magha-masa lagila, ebe yadi yaiye
makare prayaga-snana kata dina paiye
magha-masa lagila—the month of Magha has begun; ebe—now; yadi—if; yaiye—we go; makare—during the Makara-sankranti; prayaga-snana—bathing at Prayaga; kata dina—for a few days; paiye—we shall get.
"It is now the beginning of the month of Magha. If we go to Prayaga at this time, we shall have an opportunity to bathe for a few days during Makara-sankranti."
Bathing during the month of Magha at Magha-mela still takes place. This has been a very old mela (assembly) from time immemorial. It is said that the Lord in the form of Mohini took a bucket of nectar and kept it at Prayaga. Consequently Magha-mela has been observed, and there is an assembly of holy men there every year. Every twelfth year there is a Kumbha-mela, a great festival, and all the holy men from all over India assemble there. The brahmana wanted to take advantage of the Magha-mela and bathe there.
Bathing at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna near the fort at Allahabad, Prayaga, is mentioned in revealed scriptures:
maghe masi gamisyanti
samyag dattam ca yat-phalam
prayage magha-mase vai
tryaham snatasya tat-phalam
"If one goes to Prayaga and bathes at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna in the month of Magha, he attains the result of giving hundreds and thousands of cows in charity. Simply by bathing for three days there, he attains the results of such a pious activity." Because of this, the Sanodiya brahmana was very eager to go to Prayaga and bathe. Generally karmis (fruitive laborers) take advantage of bathing there during the month of Magha, thinking that they will be rewarded in the future. Those who are situated in devotional service do not very strictly follow this karma-kandiya process.
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