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Kumbhmela 2015-16

In India Kumbhparva (a religious festival) is celebrated at four sacred places, viz. Haridwar, Allahabad, Ujjain and Trimbakeshwar Nasik. The story behind this is as follows-Dev and Danav (Gods and Demons) churned the sea. 14 precious things came out from the sea. When the Amrut (immortal making nectar) came out, gods and Demons started fighting for it. At that time Jayant, son of Indra ran away with the Amrut Kalash. Demons gave him a chase. During this tussle, the Amrut Kalash was placed at four places on the earth. The sun protected the Kalash from breaking, Jupiter protected it from the demons, the moon protected it from being dry and Saturn kept watch on it so that Jayant(son of Indra),could not drink it.

These are the places where Kumbh Mela is held every 12 years. When the occasion arises again just like The Rashi (sign of the Zodiac) in which the sun, the moon and the Jupiter were, while protecting the Amrut Kalash , Kumbh Mela is held at that particular place. Skandpuran, Bramhapuran and Padmapuran relate information about it. At the places Haridwar, Allahabad or Ujjain only Kumbh Mela is held; but at the time, Kumb Mela is held at Trimbakeshwar and Nasik, the Jupiter, the son and the moon are in Sinha rashi i.e in the Leo sign of the Zodiac hence it called as Sinhasth Kumbh Mela. The 13 months period from the Jupiter entering the Leo and leaving it is known as Sinhasth Kumbh Mela. The occasion, when all the three planets are in the Sinha (Leo) rashi, it is known as Mahaparvani (the great occasion). It comes on new moon day of the Shravan month i.e. the festival of Pola.

Taking a bath in the river Godavari during the Sinhasth period is considered especially virtuous deed. It is equivalent to taking a bath in to the river Ganga for 60,000 years. All the virtue of Penance on the banks of the river Narmada, giving alms at Kurukshetra, death on the banks of Ganga are received by a bath in Gautami-Ganga.

Ganga Godavari descended on the earth on tenth day of bright fortnight of Magh month. After salvation of Gautam from sin of killing a cow, Ganga went back to Lord Shivas tresses. But Lord Shiva told her to stay on the earth. Ganga asked Lord Shiva as to what she would do when she gets tarnished after salvation of the people; Lord Shiva instructed all the gods, sacred places, rivers, lakes and sages to stay there as long as Jupiter is in Leo sign of zodiac; as then Jupiter was in Leo. All agreed to stay there, take a bath in the Godavari and pay a visit-worship Trimbakraja. That tradition still continues. At three other Kumb Melas, only a bath in the river is taken, but here, after a bath in Godavari all pay a visit-worship Trimbakraja.

Adya Shankaracharya organized all the sages and Sadhus. Later, Akhadas (leagues) were established. After the invasion of Muslims on Hindu religion, sages started carrying weapons and moving naked. Even today nude sages visit Kushavarta nude for Shahi Snan. Juna Datt Akhada, Avahan Akhada, Agni Akhada, Niranjani Akhada, Anand Akhada, Mahanirvani Akhada, Atal Akhada etc. Saat Sanyasis Akhadas and Bada Udasi and Nirmala Akhadas of sages are there in Trimbakeshwar.

At early dawn, first is Naga Sanyasis Shahi. Then second is also Naga Sanyasis Shahi. Naga Sanyasi do their Shahi Snan and darshan before the sunrise. Now, though Bairagis dont visit Kushavarta Tirth for Shahi Snan, the time 8.00 to 10.00 am is reserved for them. Then arrive Bada Udasi and Nava Udasi. Last arrives the Nirmala Akhada for Shahi Snan. After 12.00 noon all the devotees are allowed to take a bath in the river Godavari. At Kushavarta Tirtha, Shraddha (worship performed faithfully of forefathers) is also very important. It is mentioned in Puran that when Lord Ram was in Vanvas (dwelling in forest) sage Kashyap instructed him to perform King Dashraths Shraddha at Trimbakeshwar in Sinhasth period. Right from the source to the Nanded Abjakatirth and up to the end Rajmahendri total bed of Godavari is important for taking a bath and the people staying nearby take the benefit of Goda Snan virtue.