Here we are in 2019, Elon Musk is envisioning Space flight, and at Prayagraj over 100 million seekers are expected to converge to take a holy dip at the confluence of river Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. It seems a little insane but out of this 100 million, may be 20-30% will be investing every rupee that they possibly have to participate in the Kumbha Mela with the hope to purge their sins and attain salvation from misery and suffering that is inherent in the samsara.
Kumbha Mela rooted in mythology, scriptural lore, astronomy, astrology, sociology, and the timeless heritage of Sanatan Dharma is not only the largest religious congregation on planet earth but is also a testimony to the inherent fabric of this land, of its people, of its Dharma, of its devotion, of its saints, of its seers, of its wisdom.
Participating or appreciating the Kumbha may not exactly fall within the purview of pure logic, or gel with a sophisticated mind set. But is not sophistication in direct conflict with simplicity, purity and transparency? What is required to move into the rhythm of Kumbha is openness of heart and mind. Mind that can investigate, argue, compare, choose is the one that we need, but the cynical mind will not have the pliability and in turn the ability to be sensitive and cognizant of the miracle that is Kumbha. And I dare say this congregation is not just a celestial miracle or a spiritual spectacle but a testimony to the inclusive socio-cultural framework of our multi-dimensional society. This is a time when people shed their inhibitions, their allegiance, their background and other baggage to realize that every atom, every stone, every creature, every river has one source, one life flowing and throbbing through them.
To understand and to explore the cosmic verities one need not even know to read or write. The tradition of oral transmission at Kumbha, facilitates, ultimate truth being shared through stories and narratives and through lyrical renditions and songs and lo behold the simple peasant of this blessed land is in tune with the profundities that a Western scientist will struggle to grasp perhaps all his life.
The wise, the ascetics, the hidden yogis, the sadhus, all come to mix, mingle, and bless all those who take the plunge to come to such a congregation. The elixir of immortality may sound a little vague, but you can choose to breathe life by pausing at Kumbha.