Greater Noida (14/01/2019) : Kumbh Mela – a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith where a very large number of people assemble at the confluence of holy rivers where taking a dip or bath is considered as sacred. It is celebrated as a festival where people from other religion also participate. Hindus perform puja to get salvation as the holy water cleanses a person of all their sins. People from other religions help in organising the fair by carrying on different administrative and other connected duties. The greatest good of the festival is that all take bath together irrespective of any caste or creed, rich or poor and worship together. This brings unity in diversity.
It is learnt that this year the emphasis is on cleanliness of the rivers and efforts are being made at all places through which the river flow to stop falling of sewerage and other nalas and industrial waste into the river. For this a number of treatment plants have been setup at various places to ensure that only clean water falls into the river. Special effort ares being made to scavenge the river of the offerings made at Ghats. It is also being ensured that no plastic items are thrown into it. A strict watch is being carried out by the police and other agencies to ensure that there is no untoward incident.
Kumbh Mela is held once in twelve years, however Ardhkumbh melas are held every six years. These are held at Prayagraj, Hardwar, Nasik and Ujjain. The exact date of celebrations is determined as per Vikram Samvat calander and in accordance with the Jyotish where a combination of Zodiac position of the Jupiter the sun and the moon make the difference. At Nasik and Ujjain mela may be held while a planet is in Leo and is called Simhastha. At Hardwar and Prayag an Ardhkumbh (Half Kumbh) is held every sixth year and a Mahakumbh occurs after 12 years. The exact age of the festival is uncertain but according to medival hinduism Lord Vishnu dropped some drops of Amrita (the drink of immortality) at four places while transporting it in a Kumbh (Pot) these four places are identified as the present day sites of the Kumbh mela viz. Prayag, Hardwar, Nasik and Ujjain. One of the legends also mentions that devine physician dhanavantri who carried the pot stopped at four places where Kumbh mela is celebrated.
Kumbh Mela literally means Kumbh festival where Kumbh is derived from Hindi word Kumbh (Pot). Kumbh mela derives its name from both the original festival being held according to the astrological science Kumbh (“Aquarious). According to the Hindu legend the Gods and Demons fought over a pot or Kumbha of nector that would give them immortality. It was churned out of the ocean called “Samudra Manthan” where the Mandara mountain was used as a churning rod to churn the ocean of milk. Mahadev’s serpent, Vasuki, offered to serve as the rope pulled on one side by a team of asuras (Demons), and on the other, by a team of Devas (Gods). They say many useful other items also came of the churning and were taken away by both the sides.
‘Kumbh’ means an earthen pot. The human body is called ‘Parthiv’ (Predominant in the Absolute Earth Principle). The body is created from earth and merges into the earth; therefore, ‘Kumbh’ (the earthen pot) symbolises the human body.
They say by bathing during the Kumbh Mela, merits equivalent to performing 1,000 Ashvamedha Yadnyas, 100 Vajapeya Yadnyas and 1 lakh pradakshinas (Circumambulations) around the earth are obtained. Similarly, by bathing once during the Kumbh Mela, merits equivalent to 1,000 baths in the Kārtik month, 100 baths in the Māgha month and 1 crore baths in the River Narmada during the Vaishākha month are obtained.
Those who congregate in the Kumbh Mela include the Shankaracharyas of different Peeṭhas (Seats of faith) in Bharat, the Ascetics of 13 Akhadas, Mahamandaleshwars, followers of the Shaiva & Vaishnav sects, many scholars, renunciants, Saints and evolved souls. Hence, the nature of the Kumbh Mela is magniﬁcent as if it is a convention of Saints. Due to the Kumbh Mela, devotees get a golden opportunity to be in the company of Saints and by their taking bath in the river the water gets purified and sanctified.