Sunday, 11 January 2009

Magh Mela - The Sacred Bath

Today the January Festival or Magh Mela opened
in Allahabad, my hometown, at Prayag on the banks of the Ganges River.
Magh is the eleventh month of the Hindu calender.Sangam is the spot where the 3 rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the unseen Saraswati have their confluence.According to Hindu belief bathing in the Sangam during holy auspicious times can wash away sins and help obtain moksha - freedom from the cycle of re=births.

The above photos were shot by my niece Mahima
2 years ago when she was 14.
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(The following excerpt has been taken from http://www.hindublog.com/}
Magh Mela is an important annual Hindu ritual held on the banks of Sangam ( Rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) in Prayag (modern day Allahabad). Magh Mela is also known as mini Kumbh Mela and is held in Magh month as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India. The main ritual involves taking a holy dip (bathing) at Sangam on auspicious dates. In 2009, Magh Mela begins on January 11 and ends on February 23. It must be noted here that Magh Mela is not confined to the Magh month and the important bathing dates are spread over a period of 45 days.
The important dates during Magh Mela 2009 are:January 11 (Paush Purnima)January 14 (Makar Sankranti)January 26 (Mauni Amavasya)January 31 (Basant Panchami)February 9 (Maghi Poornima)and February 23(Maha Shivratri)
It is widely believed that taking a holy dip at the Sangam on the auspicious days during the period will wash away the sins and will lead to Moksha (merging with the Supreme Soul) – the ultimate aim of Hindus.
Important bathing dates during Magh mela attract nearly a million Hindu devotees. A temporary tent city is erected on the banks of Ganga in Allahabad. Numerous religious organizations and ashrams erect separate camps for their followers.
A major highlight during the period is the Kalpavasis – pilgrims who live in these camps during the period of the Magh Mela.


(The rest of the photos were taken from the Internet)

According to the Bible, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.Jesus shed His blood for us on the cross to pay the price for our sin. The Bible says without the shedding of blood there can be no remission or forgiveness of sin. Someone had to die in our place to obtain our freedom .

Jesus took our place on the cross.

13 Fertilize my soul:

Sita said...

Do you know what, Amrita? The sight of all the crowds who gather for the rituals speak of the hunger and desperation that all unfilled souls have until they are filled by the Only One who satisfies, who cleanses, who heals, who restores.

My friend, Tony, a converted Brahmin, says that his people have a great zeal for God but without knowledge. He said he was a really good guy until he accepted Jesus as The Way, the Truth and the Life. Then suddenly he saw his heart as it really was, stained with sinful thoughts, attitudes and actions. He also met a Saviour able to cleanse, and renew, a Saviour who loves unconditionally. I know that Jesus' heart is moved with compassion as He sees the crowd because that is how I feel because He lives in my heart.

Blessings to you. Pray that you are still taking it easy to heal and restore your body.
Love, Sita

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
It is a soar sight, but it is also a sight of millions working on their own salvation.
In the west only few bother about their immortal soul.
We will pray for all.
From Felisol

Michelle said...

As a strong Christian it is so hard to see so many lost, wanting to do the right thing but not understanding. My heart goes out to them. It is amazing to see the number of people. You are right when you say the only way is through Jesus. Blessings :)

Gail W. said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, Amrita. I've heard it said that all mankind is born with a God-sized hole inside them. We run here and there, looking for something to fill the void when only God alone will do. I pray for the lost and wandering, that the message of God's Own Son will reach their ears and their hearts.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Wow, that is a lot of people seeking forgiveness. If only we could make them believe in Christ's forgiveness. I pray your work will impact many for Jesus Christ.

Lille meg said...

What a crowd of people!
They don't know where to go. They don't know the right way to go.
It is just Jesus and he alone who can save them.
Thank you for this post,Amrita.
We need to know. We can pray for all these people, and I am sure you do.
Have a blessed week!

Pijush said...

Nice post Amrita and lovely collection of pics. Wonderful.

~Robin said...

I feel a heaviness seeing that picture of so many people desperate for the Living Water that Jesus came to bring.

Crown of Beauty said...

Hi Amrita,
This is my first time to visit your blog, I jumped over from Felisol's blog. You have a good website, very personal, and you sound so kind. I thank God for leading me to your blog. I will surely visit you again and again. Pleased to "meet" you! I pray for the sad and lost people in the pictures you posted -- wanting to be saved but not knowing how. I know your ministry will impact many lives for Yesu.

Donetta said...

Dash and I both wish that it were known. That it has been done once and for all...
He came to kiss me goodnight and found it interesting.

Amrita said...

You are right friends its a sorry sight. I been to the river bsnk many times with family and friends and tried to share Christ with seeking pilgrims.
I have read stories of people finding Christ through witnessing around the mela area.

My countrymen are very religious and go to great lengths to practice their faith. If only they could find the one true God.
Had God not been gracious i would have been like any of them.

I want to welcome Jennifer Hudson Taylor to my blog, you are an acomplished historian and author, so glad to meet you.

Dear Crown of Beauty, welcome to my blog and thank you for your kind comments. I like reading about your life in the Phillipines and your faiht.

Varun Gupta said...

Hello Friends, as we say that we are proud to be an India so in the same way we should also encourage Hinduism and say "Proud to be a Hindu" Well I have written an article on Maha Shivratri Puja, hope you will go through it and according comment on it. thanks :)

Regards,
Varun

Amrita said...

Dear Varun,thank you for visiting my blog. I am extremely proud to be an Indian. The people of India are very religious and seekers after God. God bless my country.