Madness 2

David Jennings’s description of Kumbha Mela sounds like it’s a hippie gathering.

Over the bridges by the tens of thousands, shouting, chanting, singing, thrusting spears and tridents into the air, some painted orange, some wrapped in pink or saffron robes, some naked, some wearing crowns and capes, some bearded, some with swords, some with long matted hair, some adolescent, some old enough to have seen British rule, barefoot and hobbling forward, possessed by some mysterious mystical glee, down, into the Ganges they come.

Kumbha Mela is a Hindu festival, when tens of millions of pilgrims go to bathe at the Sangam – the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers. Pilgrims are intended to wash away their sins. Maha Kumbha Mela is considered to be the most auspicious religious event and the biggest religious gathering in the world.

Days go by, we become more and more rational and believe less and less in supernatural beings. But it looks like even in the 21st century most people in India sincerely believe in myths. In 2001, 70 million pilgrims came to bathe in the rivers they believe holy.

An ancient India lives in the heart of Modern India. Thousands of gods are dead today including the mighty gods of Olympus, Zeus, Apollo, Aphrodite, Dionysus, Athena. But Hindu gods are still surviving in the crowd of monotheism. It seems when monotheistic gods will all be dead, Hindus will make their gods survive. They unbelievably love their 33 million gods.

I have never been to Kumbha Mela, like I have never been to Hajj or Biswa Ijtema. Am I claustrophobic? I am not sure. But I stay away from all kinds of madness, and that I am sure of.


one legged naga sadhus.preview






  1. says

    The third picture is one of the Naga Sadhus. Snake men of India… They were quite the freedom fighters during the british rule.

    They paint themselves in the ashes of the dead and they traditionally are the holy men of funerals. They are also the kind of Hindu priests who do the martial arts things (hence their traditional weapons of big ass curvy sword and trident)

    They are quite interesting to talk to, just need to buy them liquor and weed… (Both are sacred to them). A pale imitation of their glory days as men who were treated like kung fu masters but still.


  2. Sarmistha says

    They call Ganga their mother, but they are killing their bit by bit…. thousands of species also get killed….students are made to do EVS project about Ganga pollution when the process is on. what an irony!!! religion casts a veil of ignorance in front of the eyes. horrible and true

  3. lorn says

    As I understand it, listening to people who live or hike the area, the Ganges is essentially an open sewer where the majority jump in. A fine way to spread any number of diseases. Then again, given the population of the nation, perhaps a few thousand dying is not seen as such a priority, and certainly most religions teach that the health of the body is inconsequential compared to the notional health of an imagined soul.

  4. says

    In Jamaica cannabis or marijuana is often called ‘Ganja’. In Thai, the word is written ‘Kanjya’. Both roots are from the name of the river Ganges. In the modern ‘rational’ world law enforcement agencies lock up hundreds of thousands, if not millions for using or distributing ganja. Hippies go for the pictures of naked men whose only possessions are a shillom and perhaps a luxury mobile phone. You see pictures of Hindu festivals in many middle class homes in Northern Europe. I always thought of the smell and the smoke.

  5. surya says

    in my huble opinion everyone is mad.. Mahaveer says why be mad after desires starting from clothing. For such people whole world is immersed in madness, let it be science, progress(what we call). Budda said why be in mad of violence starting from eating meat. I feel why people are mad to get drunk and jump in clubs(my personal view).
    So the point is one has every right to be mad but it shuld not hurt other.

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