|Puja on the banks of the Ganges at Varanasi|
February 10th (Mauni Amavasya Snan) will be the most auspicious bathing day at Kumbh Mela 2013—70 million Hindus are expected to bathe then in the belief that it will wash away their karmic debt.
November 29th (Black Friday) will be the most auspicious shopping day of 2013—250 million consumers are expected to buy that day in the belief that its reduced sale prices will lessen their debt.
This is an unfair implied comparison as Kumbh Mela happens in one place, the confluence of the Yamuna and Ganges rivers. Whereas, Black Friday takes place not just at hundreds of thousands of stores throughout the USA, but also at millions of computers hooked up to online stores. However, the juxtaposition does make the point that the same vessel can be filled with different substances. Much of the mind space that is filled by religious rituals and the salvation people here believe that they bring, is filled in our hemisphere by money rituals and the temporary relief from anxiety that each new purchase brings.
|Devotees at this nightly religious ceremony on the river bank|