According to a rough estimate, over seven million devotees took a dip in the holy Sangam in Allahabad on Paush Purnima on Sunday, January 27. Bathing at Sangam ghat began before the dawn marking the onset of the month-long Kalp Vas. It turned out to be sunny day and devotees took a number of dips in the River Ganga.
Throughout the Kalp Vas period, lakhs of people will be staying at small tents near the sangam for a month to take bath thrice daily and eat only once in a day with a belief that the next birth will be full of prosperity and bounty.
It is believed that if one follows the Kalp Vas ritual faithfully, it cleanses the mind and soul of sins of the previous births. Most of the devout wear unstitched clothes during the Kalp Vas. The clothes could be white, yellow or saffron, as per their belief. After a month-long stay here, they would leave for their destinations, though the Mela would continue till the Mahashivratri day.
According to the scriptures, the concept of Kalp refers to the process of transformation of the current state of consciousness to self-referral, self-sufficient and fully awake state of consciousness. Many social scientists from India and abroad are collecting data to study the psychological and biological effects on the practitioners of Kalp Vas.
Kalia Goswami Peetha at Andhoti village of Cuttack district in Orissa also celebrates Pusha Purnima and a lot of devotees gather at the Samadhi of Saint Kaliram Goswami - a saint from poor schedule caste family who learned Sanskrit and studied scriptures to acquire miraculous virtues.