Synopsis by Mark Deming
Every 12 years, the city of Allahabad in India plays host to a spiritual gathering called the Kumbh Mela, in which Hindus from around the world gather to hear the words of a variety of holy men and bathe where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers meet. Staged in accordance with a particular alignment of celestial bodies, attendance at the Kumbh Mela is believed to help the soul wash away bad karma, resulting in a heightened plane of spiritual awareness that can help visitors reach the enlightened state of Nirvana, and the 2001 Kumbh Mela is estimated to have been attended by at least 30 million people -- and possibly by as many as 70 million. Short Cut to Nirvana: Kumbh Mela is a documentary which examines both the spiritual background and the logistical pandemonium of what is considered to be the largest physical gathering of people in history, with a special emphasis placed on an American couple attending the event for the first time, who serve as a guide for Westerners encountering this remarkable gathering for the first time.
Buddhism, cultural-traditions, faith, festival, gathering, guru, Hinduism, India (subcontinent), music, nirvana, pilgrimage, quest, rebirth, river, spiritual, spiritual-leader, tent