Maha Kumbh Mela The Journey of Faith & Tolerance
‘Kumbha Mela’ which is organized in India is considered as the one of the most mesmerizing & phenomenal examples of the highest level of spirituality. ‘Kumbha Mela’ is a humongous gathering of all the devotees in the Hindu religion to perform ablution in Holly River with the belief that all the sins of a man get washed away with a dip in the river. This is the largest pilgrimage in the entire world as millions of devotees attend the ceremony & is also considered to be the ‘largest peaceful gathering’ of human on the earth.
‘Kumbha Mela’ is held at one of the four places by rotation after every third year, which means that each place gets an opportunity to organize ‘Kumbha Mela’ after every twelfth year. ‘Haridwar,’ ‘Allahabad’ (Prayag), ‘Nashik’ & ‘Ujjain’ are those four places where ‘Kumbha Mela’ is held. The rivers at these places are considered to be sacred. The Ganges (Ganga) at Haridwar, the amalgamation (Triveni Sangam) of the three rivers- the Ganges, the Yamuna & the hypothetical Saraswati at Allahabad, the Godawari (Dakshin Ganga) at Nashik & the Shipra in Ujjain are the rivers which host the ‘Kumbha Mela’ after every twelfth year.
‘Kumbha Mela’ is visited by nearly 70-100 million people coming from various socio-economic & cultural backgrounds. Chiefs of many cultural & ethnical groups, their followers, myriad Hindu ascetics, hermits, normal devotees; all gather here to repent for the bad deeds in order to pursue the Nirvana, which is possible, as per the Hindu mythology, only after cleaning the stains on the soul & mind. The pilgrimage is held for more than a month & a half. It is believed that the drops of nectar obtained during the churning of the ocean (Samudra Manthan) by the Gods (Dev) & the devils (Asur) were spilled from the pot (Kumbha in Sanskrit) at five different places: Allahabad, Nashik, Haridwar, Ujjain & Chatradham (Nepal). Hence the Mela is held at these five places in order to wash away all the sins using the water blended with the holy nectar.
The gathering for ‘Kumbha Mela’ varies at different locations as it depends upon the position of Jupiter (Brihaspati) & the Sun. The location of Jupiter & the Sun in the zodiac sign Leo (Simha Rashi) decide that the ‘Kumbha Mela’ will be held at Trimbakeshwar, Nashik. When the Sun is in Aquarius (Kumbh Rashi), the location is Haridwar. The ‘Kumbha Mela’ is held at Prayag, Allahabad when Jupiter enters in Taurus (Vrishabh Rashi) & the Sun enters in Capricorn (Makar Rashi). The position of Jupiter & the Sun in Scorpio (Vrischik Rashi) offers Ujjain an opportunity to organize the Mela. The dates & the locations are always decided well in advance depending upon the special combination of Sun, Moon & Jupiter on various zodiac signs.
‘Kumbha Mela’ is identified by different names depending upon the places that organize it & the duration after which the Mela is held.
- ‘Kumbha Mela’ is held at all the five places after every 12 years.
- ‘Ardha Kumbha Mela’ is held only at Haridwar & Chatradham, Nepal & Prayag after every 6 years.
- ‘Purna Kumbha Mela’ is held only at Prayag & Chatradham after every 12 years.
- ‘Maha Kumbha Mela’, which is considered as the most sacred & the rarest of the pack, is held at Prayag & Chatradham only after overwhelming 144 years. In year 2013, Maha ‘Kumbha Mela’ was held at Prayag, Allahabad, which, according to the sources was attended by more than 100 million people. Moreover, it is also estimated that over 30 million devotees had participated in the mela for ‘Shahi Snanam’ (royal bath) held on ‘Mouni Amavasya’ which is considered as the most auspicious day of the Mela resulting in the largest human gathering on the earth on a single day!
The charm of Kumba Mela attracts not only the Hindu devotees, Naga sannyasis (naked hermits) & saffron cloak clad, bearded sadhus (ascetics), but also the photographers, media personnel, sociologists & anthropologists from all around the world. Thousands of people visit the place of ‘Kumbha Mela’ to witness the most spectacular & the vibrant religious gathering of mankind on the earth.
The ‘Kumba Mela’ is undoubtedly the most incredible & marvelous form of the greatest human congregation for peaceful purpose, wherein every individual assembling here is treated with equality & honor. The undying spirit & faith in gods make this Mela the best show of pilgrimage on the earth.