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PM at Prayagraj:

PM at Prayagraj:

inaugurates new airport complex, integrated command and control centre for Kumbh Mela

Thesynergyonline News Bureau

"मकरे च दिवा नाथे ह्‍म‍जगें च बृहस्पतौ कुम्भ योगोभवेत्तत्र प्रयागे ह्‌यति दूलर्भ: " मेष राशि गते जीवे मकरे चन्द्र भास्करौ । अमावस्या तदा योगः कुम्भख्यस्तीर्थ नायके ।। " When the Jupiter is in Taurus or Vrishabha (zodiac sign) and the Sun and Moon are in Capricorn or Makra, the kumbha is held at Prayag.

NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 16 : The Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, today inaugurated a new Airport Complex, and an Integrated Command and Control Centre for the Kumbh Mela, at Prayagraj.

Performs Ganga Pujan

The Prime Minister also performed Ganga Pujan, and visited the Swachh Kumbh Exhibition. He visited the Akshay Vat in Prayagraj. He also dedicated to the nation, inaugurated, or laid the Foundation Stone for various development projects at Andawa in Prayagraj.

Addressing a large gathering, he announced that pilgrims for the Ardh-Kumbh this time will also be able to visit the Akshay Vat. He said the Government is making every effort to ensure good connectivity to Prayagraj. He said the projects dedicated today, would help both infrastructure and connectivity. He said the new airport terminal had been completed in a record time of one year.

The Prime Minister said that every effort is being made to ensure a unique experience for devotees coming for the Ardh-Kumbh. He said the effort is to showcase India's glorious past, and vibrant future.

The Prime Minister said that the Government is also working to ensure a clean Ganga. He said the sewage treatment plants and beautification of Ghats would go a long way in this regard.

The Prime Minister described the Kumbh as a symbol of India and Indianness. He said it unites us, and gives a glimpse of Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat. He said that the organisation of the Kumbh is not just a matter of faith, but also a matter of prestige, and every visitor to the Kumbh should be well taken care of. He said the Ardh-Kumbh would show how 'New India' encompasses both heritage and modernity.

The Prime Minister said that he wishes to caution the country that certain forces are trying to put undue pressure on the judiciary. He said these elements consider themselves to be above all institutions.

The origin of the Kumbha Mela

The medieval Hindu theology extends this legend to state that while the Devas were carrying the amṛta away from the Asuras, some drops of the nectar fell at four different places on the Earth: Haridwar, Prayaga (Allahabad), Trimbak (Nashik) and Ujjain.[3] According to the legend, these places acquired a certain mystical power and spiritual value. A Kumbh Mela is celebrated at these four places every twelve years for this reason. People believe that after bathing there during the Kumbha mela, one can attain moksha.

While several ancient texts, including the various Puranas, mention the samudra manthana legend, none of them mentions the spilling of the amṛta at four places.[3][4] Neither do these texts mention the Kumbha Mela. Therefore, multiple scholars, including R. B. Bhattacharya, D. P. Dubey and Kama Maclean believe that the samudra manthana legend has been applied to the Kumbha Mela relatively recently, in order to show scriptural authority for the mela.

The Story of Sagara Manthan

Once Indra lost his kingdom due to the disrespect he showed to sage Durvasa who cursed him out of anger. He approached Lord Vishnu, who advised him to seek the help of the demons to churn the ocean of milk (ksheer sagar) so that he and the devas could partake the Amrit (ambrosia), which would make them immortal and help them regain their lost kingdom.

According to his advice, the devas under the leadership of Indra approached the demons (Asuras) for help. After deliberations, they all finally agreed to churn the ocean together and share the proceeds.

To churn the ocean, first they sought the help of Mount Mandhara, and the great snake Vasuki. The obliged. Using Vasuki, the snake god as the rope and Mandhara, the mountain, as the churning stick they began to churn the ocean. While they were churning it, Lord Vishnu assumed the form of a tortoise and held Mandhara from sinking.

This Kumbh is unique as Vaishnav Akhadas and Shaiva Akhadas which bath together at Prayag.

During the churning, several wonderful objects sprung out of the ocean. However, the first to manifest from the ocean was a deadly poison, known as halahal, which seemed to threaten the very existence of all by engulfing the worlds and poison everything. No one was willing to deal with the poison that appeared in the ocean or remove it.

They prayed to Lord Shiva, the healer of sickness and remover of all poisons. He came and saw the poison spreading in the ocean.

He gathered the whole poison with his hands into a large cup, and while the gods and demons were watching in amazement, he swallowed it in one gulp. Parvathi, his consort, who was standing by his side, pressed his neck as he swallowed to make sure that the poison would not flow into his stomach. Fortunately, due to the act of Parvathi the poison remained stuck forever in his throat, neither going up into his mind nor going down into his stomach. Ocean churning Mythological significance of Kumbh revolves around the story of the samudra manthan or ocean churning which was done by the gods and demons to obtain the invaluable ratnas or the jewels and amrita or the nectar of immortality.

The ocean of milk (ksheer sagar), which was churned by the gods and demons, represents the mind or the consciousness, which contains many hidden secrets and treasures.

The churning of the Ocean of Milk was an elaborate process: Mount Mandara was used as the churning rod, and Vasuki, a nāgarāja who abides on Shiva's neck, became the churning rope. The Asuras demanded to hold the head of the snake, while the Devas, taking advice from Vishnu, agreed to hold its tail. As a result, the Asuras were poisoned by fumes emitted by Vasuki. Despite this, the Devas and the Asuras pulled back and forth on the snake's body alternately, causing the mountain to rotate, which in turn churned the ocean. When the mountain was placed on the ocean, it began to sink. Vishnu, in the form of the Kurma turtle, came to their rescue and supported the mountain on his shell.

This Kumbh is unique as Vaishnav Akhadas and Shaiva Akhadas which bath together at Prayag.

ocean churning
The ocean churning

The Samudra Manthana process released a number of things from the Ocean of Milk. One was the lethal poison known as Halahala, which in some versions of the story, escaped from the mouth of the serpent king as the demons and gods churned. This terrified the gods and demons because the poison was so powerful that it could destroy all of creation. Then the gods approached Shiva for protection. Shiva consumed the poison to protect the three worlds but it burned the throat of shiva. As a result, his throat turned blue and was hence called Neelakantha (the blue-throated one; "neela" = "blue", "kantha" = "throat" in Sanskrit).

Ratnas

All kinds of herbs were cast into the ocean and fourteen Ratnas (gems or treasures) were produced from it and were divided between the Asuras and the Devas. Though usually the Ratnas are enumerated as 14, the list in the scriptures ranges from 9 to 14 Ratnas. Most lists include:[2] According to the quality of the treasures produced, they were accepted by Shiva ( because of consuming the poison), Vishnu, Maha rishi's (for the accepting kamadevi), or Surabhi, which was given by Vishnu, the Devas and the Asuras.

The amṛta

Finally, Dhanvantari, the heavenly physician, emerged with a pot containing the amṛta, the heavenly nectar of immortality. Fierce fighting ensued between the Devas and the Asuras for it. To protect it from the Asuras, Garuda took the pot and flew away from the battlefield.

The Devas appealed to Vishnu, who took the form of Mohini and, as a beautiful and enchanting damsel, distracted the Asuras; then, she took the amṛta and distributed it among the Devas, who drank it. An asura named Rahuketu disguised himself as a deva and drank some nectar. Due to their luminous nature, the sun deva Surya and the moon deva Chandra noticed the switching of sides. They informed Mohini who, before the nectar could pass the asura's throat, cut off his head with her discus, the Sudarshana Chakra. However, some of the nectar had managed to get down his throat and he did not die: from that day, his head was called Rahu and his body Ketu, which both later became planets. The story ends with the rejuvenated devas defeating the asuras.