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Kumbh Mela – Largest Religious gathering in the world

Friday, January 15, 2010

Kumbh mela the world’s most massive act of faith. Kumbha (Kumbha means pot) Mela (means fair) is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage. The significance of the Kumbha Mela and the important role that it plays in the spirituality of India, it is helpful to know something about the background of the sacred Ganges River. The devout believe that simply by bathing in the Ganges one is freed from their past sins (karma), and thus one becomes eligible for liberation from the cycle of birth and death. According to astrological calculations, the Kumbha Mela is held every twelve years and begins on Makar Sankranti, the day when the sun and moon enter Capricorn and Jupiter enters Aries. The astrological configuration on Makar Sankranti is called " Kumbha snana-yoga" and is considered to be especially auspicious, as it is said that the passage from Earth to the higher planets is open at that time, thus allowing the soul to easily attain the celestial world. For such reasons it is understandable why the Kumbha Mela has become so popular among all classes of transcendentalists in India.

Maha Kumbh helds after every twelve years, which is once in life time event, if some how your have missed maha kumbh than other option of similar significance is Ardh Kumbh which held after every 6 years. Each twelve-year cycle includes the Maha (great) Kumbha Mela at Prayag, attended by millions of people, making it the largest pilgrimage gathering around the world. Kumbh Mela is held at the below locations.
• Prayag (near the city of Allahabad, in the state of Uttar Pradesh) at the confluence of three rivers Ganga (Ganges), Yamuna and Saraswati
• Haridwar (in the state of Uttar Pradesh) where the river Ganga enters the plains from Himalayas
• Ujjain (in Madhya Pradesh), on the banks of Ksipra river, and
• Nasik (in Maharashtra) on the banks of Godavari river.

The observance of Kumbha Mela is based upon the following story: thousands of years ago, perhaps in the Vedic period, gods and demons made a temporary agreement to work together in obtaining amrita (the nectar of immortality) from the Milky Ocean, and to share this equally. However, when the Kumbha (pot) containing the amrita appeared, the demons ran away with the pot and were chased by the gods. For twelve days and twelve nights (equivalent to twelve human years) the gods and demons fought in the sky for the possession of this pot of amrita. It is said that during the battle, drops of amrita fell on to four places : Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. Thus, Kumbha mela is observed at these four locations where the nectar fell.

Besides the Ganges, there are also two other sacred rivers located at Allahabad, the Yamuna and the Saraswati . The Yamuna, like the Ganges has its earthly origin in the Himalayas. The Saraswati, however, is a mystical river which has no physical form. It is believed that the Saraswati exists only on the ethereal or spiritual plane and is not visible to the human eye. This holy river is mentioned many times in India's sacred texts such as the Mahabharata and is said to be present at Allahabad where it joins the Yamuna and the Ganges.

2010 is the year for Mahakumbh Mela at Haridwar in 2010 from 14th January – 28th April. Haridwar is one of the four holy sites for Kumbh Mela and among the seven sacred cities of India. It is a city with enormous religious significance and a key pilgrimage town for the Hindus. So, this time let your heart soak in all the spirituality to the holy land of Haridwar in Kumbh Mela of 2010.As per media , Thousands of naked and semi-clad Naga Sadhusor Indian Holy Men are using the Kumbh mela festival, the world's largest spiritual gathering, to campaign against global warming.


BK Chowla said...

They say it will 1033 years before a similar position takes place.

Parv Kaushik said...

once again very enlightening post... meghana don't mind its a very personal view but i find your articles very wikipedia typz... sans personal commentary sans personal views... its like facts facts facts... may be you can insert your own personality in it...

thts me and i could be wrong!! dnt mind...

Meghana said...

Thanks Parv! would try to reflect my personality through my post.One aspect you must have got till now that I am a strong follower of Indian traditions and Hindu way of life.

Of course I don't mind rather I appreciate such valuable comments.

Parv Kaushik said...

yes of course i did get to that conclusion pretty easily!! which is a very good thing

Isabel said...

Hi Meghana,

An interesting article! I'm also planning to write something on the Kumbh Mela soon.

I'm glad to hear you're from MP. I enjoyed my stay there and plan to go back to see more!

Where do you live now?


Meghana said...

Hi Isabel,

Now a days me in Australia!

You belong to which country ?

Arti said...

Hi Meghna,
Lovely description and great write-up!!
I love to visit such places and visited the magh mela in allahabad recently!!
We seem to have similar interests of travelling. I enjoyed your blog and I think you will enjoy mine too!

My Yatra Diary...

Parag said...

Kumbh Mela is the largest group of humans to gather in one place. Their purpose is to take a holy ritual bath, together with ash-smeared Naga Babas, Sadhus, robed saints, hymn-chanting priests, yogis and preachers. The Naga Babas hold the distinction of bathing first, and all others are invited to take the holy bath after them.

Anonymous said...

Hi Meghana!

I am writing a report for school on Kumbh Mela, could you help me with some more facts please? Thank you!