Monday, August 31, 2009

The Kumbh Mela Phenomenon

As in lfe, things just seem to fall into place of their own accord
sometimes. Like a Karmic sequence, like the convergence
of rivers, my previous post about the
River Ganges led to
my unplanned viewing of
'Short Cut to Nirvana', a LINK TV
Documentary film. This phenomenal award-winning film

somehow got linked thereafter to my receipt of an evite
to Glenn Losack's upcoming show Sept 2009 at Salon Ciel
in New York featuring his Kumbh Mela picture.
(Unfortunately this show will be yet another chapter in the
days of my vicarious* lifestyle. )

The Bathing Ghats of Dr. Glenn Losack's fabulous capture above
depict one of those unimaginable moments that for centuries
have left so many in a stupor of disbelief. No less a person than
1894 attendee and famous writer Mark Twain wrote,...
No matter what the impulse is, the act born of it is beyond
imagination, marvelous to our kind of people, the cold whites.

Based on attendance alone, there just isn't any event in the world
that comes close to the Kumbh Mela, the World's largest, oldest,
longest-running Fair of its kind. While it is still primarily a Hindu
it is now a world-renowned Travel Event that follows
the revolving path of the different venues at
Allahabad (Prayag)
at the confluence
of the Ganga and Yamuna and mythical
Saraswati river, Haridwar
along the Ganga river, Ujjain along
the Kshipra river and Nashik
along the Godavari river.

Burning Man, Woodstock, Altamont, Carnival, Rave and
all rolled into one. But don't think in hundreds of
like they do : The 2007
Kumbh Mela attracted
70 million folks, and even more are expected for the 2010 Fair.
There's music food, drink and Pot. Lots of Pot being freely shared.
There are Spiritual seekers from far continents with no knowledge
of what they will find here, who intermingle with those who do
nothing but meditate, surviving on receiving alms, which they
never ask for. Hordes of naked Sadhus ** run through the chilly
river in a bathing scene that mildly evokes the Polar Bear Club's
annual icy dips. Yogis display amazing feats of strength even as
Massages, mind-expanding discourses and lectures are being given.
Even the Dalai Lama beamed all the way as he joined
the superstars
of Spiritual Thinking
in the colorful parade of floats. It's all just too
much to share with you here. Go visit the wiki page if you can.
Or go buy the movie at the Official site.

Enjoy the official trailer of 'Shortcut to Nirvana' below
: link

How to Celebrate Kumbh Mela from

* experienced or realized through imaginative or
sympathetic participation in the experience of another

** In Hinduism, sadhu is a common term for a mystic,
ascetic, practitioner of yoga (yogi) and/or wandering
monks. The sadhu is solely dedicated to achieving the fourth
and final Hindu goal of life,
moksha (liberation), through
meditation and contemplation of


  1. lovely and meaningful pictures... makes me wanna live in India.thanks for sharing..I am now a certified fan of Dr.Glenn Lossack

  2. thanks for sharing Fred.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. (Reposting previous comment which I deleted due to errors)
    Sylvia, I am really pleased at how much you care and share with your friends everywhere but especially for taking the time to comment and join me on my journey here and on Facebook. I know that Dr. Glenn's work will keep you occupied for as long as you are willing to care about the world's unfortunates.

    Thanks for being a friend !