India 2013 Allahabad. Maha Kumbh Mela

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India. Uttar Pradesh state. Allahabad. Maha Kumbh Mela. A Naga (naked) Sadhu sits on a carpet outside his tent at Sangam. A couple attends spiritual discourses inside the tent. Naga sadhdus were once warriors, that's why they still carry weapons, such as Trishula. A trishula is a type of Indian trident, commonly used as a Hindu religious symbol. The word means "three spear" in Sanskrit. In India, the term often refers to a short-handled weapon which may be mounted on a danda or staff. The trishula is wielded by the Hindu God Shiva. The Kumbh Mela, believed to be the largest religious gathering is held every 12 years on the banks of the 'Sangam'- the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. In Hinduism, Sadhu (good; good man, holy man) denotes an ascetic, wandering monk. Sadhus are sanyasi, or renunciates, who have left behind all material attachments. They are renouncers who have chosen to live a life apart from or on the edges of society in order to focus on their own spiritual practice. The significance of nakedness is that they will not have any worldly ties to material belongings, even something as simple as clothes. A Sadhu is usually referred to as Baba by common people. The Maha (great) Kumbh Mela, which comes after 12 Purna Kumbh Mela, or 144 years, is always held at Allahabad. Uttar Pradesh (abbreviated U.P.) is a state located in northern India. 6.02.13 © 2013 Didier Ruef