Kumbh Mela is the most revered festival in the world. It is the mass gathering of Hindus from different parts of the world. And it occurs four times a year. The positions of Jupiter and Sun actually decide the time of this festival. It is the most magnificent festival of all times. It brings millions of people together in celebration and prayers. People gather in unified faith during this holy time on specific dates. In fact, the dates depend on special astrological planetary positions. During Kumbh Mela, Hindus bathe in sacred rivers located at four sacred river banks in India. Furthermore, they observe this festival for up to forty-eight days. And most importantly, people follow this holy ritual with a deep sense of unity.
Kumbh Mela is a much-awaited devotional gala. Sadhus, saints, and kalpvasis join this great spiritual path. One may consider Kumbh Mela as the only special time where such sadhus can be seen by common people. These hermits come out of seclusion during this period to bathe in the holy rivers. Thus, it is a gathering of Hindus from all walks of life too. It is a unique spiritual festival happening periodically every four years depending on the astrological insights.
The Dip in Sacred Rivers on Kumbh Mela
Kumbh Mela is sanctified by the hoards of Hindus who follow its rituals. However, you may wonder: Where does it happen?
It happens in one of the honoured rivers in India. Such as:
- Ujjain on the Shipra (Madhya Pradesh)
- Haridwar on the Ganges(Uttarakhand)
- Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh (confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and mystical Sarasvati)
- Nashik on Godavari (Maharastra)
The positions of the Sun, Moon and Jupiter in various astrological signs signify the locations of the Kumbh Mela celebrations. People celebrate the festival in Haridwar when Jupiter enters the Aquarius and the Sun enters the Aries. When the incidence of Jupiter is in the Aries, the Sun and Moon positioned in Capricon, the mela is celebrated in Allahabad. And it is held at the holy place named Prayag. This day also falls on lunar eclipse or Amavasya. When Jupiter, Sun and Moon are together in Cancer on Amavasya, then we celebrate Kumbh Mela in Nasikh. Finally, when the Sun is in Aries and Jupiter in Leo, it happens in Ujjain. The mela in Ujjain is also called Simhastha Kumbh. It signifies the importance of Leo sign which is nothing but the Lion or Simha.
Interesting Rituals, Beliefs and Kumbh Mela Facts
The Kumbh Mela importance lies in the Shahi Snan. Shahi snan is the sacred bathing of the saints in the Triveni Sangam. Sangam is the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswathi. Devotees perform this snan to be rid of their sins. As a matter of fact, this snan is sacred as we believe it helps us reach moksha. And it is the most valued teaching in Hinduism. This holy dip is said to cleanse your past sins. Especially if you bathe, after the saints, in the holy river. As it enhances the divinity of the rivers further. It is a popular belief that you benefit from the good deeds and thoughts of saints who glorified the rivers further by their dip. Equally important, are the prayers on the banks of the river.
One of the most valuable Kumbh mela facts is the solemnity of the Triveni Sangam. It is the foundation of millions of pilgrims. According to mythology, the Sangam is the centre of all pilgrimages and brought by the rivers itself. Hence, any place touched by the rivers is sacred. In fact, Triveni Sangam is the holiest among all holy destinations.
Hinduism epitomises nature as Gods. People epitomise mountains, trees and rivers as gods. One further glorifies rivers as the basis of one’s life. People perform Aarti pujas with special lamps during Kumbh mela. The Tirathraj Prayagraj Aartis are such splendid pujas led by Batuks or priests on the river banks.
Did You Know the Kumbh Mela History?
There may be an engaging tale about the Kumbh mela origin. According to a story from Hindu mythology, the nine planets denote the nine avatars of Lord Vishnu. Likewise, the Gods or devas, the anti-gods or asuras and the oceans were combined to create the earth.
Famous Hindu mythology believes that Lord Vishnu in the appearance of a beautiful maiden served the amrita to the gods to make them immortal, while he gave wine to asuras. Amrita is nothing but the elixir for timeless life or otherwise immortality. Unfortunately, the asura Rahu found the plan and sat among the Gods. And unknowingly served this elixir to Rahu. Meanwhile, the Sun and Moon spotted Rahu between them and were quick to slay his head. Sadly, it was too late. Rahu drank the Amrita quickly and was already immortal. He was cut into two but remained alive and invincible Therefore, we have the Rahu and the Ketu. The two parts of the severed Asura as a vital effect in our lives. Henceforth, the eternal Rahu never failed to cause suffering to the Moon and Sun during the eclipse.
Jupiter’s Path in Kumbh Mela Significance
A powerful conflict between the asuras and devas resulted. Jupiter fled with the Kumbha which is the vessel with the Amrita to consume it entirely by himself. Thus, a prolonged chase followed as the devas realised that this would make Jupiter the supreme power. Surprisingly amidst this chaos, the strong and confident Shani merely laughed. He was already in the mind of Jupiter. And Influencing unwise decisions with his powers. Therefore, Jupiter wandered to Nasikh, Ujjain, Allahabad and Haridwar, which are now the four divine pilgrimage locations. And, while he hastened to escape the others, he spilt drops of the elixir in these four spots. Thus, we celebrate Kumbh Mela in these four holy cities every twelve years when Jupiter transits the Aquarius or the Kumbha.
This culture has been with us since time immemorial. Further, we take pride in ritual as it is the largest gathering of people in a common festival. It is quite unique as it is not only religious but also has elated astrological value.
Offerings to Our Holy Rivers
On Kumbh Mela, you float lamps made of wheat flour placed on leaf base to the river. Floating the lamp is a popular ritual in this season. Devotees attain a sense of peace by lighting the earthen diyas on particular days of this holy month. These lamps create a brilliant vision and are a beautiful sight. In essence, the lamps signify divinity and luminance in our hearts.
Kumbh Mela Origin and its Astrology
Let’s understand the Kumb mela history better. According to Hindu mythology, this mela is a cause of celestial bodies and their alignment. The Amrit needed twelve days to reach heaven. And twelve human years equate to these twelve days. At this time Jupiter entered the Aries home, which also falls on the new moon day. Hence, Kumbh mela occurs on this special day. Furthermore, the placement of the Sun, the Moon and the Jupiter decide the location of the mela.
Yet another auspicious ceremony is the Ardh Kumba which is between the Maha Kumbh Melas. The holy dip in Triveni Sangam is an essential custom of our Hindu system. And Kumbh Mela has great astrological meaning according to Hindu religion. Such positions of the planets charge the rivers with unique medicinal nature. According to mythology, the Ganga in this period gets nectar-like qualities. It transfers into the most divine sanctity to cleanse our souls. Thus, the custom of bathing in this holy river during Kumbh Mela became a tradition in Hinduism.
A Great Hindu Social Mela
Kumbh mela is the festivity of massive Hindu gathering. You will witness the exuberance of millions of pilgrims on this sacred day. In addition to the rituals, the Kumbh mela is a time of cultural celebrations. Dance performances and religious discourses are spectacular in Kumbh Mela celebrations. Yagnas and chanting of Vedic mantras are common during the mela. Devotees perform devotional songs and plays (dramas) to glorify the mela. In essence, Kumbh Mela is a festival of charities. You donate food and clothing to the saints, the cows and the helpless. In some cases, even precious metals are given as charity. Thus, people follow the doctrines of Hinduism which revolves around good deeds.
The deep message of Kumbh Mela is noble thoughts and deeds. It directs you to the path of self -realisation. As a process to discover the truth and accept one’s sins. It is a way of finding your soul and purifying it. Of beholding a feeling of spirituality and social welfare. And of uniting people worldwide overs all these years. Devotees never forsake this splendorous event as it is sacred. Millions of devotees are drawn to the Kumbh Mela from all walks of life for this cause. They participate with positivity and joy as Kumbh Mela is the auspicious confluence of spirituality and astrology.