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Rituals of Kumbh

The Kumbh mela is huge gathering of Sadhus & Gurus from all over india & abroad.

Around 60 million people is said to attend the Maha Kumbh Mela, making it the largest gathering anywhere in the world. Mela is a rare occasion which is visited by millions of people on a single day.

They come in Millions from all the corners for this common goal. The most important ritual of the Kumbh Mela is the ceremonial dip in the water. The pious Hindus believe that simply taking a bath in the holy waters of these places frees them and their ancestors back to the eighty-eighth generation from their past sins (karma). This ensures their salvation or freedom from the cycle of birth and death.Ritual bathing is a public act and is performed in the open and on the banks of a river or stream. It includes the complete submergence of the body under water and a libation to the sun. The most auspicious day for the ritual bath at Kumbh is on the day of the new moon.

At Hardwar, Kumbh Mela is held in the Hindu months of 'Phalgun' and 'Chaitra', when the Sun passes to Aries and Jupiter is in Aquarius. Every year in the month of 'Magha' (January-February) a fair, known as Magha Mela, is held at Prayag at the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the Saraswati and is attended by thousands. It begins on the Makara Sankranti, the last day of the preceding month of 'Pausa'. Prayag Snan or bathing in the confluence of the river Ganges and Jamuna is of great importance. It is believed that it washes away all the sins and the cycle of rebirth and death ends as the soul becomes one with God Almighty.

A large tented city is erected and pilgrims stay at tents owned by Pandas (religious and spiritual guides) and at various ashrams. Others will just camp on the ground or turn up for the actual bathing day. Some of these bathing days are designated "royal," and it is on these days that the naga sadhus (naked mendicants) parade and bathe. On other days there will still be people bathing and other events and random processions.

The carvan of all holy monks keep passing by providing a delightful view for devotees. As the holy saints pass by on their various and sundry conveyances - elephants, horses, chariots, cars, and camels - they continually keep on transmitting waves of powerful shakti (energy) to all the people who witness this most auspicious event. Devotees become overwhelmed by the palpable spiritual vibrations that pervade the entire atmosphere.

While the caravan of saints and monks heads towards the Ganges River, the sounds baffle all description -- the shout and cries of ash-smeared sadhus mingle with the neighing of horses, trumpeting of elephants, grunting of camels, bellowing of bulls. Gongs and drums beat, trumpets blare, conch shells blow and bells ring. In the midst of this cacophony, musicians and dancers perform. The whole view becomes a life time experience and the atmosphere filled with spirituality pours the positive vibration in the bodies of all “Bhakt’s”

With the entire atmosphere saturated with chiming bells, incense and flower fragrance, Vedic hymns, mantras, beating of drums on horses, camels, and elephants during the processions of naga (naked) sadhus from different akhadas (orders) in their gold and silver chariots being pulled by devotees, as they show their strength and skills, makes you feel somehow very near to the God.

It is once in a lifetime experience and also the most important ritual of the fair is Holy Snan. For this mela numerous devotees gather at the bank of Sangam. Holy Snan or bathing in the river Ganges is of great importance. People take holy dip in the river, a ritual bath and it is known that one can wipe out sins of his or her life and achieve liberation, freedom from the cycle of birth, death and re-birth. They discuss religion; sing devotional songs, and feed saints, monks and the devotees and the tourists. Sadhus (saints) wear saffron clothes and some are naked, called nanga sanyasis. They wear nothing in chilling winters too.