Initiation Rites of Passage - Thomas L. Kelly
At all Kumbha Melas people from all ages come to be initiated as Sadhus and Sadhvis. The initiation involves a renouncement of all worldly possessions and previous ties. Women take refuge with a particular revered saint; they shave their head, give away their clothes, and receive a new name given by their leader. All other sadhvis within Meera Puri’s akhara apply the sacred ash from the dhuni (sacred fireplace) to the new initiate. This is a significant gesture of welcoming and sealing the bond with the individual.
Ujjain, India.

At all Kumbha Melas people from all ages come to be initiated as Sadhus and Sadhvis. The initiation involves a renouncement of all worldly possessions and previous ties. Women take refuge with a particular revered saint; they shave their head, give away their clothes, and receive a new name given by their leader. All other sadhvis within Meera Puri’s akhara apply the sacred ash from the dhuni (sacred fireplace) to the new initiate. This is a significant gesture of welcoming and sealing the bond with the individual.
Ujjain, India.

UjjainIndiasadhusadhaviinitiationkumbha melahinduismhindujuna akhara