It was during Bhagawan’s visit to Rishikesh during December 2018, that H H Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji invited Bhagawan to the Kumbh Mela in 2019. In response to this sincere prayer, Bhagawan along with a group of staff, students and devotees proceeded to the Kumbh Mela held in Prayag, on 25th January 2019.
The Kumbh Mela is the largest Hindu fair, where tens of millions of people gather to celebrate the divine nectar of immortality. Countless sages, saints, Rishis and Sadhus come together at the Divine Sangam of the sacred rivers: Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, to share their wisdom, insight and blessings with all. It is said to be a most auspicious time to bathe in the holy Triveni Sangam where the Ganga, Yamuna and invisible Saraswati rivers join together and become one.
Bhagawan arrived at the Parmarth Niketan camp in the early evening of 25th January and was given a traditional welcome with by members of the Parmarth Niketan Ashram. Bhagawan immediately then proceeded to the large Satsang hall, where a ceremony to celebrate and honour all the boatmen of Kumbh Mela, was underway. Each of the 500 boatmen who attended the event, were presented with life jackets as a gift for their service and the students of the Sri Sathya Sai Institutions marked the occasion with the recitation of melodious Vedic chants.
After the event, Bhagawan proceeded to His residence in the camp and retired for the evening.
On the morning of 26th January, everyone was seated in the beautifully decorated Pandal overlooking river Yamuna for the daily morning prayers, Yagna and Rudrabhishekam. After the Yagna, Bhagawan along with Pujya Swamiji and Sadhviji arrived at the venue whilst Bhajans were being sung. Bhagawan performed the Poornahuti or final offering to conclude the Yagna, offered prayers to Mother Ganga and then proceeded to the Republic Day flag hoisting ceremony.
As Pujya Swamiji and Sadhviji spoke about the Sangam or confluence of East, West, North and South bringing the country together as one, Bhagawan then briefly addressed the gathering in Hindi. He said, “It is only due to the power of faith that India thrives, Indian-ness thrives, and India’s spirituality thrives. Therefore, on this day we salute both our soldiers and our saints and above all, we salute the supreme Lord who protects our land.”
Thereafter, all students, staff and devotees along with Bhagawan, Pujya Swamiji and Sadhviji made their way in boats to the holy Triveni Sangam. Upon reaching the site of the confluence, Bhagawan performed Puja and offered prayers to the sacred river and proceeded with everyone, for a dip in the holy waters. After sanctifying everyone with sprinkles of sacred water and profusely blessing the boatman who had been singularly blessed to ferry the Lord across the river, Bhagawan returned to His abode in the camp.
The evening programme commenced with everyone seated at the Arati Ghat near the river Yamuna, for the evening Sangam Arati along with Bhagawan. The students began the proceedings with Vedic chanting and the gathering was then addressed by various eminent guests of Swamiji. Bhagawan also compassionately granted His Divine message and reminded the students to hold on to and take back the messages given by the eminent saints and great people. Whether it is preserving rivers, nature or even purifying oneself, these thoughts must be preserved and translated into action. Bhagawan then expressed His gratitude to the Parmarth team for arranging this visit and afterwards, everyone advanced back to the Satsang hall at the Parmarth Niketan camp for a Satsang with Bhagawan and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji.
The Satsang began with Vedam chanting by the girls and boys of the Sri Sathya Sai Institutions. Thereafter, Sadhviji spoke about inner and outer purity and said that as the Sangam cleanses our bodies from the outside, we must cleanse our minds. She then addressed a question about the use of technology and requested Bhagawan to speak further on the matter. Bhagawan explained that the mind is the root of the world and is responsible for all that we do. He said that there are no problems with the world, the problem is with the mind. Bhagawan went on to explain that in every era, there were objects of distraction, for the purpose of the world is to distract man from God. However, our goal is to realise our own Divinity and anything that does not allow the mind to turn inwards, should be avoided. Anything in excess is dangerous and one should use the mobile phone of the mind to connect to God. We must always remember: Unity, Purity and Divinity for, our destiny is purity; it is Divinity. Bhagawan also emphasised on the importance of unity in thought, word and deed, saying, “Think pure, think Divine. When your thoughts are pure, your words are pure. When your words are pure, your actions are pure. That is why they say: sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”
Sadhviji then requested Bhagawan to permit some of the girl students to remain in Prayag for one more day in order to open the forthcoming Women’s Summit with Veda chanting.
Bhagawan permitted some of the students to stay and fulfil Sadhviji’s request, saying that out of the 400 Rishis who composed the Vedas, 25 were women. Bhagawan spoke further about Indian culture and the tradition of Sanathana Dharma and the rich culture and heritage of India. Reminding everyone to keep God in the centre of everything, Bhagawan brought the evening Satsang session to a close and retired to His residence.
On 27th January, after the morning prayers, Yagna and Rudrabhishekam, everyone moved to the Satsang hall for Satsang with Bhagawan. The proceedings began with Bhajans as Bhagawan arrived at the Satsang hall and went around blessing and interacting with those who had gathered. After taking His throne on the dais, Bhagawan commanded Sri B.N Narasimha Murthy to speak. Sri Narasimha Murthy spoke about the sacredness of rivers and recalled that Bhagawan had earlier explained that previously, everyone and everything in this land of India had been spiritual. It is only in the last 200-300 years that materialism has crept in. The sacred rivers remind us of this ancient heritage of spirituality that has been the culture of India for many, many years. He explained further about the sanctity of the holy land of India and particularly Prayag which has been sanctified by the touch of many Avatars and sages. Expressing his gratitude to Bhagawan, Parmarth Niketan and all those who had worked tirelessly making arrangements for Bhagawan’s visit, Sri B N Narasimha Murthy concluded his talk.
Bhagawan then requested Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji to speak and she spoke about the importance of the Guru. She said that the Guru takes His disciples to holy places in order to purify and free their minds. She reminded everyone to allow the waters of the sacred Sangam to wash away all superficiality so that we may become empty in order to absorb everything that the Guru wishes to bestow on us. She also exhorted everyone to keep the ‘wetness’ of the sacred Triveni always alive in them.
Bhagawan then following on from Sadhviji’s talk, granted His Divine message and spoke further about the glory of Guru and God. Quoting the words of Sri Adi Shankaracharya, Bhagawan said, “The one whose mind is not attached to the feet of the Guru, what is the use of him having everything else?” He explained that while the mother shows the father to her child, the father must show the Guru to the child in order for the child to be guided towards God. All relationships should lead you to God, just as Prahlada chose God over his father, Bharata chose Rama over his mother, Meera chose Krishna and Vibhishana chose Rama over everything else. Bhagawan went on to say that the concept of Sangha or good company is what the Sangam reminds us. Everything begins with good company; realisation comes from good company. Urging everyone to keep remembering and contemplating on the experience of the Sangam, Bhagawan concluded the morning session and Prasadam was distributed to all. Then after lunch, Bhagawan and His entourage departed from Prayag and returned in the evening back to Muddenahalli thus bringing to a close, a most memorable and wonderful trip with the Lord to the Kumbh Mela.