While on a casual stroll Maharudradeva and Parvathidevi came across the banks of Ganga at Varanasi. Parvathidevi was astonished to see numerous people vying with each other to have a dip in Ganga. It was Karthika Somvara and every devotee wanted to take a dip at Ganga before having the glimpse of Kasi Vishwanatha and Maa Vishalakshi.
Looking at the huge rush Parvathidevi asked Maharudradeva, “I can see so many of them having a dip at Ganga. The scriptures have made them believe that a dip in Ganga wipes off their sins. My Beloved, is it true??? If so, then will not people deliberately sin and then take a dip at Ganga in free themselves from the consequences of their misdeeds?”
Maharudradeva replied, “I too have a doubt in regard to this. Let us assume the form of an old man and his wife. In the guise of the old man I will take a dip in Ganga and get drowned you have to stand at the banks and shout for help.”
Maharudradeva gave her some further instructions before they came to the banks of Ganga. Thereafter, Parvathidevi in the guise of an old woman stood near Ganga. Pointing to the drowning old man she wailed, “Will somebody save my husband?”
Within a few seconds a large number of people gathered there and many volunteered to jump into the water to save the old man. As instructed by Maharudradeva, Parvathidevi warned them, “Only a sinless person shall touch my husband. My husband is a pious man only those who are sinless can touch him. Therefore, sinful ones need go to save him.”
Many of them who had volunteered to go and save the old man retreated. One young man jumped into the Ganga and pulled out the old man. The old woman thanked him profusely but hastened to ask, “I had said that only a sinless one can touch my husband. How did you touch him? Are you sinless?”
The man replied, “Yes, I am. I jumped into the Ganga and only then saved your husband. Once I came into contact with Ganga, all my sins were wiped off.”
If a person has such intense faith, Ganga will certainly wash away his sins. Ganga does purify people of their sceptical and dubious mind. When the faith of the person who resorts to take a dip in her is intense, he is greatly benefitted by her. This, however, does not mean that one will be redeemed if one commits sins deliberately and then goes for a dip in Ganga. There is a saying that mistake happens only once and if it happens the second time it is choice. The choice is backed by deliberation. All those sins committed without knowledge or without conscious get wiped out by Ganga. The remorse is such a feel that it brings in tears and those drops of water which drip from eyes on to the cheeks is no less than Ganga.