Serving God Night and Day
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“And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.”
(From the Holy Bible)
I took this picture very early just after sunrise as I was walking along the holy waters of the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
Time stopped in the oldest living city in the world where people seem to be still living like at the time of the Bible.
Ancient traditions sustain as if they wanted to bear witness for the legacy of humankind.
This lady is looking at me from a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, she is sitting next to the lingam, serving God probably all day long.
Like any traditional Hindu widows she is wearing the common white sari (the colour of mourning) and she does not wear the sindoor (vermilion), signifying that her husband is no longer alive.
Nearby this temple there is an âshram for widows, sometimes I can listen to their chants carried away by the wind…
(In order to clarify any confusion it is important to mention that in modern-day culture those traditions are gradually given away, for instance most of the widows living outside Benaras are nowadays wearing colored clothing.)