Wednesday, January 17, 2018
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spiritual or commercial

The seers and saints have fully enjoyed the warm adulation they received –and are still getting--in Allahabad during the Mahakumbh. This might have prompted some of them to decide that instead of four Kumbh Melas at Allahabad, Nasik ,Ujjain and Hardwar these fairs should be held at eight additional places taking the total to 12 i.e. one Kumbh Mela per year in the country. What a splendid opportunity these fairs would provide to all those who know how to reap windfalls of profit, including pick-pockets, petty thieves and so on. The saints will be visiting all these fairs and enjoying the adulation if not the gifts that would be showered on them by the devotees. And people living close to the new places will enjoy every bit of it. In case crowds at each of the additional places are as big and huge as witnessed in Allahabad, it will give a big boost to the commercial activity in the areas concerned.

A resolution to this effect was passed at the Kumbh Chintan Shivar naming the additional eight centres proposed for Kumbh Melas which are: Badrikashram in Uttarakhand, Guwahati in Assam, Kurukshetra in Haryana, Gangasagar in West Bengal, Dwarika in Gujarat, Puri in Orissa, Kumbhkoran in Tamilnadu and Simaria in Bihar. The proposal came from Karpatri Swami Chidatman on the very first day of the three-day camp and was endorsed by all the seers. And Swami Chidatman was unanimously nominated the Kumbhacharya of Simaria . Kumbhacharyas of other places would also be similarly nominated. Swami Chakrapane says that Rudrayamal Tantra, Valmik Ramayan, Padmapuran and other holy books have mentioned these places in the Kumbh context. 
True. But why didn’t this idea occur to the seers of the preceding generations? In fact in those eras, when means of transport were very poor, it would have been far better had the 12-centre proposal been made and implemented because people then were truly religious minded and there was no showmanship as witnessed now, both among the worshippers and those adored by them. Many feel that the aim is more to boost commercial interests and less to promote spiritual enlightenment. Need I mention that for local population the Mela was turned into a money-minting machine-be they the taxi- owners, the tempo drivers, the snacks sellers, the accommodation providers , the grocers, the milkmen, the cooking gas suppliers and so on. True humanitarian spirit was shown by the philanthropists who stood by the roadsides even in the city to serve snacks if not meals to the visiting pilgrims.


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