Varanasi – purity in chaos
The Ganges runs calmly, a lifeline for so many people in so many ways. Though it is early morning, the atmosphere is chaotic, activity on every stretch of the riverbank.
This is the iconic place where Lord Shiva is said to have put his wife Parvathi to rest. Since that time of lore, devoted Indians have made the journey to send their loved ones to liberation, to the freedom from the countless cycle of birth and rebirth.
They say the flame from that first fire has been preserved. The funeral flames are still lit from that same source, maintained in a small cave from generation to generation. The intense longing for the safe passage to the life beyond, and the fulfilment of duty, both hang in the air.
As I walk down the stretch of dozens of ghats – among small groupings of hotels, temples and cottages – every few metres something new is happening. Individuals are taking dips in the river for purification. Further down, boats float out into the midst of the river. Beyond, children splash in their swimming classes, people send out floating diyas for their loved ones, buffaloes bathe and the slopping sounds of clothes being washed compete with saffron-robed sadhus murmuring blessings.
Read the complete article in Volume 2, Issue 3
Photo Essay by BHARATH KRISHNA
May 31, 2017
May 29, 2017
May 01, 2017