley to bless Prince Gokarna who was a great sinner indulging in harsh and immoral speech with his father Vrisakarna.

As a result, the king sent him into exile. The king himself could not bear the evil deeds of his son and passed away with great despair. His spirit was roaming as a ghost for the same reason. Gaganganja was not able to secure a happy rebirth. Later the prince also underwent torturous experiences as though from a hell realm in exile. Upon realizing his misdeeds, he later performed an act of penance in Punya Tirtha near Gokarna. Bodhisattva Gaganganja appeared in front of prince Gokarna and instructed him to perform the necessary death rituals and offering ceremonies in honor of his deceased father. Bodhisattva Gaganganja told him that this act would definitely be helpful in securing a good rebirth for his deceased father. Since then Nepalese people are continuing to offer Pinda Dana to their deceased fathers in the day of Shravan Krishna i.e. new moon day of July August. A monument dedicated to Bodhisattva Gaganganja still exists to this date in the Gokarna area where hundreds of devotees perform Astamivrata and ritual offerings.

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