Every 12 years, millions of Hindu pilgrims travel to the Indian city of Allahabad for the Kumbh Mela, the largest public gathering in the world. This festival chiefly concerns ceremonial bathing in the sacred rivers of these places, which purify the soul of its sins and bestow immortality because the sacred nectarine kumbha has touched these places.
Ten reasons why you should witness the great kumbha:
It is the biggest congregation in the world.
The sea of humanity, the ocean of tents, the colourful flags, lakhs of pilgrims taking a dip in the water, the smell of the smoke from the holy fires, the beautiful sunrise all these will restore your love for humanity. It is a beautiful sight to witness millions of people occupying little place with absolutely no complaints but just devotion in their eyes. You learn how you can beautifully coexist anywhere, thus you learn humanity, love and devotion not just towards god but even each other.
Feel the force of nature through water.
Your celebration is incomplete without taking a dip in the holy water, which you feel cleanses your soul. The holy water and its power are immensely regarded in Hinduism.
The Matsya Purana says:
Maghe masi gamisyanti
Ganga- yamuna- samgamam;
Gavam sata- sahasrasya
Prayage maghamase vai
Tarayagam snatasya tatphalam
‘By taking bath in the holy confluence of Ganga and Yamuna at Prayag for three days in the month of Magha, one attains the same merit as when one donates a thousand cows ceremoniously.’
Travel to discover yourself.
The celebration of Kumbha would give you the surrounding, the harmony in the chaos to single out your true self amidst the crowd of millions. When you find yourself surrounded by so many people, you would associate yourself with your inner self in the best way. You will discover yourself and it would be an experience that will help you grow and evolve as a person.
Path to seek the absolute truth.
Kumbha, in its pure sanctity leads you to the path of utmost calm metaphysically, in a span of the festival days, you renounce the luxury of materialistic happiness, you are spiritually strengthened, closest to purity in every which way, be it though, speech or mind. It is then, that probably, you would see what you were seeking in life.
Can’t miss the Spiritual discourses.
If a sincere soul attends a Kumbha Mela once, the whole event should bring about a great transformation in him or her, and there should be spiritual awakening in the heart. This is because; millions of devotees from different parts of the globe assemble at holy place, and think of God. The air is surcharged with spiritual vibration. It is not an ordinary occurrence at all.
Visit to see what ‘magnificence’ and ‘grandeur’ really look like.
You hear the Mela before you see it. You would experience nonstop cacophony as each of the major Akharas (aligned but competing religious denominations; there are about 17 of them) blasts its own music, prayers, and programs all day and night, with just a slight pause from about 11 pm to 3 am. You smell the Mela before you see it—a combination of wood smoke and dust. And to see it is like nothing you would have ever witnessed.
One festival in which you know and see that we all are actually one.
This is the one festival where anyone irrespective of caste or creed can participate. Everyone can take bath in the river, be it the globally known swamis; the ash covered monks; the business people and penniless people, the elephants and orange robes and crazy hair and the blend of true believers and true hucksters.
Get the tilt in the mysticism.
You will see the task of the mystics and what they have achieved with their tapas. But, if you know where to look, and how to look, you can experience true miracles and spiritual powers – called as Siddhis – as opposed to feats of endurance or sleight of hand tricks that you are used to. And maybe some of them may even initiate you in to these powers if you are lucky!
The Kumbh is a real treasure trove for people who seek more than the ordinary in their lives.
Varied and vibrant rituals.
Saints, ascetics and their followers pay their respect and perform various traditional rituals at Triveni sangam. The amazed devotees line up to watch the rituals being performed. Prayagraj is called the shrine of pilgrimages, but the most important reason is that the significance of performing rituals and tapas at Prayagraj is of highest among all pilgrimages and provides one with the highest virtue.
Idea of Fun and frolic in the best possible way.
Do what should be done in festival- that is- enjoy! Talk to people, share joy, click pictures, get the colour of the Kumbh. Eat! Eating is one of the best kept secrets of spirituality. Nowhere else but the monasteries of India can be the best place to experience the best taste. Once you have had that, there is no turning back!
You will be a changed person with memories for a lifetime, don’t give it a miss. Be there. Aao Kumbh chalein.