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Thursday, January 4, 2007
Ardh Kumbh Mela -Contagious
(pictures of Kumbh Mela below)
This is a major congregation of devotees, besides the Balaji Temple in Tirupathi and another Kumbh Mela in Gujarat. In all such religious congregations throughout the world, human beings come together as ordinary beings, no show offs, no ego, no arrogance and no " I am better than you" attitudes.
Events like this must be visited by one and all. Every faith has a few congregations like this, this one day, all the devotees come together shelving their ego's and arrogance and become 'released' beings upon return. It is pure humility, your existence is there, but yet, it is lost in the mass Mela. It does not matter if you are Mukesh Ambani or an ordinary income person, in presence of the creator (in any format one wishes) all differences fade, we are just another soul, equal soul in presence of the creator, we feel ordinary and yet part of the large creation.
You walk out of the congregation like a baby, pure and clean in your heart and mind. Ready to start afresh without the bondages of ego, haughtiness, ill-will, hate, malice and anger. wow, What a feeling!
Najma and I wish all the best to those who are planning to be a part of the Mela and those who are performing Hajj this December, and the Catholics who are planning to go to the Mass in Rome. I wish you well, come out pure and clean with lots of goodwill - and may your goodness be contagious!
God bless us all and grant us the Mukti.
Season's greeting and happy new year.
For all those who intend to go to the Ardh Mela
(the 6 year Mela after the major Kumbha Melas every 12 years)
@ Allahabad, here are the important dates to keep in mind
ALLAHABAD (PRAYAG), INDIA, December 7, 2006: Held in the sixth year following the Kumbha Mela, Ardh Kumbha falls between two Kumbha Melas. This festival attracts millions of worshippers, as do the Kumbha Melas held on the 12 year cycle. The dates of the holy baths for the 2007 Ardh Kumbha at Prayag are: Paush Purnima, January 3, 2007; Makar Sankranti, January 14, 2007; Mauni Amavasya, January 19, 2007; Basant Panchami, January 23, 2007; Maaghi Purnima, February 2, 2007 and Mahasivaratri, February 16, 2007.
Introduction:The origin of the festival lie in the ancient belief in the conflict between the gods and the demons over the possession of the "Amrit Kumbh", a pitcher filled with nectar.After the churning of the "Kshir Sagar" - the milky ocean - jointly between the gods and the demons, there arose a dispute between the two sides. The legend says one of the fleeing gods whisked the pitcher from his pursuers, and on his way to heaven, rested at Allahabad, Haridwar, Nasik and Ujjain, where some drops of the liquid fell.
Travel to the next Ardh Kumbh Mela:Allahabad, IndiaJanuary, 2007
Main Bathing Dates:
3 January 2007 - Paush PurnimaThe full moon in the Hindu month of Paush. This is the last full moon of winter. The sadhus will be at the Kumbh Mela and first pilgrims will already arrive. More would come in buses, trains and on foot.
14 January 2007 - Makar SankrantiAccording to Hindu Astrology, on this day the Sun enters the constellation Capricorn. This day is celebrated all over India through various festivals and pilgrimages. This is the first of the big bathing days.
19 January 2007 - Mauni AmavasyaThis is "New Moon of the Saints." For the holy men and women this was their main bathing day where they participated in gilded and naked processions. It is also a day when new members to various holy monastic orders received their first initiation.
23 January 2007 - Vasant PanchamiThis is the fifth day of the bright half of the lunar month and is the beginning of spring in North India. Traditionally people wore yellow on this day. It is day when people prayed to the Gods for a good bumper harvest.
2 February 2007 - Magh PurnimaThis is the full moon in the month of Magha (January - February). Winter is a memory and the moon shines over the two holy rivers.
15 to 16 February 2007 - MahashivratriThis is the Great Night of Shiva, the Naked One, from whose dreadlocks the Ganges flows. He married Parvati, daughter of the Himalayas on this day. Shiva has many followers, none more so than the naked Naga sadhus who live life in imitation of him.
Satellite photos taken in 2001 at Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad. Notice the mixing of the dark blue waters of the Yamuna River with the green waters of the Ganges River at triveni (three rivers), where the rivers meet. Clusters of white boats dot the waters, where pilgrims bathe from the boats. The mass of purple on the shore are pilgrims waiting to bathe from the shore.
In 2001 these sandbars were filled with millions of pilgrims in 500,000 tents. In addition, there were 5000 holy men and women camping at their tents. The tent city was 50 square kilometers in area.