The Kumbh Mela is the biggest religious gathering on the planet. It happens only every other 12 years, as the planets need to align in a certain configuration. In western terms Jupiter enter Taurus, while the Sun and New Moon enter Capricorn, which happens to be my sign.
Approximately 80 million people are believed to have attended this year in Allahabad (north India) where the divine rivers Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati (symbolizing the Creator, the Sustainer and the Destroyer) join together and the Trinity becomes One (still remaining trine, of course). Bathe in there if you dare and the Karma you have accumulated through your many past lives, will dissolve and you shall be free of negative recurring patterns, family neurosis, fears and bad thoughts, ready for serenity.
This year I was one of them 80 million visitors. I went because it was the fulfilling of 12 Kumbh Mela cycles and the Sun and Moon had not been in Capricorn this way for the last 144 years. That must count for something right? No matter how much of a skeptical you are!
For being so holy, Allahabad is a rather ugly industrial city, without a single glorious temple or opulent palace. It is also extremely polluted, as polluted as Springfield but without a Moe’s tavern. And yes all the waste, human or chemical, is poured straight into the river where the devout make their ablutions. Thank the Gods for Doctors Without Frontiers who are there administering ready support to the sick multitudes. I was armed with all my best intentions not to be a tourist, to get over my prejudice and get in there with all of them, willing to accept some form of collective catharsis, of any type, no matter how small. But after dipping only my right hand and feeling it tingle all over, I decided that in between Karma and cholera, I was still better off with all my recurring patterns, neurosis and mad thoughts, so I gave it a pass and kept my clothes on. It was still amazing.