On the Eve of 9/11, Kumbha Mela Festival at UC Irvine with Goal of Bringing Peace

September 11, 2006

Source: Los Angeles Times


On September 11, 2006 the Los Angeles Times reported, "Thousands of Hindus gathered Sunday at UC Irvine during a rare Kumbha Mela religious festival to help bring spiritual peace to devotees and to the world on the eve of Sept. 11. 'We hope today's celebration, held on the day before 9/11, can bring positive energy and peace to the Earth,' said Rama Kumar of Orange, one of the organizers. In India, the festival is held at irregular intervals four times within each 12-year period and draws millions of devotees. The event has been held infrequently in the United States, but Sunday's festival marked one of the largest gatherings on the West Coast, organizers said. More than 18 Southern California organizations took part in the festival, which featured a quarter-mile procession with an estimated 4,000 chanting marchers who carried pictures and images of deities and spiritual leaders from various temples. 'With Hindus, we have the same god but the body may be different such as Krishna or Balaji. But the goal of inner peace is the same,' said Satya Gundavasapu, 36, of Irvine, who brought his son, Raghav, 7, to the festival."