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Triveni Sangam, the meeting point of three rivers: the Ganga, the Yamuna and the invisible Sarasvati. A place where Kumbh Mela is held once in 12 years. Wikimedia Commons

By- DEVAKINANDAN

Ashtottaram 56) OṀ ṪRIVEṆISANGAMABHŨMYAI NAMAH:


OṀ (AUM) –ṪRI-VEṆI-SAŃ-GA-MA-BHOO- MYAI—NA-MA-HA

ॐ त्रिवेणिसङ्गमभूम्यै नमः

(Ṫriveṇisangama: Confluence of three rivers)

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Visiting places of pilgrimage, especially the important ones, at least once in a lifetime, has been prescribed as a sacred duty for every Hindu by the dharma śhāstrās and the purāṇās. One of the pilgrim centers, a visit to which has been considered extremely auspicious, is Triveṇi of Prayāga (modern Allahābād in Uttar Pradesh). It has been designated as Tīrtharāja (the king of pilgrimage centers). Since the three rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati merge here, the place is called Triveṇi. The actual confluence is known as Triveṇisangama and is 2.4 km (1.5 miles) from the city.

Religious rites strongly recommended to be performed here are: bath, tonsure of the head (sometimes recommended even for women as prāyaśchitta or expiation), the performance of śrāddha to ancestors, and dāna (giving gifts). Veṇipradāna (offering two to four inches of their braid of hair into the confluence by married women) is another rite that is popular among the pilgrims even today.

A bath in the Triveṇi in the month of Māgha (generally in January), is considered extremely auspicious.


A bath in the Triveṇi in the month of Māgha (generally in January), is considered extremely auspicious. During this period, many pilgrims assemble on the banks of the rivers and camp there, sometimes for three to four weeks. It is again during this month, once in every twelve years, that the famous Kumbhameḷā festival is held. It is the biggest religious festival in the world, drawing more than thirty million people including thousands of sādhus (religious mendicants and leaders) who all manage a dip in the rivers.

ALSO READ: Ashtottaram 55) OṀ HIMALAYABHŨMYAI NAMAH

The Chitrakūta hill of Ramāyaṇa fame is situated at a distance of about 100 km (60 miles) from here.

Tīrtham means that which is auspicious water. That may the sanctified water offered by a priest in a temple or the river water. Taking bath in sacred water is considered not only to wash away one's sins but also to gain upper tiers after death. This is a firm belief of every Hindu and also prescribed by the Hindu dharma śhāstrās and the purāṇās.

Hence, our motherland, home of the confluence of three sacred rivers is 'Ṫriveṇi sańgama Bhūmi'.


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