Maha Kumbh Mela 2013 In Allahabad
We are fortunate because we will soon be getting the chance to attend world’s biggest spectacle of faith called Kumbh Mela, in 2013, in Allahabad. This unmatched event takes place every 12 years at holy places where drops of ‘Amrut’, the divine immortality elixir, are believed to be spilled. The pilgrimage is attended by innumerable people from across the world, with no bar of religion, cast or region. The faith of people in the holy waters of Ganga is incredible and whether you are a Hindu or not, this vista of faith fills you too with respect!
What is Kumbh Mela?
Kumbh Mela is the oldest and the largest Hindu congregation held at four sacred places, viz. Allahabad (Prayag) (in Uttar Pradesh), Haridwar (in Uttarakhand), Ujjain (in Madhya Pradesh) and Nashik (in Maharashtra). These are the four places where people take a holy bath on the auspicious occasion. This bath, performed on the occasion of Kumbh, is believed to wash away all the sins and stop the process of rebirth. Triveni Sangam (holy confluence of the sacred rivers, Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) in Prayag, River Ganga in Haridwar, River Kshipra in Ujjain and River Godavari in Nashik are the sacred waters meant for the holy dip.
Legend of Kumbh Mela
Among the many legends about why Kumbh Mela is held, the one mentioned in Bhagavat Purana, Vishnu Purana, Ramayana and Mahabharata, is the most accepted.
Devas or Gods or Suras and Daityas or Demons or Asuras were the sons of Kashyap Muni (sage). They had lost strength and to regain the same, they decided to churn (Manthan) the holy Ocean of Milk or Kshir Sagara, so that they can acquire Amrut, i.e. immortality potion. For this purpose, they made Merumandarachal (a mountain) their churning rod, which was held firmly on the back of the Tortoise incarnation (Kurmavatar) of Lord Vishnu, and the giant snake Vasuki, their churning rope, the tail end of whom was pulled by the Devas and the head end was pulled by the Daityas. In all, fourteen heavenly substances were gained during this churning, of which one was Amrut. When it came out, a fierce battle broke out between the two parties to acquire it. Jayant, who was the son of the King of Gods (Indra), grabbed the pitcher (Kumbh) of Amrut and fled. He was running away from the demons for twelve days (twelve years for humans) during which drops of the divine elixir spilled out from the pitcher in the heaven as well as on the earth. On earth it dropped at the four places, where Kumbh Mela is held to commemorate the legendry episode. Another version of this story tells that Lord Vishnu took away the Amrut Kumbh to save it from the Asuras, when it spilled down at these four places.
Ardha, Purna and Maha Kumbh
Ardha, meaning half Kumbh, is held after every six years, at Prayag and Haridwar. Purna, meaning whole, Kumbh, is held after every twelve years at Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik. And Maha, meaning great Kumbh is held after 12 Purna Kumbh, i.e. after every 144 years at Prayag.
Kumbh Mela 2013 in Allahabad
Kumbh Mela 2013 will be held in Allahabad from 27th January to 25th February 2013. This is a Purna (whole) Kumbh Mela, that will be held 12 years after the last Purna Kumbh held in 2001.