Greetings fellow yogis, students, seekers and friends!
I’m happy to announce the birth of a long-awaited project – that of my blog. I hope to add weekly posts and help you – the “armchair yogini (or yogi)” step a little bit more into my world as a full-time yoga and wellness practitioner, teacher and student… and someone who also has a full family life, responsibility and desires just like you.
Today, I share with you a glimpse into the pilgrimage I happen to be on with some dear friends, and
my teachers, here at the world’s largest spiritual gathering – the Kumbha Mela at the Himalayan Institute near Allahabad, India. We’ve been here almost a week, and have finally settled in, waking at 5:30am for Chai Time, meditating on the banks on the Ganges River (aka the “Ganga” by the locals) at sunrise, eating cracked wheat porridge (everyday) for breakfast, as well as hearing spiritual lectures by Rolf Sovik (coming to Devanadi in August!!!) and of course, entering the Mela.
What is the Kumbha Mela exactly? I’m not an expert, but in my newly acquired insight into this several thousand year-old event which happens on this scale every 12 years, it’s a time when people from all parts of India gather together auspiciously to celebrate the mystical union of three sacred rivers (Triveni Sangam). In Allahabad, the Ganga River (which represents Ida nadi, plus inner focus and spiritual awakening) meets the Yamuna River (representing Pingala nadi, joy in the world, prosperity, happiness and comfort), as well as the hidden Saraswati River (representing Sushumna nadi, as well as SRI, or all that which is auspicious and good), said to be underground. In Hatha Yoga language, it represents the meeting point of the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna nadis (energy lines) in the 3rd Eye Chakra, which is the seat of our intuitive, meditative and refined consciousness. For 40 days and nights, millions of people – literally – come and gather to hear swamis, sing kirtan 24/7, and bathe for purification in the Sangham (the point where these 3 rivers meet) until a true melee ensues. Underlying the constant hubbub – no sonic pulse – of the Mela is the steady sound of OM if you listen closely enough…
So today is AUSPICIOUS BATHING DAY… the new moon in the sky brings 30,000,000 to the Mela today, and is considered to be the best day to get your feet wet – and if you dare as a non-Indian, whole body – in the spiritual waters of the Sangham. Considering that the waters are 100x more polluted today with E. Coli than the Indian (not US) standards for health, our group obviously is choosing NOT to enter the Mela. Instead our tradition created our own inner refinement with a sunrise fire ceremony honoring the loving, compassionate, kind and protective energy of the Great Mother who loves and serves us all in times of all fear – whether created in our minds or real in the world. I feel about 50lbs lighter after that ritual, and hope you feel a glimpse of this special inner river within you.
I leave you with love and peace, sending truly deep wishes for all who read this to bathe in the light of ALL these spiritual pilgrims… that in you, too, a deep reverence of life, and love for this life, is steadied and supported. Tap in!