The South Asian Life & Times - SALT   
  January - March 2013          



 January - March 2013


Editor's Note


 Cover Story
 Ravi Shankar - A Life
 Truly Lived

 50 Years of Solar
 System Exploration

 Makli - Crumbling &

 Real Issues
Women on Sexual

 Kiran Bedi

 Suman Nalwa 

 Richa Anirudh 

 Pages from the Past

 Maldives - Back in

 -The Wonder Herb

 Mahakumbh 2013





   about us              back-issues           contact us         search             data bank


  craft shop

print gallery

 The Mahakumbh 2013

Allahabad, January 27 - February 25, 2013

Seldom do 70 million people or more congregate over a period of few weeks to seek salvation – irrespective of their individual belief and creed or ethos. The Mahakumbh, which is celebrated every 12 years in Allahabad, is perhaps the only spiritual event that gathers such mega numbers of humanity in one place in the true spirit of ‘Jagat Kutumbkam’ – or one global family. It is a secular tradition shared by people of all faiths and cultures. It is considered by many to symbolise the soul of Indian culture and thought. For the period January 27 to February 25 (from Paush Purnima to Magha Purnima), Allahabad will turn into the most densely populated city in the world. The international media coverage of the Mahakumbh 2013 is unprecedented – so is the zeal and faith of the millions who arrive from all over the world.

 Modern day Allahabad is the erstwhile city of Prayag, also referred to as Teerthraj Prayag – the holiest of the holy pilgrimages. Akbar, the Mughal Emperor named it Allahabad – ‘the city of Allah’ – the divine reference remained unchanged. Allahabad is also where three holy rivers meet – the Ganges, the Yamuna and the elusive and mythical Saraswati – supposedly a subterranean channel, invisible to the human eye. These sandy fluvial shores have hosted many Kumbh melas over the past centuries or even millenniums. The origins of the Kumbh and the status of sanctity granted to Prayag/Allahabad lie in Hindu mythology and date back to the creation of the universe and the victory of good over evil.

According to Puranic legends, the sage Durvasa [also known for his fierce temper] once visited Lord Indra in Heaven and presented him a garland of ‘eternal flowers’. Lord Indra casually passed on the garland to Airawat – the divine elephant – who had no clue about the significance of these flowers and promptly crushed the petals. Durvasa Rishi (sage) was angered by Lord Indra’s insensitive gesture and pronounced that he would lose all his riches and power. Seeing this as a good opportunity to take advantage of the curse, a demon king attacked Lord Indra and took away his riches. The Gods in Heaven felt weakened. Lord Vishnu [the preserver of the cosmos] then advised Lord Indra that in order to restrengthen himself, Lord Indra required Amrit or the divine nectar, which lay under the depths of the mighty ocean in a kumbh or a pitcher.


Read the entire article in the print edition of The South Asian Life & Times



Copyright © 2000 - 2013 []. Intellectual Property. All rights reserved.