Tibetan monks pray for mankind's well-being at Allahabad Maha Kumbh
Allahabad, Feb. 6 : Tibetan Buddhist monks took out a religious rally at the Kumbh Mela here, and prayed for the well being of mankind.
The monks and other followers carried the ritualistic Mandala (holy soil) in a pot to be immersed in the Ganges River.
The Mandala is made from finely powdered coloured marbles, herbs and grains and is immersed in flowing water. It is believed that the Mandala spreads positive energy and has a healing effect.
A monk, Tenjin Dorjee, said their aim is to spread peace and harmony in the world.
"It is done mainly for the well being of all living beings and for the spreading of peace in the world. To immerse it (Mandala) in the Ganges signifies that it is made with a lot of effort. Right now, it is being brought in a pot, and then, it will be immersed in the Ganges," Dorjee said.
Once every 12 years, tens of millions of pilgrims from India and abroad stream to Allahabad for the Maha Kumbh Mela at the point where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers meet with a third, mythical river.
The festival has its roots in a Hindu tradition that says God Vishnu wrested from demons a golden pot containing the nectar of immortality.
In a 12-day fight for possession, four drops fell on earth, in the cities of Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. Every three years a Kumbh Mela is held at one of these spots, with the festival at Allahabad the holiest of them all.
More than 2,000 years old, the festival is a meeting point for the Hindu sadhus or hermits, some who live in forests or Himalayan caves, and who belong to dozens of inter-related congregations.