Kumbh Mela is an auspicious gathering of millions of souls that come together to purge themselves before entering the heavenly realm of God. The Prayagraj Kumbh Mela 2019 began at 4 am on Tuesday morning with the holy Shahi Snan, As a part of the Shahi Snan, sadhus belonging to 13 akhadas are first to take a dip (according to the norms) in the sacred rivers. It is filled with a sense of devotion like waves in the ocean. ‘Shahi Snaan’ of Akharas, chanting of Vedic mantras and elucidations of religious hymns in the Pandaals, proclamations of knowledge, Tatvamimansa by rishis, spiritual music and mesmerizing sounds of instruments with utmost devotion fills the heart of devotees with immense joy.
It is very different as compared to Kumbh at other places due to many reasons. Firstly, the tradition of long-term Kalpvas is practiced only in Prayag. Secondly, the Triveni Sangam is viewed as the center of the earth in few scriptures. Thirdly, Lord Brahma performed the Yajna here for creating the universe. Fourthly, Prayagraj is called the shrine of pilgrimages, but the most significant reason is that the importance of performing rituals and tapas at Prayagraj is of highest among all pilgrimages and provides one with the highest virtue.
The Kumbh Mela at Prayag takes place for about 50 days, spread over thousands of hectares around the Sangam area, and becomes the greatest of an ephemeral city in the world. The routine of Shahi Snan dates back to centuries. It is assumed that the tradition of a Shahi Snan, a holy dip in the river, next to which Kumbh Mela has been organized, began during the 14th-16th century. The ritual is called Shahi Snan, meaning a royal dip, primarily because of the ceremonial importance attached to it.
There is a legend for this place in history, Maharshi Markandeya in ‘Matsya Purana’ told Yudhishtra that this site is specially protected by all the Gods. Staying here for a month and practicing full asceticism, remaining chaste and performing all oblations for his/her deity and ancestors meets all the aims.
It is assumed that an individual who takes the holy dip in the pious waters helps his/her ten generations from the cycle of rebirth, and hence, reaching salvation. Further, it is said that just by giving services to pilgrims at Prayag during Kumbh will help an individual to obtain redemption from temptation.
Prayag is visited by lakhs of pilgrims because of these faiths. Saints, ascetics and their followers pay their respect and perform several traditional rites at Triveni Sangam. Uttar Pradesh govt has made all the arrangements for piligrims and not left any stone unturned in order to make the religious event a big success.