Kumbh Mela is a significant pilgrimage and religious festival in Hinduism. On this occasion, devotees gather in huge numbers to bathe in the holy river to cleanse their sins. Kumbh Mela is touted as the 'world's largest human gathering for religious purposes' as this pious occasion is attended by people from all over the world and from all walks of life. The Kumbh Mela 2021 will be held from 14th January 2021 to 27th April 2021.
Kumbh Mela is organised every twelve years in rotation at four holy places: Haridwar, Allahabad, Ujjain, and Nashik. The Kumbh Mela is held by rotation between Prayagraj at the Sangam or confluence of the River Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, Haridwar on the banks of the Ganges, Ujjain on the banks of the Shipra, and Nashik on the banks of the river Godavari. The normal Kumbh Mela is organised every three years, and the Ardh or half Kumbh Mela is held every six years. The Purna or full Kumbh Mela is held every twelve years at the four places mentioned earlier based on planetary movements, and the Maha Kumbh Mela is held at Prayagraj after 144 years. The Kumbh Mela 2021 will be at Haridwar.
Kumbh Mela sees a gathering of millions, with the purpose to be freed from the vicious cycle of birth and death and move towards a superior and heavenly realm. 'An eternal life free from sins' is what this mega event of Kumbh Mela promises. This auspicious event is marked by a ritual dip in the holy waters. Along with bathing in the river, this event also celebrates communities coming together. The event usually sees fairs, mass feedings of the poor or the sages, education and religious discourses by saints, and other spectacles. At the heart of Kumbh Mela lies the all-encompassing belief and the spiritual secret of Hinduism- Moksha.
The origins of the Kumbh Mela can be traced back to Hindu mythology and Puranas. According to Hindu mythology, after the Sagar Manthan, when the Gods were carrying away the pitcher or pot of Amrit, i.e., the nectar of immortality, which had emerged from the churning of the sea, a few drops of the precious nectar fell in four places on the earth. These four sacred sites are Haridwar, Nashik, Ujjain, and Prayagraj. It is believed that the nectar drops gave mystical powers to these sites; therefore, the Kumbh Mela is held in these places. It is thought that by visiting Kumbh Mela and taking a dip in the water, one can imbibe the essence of purity, immortality, and mystical powers that the nectar had. Moreover, the struggle and the pursuit between the gods and the demons over the 'Amrit Kumbh'- the pitcher filled with nectar is said to have lasted for twelve days, which is equivalent to twelve human years. This is why the Mela is celebrated every twelve years, rotating amongst the four sacred sites.
Did you know that the Kumbh Mela 2021 is quite special? For the first time in a century, Kumbh in Haridwar is taking place on the 11th year and not on the 12th. This occasion is happening after 83 years. Earlier, this co-incidence last occurred in 1938. This happens due to planetary movements.
Depending on what position the Moon, Sun, and Jupiter hold in different zodiac signs, Kumbh Mela's location is determined. Kumbh Mela in Haridwar is organised when Jupiter is in the Aquarius constellation, and the Sun enters in Aries. Jupiter or Guru completes the twelve zodiac signs cycle in 11 years, 11 months, and 27 days. This means that every twelve years, Jupiter moves into the same position and enters the Aquarius sign. When Jupiter completes its cycle and again enters Aquarius, and the Sun enters Aries, the propitious Yoga of 'Kumbh Mahaparva' is created in Haridwar. This leads to the occurrence of Purna (Full) Kumbha Mela. Purna Kumbh Mela is held once every twelve years. Every eighth Kumbh Mela occurs after 11 years, and this is why the 21st century eighth Kumbh is falling in 2021 and not 2022.
It is an age-old belief that taking a dip in the holy river during Kumbh Mela is auspicious. According to Hindu scriptures, it is said that if a person takes a bath (Snan) in the sacred river during the pious Kumbh Mela, they will attain salvation. The devotees believe that bathing in the holy water is a means to atone for past mistakes, and the dip has the power to cleanse them of their sins. It is also believed that the person gets freedom from any pain or disease that he is suffering from. Taking a dip or bathing in the holy river is deemed to set people free from the cycle of birth and death, and one can attain Moksha. Astrologically, whenever Jupiter enters Aquarius and Sun in Aries, a powerful cosmic supercharge happens at Haridwar. The whole place and the atmosphere becomes charged with that power. This is why it is believed that taking a bath in the Ganges promotes spiritual growth, emotional growth, better health, and puts you on the right road to achieve Moksha.
Kumbh in Haridwar will witness the coming together of pilgrims, sages, and saints, accompanied by akharas, to bathe in the holy Ganges. In Kumbh 2021, there will be four Shahi Snans in 2021 Kumbh Mela.
The dates of Kumbh 2021 Snan or the holy bathing dates for this mega event are mentioned below.
14th January 2021- Makar Sankranti (Snan)
11th February 2021- Mauni Amavasya (Snan)
16th February 2021- Basant Panchami (Snan)
27th February 2021- Magh Poornima (Snan)
11th March 2021- Maha Shivratri (Shahi Snan)
12th April 2021- Somvati Amavasya (Shahi Snan)
14th April 2021- Baisakhi (Shahi Snan)
21st April 2021- Ram Navami (Snan)
27th April 2021- Chaitra Purnima (Shahi Snan)
Now that you know the dates get ready to embrace the pious occasion. However, don't forget the COVID-19 measures.
To know more about the astrological significance of Kumbh Mela 2021 or the rituals, consult expert astrologers at Astroyogi.