A little over two weeks into our yatra, we arrived in Nasik. The pilgrims had rested and we were ready to begin a new round of temple visits. I, however, was fighting off a cold when we arrived. I was worried it would get worse if I overtired myself by going out to dip in the Godavari River after the long bus ride from the ISKON eco-village outside Mumbai. I stayed behind in our lovely hotel with the hot shower and sent Steve ahead with the group.
What an idiot.
Steve came back glowing and excited. He did puja to the River Godavari, Ma Ganga! It was amazing! he said. And, it’s one of the sites of the great Kumbh Mela–the great bathing ritual that washes away all sins. He was like new.
Being washed free of sin will have to wait for your next trip to India, I thought. But today is the most auspicious day for bathing at the confluence of the Rivers Ganga and Yamuna, the most popular of the four holy rivers of the kumbh mela. And to add to that, this particular Kumbh Mela is said to be the biggest gathering of people ever in the history of history. It only comes once every 12 years, and today marks one of special import–a moment that comes only once in 144 years.
Video from Al Jazeera:
We know a few pilgrims who are at this kumbh mela. They are there for the chance to start their karmic journey all over again, free of sin. Our friend, Radhakundadas, is there with 8,000 others in his camp. The numbers have the same effect of looking up at the stars in the sky: They make you feel small, and amaze.
If you’re not yet convinced you should be there, check out these images from The Daily Mail.
Posted by Bobbie