Kiva Kumbh Mela Fire Unites the World for the Protection of River

Feb 14 2019

Kiva Kumbh Mela Fire Unites the World for the Protection of River

Prayagraj: Today at the Parmarth Niketan, Ganga Action Parivar, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance camp in Prayag Raj, Kumbh Mela, a very special ancient tribal ceremony was inaugurated with tribal leaders and hundreds of people from over 30 nations around the world. H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati, President of Parmarth Niketan, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Secretary-General of the Interfaith Global WASH Alliance, and Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti, Founder of Vrindavan Institute for Vaisnava Culture and Studies were joined by 32 elders from Abya Yala (Americas) including Marakame Alfonso Gonzalez from the Wirrawika tribe in Mexico, Lorenzo Izquierdo of the Arhuaco Nation in Colombia, and Martina Mamani Arosquipa, a Quechua leader from Peru, and many others. These spiritual leaders of the East and tribal leaders from the West ceremonially initiated a Kiva fire that will burn continuously on the banks of the Sangam at the Parmarth Niketan camp for four days.

Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati blessed the gathering, saying, “It is so wonderful to have our indigenous sisters and brothers from all over the world for this Kiva ceremony and to realize how similar our cultures are. We use different languages, we have different terms and different words, but our traditions of offering of the elements of the earth to the Divine through fire, air, earth, water and ether is so similar, it reminds us of the teaching from our scriptures that the ‘Truth is One, the sages call it by different names. ‘ It is so beautiful to see this in action. Viva Kiva, Kiva Viva.”

Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati welcomed the tribal leaders and global participants by saying. “It is so wonderful that here on the banks of the Sangam where our three sacred rivers come together to have our sisters and brothers of so many countries come together in a sacred confluence of cultures, of peoples into a divine Sangam of love and oneness for world peace and environmental protection.”

The inauguration marks the beginning of the Kiva Kumbh Mela, a four-day ceremony at Parmarth Niketan to unify the ancestral cultures of the world for the protection of the Holy Rivers of the world on the banks of the sacred Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. In bringing the Kiva to the banks of the Sangam, the Western tradition of the Kiva is uniting with the Eastern tradition of the Kumbh Mela. The intention is to remind the world that Mother Earth is a living being and her rights must be defended by all governments and legislatures around the world. Together, the Western and Eastern spiritual leaders will create an action plan for the protection of the Holy Rivers with a purpose of unity. During the ceremonies, the Ganges will symbolically represent all the world’s rivers, from which we take water on their passage to the sea. The Ganges, like all rivers and other water bodies, must be protected from perishable wastes and any kind of residues. The Kiva Kumbh Mela reminds us that Water is Life.

For many participants, the Kiva Kumbh Mela is part of a month-long pilgrimage thatll starts in Vrindravan, moves to Prayagraj, and concludes in Rishikesh at the Parmarth Niketan ashram for the International Yoga Festival, which takes place from March 1st to 7th.

During the Kiva Kumbh Mela, each day will commence with early morning Temazcales (sweat lodges) that will be followed by ceremonies and prayers around the Kiva fire. Each evening will close around the Kiva fire followed by sweat lodges. In this way, the sweat lodges bookend the day, and allow participants to carry the energy and power of the sweat with them throughout the day. Other activities throughout the day include sacred chants in various languages, dance circles, Ganga Aarti, distribution of sacred food, and cleansing of sacred beaches along the Sangam.

The Kiva Kumbh Mela is realized by Roots of the Earth, Vrindavan Institute for Vaisnava Culture and Studies, and Parmarth Niketan as an offering to the United Nations of the Spirit. The Kiva Kumbh Mela is open to everyone who wants to come no matter religion or tradition.

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