Prayagraj: Kalpwasis in Magh Mela spreading a message of social harmony and equality

PRIYAGRAJ: Thousands of Kalpwasis camping in the tents of their ‘gurus’—the seers under whom they took diksha—not only practice their religious rituals, but also uphold the age-old tradition of social equality and harmony during the 47 Days of Magh Mela-2022.

In the tents of the seers, devotees of different castes and creeds lead a life of austerity and practice a hard lifestyle with smiles and good nature under the guidance of their Guru during their month of Kalpwas. The devotees are not only drawn from the upper castes, especially the Bhramins, but also from the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes and other tribal communities from remote parts of the country.

For example, two kalpwasis – Mangri Devi and Chandrakali Devi from Ghoorpur at Prayagraj, both belonging to the SC community camp with the upper castes at Acharya Nagar, absorbed in bhajans, worship and perform their month-long religious rituals. She says, “I have been doing Kalpavas for 10 years and have never had a problem or faced any form of discrimination here.”

Similar sentiments were shared by two tribal women farmers from Sukma area in Chattisgarh district, Umri Devi, who belongs to the Kol community, and Bhramari Devi, a Bhil. “It was because of the inspiration of Jagadguru Ghanshyamacharya that I felt this inclination towards spirituality and we never looked back after his blessings,” they said. Both have been making kalpavas for eight years now.

Jagadguru Ghanshyamacharya, who propagates Sanatan Dharma in the tribal areas of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and other backward regions, says: “Because of their estrangement from religion, members of the tribal community, like the Kol and Bhil society , join the naxalites or terrorism. They are shown the right path through religion and currently 10 tribals including Kols and Bhils are doing Kalpavas in this camp.

Phula Devi, a resident of Gaughat in Prayagraj, earns his living by selling vegetables. She has been coming for Kalpavas for five years. Worshiping and singing bhajans while in the company of his guru ushered in peace and a sense of fulfillment in his life and his faith increased.

Likewise, Suhani Gautam from Gaddopur is continuing her education. His father is a day laborer. At the same time, Umesh Chandra from Lucknow is another kalpwasi who serves the devotees with complete devotion as a volunteer in his camp.

About 40 people from scheduled castes and scheduled tribes perform Kalpavas in the presence of a seer Prabhuji. Om Namah Shivay, a religious organization, also leads Bhandara with the worship of bhajans in the camp of the organization. The food prepared by them is eaten by the devotees along with the saints.

Prabhuji says, “Sanatan Dharma has no place for untouchability, discrimination, feeling ups and downs. The Mughal rulers broke our religious tradition and beliefs to divide the Sanatanis. At the same time, a vicious conspiracy has been hatched to change the essence of religious texts. For this, the expressions of Manu Smriti have been modified. In order to unite Hindus and establish social harmony, equal rights and respect are accorded to people of all classes in Om Namah Shivay camp”.

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