Bodhinatha, Arumugaswami and Nandinatha have reached Rishikesh where millions are gathered for the once-every-12-years Kumbha Mela on the River Ganges.
They are staying at several major ashrams, having been invited by the swamis as special guests.
In two days they will cross the river and stay at Parmath Niketan, to be with Swami Chidananda Saraswati, shown here in red shawl.
After visiting the Kumbh mela of 1895, Mark Twain wrote:
"It is wonderful, the power of a faith like that, that can make multitudes upon multitudes of the old and weak and the young and frail enter without hesitation or complaint upon such incredible journeys and endure the resultant miseries without repining."
" It is done in love, or it is done in fear; I do not know which it is. No matter what the impulse is, the act born of it is beyond imagination marvelous to our kind of people, the cold whites."
Wonderful to see our dear Gurudeva gracing the largest gathering of humanity on earth. May the Maha Kumbha Mela attract more media attention for sheer numbers and peacefulness, than the current media obsession on the relatively few frustrated souls scrapping in the desert.
The letter "Ya" in the Panchakshara Mantra, Namasivaya, stands for the soul. Bodhinatha uses the Panchakshara Mantra to show how the soul is initially drawn by Siva's veiling grace, which leads the soul to maturity through experience in the world. Then comes Siva's revealing grace. When we've had enough of the world, Siva's grace pulls us toward God. The mantra also has the simple, two-syllable form. Si- Reflecting on God the Transcendent Absolute, Va-God as the All Pervading Consciousness