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Now akhara's gear up for the big day!

india Updated: Feb 12, 2010 19:36 IST
Prithviraj Singh

The holy city is a lot calmer now. The Kumbh fervour has mellowed down after over one crore people bathed in the Ganga on mauni amawasya — no moon night —that coincided with the solar eclipse on January 15.

The holy city is now looking ahead for the entry of the babas.

Naga Akharas — bodies representing Naga sadhus (naked seers) — have begun their preparations for the flag hosting and the Peshwaee ceremonies. Taking the lead will be Varanasi’s Juna Akhara that will take out its procession on January 30.

Peshwaee is a religious procession that denotes the formal entry of seers into Kumbh and takes place amid a cheering reception from the people.

So, as the Kumbh administration gears up for the January 20 holy bath, seers from 13 akharas across the country are busy preparing for their respective Peshwaee that will take off on January 30 with the Juna Akhara sadhus marching into the city — a symbolic gesture representing the start of a formal congregation of different religious sects in the holy city.

“Peshwaee preparations are at their peak and all concerned office bearers of the respective akharas are doing their best to make it a grand event,” said Mahant Hari Giri, general secretary of Akhara Parishad, a 52-member council representing the akharas.

Hari Giri said the Peshwaee will be followed by a grand flag hosting ceremony by the Juna Akhara on January 26. The ceremony takes place in keeping with appropriate celestial alignments.

The ceremony also paves way for imparting sanyas (the renunciation of worldly life) to a fresh lot of followers in accordance with the religious customs on certain pre-decided auspicious dates,” Giri said.

The flag hosting will be followed by “a formal worship of the motherland” and then the entry into Kumbh will take place, Giri added.

The Kumbh in Haridwar is also important in a non-spiritual context for the Juna Akhara. The election of the sect’s cabinet is to take place after the second royal bath on March 15.

“The current cabinet members — with a 3.5-years tenure — mainly those belonging to the Ramta Panch (wandering regiment) have completed their term and fresh elections will be held after March 15,” said Vedwyas Puri, secretary, Ramta Regiment.

According to Giri, the Peshwaee will mark the establishment of different chairs of akharas at the Kumbh site and will follow a series of discourses for disciples round the clock.

“Seers from the respective akharas will appeal to the people to maintain peace and harmony in the country in keeping with the age-old tradition. This traditional appeal has continued for thousands of years, when kings and even Mughal emperors sought similar favour from us,” said Giri.

In other words, Kumbh will take its full colour only after January 30.