Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Htspotlight - Sm­riti Malaviya sm­[email protected]

RAYAGRAJ: Naga sad­hus, who were seen the last time on the third and last ‘shahi snan’ (royal bath for as­cetics) of the on­go­ing Kumbh on Sun­day, stole the show. In dread­locks, these holy men charged the at­mos­phere with their loud cheers.

Af­ter the last ‘shahi snan’, many of them will re­turn to their se­cluded places in Hi­malayas while oth­ers will take up the duty given to them by the Akhadas in dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try. They will re­turn to Praya­graj dur­ing Ma­hakumbh af­ter six years. These war­rior as­cetics re­mained highly dis­ci­plined as they rushed for the holy dip. The sense of pride was very much vis­i­ble on their face for lead­ing the Shaivite Akhadas, the ma­jor be­ing Shree Panch Dash­nam Juna Akhada, with their an­cient weapons and sym­bols of their pre­sid­ing de­ity.

A Naga sadhu also gave some re­lax­ing mo­ments to the se­cu­rity per­son­nel with his alert­ness dur­ing the shahi snan pro­ces­sion of Juna— the largest of seven Shaivite Akhadas. Hold­ing two large sticks, he en­sured that eager pil­grims did not block the route on which Acharya Ma­haman­dalesh­war of Juna Akhada Swami Avd­he­shanand Giri ar­rived.

He re­mained at the en­try point of the Akhada Marg and con­trolled the move­ment of around hun­dred ve­hi­cles of ma­haman­dalesh­wars and high or­der seers with so much ex­per­tise that none of them stopped mid­way. “This Naga sadhu did ex­tra­or­di­nary work of con­trol­ling the crowd. He made our job eas­ier ,” said R Ya­dav, a PAC per­son­nel de­puted on the Akhada Marg. The ‘shahi snan’ be­gan at around 4.30am when Shree Pan­chay­ati Akhada Ma­hanir­vani and Shree Shambu Atal Akhada led by high or­der seers Swami Ravin­dra­puri, Shree­ma­hant Ya­mu­na­puri and Shree­ma­hant Satyam­giri ar­rived at the Sangam.

Fond of dogs, a Naga sadhu ar­rived with his Ger­man Shep­herd wear­ing a gar­land around its neck. The ‘shahi snan’ pro­ces­sion of Vaish­nav, Udasin and Nir­mal Akhadas ar­rived af­ter 12.30pm.


▪ A Naga sadhu dries up his hair af­ter tak­ing a holy dip at Sangam on the oc­ca­sion of Bas­ant Pan­chami at Kumbh in Praya­graj on Sun­day.

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