Recently my family and I went for an outing. It was sort of a travel to mythological places in Maharashtra.
As a youth, going for a pilgrimage is not considered to be a great achievement. People don’t really enjoy the experience you’ve gained. Rather sometimes hilarious comments are passed at you. So was my expectation about the whole journey. My parents were about to go for this pilgrimage and forced me to be a part of it. Even though I was quite delighted with the fact that we were going on a tour still there was something just holding me a bit away from all the excitement.
India itself is a country with diversification in every respect and when you are a part of a gathering like no other (kumbh) you feel united in this diversification. Not only people from all villages, towns and cities come over, but we also find people coming out of forests and caves at this time of the year for only one purpose – for their spiritual growth and liberation. The Kumbh takes place once in every twelve years and at the time- when we reached, it was taking place in Trimbakeshwar (considered to be the most sacred place in India).
In Kumbh all the pilgrims need to do the ritual bathing. I was even fortunate to be a part of the ‘Peshwai Procession’ that too being a member of the akhara. In this procession sudhus as heads of different akharas come up in chariots till the kund where we do the ritual bathing. This procession is the major events of the Kumbh Mela. The water is said to clear all your sins and helps one in attaining moksha.
For me more than taking the dip in the water, the happier moment was to see so many people delighted to step into the water even after travelling for 5 hours and even more in the cold night with the least amount clothes they could wear. It is even fascinating to think about the naga pandits to do so because from the beginning till the end of the ritual they wander about naked without a clatter of teeth. It is furthermore fascinating to look around and find people covered in ashes and sandalwood, and saffron coloured clothes. Not only does it catch your eye but it is even soothing to your eyes to find people happy and excited about their turn.
With all of this going around we find a large force moving about, patrolling all throughout the time at the service of all the pilgrims and helping the process to be carried out systematically. At this point we do not find one person out of the whole force corrupted; rather it is pleasant to look at them to be at utmost care of their duty towards not only towards the people but also towards their deity.
All throughout the journey prevailed a certain sense of positivity, beauty and respect toward things, people and their difference in ideas and perspectives. Not only this but the whole environment or set up was so picturesque that you could not continue to be in anxiety for more than just a moment. The town did not have a lot of man made structure but was left to grow in its manner. Thus, it has been rightly said “beauty lies in the beholder’s eyes.” This statement does not say how I was able to look at it rather it is to tell you that every scenario and circumstance coming in our life can leave two perspectives, it is on you how you make it work out for yourself.