INDIA: Urn Festival

In ancient times, the Hindu legend goes, the 330 million angels were as mortal as man. The angels discovered that they could defeat death by drinking the divine nectar which was kept in the Kumbh (holy urn). They fought a full-scale war with the demons for possession of the Kumbh, and won. As the angels flew triumphantly to heaven with the urn, four drops of nectar fell to the ground from the vessel. Where the drops formed pools, every pious Hindu who bathes may end his earthly cycle of births and deaths, and release his soul into union with...

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