For those who have not been able to attend the ongoing Magh Mela due to various reasons, including the corona scare, there is now hope.
Saints and seers camping in the Magh Mela have started using technology to connect with their disciples.
The saints are live streaming their sermon sessions on various social media platforms.
Acharya Parmanand is among those who regularly uploads his Bhagwad Katha and Ram Katha on his Facebook page as well as YouTube channel.
“The Acharya has a large number of devotees who could not make it to the Magh Mela this year due to the pandemic. They have been contacting us and so we decided to live stream the Acharya’s sermons. These sermons will remain posted and anyone can catch up with them later,” said Ajay Rai, a disciple who takes care of ensuring that the sermons are uploaded on time.
Swami Brahmashram Maharaj, national president of the Akhil Bharatiya Dandi Sanyasi Parishad, said he regularly interacts with his followers at a designated time through Skype and FaceTime.
“My devotees have innumerable questions and I solve their problems through this technology on a daily basis,” he said.
Almost every camp in the Magh Mela has a laptop and a tech-savvy disciple. Messages for press conferences are sent through WhatsApp and the schedule for sermons and other religious activities are conveyed through emails and the social media.
What makes adaptation of technology easier this time, is the fact that a large number of seers and saints are highly educated.
For instance, Swami Pranav Puri holds a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) degree in Computer Science and MBA (Master of Business Administration).
Mahant Bajrang Muni Udasin also holds degrees like BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration), BA and MA.
Saints associated with Akharas like the Kinnar Akhara are also tech-savvy.
The ‘kalpvasis’ this year are not cut off from the outside world either, unlike previous years when they lived for a month in total isolation.
Swadesh Maurya, 76, has brought his laptop and cell phone with him.
“It helps me remain connected with my family because they worry about my well-being. Moreover, I can attend spiritual discourses sitting in my tent,” he said.