Allahabad or Prayagraj or Tirtharaja Prayag is one of the holiest places in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Known for the confluence of three holy rivers, i.e. Ganga, Yamuna & Saraswati as Triveni Sangam, it is also known as Tirtharaja, i.e. King among all the Tirthas. Among its various important aspects, Prayagraj is famous for Kumbha Mela, where lacs of devotees and holy men take dip in the holy waters of Triveni Sangam. Like Kumbha Mela, Magh Mela is also popular among devotees and Sadhus. Thousands of people do Kalpavasa, i.e. residing on the banks of the holy sangam for whole month of Magha, performing austerities and doing charities and bathing in the holy waters of Triveni Sangam.
Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama Prayagraj, where Swami Vijnananandaji Maharaj performed austerities for almost 28 years, and is one of the oldest centres of Belur Math, conducted Magh Mela Camp this year also from 8th January to 11Th February 2020. The camp was located at Old G.T. Road, Tulsi Chauraha, Sector-5, Magh Mela, Prayagraj. It was inaugurated on 9th January, 2020.
Several activities were conducted in the Magh Mela Camp during this period of about one month. The following are the facilities provided to devotees and Sadhus:
Prayer Hall cum Temple: A beautiful Prayer Hall with Temple having images of the Holy Trio along with the image of Swami Vijnananandaji Maharaj, founder of Prayagraj Ashram. Daily Mangalaratai, Puja, Evening Arati and Bhajans were conducted in our Prayer Hall.
Free Dispensary with Emergency Facilities: Throughout the period of our Magh Mela Camp, free medical services were provided to hundreds of devotees and Sadhus who came to Magh Mela for spiritual solace. They were treated under the supervision of expert doctors and trained paramedical staffs. 14285 Rogi Narayanas (patients) were treated during this period. Through this seva, Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, spread the message of “Shiva Jnane Jiva Seva” (Service to Man is Service to God) given to us by the Holy Trio.
Book-Stall: Ramakrishna Mission Seavashrama Prayagraj, To spread the teachings of Holy Trio and other saints through books a Book Stall was installed by Ramakrishna Mission Seavashrama Prayagraj. Many devotees and Sadhus visited our book-stall daily, asking for the life and teachings of Holy Trio.
Photo Gallery: In our effort to spread more about the lives of Holy Trio, serially numbered and systematically arranged, detailed picture charts of the life of Holy Trio were exhibited in our photo gallery. Through this, many devotees who came to Magh Mela from remote areas, also came to know about lives and teachings of the Holy Trio.
Boarding/Lodging facilities provided to Sadhus & Devotees: Separate boarding and lodging arrangements were made for the male and female devotees, Sadhus and Kalpavasis. Arrangements were made for Kalpavasis (those who reside for full one month performing austerities) and other devotees also who came in particular dates to reside and take bath in the holy waters of Triveni Sangam.
During this period, Relief Work was also done to serve and honour Safaikarmis (Sweepers) of Magh Mela. On 03.02.2020, Monday – 300 blankets and on 04.02.2020, Tuesday – 500 sweaters were distributed to those poor and needy Safaikarmis.
Like Kumbha Mela, Magh Mela is also the festival of faith, devotion and service. A holy gathering of large no. of devotees proved this fact. Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama Prayagraj devoted itself in the service of these Sadhus and Tirth Yatris throughout the period of Magh Mela – 2020.