A River not only creates conditions for settlement of the people on its banks, it sustains the life of people living near it. It provides them with all the things of human requirements. Water for washing, irrigation, fish and most importantly the water for agriculture which provides for the most basic needs of humans and cattle. It is no wonder then that rivers had been held in great esteem by many civilizations. Rivers are revered because they nourished the life. Many saints and great men loved to live on its banks.
Rivers are held in great esteem in Sikh religion. The region where this religion was founded and flourished is aptly called the land of five Rivers.
First Guru Nanak the founder of Sikh religion is said to have experienced enlightenment after a dip in holy river. Legend is that when he emerged out of river Kali Bein which merges into the confluence of Beas and Sutlej rivers at a place called Harike in Punjab after three days, he was glowing and a completely transformed. He recited the “Mool Mantra or the Basic Hymn” .
It seems that Guru Gobind ji, the tenth and last Guru had a great affinity for rivers. His Life revolved along the different riverbanks of India. He was born in Patna in Bihar and spent his early days on Ganga river. Then he came to Anandpur sahib in Punjab which has Sutlej river close by. And during wars with hill royalties he stayed in Paonta sahib on the Yamuna river and wrote prolifically. And finally he moved to Maharashtra where he stayed on the banks of Godavari river.
Alas , due to the unlimited greed of some people, these rivers are being contaminated by discharging the effluents from factories, city sewage and sand mining.