Kumbhamela 2015-16

 

The Sinhastha Kumbhamela

By far the most spectacular of all the events, the Kumbh Mela is a religious festival that occurs once every 12 years, and is  celebrated in four major pilgrim centres around the country. In Maharastra, the festival is held inTrimbakeshwar, Nashik. The  Nashik Kumbh Mela is generally acknowledged to be the most sacred of all the festivals.

 

Shahi Snan

Starts on 14/07/2015 at 00.07 that is on Shaka 1937, Ashadh Neej Vadya Tritiya, Tuesday,
Shahi Snan (Princely Bathing) time of Simhasta for sadhus and mahantas are as follows

 

Date (2015) Day Event
14th Jul. Tuesday The flag hoisting ceremony, or Dhwajrohan, for the Simhastha Kumbha Mela will be held on July 14 at 6.16 am at Ramkund.
29th Aug. Saturday First Shahi Snan : Shravan Sudha Pornima
Ramkund, Nashik and Kushavrat, Trimbakeshwar
13th Sep. Sunday Second Shahi Snan : Shravan Krishna Amavasya
Ramkund, Nashik and Kushavrat, Trimbakeshwar
18th Sep. Friday Third Shahi Snan : Rushi Panchami
Ramkund, Nashik
25th Sep. Friday Third Shahi Snan : Bhadrapad Shukla Dwadashi
Kushavrat, Trimbakeshwar

 

Kumbhmela 2015-16 Ends on 11/08/2016 at 07.26 that is on Shaka 1938, Sharvan Shudha Ashtami (8thday), Thursday.

 

 

The origin of the Kumbh Mela

kumbhmela
In Kruta Yuga, Durwas Rishi saw Indra - the King of Gods - sitting on elephant Airawat. Durwas was pleased to see Indra  and presented  him a chain. However Indra did not accept the present . It fell down and was trodden by elephant Airawat. Durwas Rishi got upset due to this and cursed Indra. As an effect of the curse, all Gods lost their powers and had to often lose a battle against Danavas (Demons).  So all Gods including Brahmadeva surrendered themselves to God Vishnu  to get back their power. Vishnu suggested them to approach Danavas and  persuade them to perform Samudra Manthana (churning of the sea). He said Samudra Manthana will bring out  Amruta , which will bring back your power and you will not be efeated by Danavas.  So Samudra Manthana was carried out. 

 

One of the many precious things that arose from the depths of the troubled waters was a pot of nectar (Amrit Kumbh). Lord  Vishnu, disguising  himself as an enchantress ( Mohini), seized the nectar from the demons. While fleeing from the evil ones,   Lord Vishnu passed the nectar on to his winged mount, Garuda. The demons finally caught up with Garuda and in the ensuing  struggle, a few drops of the precious nectar fell on Allahabad, Nashik, Hardwar and Ujjain. Since then, the Kumbh Mela has been held in all these places, every 12 years.kumbhmela

Another story is that once all the Teerthas went to  Adinath Bhagwan Shankara . Following Bhagwan Shankara’s order they  had been to Mrutyuloka (earth) to save sinners on earth. Teerthas absolved the sinners on the earth, but were themselves  saturated with others’ sins .  They requested Bhagwan Shankara to free themselves from sins. Shankara asked them to go and live in solitude for one year at the bank of river Godavari.  Shankara promised the Teerthas that he himself, with all other  Gods will also stay with them . After taking bath in the sacred water of Godavari, they will be free from the sins. 

 

Hence during the Kumbha Mela a dip in Godavari river has attained a great importance.

 

In  Shiva Purana there is a story explaining the importance of Sinhastha Kumbha Mela. Gautama Rishi got salvation of his  kumbhmelacow-killing sin from Lord Shankara after a long penance. Then the river Ganges descended down on the earth. After some time she wanted to go back to her home place. However the Rishis and Gods gathered there and requested her to stay back  on the earth for the prosperity of the earth. She agreed to stay back  only after taking a promise from Lord Shankara that all the Rishis present there  and all Gods  will stay with her. Then only she will stay back. Gods and Rishis promised her that  during the period, when Jupiter and Sun will be in the zodiac sign Leo (Simha Rashi), they will all stay on the earth. 

 

In later years , it is said , acknowledging importance of Kumbha Mela Lord Rama with his Guru Kashyap stayed and lived for one year in Trimbakeshwar. During this period he performed all the religious rites like yatra, shraddha etc near Kushavarta 

 

 

Why every 12 years?

Amrut had to be saved from Danavas. So Gods had to hide it at different places - Swargalok, Mrutyulok and Patallok. Gods  were on Mrutyulok (earth) for twelve days. Gods twelve days are equal to 12 years for Mrutyulok . Thus Gods were on earth for 12 years with Amrut. Hence every 12 years  Kumbha Mela is celebrated at the four places, where a few drops of   Amrut had fallen.

 

Where and when?

Kumbha Mela is a mammoth fair where saints and devotees gather.   Kumbha Mela is celebrated at the aforesaid four places depending on the positions of planets and stars.

Recognizing the importance of the Sinhastha Kumbha Mela Shri Shankaracharya  appealed the disciples of his Vaidik Dharma  to assemble at the time of Sinhastha Kumbha Mela. Following his appeal, till now devotees, pilgrims, and people of various sects and religions gather together for Kumbha Mela.

 

 

Akhadas

Akhadas

 

There are different dwelling places for different sects. They are called “Akhada”. The names of these Akhadas are - Shree  Niranjani , Shree Junadatta (Bhairav),Shree Mahanirvani, Shree Atal, Shree Avahana, Shree Anand, Shree Pancha Agni,  Shree Nathpanthi Gorakhnath, Shree Vaishnav Bairagi, Shree Udasini Panchayati Bada, Shree Udasini Naya, Shree Nirmal  Panchayati etc.  They have been established at different times and worship their own deity. 

Leaders of the different sects have arrived at a consensus  to follow a specific sequence for taking bath. E.g.  In Haridwar  Mela, Niranjani Gosawi will take bath first and then Nirwani Gosawi will bathe. In Trimbakeshwar, first Niranjani Gosawi will   take bath  and after they leave Kushawarta Teertha, Nirvani Gosawi will take bath . After them the old Udasee sadhu followed by new Udasee  Sadhus will take bath.

 

The Nashik Kumbh Mela is a mammoth affair with over three and a half million people attending it. Thousands of Sadhus and holy men and millions of pilgrims immerse themselves in the holy Ramkund and Kushavarta reservoirs. The peak festival days are  August 14 and 25 and September 8 and 20. During the Kumbha Mela, Nashik City and Trimbakeshwar are in  a fantastic festive mood.  The festive and religious mood makes people get away from their daily chores and experience the spiritual ecstacy.

 
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