PEACE WITH ALL……………………..

PEACE TO ALL……………………………………..

Date : 09 Jan 2001

The Millennium`s first Mahakumbh Mela began in Allahabad on Jan 09, 2001 on the banks of the ‘sangam’ (where 3 holy rivers - Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati meet) with lakhs of devotees taking the holy dip amidst unprecedented security arrangements and chilly weather conditions. This is the world's greatest gathering of mass humanity. The Guinness Book of Records described the last Kumbh Mela in 1989, when 15 million people came together, as the "greatest recorded number of human beings assembled with a common purpose." The timing of the pilgrimage, whose origins have been dated back to the Neolithic period, is dictated by planetary alignment. The 2001 event has special significance, with an alignment of planets that will not be repeated for another 144 years. Mark Twain, who attended the Kumbh Mela in 1895, remarked on the "unwavering faith" of the pilgrims who "plodded for months in heat to get here; worn, poor and hungry."

Devotees from different parts of the country and abroad had started thronging the sangam since Monday late night but the bathing formally began at two in the morning on Jan 09, 2001, the Mela District Magistrate (DM) Jeevesh Nandan told PTI in Allahabad. Lakhs of people are likely to take the holy dip at the Sangam, he said adding that the bathing was likely to continue till the evening.

This event has attracted many people from outside Hindusthan, which includes Germany, Austria, Mexico and just from every corner of the earth. "I read about the Kumbh on the Internet and an inner voice told me come," says Josefa Geiss from Germany. The favourite lure of the foreigners seems to be the idea of renunciation of the material world taught by Hinduism. "I don’t need hamburgers, tequilas and Latino music," says Adrian Villasenor from Mexico.

A "Sant Sammelan" (Gathering of Sages) is also organised during the "Mahakumbh Mela" by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Forum) on January 19. This gathering plans to set a date for the construction of a Hindu temple on the ruins of the so-called Babri mosque, which was demolished by Hindu Nationlists in the northern town of Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.

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