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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sacred Symbol "A U M" on Flags

Kumbh Mela - 2013: Largest Spiritual Congregation (14 January - 10 March, 2013) at Prayag in Allahabad, India.
The Maha Kumbh Mela, believed to be the largest religious gathering on earth, is held every 12 years on the banks of the Sangam - the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. The Mela  alternates between Nasik, Allahabad, Ujjain and Haridwar every three years. The one celebrated at the holy Sangam in Allahabad is the largest and considered holiest of them. As par myth, Brahma offered his first sacrifice here after creating the world. The date of the Mela is decided based upon the planetary positions. In keeping with spiritual faith more than 85 million devotees - are expected to participate in this year's Mela.
The most common sight in the Mela is the Asramas (tents) of Sadhus and the leaders of the religious Gurus are the Saffron / red / Ochre colour flags decorated with the Sanskrit representation of the sacred sound or  "A U M", taken from the Mandukya Upanishad. The Mandukya Upanishad is the shortest of the Upanishads – the scriptures of Hindu Vedanta. It is in prose, consisting of twelve verses expounding the mystic syllable Aum, the three psychological states of waking, dreaming and sleeping, and the transcendent fourth state of illumination.
 The sound is composed of English equivalents ‘A + U + M’, where A signifies Apti or attaining, common to all wakeful humans; U denotes Utkarsha or uprising from mundane objects to subtle elements, as in a dream state; M connotes Miti or measure, its root meaning ‘to end’ the waking state and attain sleep. Once integrated, these sounds form the supreme sound which transcends all other states. It means the Ultimate, the all pervading Atman or soul.

Here are some interesting items depicting the symbol selected at random
 Second World Hindi Convention, Mauritius
Yogi Narahari Singh
 Arya Dewaker Temple, Suriname

Swami Sivananda (1887-1963)
Swami Vivekananda, 150th Birth Anniversary (1863-2013); Picture postcard issued by Kolkata GPO


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