Spiritual Significance of Kumbh Mela (Critical Commentary)

Posted on March 3, 2013 by


        “All religions believe that the destiny of mankind is determined by the celestial war that goes on between good and evil,” writes Sadhu Haridasa of the New Indian Press. Haridasa goes on to describe that all festivals in their essence are meant to be a celebration of the victory of good. This is precisely what the ‘Kumbh Mela’ represents. Every three years a Kumbh Mela is held in rotational places (Hardiwar, Allahbad, Nasik and Ujjain). There are other Melas held every six to 12 years as well. However the holiest of these Melas is the Maha Kumbh Mela that takes place at Prayag in Allahabad, which is the convergence of the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati (holiest) rivers.


        Haridasa says that at this point of convergence is where the greatest gift any pilgrim can receive lies, the opportunity for ordinary people (pilgrims) and the Sadhu (holy men) can bath together in the holy waters. The spiritual power or secret of Hinduism (moksha) that makes this spiritual energy possible is derived astrologically. Haridasa describes this event as “…whenever the planet Jupiter enters the astrological sign of Taurus when simultaneously the Sun and the Moon are in Capricorn, a powerful supercharge of positive charge happens at Prayag. The whole area is energized—the water, the air and the entire atmosphere becomes charged with that force. Taking a bath in the Ganga, which is imbued with that power, promotes spiritual growth, health, emotional strength and puts you on the path to moksha.” For me personally, I find this fascinating. I’ve never heard of such an event-taking place not just within Hinduism, but also on a much larger scale including the greater part of our galaxy. It’s a different way to me personally to connect with one’s deity and inner soul, but it’s truly a remarkable and amazing way to go about doing so.

        Haridasa goes into a small analysis of Kumbh Mela as well. Kumbh means ‘vessel’ and ‘mela’ means festival. “At the root of the Kumbh Mela legend is the search for the nectar of immortality that would end the war between the gods and the demons,” says Haridasa. Haridasa explains this legend that has allowed Hindu’s to create the basis of their Kumbh Mela’s, “The gods sought the help of the creator Brahma from the assault of the demons, and he sent them to Lord Vishnu who resides on the ocean, reposing on the great serpent Ananta. Vishnu offered Ananta to be used as the rope to churn the milky ocean to bring up a pot containing the nectar of immortality. Whoever drank it would win the war. However, he had one condition. The gods and the demons both should churn the ocean together. First appeared a vessel of poison that Lord Shiva drank and turned blue. When the pitcher full of nectar appeared, Indra asked his son Jayant to take the pitcher and run away. The demons went after him. The chase went on for 12 years. He rested in four places where he placed the vessel; a few drops of nectar fell and Haridwar, Allahabad, Nasik and Ujjain became spiritually immortal.” These four names are now the resting place of where a Kumbh Mela takes place on its rotating years represented by the places that Indra’s son had rested when the few drops of nectar had spilled.

        Tying all of this together, Haridasa ends on the note that “…all spiritual events are imbued with divine symbolism…the Trinity, the devas, the seven continents and the Vedas exist in the Kumbh…” Therefore, all religions and people are connected and are immersed within Hinduism and the spiritual essence of it all is brought out when immersed into the holy waters. Everyone shares the “nectar” and all are welcome to it. Hinduism is more than just a religion, it’s a practice of the connection between the body and soul with the world around oneself and it combines maybe not other religions but particular aspects of other religions into one. Therefore Hinduism is hard to define because it’s different for each person but regardless, the Kumbh Melas are a way to express the divinity of ones soul in a celebration of victory of good.


Haridasa, Sadhu. “Spiritual Significance of Kumbh Mela.” The New Indian Express. N.p., 03 Mar. 2013. Web. 03 Mar. 2013.


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