Kumbh Mela 2013
Kumbh Mela is a massive event among Hindus, when large number of Pilgrims assemble in a river bank and take holy bath in the river, with the faith that when one takes bath in these holy water fronts one wards off all the sins in life, which event occurs once every 12 years, with a reference as Purna Kumbh mela,meaning the ‘full kumbh mela’, while there is also similar event observed once every 6 years , which is called Ardh Kumbh Mela, meaning ‘ half kumbh mela’, the grand festival of Maha Kumbh Mela happening once in 144 years period, marking 12 observations of 12 Purna Kumbh Mela, which is organized at Allahabad where three holi rivers join together.
The Ardh Kumbh Mela held in 2007 at Allahabad, had around 70 million pilgrims participating on the 45th day, the earlier one held at Haridwar in 2001 had a gathering of 30 million people, while the next Kumbh Mela is to happen on 27th January 2013, this time again at Allahabad.
Apart from the place where it is happening, another important element that decides the time and location is the planetary position of Jupiter and the Sun, which are referred in Sanskrit as Guru and Surya, when these two planets join together in the Zodiac sign Leo, Called Simha rashi in Sanskrit, the Kumbh Mela occurs at Timbakeshwar, Nashik in Maharashtra, when the Sun is in Aries, called Mesha Rashi, it is held in Haridwar, when the Jupiter reaches Taurus, that is Vrishabha Rashi, Kumbh Mela is celebrated at Prayag, again when both the planets occupy Scorpio, the Vrichika rashi, the celebration is at Ujjain, astrologers calculating the time and date of these planets reaching respective Rashis.
Kumbh Mela is not just another Hindu festival, like Diwali or Holi, but a ritual with lot of reverence, as the holi dip is in the merging point of sacred rivers, and Vedic texts have clarified that one who takes a dip in these points, will have total liberation from the worldly sins, attaining Moksha or the release , while still they are living, a large number of common people besides sadhus and sacred persons in the form of saints assemble here with total faith and dedication, to take their holy bath in the uniting spot of sacred rivers, such as Prayag or Sangam where the Holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati merge, in these the river Saraswati has gone underground many centuries before.
Holy rivers that are included in this sacred ritual are Ganga at Haridwar, Godhavari at Nashik, Kshipra at Ujjain and Sangam of three holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati at Prayag spot of Alahabad , Nashik having registered the maximum number of devotees , about 75 million, so far, and during these rituals, many sadhus come in saffron colored cloths with ashes smeared on the whole of body, some naga tribe saints walking around stark naked dabbing only ashes on their body in the severe winter.