According to the Hindu religion, it is the obligation of families to render homage to ancestors and fulfill the wishes of their dearly departed loved ones. The Hindu religious ritual of Asthi Visarjan is one of the means to help the soul attain salvation and peace in the afterlife, thereby granting the wishes of the deceased. It is the living family’s duty to perform the ritual of Asthi Visarjan for their dearly departed family member. This is done by immersing and scattering the cremated remains and bones of the deceased relative or family member in any one of the flowing holy rivers in India, as prescribed by Hindu holy scriptures and sacred traditions. This is also paying the Hindu homage to ancestors. The holy waters is said to purify the soul and cleanses it of sins so that it can attain moksha or salvation, as well as a rightful place in the presence of the Supreme Power.
Gaya in the Indian state of Bihar is one of the ancient holy places in India. It has been significant since the time Ramayana was born. It is said that Lord Ram performed Pind Daan for his father, Raja Dashrath in Gaya. For the Asthi Visarjan ceremony, Gaya is considered as one of the popular destinations where other rituals like Shraadh Pooja, Pind Daan and PitruDosh Nivaran Pooja can be done according to family belief and wishes.
Gaya is steeped in ancient historical significance. The Phalgu or Falgu river that flows by Gaya is considered a sacred river in the Hindu religion. As indicated in the Vayu Purana, the Phalgu is Vishnu’s embodiment. The Phalgu is confluent with the Lilajan and Mohana streams. In ancient Hindu belief, the point of confluence of flowing bodies of water is regarded as sacred. The Hindu religious ritual for the dearly departed called Asthi Visarjan is performed at such holy rivers because the ritual necessitates the immersion of the ashen remains and bones in the flowing waters of the river.