Friday, 12 March 2010

Kumbha Mela 2010

As some of you may already know, time is pressing for the Prisms of Light team right now. This is because we're aiming to secure funding so we can get to India and shoot for the film during one of the most epic spiritual gatherings in the world - the Kumbha Mela.

The Kumbha Mela is, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, "the greatest recorded number of human beings assembled with a common purpose". The mass Hindu pilgrimage sees millions of devotees, gurus, spiritual leaders and sadhus gather at sangam in Prayag, Allahabad, which is the point where the three sacred rivers - the Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati - converge. A ritual bath is one of the main events of the festival.

The Kumbha Mela has been held for more than 2,000 years and, according to Indian astrology, is held when the planet Brhaspati (Jupiter) moves into the zodiac sign of Kumbha (Aquarius). The Purna (complete) Kumbha Mela occurs every 12 years while Ardh Kumba Mela is celebrated every six years.

This year the Purna Kumbha Mela takes place in India from January 14 - April 28. Millions of pilgrims will bathe in the river, participate in religious discussions, devotional singing and the mass feeding of holy men and women and the poor.

The history of the festival dates back to the Vedic period and is based on a story in Indian mythology where the gods and demons made a temporary agreement to unite in obtaining amrita (the nectar of immortality) from the Milky Ocean and share it equally. But, when the Kumbha (pot) with the amrita appeared, the demons stole it and ran away, while the gods chased after them. For 12 days and 12 nights (the equivalent of 12 human years) the gods and the demons fought in the sky for the pot of amrita. It is said that the pot fell onto four places: Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. These are the four locations where Kumbha Mela is observed.

The historical significance coupled with the sheer enormity of the festival makes it an ideal backdrop for the Prisms of Light crew to document its mission of finding out what spirituality in India truly means to natives and Westerners alike. It's important that we can shoot during one of the greatest acts of faith in the world so when we say time is running out, we mean it.

You can help us get out there to capture this incredible experience! Please help us in any way you can by donating on the PayPal button on this blog or spreading the word about our project!

Thanks for your support!

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