“Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv” is one of the four “Kumbh Melas” celebrated by largest spiritual gathering on Planet Earth. Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv is rejoiced by holy dip in the sacred river Kshipra in ancient and religious city Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh).Simhasth Kumbh Maha Parva is based on the celestial line-up of Planets and the Signs of the Zodiac, which occurs every 12 years.
“Kumbh” in its literal English translation means “Pot”, which emerged from “Samudra Manthan”(Churning of the Ocean) between Gods and Devils. The term ‘Mela‘ signifies’Fair‘.
Kumbh Mahaparv is held at four places in India – Haridwar, Prayag (Allahabad), Ujjain and Nasik. At Ujjain, Kumbh Mahaparv is specifically called “Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv” because the Sun (in Sanskrit “Surya”) is in the zodiac Aries (“Mesh” in Sanskrit) and the Jupiter (“Brahaspati” in Sanskrit) is in the zodiac Leo (in Sanskrit “Simha”) when it takes place. There are ten unique and uncommon yogs which exist and facilitate the organizing of Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv.
This time Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv is going to take place from April 22nd to May 21st 2016(in Sanskrit Chaitra Shukla Purnima – Vaishakha Shukla Purnima, Vikram Samvat 2073). The holy dip in river Kshipra is taken on the auspicious day at a defined time at which it is believed that ‘Nectar’ from ‘Kumbh’ was dropped in the pious river. It is believed that taking a dip in river Kshipra on this ocassion purifies the soul and overcomes all the sins.
Around 5 Crore (50 Millions) pilgrims from all walks of life are expected to join and take holy dip. Pilgrims visit the “Mahakaleshwar” Jyotirlinga and other ancient temples in and around Ujjain and thereafter they find spiritual solace in ‘Satsang’ and ‘Sankirtan’ in Mahaparv Kshetra (Mela Kshetra) with great Sadhus.
Traditionally, Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv is celebrated by various Akharas, where “Peshwai” (Procession) begins in its full glory. The heads of Akharas join the procession on silver throne (Simhasanam) on elephants. It looks magnificent with the presence of armed Sadhus on horses and camels followed by Sadhus, hermits and devotees. Peshwai completes at the Ram Ghat area on the banks of river Kshipra.
Based on the interest of visitors various “itineraries ” are being planned, which include -
- “Ancient Temples”,
- “Historical Monuments”,
- “Heritage Walk,
- Ujjain District as “Agricultural (Biological and Natural) Production & Processing Centre”,
- “Educational Hub”,
- “Migratory Bird Spots”.
“Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (Sanskrit: वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम) – India’s philosophy Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, or world family has guided the nation since Vedic times. Heartening to note that over the past few years many other Sampraday (sects) other than Sanatan Dharma are participating in Simhasth Kumbh with the same enthusiasm and harmony as the Sadhus and pilgrims of Sanatan Dharma. The efforts are on to bring the golden days back when Ujjain was the Capital of the region from Egypt to Indonesia. This festival perfectly shows the diversity and unity of rich Indian culture.
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Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv derives its name from the ‘Pot of immortality’ or ‘Amrit Kund’ as it is known in the Hindu mythology. Amrit Kund is mentioned in scriptures like Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Purana, The Mahabharata, and The Ramayana. It is believed that during ‘Samundra Manthan’ , a pot of nectar was found.
Kumbh mahaparva is held at each of the four places namely Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayag), Nasik and Ujjain once every 12 years. The position of the Sun and Jupiter in different zodiac signs determines the location of the Kumbh in each of these places. It is held in Haridwar when the Sun is in Aries and Jupiter is in Aquarius. It is held in Allahabad (Prayag) when the Sun is in Capricorn and Jupiter is in Taurus.
Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv 2016
Thousands of holy men and women attend, and the auspiciousness of the festival is in part attributable to this. The sadhus are seen clad in saffron robes with Vibhuti ashes smeared on their skin as per the requirements of ancient traditions. Some, called naga sanyasis, may not wear any clothes even in severe winter. It is considered a sign of separation from the materialistic world.