Why is Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati River Sangam important
In the Hindu tradition, the three rivers Ganga, Saraswati and Yamuna symbolise Knowledge, Dispassion and Devotion, respectively. Sangam at Prayag is their meeting point. Seekers have travelled to this place for millennia to be blessed with knowledge, dispassion and devotion in the presence of wise sages. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar refers to the Kumbh mela as, ‘the largest and oldest spirituality expo in the world. In fact it is the oldest expo in the world.’ The Kumbh mela takes place every three years at Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. At Prayag, Magh mela takes place every year in the month of January. Seekers come and camp here.
Kumbh Mela at Prayag January to March 2013
There is white sand for miles around the river beds. The Kumbh Mela in 1894 at Prayag is where Paramhansa Yogananda ji’s guru Yukteshwar Giri ji had met the Adi Guru, Maha Avtar Babji. This is where Bharadwaj Rishi heard the Ramayan from Yagyavalka Rishi after a Kumbh mela.
Merging of Yamuna Ganga waters
Ganga and Yamuna water are distinct in colour and character, seen clearly at their meeting point at Sangam. The dark green Yamuna merges with the muddy Ganga. Ganga Gulls flock here in thousands.
Jagadguru Swami Rambhadracharya ji and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji at Kumbh mela at Prayag, 2013
Jagadguru Swami Rambhadracharya ji is Vice Chancellor of his University for the blind in Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh/Madhya Pradesh). Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji is Founder of the global institution, ‘The Art of Living.’
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Swami Swatantratanand ji at Kumbh Mela, Prayag, 2013
Devotees at Prayag Kumbh Mela
People come to bathe at the rivers’ confluence in lakhs on festivals like Makar sankranti, Basant Panchmi, Maha Shivratri, Mauni Amavasya, eclipses, Purnima, Amavasya, Kartik Purnima and Bhai Dooj. On Bhai Dooj or Yam Dwitiya (25 October 2014), brother and sister take a dip together in the River Yamuna. This is a tradition from Mathura Vrindavan.