Maha Kumbhpuri in Prayag is the world’s largest city which pops up within 3 weeks, exists for 55 days and is removed within 7 days. It is the most sacred space on planet Earth, where millions of enlightened beings have walked, are walking and will walk. It is a place that has all tastes and varieties of Hinduism being served in one place! Everything available in the world’s oldest spiritual tradition is found in Maha Kumbhpuri. If you don’t find something in Maha Kumbhpuri, you can be sure that it doesn’t belong to the Vedic tradition. It is the most happening city of the world.
Kalpavaas, Take A Break From Everyday Life
In the Vedic tradition, staying in Kumbhpuri for a certain number of days is considered a spiritual practice. It is referred to as ‘Kalpavaas’. Various scriptures state that it lasts for 21, 42 or 55 days. Every sadhu, sannyasi, leader, and follower gathered at Kumbh Mela celebrates it in his/her own way while being centred on the same truth.
During this period of abstinence a kalpavaasi spends his time in meditation, snaan and fulfilling rituals to further their growth in their pursuit of realizing the ultimate. The following vratas or vows are usually practiced by all kalpavaasis:
Sankalpa: Taking a conscious resolution before starting the Kalpavaas. All rituals in the Vedic tradition begin with a sankalpa, and Kalpavaas is no different. The sankalpa is what keeps all the actions of the kalpavaasi aligned with the purpose of the Kalpavaas.
Mundan: The most auspicious ritual for the kalpavaasi is the mundan, shaving of the head. Shaving the hair from the body opens up all the pores of the body and make the body extremely porous to the deluge of the conscious energy available to them in the Kumbh sthalas.
Snaan: Taking a dip in the holy river thrice a day. The holy dip in the sacred rivers rejuvenates the bio-memory of the kalpavaasis and frees them from their karmas. During the Kumbh Mela, the water of the rivers has the effect of amrit.
Paath: In the Kumbh Mela, the kalpavaasis go to different tents and listen to varying ideologies of Hinduism expounded in discourses by spiritual gurus and sadhus. They engage in vaad prativaada (spiritual debate) to enquire into the higher truths and cognize them in the right way. This is the best time to grasp even the subtlest of truths as the whole environment is vibrant with the positive vibes of enlightened beings.
The Life of a Kalpavaasi
Kumbh sthalas are under an auspicious impact of conscious energy during the time of the Kumbh Mela. The strength of Vedic tradition is such that the spiritual truths automatically enter into your ears just by staying at the Kumbh ghats. Even after facing many invasions, the power of the Vedic tradition is still alive. There is a lot of joy and pride in belonging to the Vedic tradition, just by witnessing the phenomenon of Kumbh Mela. Kumbhapuri awakens devotion, knowledge, joy, pride, courage, trust, and ultimately, the bliss of Vedic tradition.
Another beautiful aspect of the city is that there are no immoral activities. There’s not a single trace of non-veg, alcohol, sexual activities or gambling. The whole city is just centred on one truth – spirituality. In fact, the crime rate is so low, that most tents don’t even have doors or gates. Even food is not sold; rather it is served freely to millions every day.Living in such a space for extended periods of time transforms your very ideas about life and what you perceive as the world. You wake up to the possibilities offered by the authentic Vedic lifestyle.
Indo-British Study on Kalpavaasis & Happiness
The kalpavaasis are an immensely blissful people in spite of the cold weather, pollution, simple food, clothes and shelter. Those conditions remain too insignificant compared to the bliss of the Vedic tradition. Recently, the Indo-British collaborative study done on kalpavaasis proved that despite the physical conditions being poor, kalpavaasis go back much healthier and happier. They took into account various parameters, such as health, noise, crowd, confronting inhospitable conditions during Kalpavaas and found out that there was an overall positive impact on kalpavaasis.
The Kumbh Mela is a celebration not to be missed by even those who have the slightest interest in Vedic tradition. It is the celebration of the ultimate happening!