By OUR STAFF REPORTER
Rishikesh, 15 Jan: On the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti, today, pilgrims from more than twelve countries came together under the leadership of Swami Chidanand Saraswati, President, Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, and Founder, Ganga Action Parivar and Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, to have a sacred bath at the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. They also pledged to preserve and protect Mother Nature and Mother Earth.
On the day of the first official Shahi Snan of the Kumbh Mela before going to the sangam for the snan, Swami Chidanand led the pilgrims and yatris in a clean-up programme on the banks of the sacred river to emphasise the beginning of Swachh Kumbh, a historic Mela with a Message.
He reminded them that, before bathing in the Ganga, they ought to give a bath to the banks of the river, out of love and devotion to Her. Following the clean-up, the Swami led the yatris to the sacred sangam for a snan in the holy waters. “Kumbh is not an external exhibition, but is for internal self-discovery,” he declared. He reminded them that to celebrate and purify themselves, they had to simultaneously take care of the environment by keeping sacred rivers and mother earth clean.
Sadhvi Bhagawati shared the significance of the auspicious day. “On Makar Sankranti, we welcome the sun’s return to the northern hemisphere. As we welcome Surya back to our cities, countries and our hemisphere, let’s not only be grateful for the return of the light and warmth of the external sun, but let us also remember to welcome our own internal light back. So many of us live in darkness — darkness of ego, ignorance, anger and separation. On this day let us welcome back the light of our true divine selves. As you have your sacred dip in the sangam, it is an opportunity to bathe in the Divinity of your True Self.”
From 14 January to 24 February, the Ganga Action Parivar & Global Interfaith WASH Alliance with Parmarth Niketan are hosting an eco-friendly, environmentally focused camp at the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. Daily divine activities as well numerous inspiring, large-scale events to uplift and empower all, and to focus everyone on a theme of Culture, Nature and Future will be organised.
By OUR STAFF REPORTER