India 2013 Allahabad. Maha Kumbh Mela

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India. Uttar Pradesh state. Allahabad. Maha Kumbh Mela. Royal bath on Basant Panchami Snan (fifth day of the new moon). The ritual "Royal Bath" is timed to match an auspicious planetary alignment, when believers say spiritual energy flows to earth. Naga (naked) Sadhus celebrate their joy by taking a dip at Sangam and worshiping the river Ganges. A silver trishula with Dumroo and Rudraksha. A trishula is a type of Indian trident, commonly used as a Hindu religious symbol. The word means "three spear" in Sanskrit. In India, the term often refers to a short-handled weapon which may be mounted on a danda or staff. The trishula is wielded by the Hindu God Shiva. Dumroo is probably the oldest and traditional form of percussion instrument in India. It is most commonly known for its association with Lord Shiva. Rudraksha is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the name Rudra ("Shiva") and aksha ("eyes"). Rudraksha (also Rudraksh) is a rosary, used for repetitive prayer (japa), a common aid to worship in Hinduism. Rudraksha prayer beads are the material from which malas are made. A mala (meaning garland) is a set of beads commonly used by Hindus, usually made from 108 beads, though other numbers, usually divisible by 9, are also used. Malas are used for keeping count while reciting, chanting, or mentally repeating a mantra or the name or names of a deity. The Kumbh Mela, believed to be the largest religious gathering is held every 12 years on the banks of the 'Sangam'- the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. 15.02.13 © 2013 Didier Ruef