In January-February 2013 the largest gathering of any religion in the world occurs in Northern India at the joining of the rivers Ganges and Yamauna and the mythical Saraswati. During this festival millions will seek a cleansing from Karma to better their chances in their “reincarnation.” The quest for a semblance of hope in a hopeless religion is overwhelming in the souls of men. When there is no one to tell them any difference they clutch for anything.
The Kumbh Meta 55-day festival is not only the biggest religious gathering on Earth, but the largest gathering of humans for any event. It only occurs every 12 years. With this temporary exception there really is no pardon for evil deeds in Hinduism. Each one must suffer the consequences of their deeds now and in their supposed next life. If they only knew that the “next life” is an eternity without Christ in the horrors of hell. Is there no one who could go and tell them the only cleansing and full acceptance before a holy God is in Christ?
This is the site where funerals are held, which are an all-male procession where the dead are carried to a pile of wood near the river bank and set fire. Once the fire has gone out the mourners return to collect the charred fragments of bone — in Hindi it is referred to as “picking flowers” — which are then thrown from a clay pot into the river, usually upstream from where the bathing occurs. If a family cannot afford the firewood for a full cremation, a half-burned corpse is thrown into the water. A verse from their scripture says, “If only the bone of a person should touch the water of the Ganges, that person shall swell, honored, in heaven.”
This horribly polluted river is the only hope of release from the suffering and rebirth into more suffering according to Hindu tradition. The river is Ganga Ma, “Mother Ganges.” Her name and her story are repeated throughout India. She supposedly poured herself down from heaven upon the ashes of King Sarga’s 60,000 sons. Her waters would raise them up again to dwell in peace in heaven. Not only that, but anyone who touches these “purifying” waters even today are said to be cleansed from all sins. It is amazing how people will insist on believing their imaginations, fables, contradictions, and traditional stories.
How can we blame them when those who know the truth care so little to give them the truth? “No man comes to the Father but by Me” (John 14:6). May our hearts be broken and our minds become creative in determining how to spread the “Good News” of the Water of Life to the millions of blind seekers before the next twelve-year gathering at the Ganges.