Life at Kumbha Mela
Posted April 14, 2004
Life at the ISKCON Kumbha Mela camp is going on steadily, Mangala Arati first thing followed by a full morning program. Prasadam follows this, and then devotees go about their different services, the sankirtan devotees from Vrindavan are going out to different parts of Ujjain, and a few stay at the camp to man the book table, which has a very good range of books and devotional items.
It is very hot during the middle of the day; so many devotees take some rest in the early afternoon. Then after prasadam at about 5.00pm in the afternoon we take the Padayatra cart out on Harinam until about 8.00pm. The Harinam is ecstatic; we either go in towards the centre of Ujjain or head towards other parts of the tent city. Whichever way we go there are throngs of sadhus and pilgrims getting the benefit of the chanting of the Holy Name, some join in with us in the chanting and dancing. We have also been distributing halava prasadam from the Padayatra cart, so the pilgrims and sadhus are getting benefit from this also. There are some photos in the Picture Gallery on the Kumbha Mela website, www.virtualtemple.net/kumbhamela
This morning I went to Rama Ghat and then over the river to some of the other camps, there is one camp of Raman Reti Maharaja, they have a huge hall for classes during the day and rasa lila in the evening, the whole hall is air conditioned for which they have a huge generator at the back of their camp. They are also feeding thousands every day with prasadam, using steel plates and cups (photo on today's Photo Gallery page)
We then went to the Nagas area of the campsite, there were many naga babas sitting in their camps, together with other sadhus drinking Coca-cola and smoking chillums (see Photo Gallery). There is a whole spectrum of personalities here at Kumbha Mela.
Having white skin everyone asks me where I am from, so I tell them I am from the Spiritual World, the same place they are from, this gives any easy way into preaching about us being spirit souls and not these bodies. The preaching opportunities here are endless, you meet people at our camp, on the streets, at the bathing ghats, everywhere.
It is a very enlivening experience being here, so I would like to invite you
to come and experience Kumbha Mela at Ujjain. The next major bathing date is
the 22nd April, so if you are coming try to make it here before then.