Baba says, ‘Only when God comes at the confluence age can it be said that there is the meeting of souls with the Supreme Soul. This is the true meeting.’
The ‘Kumbh Mela’ is a major festival and pilgrimage of Hindus. It is celebrated in a cycle of approximately 12 years, to celebrate every revolution Brihaspati (Jupiter) completes, at four river-bank pilgrimage sites with the main one being Allahabad (Prayagraj) at the confluence of three rivers (Ganges-Yamuna-Sarasvati). The festival is marked by a ritual dip in the waters; the seekers believe that bathing in these rivers is a means to prāyaścitta (atonement, penance) for past mistakes, and that it cleanses them of their sins.
God comes at the end of the cycle of time to give His own introduction and explain to souls, the truth about everything – Him, us, and the world cycle. This is the true meeting, or the true confluence which takes place only once every cycle- when the current cycle is to end and the new one is to begin. In other words, God comes in the impure world to change it into the pure world, He comes in an old world and makes it new again. He explains that He alone is the Purifier; He comes to purify souls that have become impure having gone through the cycle of birth and rebirth. ‘You were pure’, He tells me, ‘for half the cycle. The world too was therefore pure, it was heaven. Then, you forgot who you are- that you are a soul and started considering yourself to be the body instead. Due to this wrong consciousness, you fell prey to the five vices and slowly descended into complete degradation. Consequently, the world too descended from heaven into hell.’ This is the true meeting when the Purifier Father Himself comes, purifies impure souls and takes them back home with them.
He asks: ‘how can bathing in a river make you pure? sure, it can cleanse the body but how would water make you, the soul, pure?‘
I became impure when I forgot who I am and became body conscious. That implies that to become pure again, I would need to remember who I am again. It has nothing to do, therefore, with bathing in a river! Everyone is in the deep sleep of Kumabhakarna, says Baba, you need to wake them up. God comes and teaches me Raja Yoga, the study to reclaim my purity and thereby, my self sovereignty. He says, ‘Manmanabhav! consider yourself to be a soul and remember Me alone’. All souls are impure at this point and therefore, He is my only reference for how to be. He is the reference because only He is unadulterated given He remains beyond the cycle of birth and death; He is therefore in constant realization, He never forgets. When I connect with the Father, He reminds me of who I am truly, of my virtues and powers that are inherent in me but have been dormant for half a cycle. In other words, His remembrance awakens my own truth. Only when I am awake myself can I then awaken others.
He isn’t just my Father but also my Teacher and Satguru. He gives me shrimat or elevated directions for everything – my thoughts, words, actions, even my diet and lifestyle. When I follow His directions, I course correct and become righteous again. This Hindu legend describes the creation of a “pot of amrita (nectar of immortality)” after the forces of good and evil churn the ocean of creation. The gods and demons fight over this pot, the “kumbh,” of nectar in order to gain immortality. In a later day extension to the legend, the pot is spilled at four places, and that is the origin of the four Kumbha Melas. Well, Baba comes and dispels this myth as well. The churning refers, He explains, to the churning of the ocean of knowledge that He gives me at this time. Each point of knowledge is a precious jewel worth multi-millions, He explains and when I churn each point, that is go deep into its experience, then it becomes the nectar that I drink or imbibe within myself. As I imbibe the knowledge, I continue to free or liberate myself from the bondage of wrong identities, fears and falsehoods.
The cycle now comes to an end, Baba reminds me. He comes to take me home and I then come into heaven or the new world or the land of immortality. This doesn’t mean that there is no death in the new world, there is. But it won’t be a surprise or a cause of sorrow to anyone. Instead, Baba explains, there, I will know when it’s time to leave the old costume and take on a new one. So I do so happily, it’s a celebration, not a mourning. I am happy and everyone else is happy for me!
This is the true ‘Kumbh mela’, Baba explains. This is the true meeting, the true confluence and the true nectar. The Father is the Ocean and this Brahmaputra (Father Brahma) is the first river to emerge from Him, then, there is gradual expansion and there are more rivers that emerge from this confluence. This Ocean is the Ocean of Knowledge and the rivers are also rivers of knowledge; the Kumbh mela that they celebrate is a memorial of this time in Bhakti. While millions of souls go to bathe in those rivers, it is only a handful of souls that recognize and meet the true Ocean of Knowledge at this time. For these handful of souls, it is a stage of ascent, it is the true omen of Jupiter. For everyone else, it is descent. And so Baba says to me daily, ‘remember Me alone. As much as possible, continue to reduce the remembrance of bodily beings.‘ When I remember the one Father and drink the nectar, I make myself strong and knowledge-full. Then, I can become the stick to the blind; then, I become able to show my brothers and sisters the way home too.