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On 14th January 2013 Makar Sankranti (when Sun moves from Southern hemisphere to Northern hemisphere and crosses Capricorn) the day when Mahakumbha Snana started at 5:15 am.
The bathing period lasted for about 11 hours. An estimated 8 to 10 millions of pilgrims took bath on Triveni Sangam. In the temporary tents and canopies was filled on bank of Triveni. The largest gathering issues, no written invitation, yet all spiritual seekers come here to meet one another and enjoy the nectar which falls on this day. It also marks cleansing of sins besides granting liberation. The procession of Naga Sadhus is main attraction in Kumbha Mela.
We started the procession with unique traditional bullock cart at 7 am and deep Sangam at 11.30 am . Among hundreds of vaisnava’s sadhu’s following the cart and observe and appreciate the unique Padayatra of Nitai Gaura Sundar with Srila Prabhupada, blessing the millions of pilgrimages and devotees by their melodious Kirtan purified the Kumbha Mela. This Padyatra bullock cart is travelling all over India for last 29 years stared at 1984. It has till now travelled 1,69,000 K.M and it reached in this kumbha mela . Allahabad was fully enlightened with greatly exalted saintly persons who came for Maha Kumbha Snana.
ISKCON Camp at Maha Kumbh Mela is located on Tulasi Marg, sector 5, Mori Gate (under Taragunj Railway bridge) and accommodates near 1000 devotees from all parts of the world.Diorama depicting churning Khir Sagar by Demigods and Demons, Gajendra moksha lila, Ram Lila with monkeys in live action are in making and is a great attraction.
Srila Prabhupada was initiated by his spiritual master Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur in 1933 at Prayag. Most important place for Gaudiya Vaisnava. Therefore Srila Prabhupada spent 13 years preparing for preaching mission of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who instructed Bhakti Rasa Sastra in Prayag for 10 days to Srila Rupa Goswami at Dashashwamedh Ghat. Srila Prabhupada came twice with his disciples to visit Kumbha Mela for preaching purpose. Srila Prabhupada’s mood was distributing books, have Harinam Sankirtan and feed people Krishna Prasadam.
In a rare arrangement of planets Jupiter, Sun , Moon and Saturn, Rahu, Tula after 147 years- a Royal Bathing Procession was a mile long with more than 500 Akharas participating, lead by Naga Sadhus marched with horses, elephants, with bands singing devotional melodies at the confluence of three holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati - called Triveni Sangam at Prayag( Allahabad). This was the day when Bhishma Dev left his body.
ISKCON is following these three important aspects of Srila Prabhupada’s misson in Maha Kumbha Mela 2013 at Prayag. In 2004 at Ujjain Kumbha Mela ISKCON as a Brahma Madhava Gaudiya Sampradaya was accepted by four Sampradaya and Vaisnava Akhara. So we got our position for Royal Bathing and HH Lokanath Swami was designated as ISKCON Mahanta (head priest) for Kumbha Mela.
Over 5000 full plates of lunch prasadam (Rice, chapatti, carry, panir sabji, pakora, haluva) distributed for pilgrims and sadhus. We have a very big kitchen with modern technology and used crains for transfering big pots with prasadam.
ISKCON Delhi has distributed 3800 of Bhagvad Gita headed by HG Raghav pandit Prabhu on Makar Sankranti day.
“The Kumbha Mela is sat-sanga. If you go to Kumbha Mela to find out a man of knowledge, then your Kumbha Mela is right. Otherwise, yad-buddhih salile sa eva go-kharah [SB 10.84.13]. If one thinks that this salila, the water, to take bath in the water, is Kumbha Mela, he is a go-kharah. But the real…, that “Now there are assembly of so many saintly persons. Let me take advantage of their knowledge.” Then he is intelligent. [break] …of highly learned saintly persons. People should take advantage.” ( Srila Prabhupada )