Sushil Kumar's Blog

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Kumbh Mela: Paradise for Sinners

Sangam

Sangam

This post is very late from the perspective to cover the Kumbh Mela, the biggest gathering of pilgrims in world for a common purpose to wash off their sins by having a dip in holy confluence of river Ganges, Yamuna and invisible mythological river Saraswati. Much water has been flown in Allahabad since the first day of Kumbh, i.e. January 14, 2013 and tomorrow will be the last day of 56 day long Mela. It would be premature to say how much the sins of public at large were washed off in the polluted rivers of Allahabad. Frankly speaking, I waited to see how much purity was gained by pilgrims by just having a bath in holy rivers. According to me two major tragic incidents occurred during Mela period, one was the unfortunate stampede on February 10, 2013 which caused death of 36 pilgrims at Allahabad railway station and second incident has nowhere link to Allahabad’s Kumbh Mela but still I think it is related to the sins of local people, the incident of daylight murder of one righteous, honest Police officer, just 70 km away from Allahabad and there were killings of one elected representative of village and his brother. I deduce from such criminal activities that those who did such killings may wash off their sins by having a dip in holy rivers and those meek, invertebrate people who were silent witnesses to such killings and who will say in Police investigation that they were not present at the scene of crime to save themselves from the ire of gangsters and royal politicians and long lasting court proceedings. Anyway, by these incidents the river of Ganges and Yamuna had not stopped flowing and there are few enlightened people who say that having a dip in such rivers is akin to dip in open sewers and a fierce mouthpiece of environmentalism, Down to Earth magazine has termed the Kumbh Mela as rape of rivers.
And it’s really amazing to know that the festival of Kumbh Mela is more ancient than the Hindu religion itself. In Vedic era, the mode of worship was doing penance in secluded place of a forest or Himalayas and rituals included the sacrifices or yagyas. And pilgrimage was to take a holy dip in one or more river out of seven sacred rivers, viz. Indus, Saraswati, Ganges, Yamuna, Kaveri, Narmada and Godavari.  Kumbh Mela comes every next three year to four different places viz. Allahabad, Nashik, Ujjain and Haridwar. Hindu religion is known for its festivities, polytheism, huge temples, and age-old traditions. Ironically, the largest gathering of people on earth for one and half a month in the holy city of Allahabad has none of the basic feature of Hindu religion.
Though I am not a great admirer of Hindu religion but I do respect the faith or blind faith of crores of Hindus who are following age-old traditions piously. Contrary to popular beliefs that men used to do sins before taking a holy dip in Ganges, the majority of crowd are middle class and poor men & women who live with meagre means and that too from hand to mouth but they are religiously following their religion, no matter if they don’t know that it is written in Mahabharata that the real pilgrimage is to forgive and to reconciliate as told by Krishna to Yudhisthira.

© Sushil Kumar

Welcome to Kumbh Nagari Prayag

Welcome to Kumbh Nagari Prayag

Kumbh Nagari

Kumbh Mela Police

Mounted Police

Mounted Police

Royal Sadhus

Elephant safari

Desperate Sadhu

Child labourer at Kumbh Mela, yet another sad face of poverty in India

Child labourer at Kumbh Mela, yet another sad face of poverty in India

Gods or child labourers?

Gods or child labourers?

Girl dressed as Shiva

Krishna with kamandal

Krishna with kamandal

Futile drama to show respect for Mother Ganges, the oil burned for lamp is cheap, recycled oil which caused irritation to eyes for half an hour.

Futile drama to show respect for Mother Ganges, the oil burned for lamp is cheap, recycled oil which caused irritation to eyes for half an hour.

One small step to save Ganges from water pollution.

One small step to save Ganges from water pollution.

Sleeping in the lap of mother nature.

Sleeping in the lap of mother nature.

Hatha Yogi, with his one hand in air since two decades. For more information on Hatha Yoga read here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatha_yoga

Hatha Yogi, with his one hand in air since two decades. For more information on Hatha Yoga read here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatha_yoga

Naga Baba standing naked since a decade.

Naga Baba standing naked since a decade.

Gun-toting millionaire Baba.

Gun-toting millionaire Baba.

Spreading the message of his Guru for just Rs 2/- with happiness.

Spreading the message of his Guru for just Rs 2/- with happiness.

Kumbh Mela at night

Kumbh Mela at night

Allahabad railway station

Allahabad railway station

Pics of ISKCON’s Ashram:

ISKCON Sangam

ISKCON's bullcart

Vishnu

Garuda

Rail bridge over Sangam area

ISKCON Kumbh Mela

Me

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20 thoughts on “Kumbh Mela: Paradise for Sinners

  1. Reblogged this on paarsurrey and commented:
    Do their sins really get washed off?
    I think if one admits one’s sins in one’s heart , asks gorgiveness from the one true creator God,resloves not to commit the sin anymore and does good deeds; that washes one’s sins:

    [2:272] If you give alms openly, it is well and good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you; and He will remove from you many of your sins. And Allah is aware of what you do.

    http://www.alislam.org/quran/search2/showChapter.php?ch=2&verse=271

  2. Very informative and interesting post! Nice pictures🙂

  3. Thank you very much for liking this post. I am overwhelmed to know that this post is liked by friends and found to be informative and useful.🙂

  4. This is what I call satire at its best. I truly enjoyed your article. Great post! 🙂

  5. Good pictures but tell me how self employment is child labour?

    • There are 6 crore ‘self employed’ child labourers in India who work in non-hazardous industries, like washing utensils to selling balloons in front of Central Secretariat, India Gate, etc., cooking in the houses of IAS officers, to the work of human scavengers in midnight when we sleep in great comfort and also begging in disguise of Gods when they are supposed to study in the school or enjoy childhood in the playground.

      • I think I was not clear. Is begging better option then trading. BTW working for salary is employment. working for profit is not. Law and emotional rhetoric are two different things.

      • In my opinion those kids who work more than 10 hours a day for laughter channel shows are also child labourers. Law is incompetent to curb child labour in India. I have written a post ‘The Law is an Ass’, as the sale of tobacco products to a person below 18 years age is prohibited but no prohibition on sale by a minor.
        https://kumarsushilkumar.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/the-law-is-an-ass/
        I think it is both a sin and crime to rob the childhood of child only because he/she is born in poor country or a poor family.

  6. हाथियों का प्रयोग कुम्भ मेले में हो रहा है!?
    हमारी शिवकुटी के पण्डाजी उस दिन बताते थे कि उनके जन्म के पहले सन १९५४ का स्टैम्पीड हुआ था। उसमें ६०० से ज्यादा लोग मरे थे। उनके जन्म के बाद एक बार एक शाही स्नान का हाथी पगला गया था और दो तीन मील रौंदता रहा लोगों को। उसमें भी बहुत से लोग मरे थे। बाद में उसे गोली मारी गयी, तब बन्द हुआ नरसंहार! उसके बाद हाथियों का प्रयोग वर्जित हो गया था कुम्भ में। जाने कब पुन: शुरू हुआ!

    आपके चित्र वास्तव में विविध छटायें समेटे हैं कुम्भ की। एक संग्रहणीय पोस्ट! मैने बुकमार्क कर ली है!

    • पोस्ट पढ़ने और देखने के लिए बहुत बहुत धन्यवाद्! मेरे पास कुछ ग्रन्थ हैं जिनमे लिखा है कि भक्ति-काल में प्रयाग और बनारस में लकड़ी चीरने के आरे थे जिनसे तीर्थयात्री कट कर मरना पसंद करते थे और ऐसी मान्यता थी कि मर कर सीधे मोक्ष-प्राप्ति होगी। वैसे अकबर ने अक्षय वट से संगम में कूद कर आत्महत्या करने पर रोक लगायी थी। भगदड़ में मरना अभी भी कुछ लोग अच्छा नसीब मानते हैं चाहे कुम्भ के भगदड़ में मरें या फिर हज में!

      • हां, स्टेशन पर स्टैम्पीड के बारे में भी कुछ लोग ऐसा ही तर्क दे रहे थे मोक्ष वाला! मेरा ड्राइवर भी कह रहा था कि पैसा खूब मिल गया परिवार वालों को – उनके परलोक और परिवार के इहलोक का इन्तजाम!

        पर यह तो दिलासा का तरीका है…🙂

  7. Thanks for sending it to me. Maybe in 12 years I’ll attend!

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