The winter season is getting old and the spring is taking birth. Pasant Panchmi or the spring festival is almost over everywhere in India.
On the 9th February, full moon day, it will be the last bathing of the Kumbh Mela festival, that is taking place in Prayagraj (Allahabad) and after that the pilgrims will come to Varanasi to give the final touch of their pilgrimage at the Holi City, turning the city even more colorful and busier.
Also, the monks from the different sects and cults of Hinduism will go back to their monasteries, and some of them will stay for some time at the ghats of Varanasi, occupying the coast of the river in their temporarily tents.
And in February, from all over India and abroad, the devotees of Saint Ravidas (c. XVI AD) will also come to Varanasi to celebrate the birthday of this holy man, who was a shoemaker belonging to the sudra class of India; but, also an Enlighted person.
Saint Ravidas was a disciple of Sri Ramanand (c. XVI AD) who was another Enlighted monk from the sect of the dandi sanyasis. The birthplace of Ravidas, in the Southern part of Varanasi, becomes during this time like a new city inside the city, full of shops, lights, big markets and thousands of people who visit the temple located at his birthplace. From this point the followers of the saint go by boat to his guru ashram, Sri Ramanand, at Panchganga Ghat.
So, Varanasi will be once more a busy city during this month, which has also the very big festival of Mahashivratri at the end of it (21 st February).
Welcome to the city of Light!
By Ravi Dubey, Sangha Services