Millions of people attended the Maha Kumbh Mela – the mother of all Kumbh Melas (this occurs once in 144 years). Devotees from the around the world congregated on the simple, austere, history laden city of Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. It is a mind boggling collection of people, estimated at over 80 million people this year… and even 30 million on the most auspicious day which was on the 10th of February 2013.
Open air sites where thousands of people were housed in tents
A carnival atmosphere juxtaposes religion – a la Rio
People who have come to be immersed in the holy waters
The actual dip – protected by wooden poles from undercurrents
I was fortunate to get a glimpse of the winding down of the biggest religious festival on the planet, and I was amazed at the way the whole event was planned. I am attaching some pictures to show different aspects of the festival, but what would be even more interesting to look at, is the fact that faith and faith alone that is the keystone for the majority of the visitors to the Kumbh Mela.
Curious to find out about the reasons why people attend the Kumbh Mela, I spoke to a few people:
1. A businessman from London who had visited for just a day, because he suddenly realized that this festival – the Maha Kumbh happens only once every 144 years. He felt that his trip was well worth it, as he felt cleansed after his dip in the Triveni Sangam.
2. A couple from the U.S. who came to write about the Kumbh Mela and get a first hand view about religion on spirituality in India. They were amazed at the scale of the festival, and they promised to be back for the Ardh Kumbh in six years.
3. A retired Indian Army General with his family. They were happy to visit the site of the Kumbh and get cleansed there. They seemed contented with their trip, and they apparently felt good to be there.
4. A techie who was attending his second Kumbh. He was really feeling great and was bragging about his experience. Good to see a modern guy with religious leanings. Apparently he had also visited many of the other religious places in India.
5. I spoke to at least 10 people who were from Allahbad who seemed surprised that I did not want to take a dip in the holy spot. I had no intention of explaining my religious beliefs. They then even asked me to take back bottles of the Holy Ganga Jal. Once again, I refrained from doing so… because I saw people taking back water with them and they thought it was pure. Thinking more deeply… for them it surely must have been, as their faith made them believe it was so.
So what does faith really do for us?
Does it move mountains?
Does it mount movements?
Does it make men get powers that are supernatural?
I feel that faith is the originator of determined action. I believe that the more we believe, the more we can achieve. As a counselor and coach, I have seen magic happen numerous times through the faith of people who BELIEVE TOTALLY and have NO DOUBT! Life threatening diseases can be cured. Relationships can be healed and made divine. Business can be made to flourish.
Looking at the dirty condition of the water at the Sangam, and knowing that statistically the Ganges is one of the most polluted rivers in the world, it is amazing to note that people taking two dips in the river a day for a month get cured from diseases that the medical world still do not know how to cure. So what is causing the cure? I believe it is FAITH.
So … Can faith really cure?
Ganga Water… far from pure… but creating miracles of faith
The most sought after attributes required in the corporate world today are the 4C's - CONFIDENCE and COMMUNICATION SKILLS, CONSISTENCY and COLLABORATION. In the PEP TALK Programme, we focus on the first 2 C's Read More...
Most Indians have a huge Leadership Deficit. We make great followers, but we are uncomfortable with Leadership. At Talk Temple we devote a major portion of our time to uncover and grow this missing skill set. Read More...
The IANSPEAK Forum is an ongoing platform to ensure Communication and LEADERSHIP Mastery in a VUCA WORLD.