Showing posts with label Kumbha Mela. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kumbha Mela. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is The Rudra Sampraday?



One of the Bairagi Naga ascetics' four branches (sampraday).

Bairagi refers to ascetics who are worshippers of the deity Vishnu (bhakta).


The term Naga refers to a class of martial ascetics who were hired to guard the other Bairagi ascetics, who couldn't protect themselves since they were holy, intellectual men.

The Bairagi Nagas were divided into several anis, or "armies," in a military-style organization.

The Nagas' primary occupation until the beginning of the nineteenth century was as mercenary soldiers, though they also had significant trading interests.

The Nagas were known for lending money at interest, trading, and owning large amounts of land.

They were especially powerful in areas where the country's centralized government had crumbled.

In modern times, their roles as mercenaries and merchants have largely vanished.


The Rudra Sampraday can trace its spiritual lineage back to Vallabhacharya, the philosopher, and Vishnuswami, an earlier religious teacher.

Rudra Sampradaya

  • Vallabhacharya's followers are mostly householders rather than ascetics; Vallabhacharya was married and had a large family.


  • It is the smallest and least important of the Bairagi Naga sampradays, and the only time it is mentioned is during the Kumbha Mela's bathing (snana) processions.

Kiran Atma

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Hinduism - Who Are The Ani Nirvani?


("liberated") The Nirvanis are one of the three Naga anis ("armies") of the Bairagi Nagas, renunciant ascetics who are devotees (bhakta) of Vishnu.

The Nirmohis and Digambaras are the others.

These anis were formerly genuine combat groups that earned their fortune as merchants and mercenary warriors, but nowadays they are mostly responsible for maintaining order during the Kumbha Mela's bathing (snana) processions.

The Digambaras are the most significant of the three Naga anis, and they take priority during the Kumbha Mela.

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Hinduism - What Does A Mela Mean In Sanskrit?


(“meeting”) The term mela, in its broadest definition, may apply to any big assembly, generally with a particular purpose.

Mela is often translated as "festival" or "fair" in a religious setting.

Commercial interests, religious activities, and entertainment are all part of melas.

Melas are frequently attended by a large number of religious pilgrims who travel to the festival's location.

The Kumbha Mela at Allahabad is by far the biggest of all melas.

The Kumbha Mela gathered 15 million people on a single day in 1989, and millions more throughout the course of the month-long celebration.

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Hinduism - Who Are The Mahanirvani Akhara?


The Naga class of the Dashanami Sanyasis, a sort of renunciant ascetic, is known by this name.

The Dashanami Nagas are Shiva followers (bhakta) who are divided into akharas or regiments in the manner of an army.

The Nagas' principal vocation until the beginning of the nineteenth century was as mercenary warriors or merchants, both of which have practically vanished in modern times.

This akhara is said to have fought against the Moghul emperor Aurangzeb's armies in 1664, and they are credited with rescuing Benares from being sacked.

One of the seven primary Dashanami Naga akharas, the Mahanirvani Akhara is still one of the most powerful.

The Mahanirvani Akhara's main headquarters are in Allahabad, which hosts the Kumbha Mela, one of the world's biggest and most significant bathing (snana) festivals.

Their power in Allahabad has enabled them to take the most coveted position at the head of the Kumbha Mela bathing procession.

Each akhara has a (guardian) god who determines its organizational character; the Mahanirvani Akhara's tutelary deity is the renowned sage Kapila.

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Hinduism - What IS The Kumbha Mela?


Kumbha Mela is a Hindu festival in India.

("Aquarius/Water Bearer Festival") Haridwar, Allahabad, Ujjain, and Nasik are the four sites where this religious event is held.

The first two are by far the most significant, with Allahabad being the holiest of them all.

These celebrations attract a large number of people.

On the climactic day in 1998, 10 million people gathered in Haridwar.

Both of these locations also hold an Ardha ("half") Kumbha Mela, which takes place around six years after the major Kumbha Mela and is lower in magnitude but still attracts millions of people.

The entire Kumbha Melas at Ujjain and Nasik are not as well attended as the other two places.

Because the Kumbha Mela is a bathing (snana) celebration, all of the Mela venues are located near rivers.

The ascetics from all over South Asia who come to bathe in the hallowed waters are the main players in the Kumbha Mela.

According to legend, the great philosopher Shankaracharya founded the Kumbha Mela to encourage regular meetings of educated and holy men as a way to reinforce, preserve, and disseminate Hindu religious ideas.

The Kumbha Mela is also a chance for these ascetics to demonstrate their social standing.

The sequence in which the various ascetic sects wash is rigidly regulated at each location, with the more significant groups bathing first.

This directive has been executed by the government in recent years.

It was formerly the source of tremendous contention, which often devolved into violent combat as rival ascetic groups competed for pride of position.

The astrological positions of the planet Jupiter, the sun, and the moon define the timing for each Kumbha Mela festival.

The Mela takes place in Haridwar when Jupiter is in Aquarius (Kumbha) and the sun enters Aries; Allahabad when Jupiter is in Taurus and the sun and moon are in Capricorn; Ujjain when Jupiter is in Leo and the full moon appears in the lunar month of Baisakh; and Nasik when Jupiter is in Leo and the full moon appears in the lunar month of Shravan.

These alignments happen every twelve years or so.

The Kumbha Mela's founding myth is based on the legend of Churning the Ocean of Milk.

The gods and their demon opponents begin to argue over the pot of nectar after the ocean has been churned and the nectar of immortality (amrta) has been extracted.

The gods take the pot and flee, but the person carrying it becomes weary of carrying it and, after twelve days, drops it four times—namely, in the four locations where the Mela is held.

A drop of nectar spills on the earth at each location, sanctifying the location.

According to popular belief, the waters in which people bathe become the elixir of immortality during each Kumbha Mela's most auspicious hour, and all those who bathe in these waters acquire immeasurable religious virtue.

The Kumbha Mela is regarded as the world's biggest religious celebration.

The Uttar Pradesh government organizes the Melas in Haridwar and Allahabad, arranging transportation, drinking water, and sanitation for millions of pilgrims, as well as constructing temporary towns for the tourists.

Ascetics go from all across the subcontinent, some for months at a time.

In order to spread their message, several religious groups put up booths.

The government has recently started to use the Mela to promote principles like as family planning and cleaning up the Ganges, as well as to market the Mela as a tourist destination, so fostering economic development.

This fusion of commerce and religion has a long history; in the early nineteenth century, Haridwar's annual spring bathing fair doubled as a trading fair, especially for horses.

For many individuals, the prospect of seeing the Mela's spectacle is at least as compelling as the prospect of having their sins washed away.

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Hinduism - What Is The Juna Akhara?

 Juna ("Old") Akhara - One of the seven subgroups of the Dashanami Sanyasis' Naga class of renunciant ascetics who are Shiva worshipers (bhakta).

The subgroups are called as akharas, and they are analogous to army regiments.

The Nagas were largely mercenary soldiers until the early nineteenth century, but they were also involved in mercantile trade; none of these qualities apply now.

The sage Dattatreya is revered as the Juna Akhara's "tutelary god," the principal deity from whom they learn; each of the akharas has a separate tutelary deity.

According to some reports, Bhairava was the Juna Akhara's patron god in the past, which would explain why the organization is also known as the Bhairava Akhara.

The present name's literal meaning and association with Bhairava suggest that it is quite ancient.

It is a vast organization that is only present in northern India nowadays.

It is assigned a low rank in certain regions because it admits members from poorer socioeconomic levels.

The Juna Akhara marched alongside the Niranjani Akhara in the bathing (snana) processions at the Kumbha Mela until the middle of the twentieth century, and was therefore regarded a minor portion of that akhara.

The Junas have been dissatisfied with their subordinate position for much of this century, despite having considerably more members than any other akhara.

The Junas first attempted to earn recognition as a distinct procession in 1903 during the Haridwar Kumbha Mela, but did not get it until 1962.

The akharas decided that the Junas would lead the Sanyasi processions during the Shivaratri bathing during a Haridwar Kumbha Mela.

However, on the other two main bathing days—the new moon in Chaitra and the Kumbha bath on April 14—the Niranjanis would be first.

This system fell apart at the 1998 Kumbha Mela in Haridwar, when the Junas asked that, as the biggest akhara, they be permitted to enter the Chaitra bath first.

This argument erupted into a full-fledged riot between ascetic groups and police on the day of the second bath, in which many people were injured.

The fear was that similar violence might return on the major bathing day, but when the Juna Akhara boycotted the bathing processions, the day passed without incident. 

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Hinduism - What Is The Hindu Mahasabha?

Hindu religious and political organization founded in 1915 during the Kumbha Mela, a massive religious celebration.

The Hindu Mahasabha was founded to support Hindu objectives such as the need for a full prohibition on cow slaughter, the promotion of the Hindi language in DevaNagari script, and the elimination of caste prejudice.

The movement grew more explicitly political in the early 1920s, and by the early 1930s, it had embraced unapologetic Hindu nationalism, as shown by its leader, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.

The dark underbelly of this Hindu nationalist crusade was a strong anti-Muslim sentiment, which was further exacerbated by worsening relations between the two populations in the years leading up to World War II.

Although the Hindu Mahasabha hoped for formal recognition from the British government and to be acknowledged as the Hindu community's only legal voice, these expectations were never achieved.

After failing to reach an agreement with the Indian National Congress Party, the British administration engaged them in discussions and dissolved ties with the Mahasabha after mending wounds with the Congress.

Following independence in 1947, the party's reputation was tarnished by its association with Nathuram Godse, Mohandas Gandhi's assassin.

It ran political candidates until the early 1960s, but it never developed any serious political clout.

Kenneth W. Jones, "Politicalized Hinduism: The Ideology and Program of the Hindu Mahasabha," in Robert D. Baird (ed. ), Religion in Modern India, 1998, for further details.


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