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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 few Naga Sadhus have their bodies smeared with ashes. They were once warriors, that's why they still carry weapons, such as Trishula with Dumroo and Sword. 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. The sword is the weapon of Kali who is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment. 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. Bathing in the holy waters of Ganges river is believed to be most auspicious at the time of Kumbh Mela, because the water is charged with positive healing effects and enhanced with electromagnetic radiations of the Sun, Moon and Jupiter. In Hinduism, Sadhu (good; good man, holy man) denotes an ascetic, wandering monk. Sadhus are sanyasi, or renunciates, who have left behind all material attachments. They are renouncers who have chosen to live a life apart from or on the edges of society in order to focus on their own spiritual practice. The significance of nakedness is that they will not have any worldly ties to material belongings, even something as simple as clothes. A Sadhu is usually referred to as Baba by common people. 15.02.13 © 2013 Didier Ruef