Kumbh Mela: Faith, belief, and Union for nectar: In the Kumbh Mela, the literal meaning of Kumbh is “pitcher, pot, pot”. It is found in Vedic texts. Its meaning is often told about water or in mythology about the nectar of immortality.
The word Mela means to unite in one place, join, meet, walk together, in a gathering, or especially in a community festival. This word is also found in the Rigveda and other ancient Hindu texts. Thus, Kumbh Mela means “a gathering – meeting, meeting” which is “the elixir of water or immortality”.
Kumbh Mela, union with faith for immortality
According to the tradition of Indian astronomy and astrological calculations, the relation of the Kumbh festival has been organized on special occasions for the movement of the Sun or solar system or the member of the solar system in particular zodiac signs.
Every 12 years in India The intervals are held at Haridwar Uttarakhand(Gangavat), Prayag (Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati Sangam Beach), Nashik (Godavari Beach), and Ujjain (Kshiprat). The Skanda Purana mentions the astronomical legislation of the Maha Kumbh festival.
What is Kumbh?
Kalash is called Kumbh. Kumbha means pitcher. This festival is related to the nectar urn which came out during the sea churning. When the god-asura was snatching the nectar Kalash from each other, a few drops of it fell in the three rivers of the earth. Kumbh is organized at the place where these drops fell. The names of those three rivers are – Ganga, Godavari, and Shipra.
Number of Kumbh Mela
According to our scriptures, there are 12 mythological Kumbh out of which 4 are in Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Trimbakeshwar (Nashik) in India, and the remaining 8 are considered as Devlok. The transition and presence of Jupiter in different zodiac signs are more important in all four places of India, like Jupiter’s Vrishastha and Sun’s Makarstha in Prayag brings the sum of Kumbha festival, then Simhastha and Lunar-Sun of Jupiter in Ujjain. The presence of Aries makes the celebration of the Kumbh festival.
पद्चिनी नायके मेषे कुंभाशि गते गुरौ।
गंगेद्वारे भवेद्योग: कुंभ नाग्रातदोत्तम: ॥
- Kumbh Mela in Haridwar: Haridwar is related to the Aries zodiac. That is when the Sun comes on Aries and Jupiter is on Aquarius, then Gangawar (Haridwar) makes the best of the Kumbh festival. Ardh Kumbh is also organized in Haridwar and Prayag at a gap of six years between the two Kumbh festivals.
- Kumbh Mela in Prayag: ‘Pray’ means very big and ‘Yag’ means Yajna. ‘Pracrito Yajno Abhudyadtra Tadeva Prayag’ – thus its name was ‘Prayag’. Second is the place where many yagyas (यज्ञ) have been performed. Prayag (Allahabad) For the Kumbh festival in Uttar Pradesh, now the Sun is in Capricorn Moon and Jupiter in Taurus, and the month of Magha (15 Jan, – 15 Feb) is mentioned only when the coincidence is made.
- Kumbh Mela in Nashik: Once in 12 years Simhastha Kumbh Mela (सिंहस्थ कुंभ मेला) is held in Nashik and Trimbakeshwar. The Kumbh Mela held in Ujjain is called Simhastha festival (सिंहस्थ पर्व) when the planet Jupiter is located on the “Leo” zodiac and it is mentioned that ten yogas are necessary from an astronomical point of view. In Nashik, Kumbh Mela finds mention of the Sun and Jupiter planets being in the Leo zodiac, full moon date, and Thursday position. For thousands of years, the basis of folk trust has been expressed from time to time according to Vedic literature, mythological stories, and cultural lifestyle. On the entry of Jupiter in the Leo sign, the Kumbh Mela takes place in Nashik on the banks of Godavari.
- Kumbh Mela in Ujjain: This festival takes place in Ujjain after the entry of Jupiter in Leo and the Sun in Aries. Apart from this, on the day of Kartik Amavasya, when the sun and moon are together and Jupiter enters Libra, the liberating Kumbh is held in Ujjain.
In the light of the famous event of Sagar-Manthan in the Shrimad Bhagwat Maha Purana, when the nectar is created by the churning of the sea with the coordinated effort of the Devas and Asuras. When Kumbha (Ghada) was received, then there was a traditional war for him. Then during the war, a few drops of nectar were spilled from that Kumbh in Haridwar, Prayag, Ujjain, and Nashik. At those places, Kumbh festivals have been organized in these special astronomical astrological positions. The systematic outline of the Kumbh festival at these four places is believed to have been presented by Guru Shankaracharya.
Kumbh Mela of South India
When did the Kumbh festival begin? The historical antiquity of this question is still a matter of conjecture and research. There is an ancient mention of donating everything in Prayag Kumbh by Emperor Harshavardhana. Aquarius is considered a symbol of water perfection, so fairs like Kumbh Melas have been organized near other rivers in India. These similar fairs are called Pushkar in the Telugu language in Andhra Pradesh.
The Kumbh Mela is held on the occasion of Jupiter’s entry into Tularashi on the banks of the river Kaveri in Tamil Nadu. This Kumbh Mela takes place on the banks of a pond called Mahamakhamd which is at a place called Kumbakonam. The river Kaveri, which says at this place, makes a rapid mode (hence), its name is Kumbh Konam. In this Cauvery Kumbh held in the year 1674, King Raghunath Nayak of Tanjabur had his gold weighed and the gold was distributed there.
The mythology of the Kaveri Kumbha is related to the meaningful efforts of Agastya Rishi originating from the Kumbha (घडे) when he tried to give cultural, religious, spiritual, and ideological co-ordination to the northern parts of India and parts of South India.
Fifth Kumbh Mahaparva in South India
– As stated in the mythological statement, there are 12 Kumbh mythologies in our scriptures, out of which 4 Kumbh Mahaparvas are celebrated in Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Trimbakeshwar (Nashik) and these four Kumbh are well known, The rest are unknown and require research. But in addition to these 4 Kumbh festivals, a fifth Kumbh has also emerged from our research, which is celebrated only by the saints and saints of South India.
This fifth Kumbh mahaparva is celebrated as ‘Mahamakham Parva’ in a place called Kumbakonam near Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. The Sanskrit name of ‘Kumbakonam कुंभकोणम्’ is ‘Kumbaghosham कुंभघोषम्’. This Kumbh is also celebrated only in 12 years. The story of Kumbakonam’s Mahamakham Parva (Kumbha Mahaparva) is as follows- Brahmaji created such a Kumbha (Kalash) in which it has been stored. The proclamation of this Kumbha i.e. nasalis got fragmented due to some reason due to which ‘Amrit’ spread out of the pit and the land there became Amritamayi. Even the terrain up to 5 kos (5 कोस) became amritamayi (अमृतमयी).
कुंभस्य कोणंतो यस्मिन सुधापूरं विनिस्सृतम्।
तस्मात् तत्पदं लोके कुंभकोणम्ं वदंतिहि।।
According to the Puranas, Kumbh (Kalash), full of nectar and seeds of world creation, came to a place called Kumbakonam when the flood of floods happened. Shivaji, disguised as a hunter, broke the pitcher (Kumbh) with an arrow and thus filled the nectar in the Mahamakham lake. On the day of Mahamakham, holy sources of rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Saryu, Godavari, Narmada, Indus, Kaveri, and Mahanadi, etc. appear in Mahamakham Sarovar and all the deities reside there. At the time of the Mahamakham festival, lakhs of devotees come here and take bath in Mahamakham Sarovar and Kaveri River and do charity work, etc.
Kumbakonam has sacred temples of many deities, of which ‘Mahamakham Sarovar’ is the most important. In the same Mahamakham, the ‘Kumbh Mela’ of South India is held once in 12 years. In this Kumbh Mela, the main bath takes place on Maghi Purnima. Nageshwar, Sharangapani, and Kumbeshwar are the most prominent temples. The most important place in all of this is that of the Kumbeshwar temple.
The Kumbeshwar temple has a Kumbha (Kalash) shaped circular Shivling. Shivling of this craft is not seen in any other temple in India. This also proves that after the churning of the ocean, the ‘Amrit Kalash’ must have been kept here, and from here, Jayant must have run away with the sign of Vishnu, and he was given moments of rest in Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Trimbakeshwar (Nashik). May be kept in whose memory the Kumbh festival is organized.
In this way, out of the 12 Kumbha Mahaparvas mentioned in the scriptures, 5 have been known, but there is still an extensive investigation and epistemology of 7 Kumbha’s (Kumbha Mahaparvas).
Although the Indian mythological legends date back to the ancient ages and the kalpas (कल्पों) (a complete cycle of the four yugas called Kalpa), a simple curiosity arose whether the mythical ocean churning occurred earlier or that the Gangavaran event occurred earlier. If Gangavataran happened later, how old is the significance of having a Kumbh festival at Haridwar or Gangadwar? According to historical and archaeological history, the rise of the raging Asura civilization (Assyria) BC. Around 2300 took place on the banks of the Tigris River in northern Iraq. The decisive collapse of this Asura civilization BC Took place in 612. But in the Asura literature, mention of saga and amritghat to Sagar Manthan has not been revealed yet. The context of the antiquity of the festival of Kumbh in such a background invites Vishwashodha from the cultural point of view. A summary of the theme of antiquity to the Kumbh festival is presented here with the indication of other reasons.