Kumbh Mela is one the most ancient, and yet still living, traditions of India’s glorious past. The festival dates back to the pre-Vedic period, as even in the Vedas Kumbha Mela is described as a tradition that was already well established. The popularity of Kumbha Mela has only increased over the millennia, gathering millions together every twelve years at each of the four holy places in which the auspicious event occurs and making it the world’s largest gathering of people on Earth for one common purpose. It is said that even those saints and sages who live in divine isolation, high in the Himalayas, engaged only in meditation and austerities, emerge from the mountains to attend the Kumbha. Kumbha is a world-renowned trademark of India’s proud antiquity, and is a matchlessly divine occasion.
Kumbha Mela is a microcosm of the beauty and rich diversity of India. Amidst all the pomp and liveliness, one can drink in the nectar of India’s ancient spiritual traditions. No matter where you go within the Mela, there will be people sitting in satsang with India’s saints and sages, bathing in the sacred rivers, meditating at the banks, engaging in yogic practices and attending yoga classes, chanting mantras and singing bhajans. Even the 330 million gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon are said to attend the Mela on the inner planes. Every corner of the Mela is permeated with ancient tradition and spirituality.
This Kumbh Mela, under the divine inspiration and leadership of Pujya Swamiji, efforts were made to make this the first-ever, “Green Initative” Kumbh Mela, in partnership with Allahabad’s NGOs, schools, institutions and ministry. This was the first of its kind of program, aimed at not only beautifying the grounds and waters of the Kumbh area, but also to massively spread awareness and education about the importance of restoring and protecting Mother Ganga and the environment, thus informing and motivating festivals-goers from all over the world to become stewards of the environment around them as well as spreading technologies like ecofriendly toilets, efficient water filtration systems, and more.
In addition to the numerous meetings GAP had during Kumbh with all the leaders, activists, government officials and others who camp to the GAP camp, some of the many projects and activities GAP took up while at Kumbh Mela included: