Allahabad Kumbh Mela 2019: Importance of Sangam, Prayagraj in Hinduism
January 22, 2019
Kumbh Mela 2019: The next Ardh Kumbh Mela will be held in Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad) between January and March next year. The Allahabad Kumbh Mela 2019 will last for 55 days.
Kumbh Mela 2019: Kumbh Mela is the world’s largest religious gathering and is the most peaceful gathering on the earth. The Allahabad Kumbh Mela has deep philosophical and spiritual significance for Hindus. It is commonly believed that those who take a holy dip in the sacred water of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati at Prayagraj, get rid of all sins and attain liberation. The place where all the three rivers join each other is called Sangam.
The upcoming Ardh Kumbh Mela will be held in Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad) between January and March next year. The Allahabad Kumbh Mela 2019 will last for 55 days. It will start on January 15 and culminate on March 4. As the city prepares to host the mega event, here we explain the importance of Sangam and Prayagraj in Hinduism that attracts lakhs of pilgrims every year:
Kumbh Mela 2019: Kalpvas
As per the religious texts, it is believed that the tradition of long-term Kalpvas is practiced only in Prayag. According to Vedas, a ‘Kalp’ is a period equal to the total number of years in the four yugas — Satyug, Tretayug, Dwaparyug, and Kalyug. All the four yugas add up to several lakhs of years. It is said that by observing Kalpavas, one can overcome the sins and escapes the cycle of janma and karma. As per the rituals, during each day of the Magh Mela, a Kalpvasi has to take a dip at the Ganga on sunrise praying to the rising sun and take meal once a day. After observing 12 Kalpavas, the person has to perform Shayya Daan (donate his/her bed and all his belongings).
Allahabad Kumbh Mela: Lord Brahma connection
The word Prayag means ‘place of sacrifice’. It is believed that Prayag is the place where Brahma offered his first sacrifice after creating this world.
Allahabad Kumbh Mela 2019: Performing rituals and tapas
Prayagraj is called the shrine of pilgrimages. The city is regarded as the most sacred place for Hindus because performing rituals and tapas at Prayagraj is of highest among all pilgrimages. It provides one with the highest virtue. Tapas in Hinduism means ascetic practice voluntarily carried out to achieve spiritual power or purification. In the Vedas, tapas refers to the ‘inner heat’ created by the practice of physical austerities. It is also said that the practice of tapas was especially associated with yogic discipline as a way of purifying the body in preparation for spiritual exercises leading to moksha (liberation).
Kumbh Mela 2019: Matsya Purana
In Matsya Purana, Maharshi Markandeya told Yudhisthira, the eldest son of King Pandu and Queen Kunti, that this place is specifically protected by all the Gods. All the gods reside here for a month and practice complete asceticism and remain celibate. Performing oblations for deities and ancestors fulfills all the desires.