MAHA KUMBH – ASTHA KA MAHAPARV / A film by Sangeeta Gupta
Festivals in Indian culture play a major role in breaking the inertia and monotony of masses, it develops the consciousness of people as well. Kumbh is one such Mega festival of humans on this earth. It is the world’s largest ‘water fair’.
Rivers have contributed immensely in the evolution of human civilization. Since the inception of human life river has been its closest companion, it takes care of all its needs from birth till it breathes its last. Therefore, even today the Indians gathers on the banks of their rivers on the pretext of performing one or the other ritual.
‘Unity in diversity’ is a unique and amazing tradition of Indian culture, its essence is eternal faith, kumbh symbolizes that faith. The legacy of this faith has transgressed from generation to generation.
Kumbh, Ardh-Kumbh and Mahakumbh are based on different astronomical occurances. However, advent of Mahakumbh is based on rare combination of entry of oxygen filled Jupiter into Venus and the entrance of the Sun and the moon in the Capricorn of the Saturn in Allahabad. On this date the Sun turns into summer solstice from winter solstice which is considered auspicious. This is a unique coincidence where life enforcing energies assemble together to diminish the ill-effects of negative elements, such occurrence is known as Kumbh.
Hawana, Yagya and Dhyan, though considered common features of our religious rituals, the foreigners are awestruck by such experience. By bathing in the blissful sangam they wish to connect to the infinity and make their life worth living in that tiny moment.
The confluence of social harmony and reverence, a rare phenomenon on earth can only be seen in the holy Kumbh town of India.
The women folk who spend a life time in the kitchen and have concealed grief inside their hearts come from far flung remote areas, though they have committed no sins in their life they still come to Kumbh in search of salvation.
Oh! Which unknown, undefined flicker of mind, propels human beings to arrive at the confluence of Sangam at Kumbh!
What is it? Is it the search of one’s own identity or the deep desire to connect with oneself or faith?
Whatever may be the reason this human mass of faith knowingly or unknowingly is weaved together by the threads of religion. Happening of Kumbh is the most apt explanation of the deep eternal traditions of our country, it requires no certificate or endorsement from anyone.
Direction, Photography , Script & Editing by Sangeeta Gupta/ Produced by Prithvi Fine Art And Cultural Centre
The film was screened at Sanskriti Kendra, Anandgram, New Delhi and telecast on Rajya Sabha TV.
Sangeeta Gupta is an artist of international acclaim has directed and shot 26 documentary films, mostly scripted by herself and seven films are in the collection of the Library of Congress, US.
She is a versatile artist and conducted many Exhibitions in India and abroad including at the prestigious galleries in London, Munich, Lahore, Belfast and Thessaloniki.
She has received many awards from government and others including Women Achievers Award from Indian Council for UN relations, Critic’s choice award, World University of Design, Longest painting on textile, Limca Book of Records, Longest painting made on hand spun khaddar, Miracles World Records and Longest painting made with natural indigo colour and dye, India Book of Records.
Sangeeta Gupta, the renowned artist, writer, Poet and filmmaker lives and works in Delhi now.