Significance of Kumbh Mela
पुरा प्रवृते देवानाम देवैसह महारणे। समुद्रमंथनाप्राप्तं सुधाकुंभ तदा सुरै ।।
तस्मात्कुंभात्समुत्पत्र: सुधाबिंदु महीतले। यत्रयत्रापनत तत्रकुंभपर्व प्रक्रिर्तित ।।
All mankind struggle to earn the highest happiness and so who is willing to embrace "Death which distroys all this happiness to dust. To overcome death human being is in search of remedy for the same. God is superior than man and is free from death. God is having "NECTAR", which makes him immortal. This word "NECTAR" is repeated on and often in Vedic literature. The story of the birth of Nectar is as unclear.
In Krutauga "Durvas" the sage was happy to see Indra mounted on Adirawat the elephant. Durvas presented his garland to Indra as a gift. Indra however failed to grab it and fell down. It was crushed under the feet of Adirawat. It offended Durvas and he cursed Indra saying that Indra will be deprived of the thrown as well his position. He will also be deprive of his glory. The curse resulted in destroying the strength of gods and Indra. This made easy for the demons to defeat Gods every now and then. "Tripurasur", was the King of Demons and was ruling then. All gods surrendered to Lord "Vishnu". He advised gods to make compromise with Demons and take Demons help to "churn" the Ocean. It will cause Nectar to come up. On drinking Nectar Gods will be Immortal. Gods approached Tripurasur for his help. He agreed to help in churning the ocean on the condition that he will be given half of the Nectar. Gods and Demons shifted mountain "Mandar" and brought it near the ocean. "Vasuki", the serpent was called for to act as a rope to be tied to the mountain. He agreed to do so and asked for some quantity on nectar for his services. The serpent was tied to the mountain, from downwards the mountain was becoming heavier. Vishnu as a Tortoise supported Mandar and made the churning easy. Out of this churning many precious stone sprang up
लक्ष्मी: कौस्तुभपारिजातकांसुरा धनवंतरीचंद्रमा । गाव: कामदुधा: सुरेश्वरगणे रंभादिदेवांगना ।।
अश्वसप्तमुख: सुधा हरिधनु: शंखो विषचांबुधे ।रत्नानिती चतुद्रशं प्रतिदिन कुर्वन्तु वै मंगलम ।।
Along with other precious stone Shri Dhanwantari(Precious Stone) was coming up with the pot of Nectar. On seeing this gods in order to safeguard it from Demons as per the instruction of Vishnu and under the watchfull eye of Brihaspati, this pot of Nectar was given to Jayant Son of Indra. Moon was appointed as security for the pot. Gods wandered in all the three loks(world) Mrithyu lok, Patal Lok and swarg lok with the pot. They wandered for twelve days in mrityu lok i.e twelve years of present world. During this period the Nectar pot was kept at four places, namely "Haridwar", "Prayag", "Trimbakeshwar" and "Ujain". At the time of keeping and lifting the Nectar fell at these places. From that time onwards the above four places are known as places of Nectar Area. The churning of ocean and the rise of Gangawatarn happened in the same period of (Satyayug) Present world. Vishnu also took the incarnation of Tortoise in this period only. Thus it is clear that "Sinhasta Kumbmela" is held only at shree Trimbakeshwar. Nasik as a prilgrimage is known only from the days of Lord Ramchandra's stay at panchvati during Dawaparyuga. Hence one must take bath only in "Kushawarta at Trimbakeshwar" during kumbhmela and get himself rid of all sins and acquire nectar for spiritual knowledge.
इति शुभं भवंतु
Sage Gautam's orison caused Ganga to appear on earth as "Kalimalharini"
(Godawari). This happened in Krutayug in the month of magna, when
Neptune(Guru) enters Leo(sinha). Following is the brief history of
gautami Ganga's Rise. The sage "Gautam" from sharabadakul was residing
at Trimbakeshwar. His wife was "Ahillya". Rigerous prayers and service
of the mankind, Sage Gautam created fear of shaking the thrown of Indra.
Deceiving Gautam, Indra caused him to commit a sin of cow slaughter. All
the sages of that time suggested that sage Gautam will be free from the
sin if he take bath in the waters of Ganga which sprang out of the
Locks(Jata) of Lord Shiva. Hence Gautam with his wife offered prayers to
shiva for twelve years on Bramhagiri and prayed for springing of ganga
on earth, So that he can take bath in it and be freed himself of the sin
of cows slaughter. Shiva pleased by the prayers of Gautam asked Ganga to
flow on earth. Ganga refused to do so. Shiva then furiously banged his
locks of hair and freed ganga from the Locks( Till this date this place
is in good condition on Bramhagiri). This compelled ganga to flow on
earth. She told shiva that she will leave immediately after Gautam,
takes his bath and is freed from sin of cow Slaughter. However she
further asked shiva, if he wants her to be on earth for the upliftment
of mankind, then she should be considered the holiest river and Deities
must gather at the point of her birth and stay there for thirteen
months, when jupiter enters Leo and she be prayed at first only before
all deity. This condition was accepted by all. Since that time Ganga is
flowing on earth and shinhasta is held at Shri Trimbakeshwar.
Henceforth Gautami Ganga is flowing from the root of Audumbar(a type of Fruit) Tree on Mountain Bramhagiri. However sage Gautam was unable to take bath there. He at the point of first flow of Ganga at the feet of Mountain obstructed the flow of ganga by holy Darbha(obstruction) and took bath in it, Which is known as "Kushvartha"( Kush means holy grass and Darbh, Avarth means obstruction). King of Pilgrimages "Kushavarta"
तिर्थराज कुशावर्त कुंशेनावर्तिता गंगा गौतमेन महात्मना । कुंशावर्तमिती ख्यात त्रिघु लोकेषु विश्रुतम् ।।
Kushavarta is at the center of holy place Trimbakeshwar. The Kund(pond) having four corners is known as place of pilgrimage and having six corners is known as "king of pilgrimages". Kushavartha fullfill these condition is thus "king of pilgrimage" (Theerth Raj) . The structure of Kushavarth is Hemadpanthi style. On the ovaries of Kushavata the scluptures of deities, Sages with their wives who were present at the time of gangawatarna are carved on it. There is shivalangue is at the south east and a huge idol of Gajanan(Lord Ganesha) is at south west. The flow of ganga is at south west known as "Godawari" because "Goda" means as described below
''गौतमस्य गां जीवन ददाति इति गोदा''
Gautami is known as godawari because it resorted life to the cow and freed sage Gautam of his sin of cow slaughter. The learned shastris have given first preference of worshiping kushavarta because
त्रिकांटके शोभामान त्र्यंबंक नामनात । तत्र तिर्थ कुशावर्त त्रिघुलोकेश विश्रुतम ।।
The above mentioned kushavrta is famous in all the three worlds. Taking
bath in Kushavarta one obtains some part of Nectar, so also he gets rid
of all his sins. It also results in turning one's life towards eternal
As noted in Ramayana Shri Rama offered prayer at kushavarta in sinhasta period. There is a brief history of the same is as under.
When rama was staying at panchvati he was informed of the death of his father. In his grief period, in his dreams he found his father telling him that his soul is not resting in peace. Lord Ram told of his dreams to Sage "Kashapa" who was near by and he advised him like this
सिंहस्थेच सुरगुरौ दुर्लभं गौतमी जलम् । यत्रकुंत्रापि राजेद्र कुशावर्म विशेषत: ।। तवभाग्येन
निकटे वर्तते ब्रम्हभूधर: / सिंहस्थो पि समायात: तंत्र गत्या सुखीभव ।। सिंहसथेतु समायते राम:
कंश्यप संयुत: त्र्यंबकंक्षेत्र मागंल्य तिर्थयात्रां चकांर ह ।।
Kashapa advised Lord Ram that these are the days of sinhasta. Ram should go to Trimbakeshwar and offer prayers at kushavarta, which will result in resting the soul of Dashratha in peace and all his desires will be fullfilled. Kashapa and shri ram went to Trimbakeshwar. Kashapa got all the relegious rites performed by Rama. This resulted in releiving Dasharatha from his sins.