Prayag Kumbh Forum For Emergence Of Ideas
Kumbh in India has been declared as an unique cultural heritage of the humanity by the UNESCO recently. Pt.Jawahar Lal Nehru was astonished to see the faith of sea of humanity in the Kumbh who dedicate themselves to purification of body and soul through ritualistic bath.
The largest congregation of the people in Kumbh at Prayagraj earlier Allahabad is not only to have a dip to wash sins and to earn PUNYA or grace of the Almighty but it is for distribution of knowledge or GYAN to people who gather in Kumbh in millions so that they can make their life better ultimately to achieve heaven and BRAHMA and to make their society and the country and the World a better place to live.
Apart from crores of pilgrims, lakhs of foreign tourists also become the part of congregation on the confluence of the great river Ganga and her elder sister river Yamuna. They gather also to get enlightenment or clarifications from lakhs of saints and great souls who also come to bless them with their deliverances treasured by them after lot of research, meditation and penance. The visitors then go back to cleanse their inner- self and embark on a new journey of forgiveness and share their bounties with less privileged and the poor in India and abroad. They go back with a positive energy and holistic perspective after relishing the journey of spiritual upliftment and discovering peace, tranquility and facets of truth in life.
In this Kumbh, opportune moments are provided by saints, SADHUS and Yogis of different colours, clans, faith, denomination and congregations like AKHARAS by way of their ‘Pravachana’ i.e. public discourses to uplift spirit of humanity and to infuse philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam’(Global Life).The way the Kumbh ie pitcher contains water of many rivers and water sources,the outcome of thinking of humanity in Kumbh may unite the mankind.
During this Kumbh at Prayag, following issues are likely to be discussed by the visitors in great presence of learned saints and leaders of various sects, congregations and individual great thinkers and GURUS(spiritual teachers).
(i) At Individual level
At present, an individual is at crossroads whether to follow the tenets of religion or to indulge into material life in violation of settled norms of morality and disciplined life as ordained in religious scriptures in the present social environment of corruption, deceit and malpractices, he will be a loser. Norms of morality and conduct are flagrantly being violated by the so called leaders in the society including politicians, bureaucrats and even by religious leaders. How an individual can fasten himself to well- laid down norms of life when his own existence is being threatened now and then and he feels helpless. Whether the norms laid down by Vedas, Puranas, Smritis and Ramayana and Mahabharata can make a good bargain for him as single hapless man. Every individual now-a days does cost- benefit analysis in each of his action. If his concerns of livelihood, employment and reasonably good life are not addressed properly and in short term, he will likely convert himself as a rebel against the system which is very dangerous for the harmony and peace of the Indian society which has been so far subscribing to the mandates of Vedas and Shastras. Whether and how best an individual can follow norms of joint family system or VARNASHRAM system. If nuclear family has become the norm or practice in the present day, how best an individual can lead his nuclear family life peacefully and blissfully.
(ii) At Societal Level
There is degeneration in the tradition of Guru or spiritual guide and people are unable to comprehend the golden old traditional values known as SANATAN or perpetual tradition. In the absence, he is directionless. Whether the four Shankarachrya of the Hindu fold, will take upon themselves to bring the truth before the large sea of Hindu community after sinking their inner conflicts and contradictions. Whether politics and criminality can be separated from the religion. Whether the religious leaders can refuse donations from the blackmarketeers. Whether an individual can still fight alone in the vicious circle around him in the society. How a faithless society like ours can be converted into a self-assured society. A faithless society is a potential danger to the existence of the regular system. Whether Government can be a strong instrument or agency to protect him and to provide him due opportunity to develop. Whether good governance or RAMRAJYA can be a reality and how can the present political system can be cleansed up. How the anti-social and criminal elements in the society can be tapered down so as not to threaten a peace loving person.
(iii) At National Level
Our national life requires lot of debate and dialogue .Kumbh is a great occasion to deliver national issues though it is mainly concerned with the emancipation of the individual life. As per the great Indian thinking, if individuals progress, society will automatically progress. This is sometime in contradiction with Marxian approach.
Indians are said to be good as individual but bad as a group. How the duty towards society and nation can be more infused over and above so called patriotism. How the social evils can be removed. We require many social reformers like Kabir from the congregations at Kumbh Prayag who will go back and propagate resolutions taken by them during Kumbh among millions of Indians.
Simply abusing the present political and administrative system will not serve any purpose. Swamy Ramdev has shown how India can withstand pressures of western life and multinational companies. Whether construction of Ram temple will serve the national interest in the long run. Whether Ram himself approved of construction of his temple. How the cleaning of the Ganga can be implemented by the Governments ,NGOs, Saints and Sadhus with the co-operation of the people. What the standard of quality of water is required of the Ganga and rivers in general.
(iv) At International Level
Indian saints and their many outfits are spreading around the World in a way which was not possible in the past. Indian culture, ethos and practices are going to earn maximum foreign currency in times to come. Therefore, it is high time that pure form of Indian culture is brought out during discourses in Kumbh. It is a fact that India can no longer remain in isolation. Thus saint like Ravishankar of the Art of Living organization has demonstrated that one head of a religious congregation can go and bring peace in Iraq, war torn Syria and in Kashmir. Even he is welcome in Pakistan. Thus, this is high time that the Indian saints and Yogis have their forays in the World so as to make India safe and lovable country by other countries and their countrymen. Then we can realize the dream of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam’.
According to Prof.Amartya Sen, the Nobel Laureate , India is a society of discourse and dialogue. This Kumbh is the real forum for that. Let the society get rid off its inequality and discrimination and unite in the pitcher ie Kumbh of the Nation.s I am sure that many jewels of thoughts will emerge on the conclusion of this World’ greatest congregation which will be spread over India and the WORLD which will pave way of new thinking and action in New India.
By Dr. P.K. Agrawal