Tag Archives: kumbh mela

THE GENESIS OF KUMBH MELA

    I have just returned from the pilgrimage of Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj. Where, I even dared to take a dip at Sangam in this biting cold. Sangam happens to be the holy confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. It is a blissful experience, to see so many Hindus gathered in such vast numbers. And this is when, one takes time off to think of the grip of faith, coming down from time primordial.

    Kumbha derives its name from both the original festival, being held according to the astrological sign “Kumbha” (Aguarius) and from the associated Hindu legend in which the Gods and demons fought over a pot, or a ‘Kumbh’ of nectar, that would give them immortality. A later addition to the legend says that after taking the pot, one of the Gods, spilled drops of nectar in four places where ‘Kumbha Mela’ is presently held. This is not found in the earliest mentions of the original legend of Samudra Manthan (churning of the ocean) as described in various ancient Hindu texts collectively known as the Puranas.

    The legend of Samudra Manthan tells of a battle between the Devas (benevolent deities) and Asuras (malevolent demigods) for amrita, the nectar drink of immortality. During samudra manthan, amrita was produced and placed in a Kumbha (pot). To prevent the asuras from seizing the amrita, a divine carrier flew away with the pot. In one of the most popular versions added to the original legend later, the carrier of the kumbha is the divine physician Dhanvantari, who stops at four places where the Kumbh Mela is celebrated. In other later additions to the legend, for which clarification is needed the carrier is Garuda, Indra or Mohini, who spill the amrita at four places.

    An entire temporary township covering 2,500 hectares has been constructed, at a cost of several thousand crores. In 2013, the last Kumbha, attracted, 120 million visitors , with 30 million congregating on a single day, Mauni Amawasya, making it the largest human gathering of the world. The Kumbh Mela is held at fixed cycles.

It is said that by bathing at the Sangam, during Kumbha, Moksha or salvation. It is for this reason that Mark Twain—who visited the Kumbha in 1895 wrote: “It is wonderful, the power of a faith like that, that can make multitudes upon multitudes of the old and weak and the young and frail enter without hesitation or complaint upon such incredible journeys.”

Since the dawn of time Kumbha has been a matter of great faith and faith indeed can move mountains.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

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Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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Article-THE FASCINATING TALE OF PARIJAAT TREE

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I LOVE MY INDIA-series

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    In the manner it is believed that Gods and Asuras (demons) claimed ‘Amrit’ by churning the ocean, in the great mythological event of Samundra Manthan,’ which happens to be the genesis of the world famous ‘Kumbh Mela’ now considered the biggest spiritual congregation on earth. In the same manner it is also believed that either Lord Krishna or Arjun brought the Parijaat Tree from heaven.

THE TREE

    Parijaat is a Baobab tree considered sacred. Located in the village of Kintoor, near district Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh. In botanical terms Parijaat is known as Adansonia Digitata and is placed in a special category, because it does not produce either fruits or seeds and neither can its branch cuttings be planted to reproduce a second Parijaat tree. This is a unisex male tree and the botanist say there is no such tree anywhere else to be found. The leaves of the tree in the lower part have five tips like the fingers of a hand, while in the upper parts it has seven.

    Parijat has beautiful small flowers, with snow-white petals, five in number and a red stalk and after drying the flowers take to a golden tinge. The flower blooms only at night and sheds before sunrise, and it also has medicinal value. Parijaat blossoms very occasionally, with very few flowers, but when it does, that is after the season of ‘Ganga Dashehra’ its fragrance spreads far and wide. The age of this tree is said to be some 1000 to 5000 years and the perimeter of the trunk is around 50 feet and the height around 45 feet.

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Mythology

    Kintoor is named after Kunti, mother of Pandavas and is about 38 km east, of district headquarters Barbanki. There also exists a number of ancient temples and their remains around this place. Near the temple established by Kunti, is this special tree called Parijaat which is said to have grown out of Kunti’s ashes.

    There are many other legends about this tree that find popular acceptance. One being, Arjun brought it from heaven and Kunti offered its flowers to Lord Shiva.

    There is also a sad romantic myth. According to which Princess Parijataka was in love with Sun, but her love was never reciprocated. Having lost in love, she committed suicide and from her ashes rose, the Parijaat tree. Since she is unable to bear the sight of her love during the day, she blooms only at night, and sheds the flowers as tears, before the sun rises.

    Another story is, Lord Krishna brought this tree for his beloved queen Satyabhama or Rukmini. According to Harivansh Puraan the Parijaat Tree is a Kalpavriksh or wish bearing tree, which, apart from this one is only found in the heaven. New-weds visit the tree for blessings, and every Tuesday a fair is held where local people worship the tree.

    Some myths go on to say, that the tree sheds its tears on the touch of the first rays of the sun. The fragrant flowers spread their fragrance in the entire area during the day, as a sign of undying love for her lover, the Sun.

    Another myth has a romantic link, but is a bone of contention. According to this myth, the Parijat tree was planted in Indralok (the abode of Lord Indra) which was one of the gifts received from the Samudra Manthan. It was thus a celestial plant, not available on earth. To sow seeds of discord, Narada, brought some flowers from Indralok and gave them to Lord Krishna. And waited to see, to which of his wife Krishna gave the flowers to. Finally Krishna gave the flowers to Rukmini. On seeing this, Narada went to Satyabhama; Krishna’s other wife and told her about it.

    On hearing this Satyabhama’s felt very jealous. Then Narada went on to give her a solution. He suggested that she should insist on Krishna getting the plant itself from Indralok and plant it at her home, instead of a few flowers. Satyabhama decided to do that, and when Krishna came to her quarters, she showed her anger and disappointment on the whole incident and insisted that he get the entire plant from Indralok.

    True to his nature in the mean time Narada went and warned Indra that some earthlings were out to steal the celestial plant from his Indralok. Meanwhile when Krishna and Satyabhama after visiting Indralok were about to leave after picking a branch of the celestial Parijata tree, they were accosted by Indra. Soon a battle broke out between them in which Indra lost.

    But Indra would not let it go so easily. He cursed the plant would never bear fruits again, though it might bear flowers, and thus since then, the Parijat tree does not bear any fruit.

    Having brought the tree to Dwarka, Rukmini also took fancy to the tree, because of its flowers. So Krishna planted the tree in such a manner, that though the tree was planted at Satyabhama’s house, but when it bore flowers, they would fall in Rukmini’s home. Satyabhama had asked for the tree and she got it, and Rukmini wanted the flowers, and she had it too!

    It is believed that the Parijat Tree located at Kintur Village, in Barabanki District of Uttar Pradesh belongs to the age of the Mahabharat. It is mentioned in the Mahabharat that Sri Krishna uprooted the Parijata Tree from the kingdom of Indira, the God of Devas, and presented it to his wife Rukmini.

    Another legend in the Puranas suggests that Arjuna of Mahabarat brought the Parijata Tree for his mother Kunti, who offered it to Shiva.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****