The Gods and the Geeks

This year’s Kumbh Mela has seen quite a fascinating assortment of holy men. Here are a few who’ve taken my fancy!

The technology bug seems to have bitten everyone and the sadhu’s at the Kumbh Mela haven’t been left behind either. Unlike their forefathers, these new age sadhus prefer to use Facebook, Twitter and their smart phones to spread their message on Sanatam Dharam and Yoga.

Computer Baba, who earned himself this nickname because not only does he use a computer, but he also has a photographic memory. To top it off, Computer Baba owns a helicopter as well and has asked permission from the local authorities to use his helicopter on the day of the shahi snaan (royal bath). On being asked where he got the helicopter from, he stated that he has many followers and some of his followers are pretty well off and they had gifted him the helicopter.

Moving on in this interesting list of baba’s, the next one is “Pilot Baba”, or Mahayogi Kapil Singh, who was a fighter pilot with the Indian Air Force and a winner of the Shaurya Chakra, the Vir Chakra and the Vishisth Medal, before he renounced this world after the Indo Pak war in 1971, Pilot Baba has a list of some very famous devotes, including film actress Hema Malini, he’s also well known for travelling in some of the best cars in the world.

In addition to these, many holy men use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with their flock of devotees and zip around on motorbikes around the Kumbh Mela premises. Interestingly there are some unusual baba’s like the Jhoolewaaley Baba (The swing baba) who has taken a religious vow to only stand on one foot and uses a jhoola (swing) to ensure that his raised foot never touches the ground. Jhooleywaaly Baba said that he was simply following the advice of his guru and that his religious vow will come to an end following a religious ceremony in Ujjain in 2014.

Then there’s also the Ek Haath Waaley Baba (The One Hand Baba), who only uses one hand for everything, and the ascetic who has vowed not to cut his nails till the next Adhar Kumbh. His nails are currently more than ten inches long.

To know more about Kumbh Mela, you may refer to the following:

Ardh Kumbh

Triveni Sangam