The Kumbh Mela – which happens once every 12 years in each of 4 locations – is a great fair where all the groups of Hinduism come together. Close to hundred million people attended the Kumbh Mela in 2013 in Prayag in the state of Uttar Pradesh. That is 1/10th of the population of India and is larger than the population of most countries in the world. In the Kumbh Mela in 2013, the largest gathering humanity has seen ever in its history, His Divine Holiness Paramahamsa Nithyananda was anointed as the Mahamandaleshwar or spiritual head of the Mahanirvani Akhada – the oldest and most authentic of the 13 Akhadas of Hinduism.
His Divine Holiness Paramahamsa Nithyananda hails from the South part of India in the spiritual town of Thiruvannamalai which has been the home of unbroken lineages for time immemorial. For a long time in the history of Hinduism there has existed a divide between the Hindus in Northern India and those in the south. This divide had been aggravated by the political parties in the South that used differences in languages to divide the people. His Divine Holiness Paramahamsa Nithyananda’s coronation was the first time in many years that someone from the South of India had been conferred this very prestigious honor from the Akhadas that were mainly based in North India. Not only that, His Divine Holiness Paramahamsa Nithyananda was one of the youngest persons to receive the title of Mahamandaleshwar in the history of Hinduism.
As the Mahamandaleshwar of the Mahaniravani Akhada, His Divine Holiness brought the core traditions of Hinduism out to the whole world. The traditional Kumbh Mela was not only celebrated in the traditional grandeur of yore in India but also was taken for the first time outside India in its full glory and tradition to USA, Australia, and other countries. Swami Nithyananda and his organization are the only ones authorized by the Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad to conduct the Kumbh Mela officially all over the world.