Allahabad or Prayag is one of the largest city of the State of Uttar Pradesh, India which is an inland peninsula surrounded by the rivers Ganga and Yamuna from three sides. This city is known as a Historian’s Paradise as well as versatility of religions and spirituality. History lies embedded everywhere, in it’s fields, forests and settlements. This ancient town is illustrated by supposed references in the Vedas to Prayag which is existed as a town as early as 600 B.C. Apart from the fragrance of history, Allahabad is also glorified for Kumbha Mela or Triveni Sangam among the devotees all over the world for it’s versatility of religions and spirituality. Not only different sects of the Hindu Dharma, but also people of all religion and faith come to Prayag to feel the gigantic vibrations penetrating the very spiritual atmosphere of Tirtharaj Prayag. One can see confluence of religions during the time of Kumbha Mela, which is a sort of a mini India. By the grace of spiritual teachers from time immemorial, pious devotees come to Kumbha Mela to take a dip in the Triveni Sangam— and be sanctified. Above all, Allahabad is also well known among the devotees of Ramakrishna order as one of the oldest branch center of Belur Math and for its philanthropic activities from years including Magh Mela or Kumbha Mela period.
This year Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Prayagraj conducted Kumbha Mela Camp at Kumbha mela ground with grand endeavour from 12th January to 20th February, 2019. This holistic effort was started on the holiest occasion i.e. the birthday of Swami Vivekananda and the Camp was inaugurated by one of the holiest saint of Udasin Akhara, Parampujya Srimat Swami Karshni Gurusharanandaji Maharaj, Mahamandaleshwar and head of Udasin Karshni Ashram, Ramanreti, Gokul, Mathura. The programme was held at Shankaracharya Marg, Sector – 15, Kumbha Mela Nagar, Prayagraj. The programme was presided by Hon’ble Justice Ran Vijay Singh, Former Judge Allahabad High Court.
The Vedic Chanting was presented by the inmates of Ramakrishna Math, Prayagraj followed by welcome address by Swami Akshayanandaji Maharaj, Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, Prayagraj. The beautiful commemorative souvenir on the auspicious occasion of Kumbha Mela was released by Srimat Swami Karshni Gurusharananandaji Maharaj(Maha Mandaleswar). The Chief Guest and the President placed their valuable message on life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda and the importance of Kumbha Mela before the spiritual seekers gathered there. The programme was conducted by Swami Yogatsthanandaji Maharaj of Ramakrishna Mission, Indore and vote of thanks was given by Swami Gitamritananda of Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Prayagraj. On this occasion sacred Prasad was distributed among 450 devotees and well wishers.
Apart from these, several activities was conducted in our one and half month long Kumbha Mela Camp. The following facilities are provided to sadhus/devotees/pilgrims:
Prayer cum lecture hall – A beautiful and decorative prayer cum lecture hall was there comprising the big picture of Holy Trio along with picture of the founder of this Ashrama Swami Vijnananandaji Maharaj. In our prayer hall daily mangalarati, puja, evening vesper along with attractive discourses (on Bhagavata and Ramcharitmanas) by eminent saints of our order was conducted throughout the Kumbha Mela period.
Round-the-clock free charitable dispensary with emergency facilities – This unique opportunity was grabbed by Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Allahabad to spread the message of the Holy Trio among devotees — and receive blessings by fulfilling the dream of Swamiji: “Service to Man is Service to God.” In our charitable dispensary daily more than 900 patients from different corner of India (those who came at Kumbha Mela for their spiritual solace) was treated under the supervision of expert doctors and trained paramedical staff. They also provided free medicines which gave them a relief from their physical problem. Through this seva yajna Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Prayagraj put a yardstick among the pilgrims of Kumbha Mela – 2019.
Book stall – This greatest human congregation was also utilized by Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Prayagraj as an opportunity for spreading of holy message of Holy Trio. In our beautiful and decorative book stall daily approximate 300 visitors used to visit and asked us regarding the unique life of Holy Trio. More than 9000 books had been sold out during Kumbha Mela period.
Photo gallery of the Holy Trio – It is one of our effort to make aware our common pilgrims coming from the remotest corner of India about the life and teachings of Holy Trio. This Exhibition creates an impact about the serenity of Ramakrishna Mission among the devotees and pilgrims visited there.
Boarding/lodging facilities for Sadhus, devotees and pilgrims – We have made an arrangements for boarding and lodging facilities separately for male and female pilgrims, devotees and Sadhus. This opportunity was for those who want to cherish the unique spiritual atmosphere of Kumbha Mela. We have made arrangements for both Kalpavasis (those who stay at the side of river Ganga for one month and observe spiritual austerity) and for those devotees who want to take bath at the different bathing dates. All total 1500 devotees and more than 200 Sadhus enjoy the pious atmosphere of Kumbha Mela which surely elevated their mind into a spiritual plane.
Kumbha is the festival of the union of Faith, Trust, Affection and Culture.
Knowledge, consciousness and its mutual churning is that dimension of the Kumbha Mela which brings the awaken consciousness of Hindu followers without any invitation from time beyond.
The Kumbha festival was started without any perspective of history making, but it’s history was made itself by time. In other respect religious tradition always do stand on faith and belief not on history.
In conclusion we can say that the vastest fair of Kumbha is organised to unite different cultures in one string.
Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Prayagraj also devoted its limited contribution to make success of this grand endeavour.