Monday, August 31, 2015

Shooting The Juna Akhara Procession Till Neel Parbat Trimbakeshwar

I was at Trimbakeshwar a few friends wanted to have a dip at the Kund and here I spotted Shree Bhagwat Giri of Juna Akhara I had met him at Allahabad Maha Kumbh through my Guru Shree Vijay Giri Maharaj and it was Bhagwat Giri who took us to the Sabapati of the Juna Akhara ,, he was very happy to see me and he is a highly connected Naga Guru.

He informed me of this procession that was to start from near where I stayed at Pingal Wadi Sadhugram..I returned  to Sadhugram by the time I had showered and reached the starting point I was told the Naga procession had left but I did not give up hope ,, I took a lift from a motorbike guy and he dropped me at a point from there limping I managed to catch up with the Naga heads in front of them were the naked Naga Sadhus ,, I shot them for several kms and luckily I had the company of my Facebook friend photo journalist CS Shelare.. I shot a lot including a video.. as most of these following shots are of the Nagas frontal nudity I will restricting it from public view only a Flickr member can see them.

After having shot all this I returned walking till the Bus Depot to find another procession of the Udasin Akhara and the buses were halted , so I shot this procession too ,,, and tired walked back to my Naga base ,,,next to Jagadguru Shankarcharya of Dwarkapeeths Mutt ,, 3 km away ,,

Trimbakeshwar Kund ,, Kumbh Mela 2015

One thing is certain had I stayed next to my Naga Guru after I got out of the car that bought us to the Trimbakeshwar temple town I would have taken the Holy Dip along with the others disciples of Shree Vijay Giri Maharaj Triveni Juna Akhada ,, I had taken a dip in the Sangam at Allahabad with my Guru on Basant Panchami Shahi Snan.

I had a leg injury so I was trailing behind and got lost in the crowd ,, the mobile phone was of no use ,, with the chaos and drums and the high pitched fervor of the crowds and the sonorous chant of Har Har Mahadev,,

But there was no turning back I had to enter the Trimbakeshwar Kund and that is when his Holiness Shree Avdesh Anandji saw me shooting him and asked me who I was .. I told him truthfully I was a Muslim documenting Hope and Hindutva as a Message of Universal Peace Hope Humanity ,, he sent me me his card along with his pictures I added it on the reverse of my Press Card as his cortege moved ahead I followed him and I was in the Kund shooting the Nagas hitting the waters cheering .. I stood near the corner and after they left one of the volunteers told me that I should leave to as my Akhara had left ,. I politely walked towards the Press Stand spotted my friend Jeetendra from Reuters Allahabad and stuck by his side all the time from 3 am to 6 am and once the Digmabari Naga Sadhus completed their Shahi Snan I decided to move out and shoot the streets , my leg injury was hurting badly I had not eaten or drunk water all this time ,, The first thing I did was get a bottle and moved out from Trimbakeshwar had two batata wada ..I had to walk back about 3 Km I tried to get a lift from moving official cars trucks but God wanted me to walk and I did till I reached my sector at Sadhugram.. near where I stayed across the road was a Marathi family that had a tea stall, he gave me black tea and two more batata wadas ..
But when I stepped in to my Gurus Akhara , he was worried about me ,, I narrated him my story , he touched my head gave me smile and told me to shower and rest.

This was my Shahi Snan experience and my story is in pictures that await their turn.. this is a story board . of a day in the life of a beggar poet from Mumbai.

About Trimbakeshwar Kund by my dear  Twitter friend Artis My Yatra Diary  ,, she has given me permission to share her post with all of you .. my knowledge of Hinduism is very limited ,,

Her Post

Monday, January 24, 2011
Kushavart Kund - Trimbakeshwar
After visiting the Trimbakeshwar Temple, we headed towards a water tank revered as a sacred bathing place, the Kushavart kund.

There is an interesting account explaining the significance of the place. Sage Gautam once committed a sin of killing a cow. As an act of repentance, He performed penance at the peaks of the Brahmagiri Mountains, appeased Lord Shiva and asked for the Ganga waters so that he could wipe off his sin. Pleased with his devotion, Lord Shiva jerked His big locks of matted hairs on the Brahmagiri Mountains and sent Ganga down onto the earth. Today that place is known as Gangadwar, situated half way to the Brahmagiri Mountains. There is a temple of Ganga, now known as Godavari River. Ganga appears first time here, after which it vanishes.

But the flow of the Ganges was tremendous due to which the sage could not bathe in her waters. He then surrounded the river with Kusha, a type of grass and put a stop to her flow.  After bathing here his sin of killing a cow was finally wiped off. The tirth (pilgrimage) came to be known as Kushavart.

Thus today, Kushavart is known as the symbolic origin of the River Godavari. It is from this Kushavart that the river Godavari flows up to the sea. There are temples at the four corners of Kushavart.

Work in the invisible world at least as hard as you do in the visible. ~Rumi

I Merely Shot Sadhu Faces And Eyes

to be poetically precise
ignorance is bliss possibly
wise my tantrik kundalini
held me in a vice after every
step that i tripped i tried to rise
nasik kumbh 2015 ..through
a beggar poets eyes ..on the
shores of hope and hindutva
the boat of my destiny capsized
om namo narayan  hands outstretched
at ramkundh the beggars cry,, a batata
wada what he gets from rich hands
karma dharma at a price ,, was god with á leprous
face watching his followers in human disguise

The Naga Sadhus At Trimbakeshwar Nasikh Kumbh 2015

I could hardly climb Brahma Giri  and Nilgiri Parbhat the abode of the Naga Sadhus ,, I shot one Naga procession till Nilgiri Parbhat , I shot a lot of Naga Sadhus , their march and their dip in a local pond ,,

As I am shooting a storyboard those pictures will come later and finally the 29 August Shahi Snan I shot videos too that I will upload at Flickr and You Tube of my spiritual trek into  Hope and Hindutva,,

These are all part of my Hindu blogs and now I will be uploading my third memory card .. I mostly shot RAW and JPEG..32 GB card and a few 16 GB card and some 8 GB card ,, I shot Trimbakeshwar with Canon 60 D and shot Ramkund Tapovan with Canon 7 D ,, And Arjit Sen of HTA Shot and posted my  picture at Satkar Belgaum.. I came to know of this from my dear friend Biradar ,, a fine art photographer ,,

I shot a lot of beggars at Ramkund but honestly I hardly know anyone at Tapovan.. my contacts being more among the Juna Akhara ..but I would like to shoot the Shahi Snan at Ramkund Panchvati... if God wills ,, otherwise I am happy with what I shot at Trimbakeshwar of 29 August Shahi Snan.. At Ramjund two boys from Thane helped me a lot ,, avid photographers ,,I gave them a lot of tips on how to shoot the Kumbh Mela ..without getting into the eye of a storm..

Now I will continue with uploading my next lot ,,

Do you really need the Camera To Shoot The Kumbh

While The Farmer In Maharashtra Commits Suicide Media Prostitutes A Celebrity Murder Case

I Saw The Kumbh In Color ,,, But My Cosmic Eye Saw It As Black And White

Firstly I dont scrounge when I shoot an event like the Kumbh ..I had a lot of SD Cards I could not use ,, as I knew when to stop shooting ,,never went overboard or got carried away by the conceit of my camera ,, I held it on a mental leash.

Most important I dont get scared or intimidated , but I dont fight back if the Naga Sadhu objects to my camera I move away ,, there are far too many willing fishes in the waters .. but I shoot only what I was ordained to cosmically shoot .

But I protect my camera from the blows of the Nagas stick.. I protect it with my life ,, and I am fast with my reflexes ,,There was an incident with a Naga Sadhu , he was stark nude I had not shot him yet he charged at me ,, I merely moved away from his anger and his burning glare ,,there was another incident on the day of the Shahi Snan a foreign photographer had got a plum corner and was not moving out to give space to the Indian photographers instead he was intimidating them , the Indian photographers pulled him away and somebody did beat him too all this in the press enclosure and the cops came in took the details and I thank my stars that I am not part of this whorish press pack,. and was shooting away from all of them in the company of a nice Reuters photographer ,, here too there was chaos ,,, but it did not touch me I could have shot all day I moved out giving others a chance I had shot from 3 am to 6 am what more could I ask for on the day of the first Shahi Snan at Trimbakeshwar Nasik Kumbh 2015

The Naga Sadhu From Haji Malang And Me Nasik Kumbh

I had come with Mahesh Bhardwaj to Trimbakeshwar Temple town for the permission card for Gurujis vehicle from the Police .. because without the permission you cannot ply the car at Trimbakeshwar on the day of the Shahi Snan ,, and these images were shot on 26 August ,,

It was here close to this place I shot the naked Naga Babas .. too.. and here I walked a lot on my injured foot ,,

The Aghori Sadhus Nasik Kumbh Mela 2015

The Aghori (Sanskrit aghora)[2] are ascetic Shaiva sadhus.

The Aghori in Shaivism.
The Aghori are known to engage in post-mortem rituals. They often dwell in charnel grounds, have been witnessed smearing cremation ashes on their bodies, and have been known to use bones from human corpses for crafting kapalas (which Shiva and other Hindu deities are often iconically depicted holding or using) and jewelry. Due to their practices that are contradictory to orthodox Hinduism, they are generally opposed.[3][4]

Many Aghori gurus command great reverence from rural populations as they are supposed to possess healing powers gained through their intensely eremitic rites and practices of renunciation and tápasya. They are also known to meditate and perform worship in haunted houses.

Aghoris are devotees of Shiva manifested as Bhairava,[5] are monists who seek moksha from the cycle of reincarnation or saṃsāra. This freedom is a realization of the self's identity with the absolute. Because of this monistic doctrine, the Aghoris maintain that all opposites are ultimately illusory. The purpose of embracing pollution and degradation through various customs is the realization of non-duality (advaita) through transcending social taboos, attaining what is essentially an altered state of consciousness and perceiving the illusory nature of all conventional categories.

Aghoris are not to be confused with Shivnetras, who are also ardent devotees of Shiva but do not indulge in extreme, tamasic ritual practices. Although the Aghoris enjoy close ties with the Shivnetras, the two groups are quite distinct, Shivnetras engaging in sattvic worship.

Aghoris base their beliefs on two principles common to broader Shaiva beliefs: that Shiva is perfect (having omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence) and that Shiva is responsible for everything that occurs – all conditions, causes and effects. Consequently, everything that exists must be perfect and to deny the perfection of anything would be to deny the sacredness of all life in its full manifestation, as well as to deny the Supreme Being.

Aghoris believe that every person's soul is Shiva but is covered by astamahapasha ("eight great nooses or bonds") - sensual pleasure, anger, greed, obsession, fear and hatred. The practices of the Aghoris are centered around the removal of these bonds. Sadhana in cremation grounds destroys fear; sexual practices with certain riders and controls help release one from sexual desire; being naked destroys shame. On release from all the eight bonds the soul becomes sadashiva and obtains moksha.[citation needed]


Aghori in Satopant.

An Aghori man in Badrinath smoking hashish or Cannabis from a chillum in 2011.
Although akin to the Kapalika ascetics of medieval Kashmir, as well as the Kalamukhas, with whom there may be a historical connection, the Aghoris trace their origin to Kina Ram, an ascetic who is said to have lived 150 years, dying during the second half of the 18th century.[6] Dattatreya the avadhuta, to whom has been attributed the esteemed nondual medieval song, the Avadhuta Gita, was a founding adi guru of the Aghor tradition according to Barrett (2008: p. 33):

Lord Dattatreya, an antinomian form of Shiva closely associated with the cremation ground, who appeared to Baba Keenaram atop Girnar Mountain in Gujarat. Considered to be the adi guru (ancient spiritual teacher) and founding deity of Aghor, Lord Dattatreya offered his own flesh to the young ascetic as prasād (a kind of blessing), conferring upon him the power of clairvoyance and establishing a guru-disciple relationship between them.[7]

Aghoris also hold sacred the Hindu deity Dattatreya as a predecessor to the Aghori Tantric tradition. Dattatreya was believed to be an incarnation of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva united in the same singular physical body. Dattatreya is revered in all schools of Tantrism, which is the philosophy followed by the Aghora tradition, and he is often depicted in Hindu artwork and its holy scriptures of folk narratives, the Puranas, indulging in Aghori "left-hand" Tantric worship as his prime practice.

An aghori believes in getting into total darkness by all means, and then getting into light or self realizing. Though this is a different approach from other Hindu sects, they believe it to be effective. They are infamously known for their rituals that include such as shava samskara (ritual worship incorporating the use of a corpse as the altar) to invoke the mother goddess in her form as Smashan Tara (Tara of the Cremation Grounds).

In Hindu iconography, Tara, like Kali, is one of the ten Mahavidyas (wisdom goddesses) and once invoked can bless the Aghori with supernatural powers. The most popular of the ten Mahavidyas who are worshiped by Aghoris are Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, and Bhairavi. The male Hindu deities primarily worshiped by Aghoris for supernatural powers are manifestations of Shiva, including Mahākāla, Bhairava, Virabhadra, Avadhuti, and others.

Barrett (2008: p. 161) discusses the "charnel ground sādhanā" of the Aghora in both its left and right-handed proclivities and identifies it as principally cutting through attachments and aversion and foregrounding primordiality; a view uncultured, undomesticated:

The gurus and disciples of Aghor believe their state to be primordial and universal. They believe that all human beings are natural-born Aghori. Hari Baba has said on several occasions that human babies of all societies are without discrimination, that they will play as much in their own filth as with the toys around them. Children become progressively discriminating as they grow older and learn the culturally specific attachments and aversions of their parents. Children become increasingly aware of their mortality as they bump their heads and fall to the ground. They come to fear their mortality and then palliate this fear by finding ways to deny it altogether.[2]

In this sense, the Aghora sādhanā is a process of unlearning deeply internalized cultural models. When this sādhanā takes the form of charnel ground sādhanā, the Aghori faces death as a very young child, simultaneously meditating on the totality of life at its two extremes. This ideal example serves as a prototype for other Aghor practices, both left and right, in ritual and in daily life."[8] The Aghoris are also recorded to perform shava sadhana, worship with a corpse.

Though Aghoris are prevalent in cremation grounds across India, Nepal, and even sparsely across cremation grounds in South East Asia, the secrecy of this religious sect leaves no desire for practitioners to aspire for social recognition and notoriety. [1]

Spiritual headquarters[edit]
Hinglaj Mata is the Kuladevata (patron goddess) of the Aghori. The main Aghori pilgrimage centre is Kina Ram's hermitage or ashram in Ravindrapuri, Varanasi.[9] The full name of this place is Baba Keenaram Sthal, Krim-Kund. Here, Kina Ram is buried in a tomb or samadhi which is a centre of pilgrimage for Aghoris and Aghori devotees. Present head (Abbot), since 1978, of Baba Keenaram Sthal is Baba Siddharth Gautam Ram.

According to Devotees, Baba Siddharth Gautam Ram is reincarnation of Baba Keenaram himself. Apart from this, any cremation ground would be a holy place for an Aghori ascetic. The cremation grounds near the yoni pithas, 51 holy centers for worship of the Hindu Mother Goddess scattered across South Asia and the Himalayan terrain, are key locations preferred for performing sadhana by the Aghoris. They are also known to meditate and perform sadhana in haunted houses.

Aghori practise healing through purification as a pillar of their ritual. Their patients believe the Aghori are able to transfer pollution and health to and from patients as a form of "transformative healing", due to the believed superior state of body and mind of the Aghori.[10][verification needed]

Documenting Hope And Hindutva As A Message of Universal Peace Hope And Humanity

All these images shot of the Nasikh Kumbh at Trimbakeshwar and Ramkund are part of my Hindu blogs at Flickr titled Hope And Hindutva Hinduism over 65000 blogs shot all over India .. feasts festivals and two Kumbhs including the Maha Kumbh Allahabad 2013.

I can only shoot what I was destined to shoot and as photography is not my profession only a passion hobby I try to document it as much as I can with limited financial resources ,, I too would like to go to the various Jyoti Lings Kailash Mansarovar but I dont have the resources for the same so I shoot my backyard and the ethos of the Hindu faith and our composite culture that is the pride of India.. I shoot Hinduism as passionately as I shoot my Shia faith during Moharam friends religion is important to me as my own religion .. and my Naga Guru from Juna Akhara a scholar , a humble humanbeing has blessed me a lot ,he was a teacher before he became a Naga Sadhu so this maybe one reason we get along well and he respects my faith as much as I respect his faith.

He invited me to the Maha Kumbh Allahabad introduced me to the Sabapati and his Maha Mandleshwar Shree Kalyananandji Giri..

This year he wanted me to come to Nasikh I had a serious leg injury that was not healing and though my wife wanted me to  go to Delhi to visit our only daughter on 29 August ,, I told her I had to shoot the Shahi Snan on the same day at Trimbakeshwar and honestly I dont like Delhi for reasons unknown.

I had a good Kumbh I shot a lot I used two cameras I shot Trimbakeshwar on my Canon 60D and Ramkund and Tapovan on Canon 7 D ,, and I had a lot of human awakening ,, I met a child beggar who begged at Ajmer here at Kumbh dressed as a Hindu.. and he smiled at me and I realized beggars have no religion perhaps their God is a Beggar too.. he gives them alms from his own beggars bowl..

I met a group of Bengalis from Kolkatta , they were highly educated and when I told them I was a Muslim and not a Sadhu though I was dressed as one they hugged me , they touched my feet , and I had to brush away my own tears ..and one of them put a few notes in my hand ,, all he said was please feed some beggars on our behalf..and this is the Make In India that captures my heart my mind my soul.. and this is the India of blood sweat tears I shoot not as pictures but as emotions as my Hindu Blogs of Peace .

I met Aghori babas and most of the Naga Sadhus at Sadhugram would call me Malang Baba ,,out of respect and their highest regard for Khwajah Garib Nawaz .

I did not have the luxury of staying for a longer time at the Kumbh I had to come back.. to my work, my responsibilities .

The Nasikh Kumbh is not as huge as the Maha Kumbh of Allahabad but it is well organized a lot of toilets , clean roads and disciplined cops ,,the locals too are in awe of the spirituality of their town..because of my leg injury I had to be very careful but it was worth all the pain..

Sunday, August 30, 2015

His Holiness Maha Mandleshwar Shri Avdesh Anandji Giri Maharaj Juna Akhara

By Krishna Maheshwari

Swami Avdheshanand Giri Maharaj
Sri Avdheshanand Giri Maharaj, Acharya Mahamandaleshwar of the Juna Akhara, is a guru to thousands and an inspiration to millions. Swami Avdheshanand has initiated more than a hundred thousand sannyasins, transformed lives with his social activities, and leads the Juna Akhara[1] into the 21st century.


Swamiji was born in a respectable brahmin family. As an infant, he had no interest in playing with toys or making friends. He used to be lost in the memories of the events of his previous births and quite often used to share these with his family members. He was ordained to be a saint in this life, as he put it.
At the tender age of two and a half years, he displayed an interest in becoming a wandering monk. One day, he hung a small sling bag on his shoulders and, accompanied by stray dogs and pups, he left for the onward journey. However, the family members and neighbors, after looking for him in every nook and corner, were relieved to find him near a bus stand waiting to board a bus that would take him far away. After bringing him back, his parents got worried about his flings. It was advised that if he is put on a potter’s wheel (Chak of Kumhar) and churned anti-clockwise with force, he would forget his past. So this method was tried on him so that he might behave like other ordinary village children. However, the fire in him for knowing the truth could not be extinguished with these rituals. Rather, as Swamiji mentions, eventually his remembrances of the events of his previous births became more impressionable at this juncture. Swamiji’s first encounter of witnessing the accomplishment of a Sage in the field of Yoga was when he was in ninth grade of High School. During the summer that year, he visited an Ashram to spend some time practicing spiritual studies and Yoga. At this Ashram in the middle of one night, he watched a Yogi who was levitating in the air almost one foot above the ground. When the authorities of the Ashram came to know that this young boy had seen the sadhna, the yogi was admonished. However, the Yogi retorted “What is wrong with this child watching me? He is going to become a Sadhu anyway.”

While he was in the College, he actively participated in the debates, composing and recitation of poems and Prayers. After the morning assembly, he would give the current news on topics of interest to the masses. He was fond of organizing and participating in the relief camps for mitigating the hardship of flood and famine victims, people suffering from contagious diseases and other physical ailments. He was then staying as a paying guest at the house of a local priest who used to perform on occasions the necessary rituals and puja in reverence to the Gods. When the Priest had a busy schedule, he authorized him to perform the worship and retain the dakshina given to him. From the money so received, he could to a great extent meet his expenses for education as he always wished to be independent. Once, the Principal of the local college approached the local priest to conduct a worship ceremony at his home. However, the priest had a very tight schedule and recommended the boy for the ceremony.
   Swami Avdheshanand GiriWhen you develop a craving to know the Truth, the mountains and caves start attracting you and it happened to me in 1980.
   Swami Avdheshanand Giri
—Swami Avdheshanand
The young boy performed the worship with such exactness, knowledge and command over the spirit of the rituals that the principal was overjoyed and offered him Dakshina. This was his first Dakshina and from that day on, he was the most sought after priest for performing the worship of the deities. However, this was only his formal recognition as a priest and not an end to his quest for self-realization. So one day, he quit his worldly life and quietly left for the Himalayas in search of Gyana and Satya.
Meeting his Guru

Wandering for months over the lower ranges of Himalayas, he realized that he needed a God-realized guru to guide him. The young man found his Guru, Swami Avdhoot Prakash Maharaj who was both self-realized and an expert in Yoga, and versatile in knowledge about the Veda and other scriptures.
Under the master’s direct guidance, he studied the Vedas and scriptures and cultivated his knowledge of Sanskrit. Eventually he received his first formal initiation (Diksha) by observing complete celibacy (Brahmacharya). Soon after his initiation, his Guru left the mortal body, leaving the young disciple to carry on his devotion to yoga and meditation on his own. In 1985, after intense Sadhana, a great Yogi emerged from the caves of the Himalayas. He contacted Swami Satyamittranandji, founder of Bharat Mata Temple, and soon after, received initiation to enter a true monastic life. He entered Junapeeth Akhara, one of the seven Akharas. The new name given to him was Swami Avdheshanand Giri.
Monastic Life

Until now he had been an inner explorer, free and detached from the external world. But after donning the ochre robes of a sannyasin, he learned how to make his life useful to others.
After spending some time teaching and getting involved in social work, he realized that he needed to become an instrument of social reform instead of remaining merely a medium of social help. This, he saw, had to be done through the transformation of individuals, based on the precepts and parameters laid down by the great Saints and Sages. This realization led the young Swami to become a preacher of the philosophy of Hindu religion. As the popularity of his oratory rose, so did his travel all over India and overseas. In a very short span of time, the whirlwind tours which Swamiji made earned him respect and love from seekers of truth all over the globe.
Visiting his Native Village

After an interval of over two decades of his departure from his native place, Swamiji was once addressing a congregation of aspirants in Northern India. One close relative of Swamiji who was attending the initiation ceremony spotted him. After Swamiji’s affirmation that he was indeed a child of the same family, the news of his elopement and turning into a great Sanyasi reached his village. Swamiji clearly mentioned that, being a wandering monk devoted to the monastic life as ordained by the wish of God, he had severed his past and family connections. Subject to this understanding, Swamiji agreed to a visit to his native village. When he reached his home, a large crowd with a big bandwagon accompanied him. There were high ranking government officers, ministers, and governors present. On meeting Swamiji, his father was startled to see that the little master had been truthful to his words and had mastered the art of self-realization, and had become instrumental in churning society into a new world order.
Master Orator

Swami Avdheshanand Giri-giving-a-lecture-image.jpg

Swami Avdheshanand Giriji was recognized as a gifted speaker soon after he became a preacher of the ideology of Hindu religion. He was able to develop a rapport and an instant relationship with the devotees. A large number of people after listening to his lectures from the scriptures become his ardent disciples and devotees, seeking to get initiation from him. Swamiji has never discouraged anybody from following the path of self realization, though he maintains that it is a difficult path; but by practice and complete devotion one can achieve the goal. His lectures on various scriptures are given in India and abroad and are televised on many T.V. channels for humanity.
Acharya of the Juna Akhara

In 1998, the Juna Akhara, representing a clan of accredited saints, formally decided to make him the head acharya, or Mahamandalashewar. A formal ceremony with necessary rituals was held in which he was commemorated with the Pattabhishekam of Mahamandeleshwar. Some time after this ceremony he was chosen as the new acharya, a spiritual preceptor. This position is designated by the assigned saints after their own intense evaluation of the spiritual heights achieved by a saint engaged in the field of spirituality. No one can ask for it and no one from outside is appointed to such a distinguished position.
As an acharya, Swami Avdheshanand also became the preceptor for several sanyassins who had become part of the order and had decided to work closely with him The fellow sanyassins realized that it was the greatness of Acharya Sri that he had open heartedly accepted them into his team. They were grateful to him because after meeting him, their life was transformed. A number of sanyassins have been associated with him for over a decade. They feel whatever sankalpa they undertake for the welfare of the society and the people is fulfilled in no time, to their satisfaction.
The Acharya has assumed the mantle of a guru for the numerous devotees. No matter where he is in the world, his doors were always open to the devotees. Swamiji plans all his itineraries well in advance, with three to four flights a month, and on an average 20 days a month away from the Ashram. Everything is meticulously scheduled, even the time allocated between each meal. It is a demanding daily routine as strenuous, yet diversified, as of the Himalayan yogi of yesterday. According to Swamiji, it is the meditation which keeps him rejuvenated; which gives him energy, vitality, peace and bliss. There is nothing more powerful than meditation if one wants to realize one's goal. When you close your eyes and sit in a steady posture energy will rise and stir every cell of your body, mind and the system. Just close your eyes and start the meditation. Swamiji says that if there is anything difficult in the world, it is to start. Once you have taken off, you have nearly accomplished the task.
Swamiji has initiated about a million devotees and sanyassins during the last ten years or so. Swamiji will not say no to an aspirant who wants to engage himself in search of truth. As an Acharya, he is the guiding spirit behind all the activities of Juna Akhada and the Hindu Acharya Sabha. Harihar Ashram in Kankhal (Hardwar) is the main Ashram and seat of Acharya. In order to inculcate amongst his devotee followers the habit of service, self study and attending to religious congregations are also necessary for upliftment and self realization. Swamiji founded Prabhu Premi Sangh, a charitable body in 1991 which has about a million members as devotees. Prabhu Premi Sangh has its registered office and headquarters at Ambala Cantt. In this Ashram is conducted daily Hawan in the morning, satsang in the evening and an akhand naam sankirtan every day. It also has Akhand Jawala. The Ashram has also a pen for the herds of cows, the service of which is rendered by the devotees of the Ashram. Many hospitals, education centres & NGOs are serving the society under the divine guidance of Swamiji.
Religion & God

Swamiji has faith and respect for all religions. The universe is one family and God is one. Swamiji affirms and expresses his belief that there is only one God who controls the whole universe. All the creations in the universe are purely out of His will and wish. Further, all human beings are children of the same Almighty. We are just like waves in the ocean longing to merge with our source of origin, that is, God whose fraction we are. We take birth again and again to bear the fruits of Karma.
Swamiji has firm belief that all the religions of the world convey the same basic message of love, peace and brotherhood. However, the ways and means for achieving God may be different due to diverse climatic, cultural, ethnic, regional factors and compulsions; but the ultimate goal is that of God-realization. Swamiji keeps an interaction with the heads of all the religions throughout the world. He is strictly opposed to the confining of religious fervour and altruism to the precincts of any sect, area or region. The entire international community must be benefitted by a religion. Swamiji says that secularism means showing respect to all religions in words and deeds. He particularly mentions that removal of illiteracy, economic backwardness and inculcation of character-building measures endowed with the feeling of affinity for all the people and religions are necessary for the harmony and peace in the society.

Documenting Nasikh Kumbh Trimbakeshwar 2015

I was invited to Trimbakeshwar for the Shahi Snan 29 August 2015 ,,by my humble Naga Guru Shree Vijay Giri Maharaj Triveni of Juna Akhada ,, He is the one who introduced me to the fascinating world of the  Kumbh and Maha Kumbh and the world of Naga Sadhus ,,

We first met at Trimbakeshwar Sadhugram  Nasik Kumbh 2002 and this was revisiting my earliest memories of my first Kumbh Mela back again after 12 years ..When I reached Trimbakeshwar on 25 August my Guru was not there as he had to leave the Kumbh , his Guru was serious and so I met Shree Vijay Giri when he arrived from Mumbai with his disciples on 26 August morning ,, he was overjoyed to see me ,, I had met him at his Ashram in Mumbai too after two years ,, I was with him at the Maha Kumbh Allahabad .

We were 2 km away from Trimbakeshwar in a Naga Sadhu Sadhugram at Pingal wadi Phata next to Shankarcharya Jagadguru Of Dwarkas Mutt ,, in a very short while I had become friendly with all the Naga Sadhus predominantly from the Maharashtra belt ..

I visited Trimbakeshar too, shot the procession of the naked Naga Sadhus on 27 August another procession of the Udasin Akhada ..and on 28 August went to Ramkhund shot few Akhadas of the Bairagis at Tapovan including the Sadhu who sits on a platform for several years , he will come down from his tree house this Diwali,.. I shot videos and took a dip in the Tapovan..

I returned back to Trimbakeshwar ,, and early 29 August morning at 2 am my Guru began dressing up to leave for the Shahi Snan at Trimbakeshwar ,, he performed the Ling Kriya , than he dressed me up as a Sadhu too.. all saffron placed vermilion on my head and we left in a car to the chant of Har Har Mahadev ..lots of roadblocks and my Gurus disciples following us on foot , we reached Trimbakeshwar parked the car and in the crowds I lost my Guru , so I ended up once again in the procession of His Holiness Avdesh Anandji Maha Mandleshwar Juna Akhada , he waved out to me and I told him I was a Muslim documenting Hope and Hindutva as a Message of Universal Peace Hope and Humanity , he asked his followers to take my visiting card asked me to meet him after the Shahi Snan he gave me his blessings and his card with his picture that I added on the reverse side of my Press Card .. and entered the Trimbakeshwar Kund shot the Nagas taking the Holy Dip I shot from 3 am till 6am all the Naga Akhadas in the company of a friend Jeetendra from Reuters Allahbad and than left to shoot the crowds and walked all the way back to my tent .. a very long walk..

When I reached Sadhugram my Guru had already returned and perhaps this was my best Kumbh as a photographer I met a lot of Naga Gurus I got a call from my Tantrik Guru Kapoor Khamakya he was at the Snan but we could not meet ,, I shot Aghori Sadhus and I was to leave for Mumbai by train on the 30 August , but a friend Vinod Bhai was leaving in his car last evening I decided to go with him and it was a nightmare all main roads leading to Mumbai from Nasikh blocked but we took a very long route I reached home late midnight .

This is the storyboard of my spiritual trek into the heart of Hope and Hindutva ,, I will divide it into two parts Nasikh Kumbh Trimbakeshar 2015  Nasik Kumbh Ramkundh Tapovan 2015 .. The naked Naga Sadu pictures and the Shahi Snan will be restricted from public view in keeping with Flickr guidelines for frontal nudity and the Ling Kriya pictures too .. The Naga Sadhu procession pictures will be restricted that I shot from Pingal Patha till Nilgiri Parbhat.

You have to be a Flickr member to see those pictures ,,

I also shot Golden Baba laden with gold taking the dip at Trimbakehwar Shahi Snan ,, sadly I could not take the dip but I shot instead ,.. all the Digambari Naga Sadhus taking the dip..

Om Namo Narayan..

Just returned from Trimbakeshwar after shooting the Shahi Snan this morning also shot Ramkund Tapovan too

Returned in a friends car from Trimbakeshwar as all roads are closed because of the Shahi Snan at both places including Ramkund had to take a very long route took us over 10 hours to reach Jogeshwari took a ricksha home ,,met His Holiness Maha Mandleshwar Avdesh Anandji.. he could not believe I was a Muslim he took my visiting card ..I shot all the Akhadas of the Juna Akhada thanks to His Holiness Avdesh Anandji and my Naga Guru Shree Vijay Giri Maharaj Triveni I was staying with him at the Sadhugram with the nagas ,,

My Nashik Kumbh 2015 Naga Sadhus Shahi Snan Trimbakeshwar , Ramkundh Tapovan only at Flickr my site

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Fascinating World Of The Kumbh And Naga Sadhus Trimbakeshwar

I will be leaving in a short while ,,, will return after the Shahi Snan at Trimbakeshwar on 29 August

Trimbakeshwar Beckons Nasikh Kumbh Mela 2002

I shot the Nasikh Kumbh in 2002 and I was very new to photography , I had shot Ramkundh Panchvati and Tapovan but here at Trimbakeshwar .. my luck changed after meeting a Naga Sadhu .. near Sadhugram.. I wanted to take his pictures , and he obliged but after a few shots he said he had seen me at Film City ,, I told him my Bollywood connection and he told me that he lived near Film City too and I parted ..
I was shooting the Sadhus at Sadhugram and finally after an hour or so I reached a tent to find the Naga Sadhu from Film City there , he called me in and fed me asked me to rest , the next morning was Shahi Snan I asked him if I could stay overnight at their tent ,,he agreed but I could not accompany them to the Trimbakeshwar tank for security reasons ,, he hardly knew me and I was a Muslim I had a press card but I needed a Kumbh Identity card that I did not have ,, I shot the arti the ling kriya the Sadhus pulling a car with their ling in the night and early morning I parted with them in the rains ,, I managed to enter the tank after the Naga Sadhus had taken the dip trekking for over 4 hours as most of the roads leading to the tank are closed .
This was my first Kumbh 2002 and I had a great experience not only as a photographer but as a all religion respecting human being ,, I had given my visiting card to the Naga Guru ..Shri Vijay Giri Maharaj of Juna Akhada ,,
On my return to Mumbai after the Kumbh I had some work at Film City and decided to meet Shri Vijay Giri Maharaj and he blessed me and he was a teacher before becoming a Naga Sadhu so we got along very well , he visited my house and thus I earned his respect and kept in touch , he called me to Ujjain than Ardh Kumbh later but because of my work it was not possible till I finally went on his invitation to shoot the Maha Kumbh at Allahabad 2013 ,, I shot over 3500 images in three days I think till the Shahi Snan Basant Panchami..
And after 12 years I will be revisiting Trimbakeshwar ,,, I dont know whether I will go to Ramkhund shooting the Naga Sadhus is what I prefer as a photographer ,, So there will be silence on my timeline for a few days ,,
Om Namo Narayan

Eid Ul Fitr Namaz Bandra Station 2018