Archive for brahman

Unfolding Wings

Posted in Wings of the Soul with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2013 by designldg

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“Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall”
(Ray Bradbury – American writer, b.1920)

This man was wrapping his boby with a piece of fabric after taking a bath in the holy waters of the Ganges at Scindia ghat in Vanranasi (Benaras).

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Shraaddha

Posted in In Search of Lost Time with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2012 by designldg

“Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.”
(Epicurus – Greek philosopher, BC 341-270)

This picture was shot at Ahilyabai Ghat in Varanasi (Benaras) where an old man invited a Brahman to perform Shraaddha along the holy waters of the Ganges.
Shraaddha (Death Anniversary) is a Sanskrit word which literally means anything or any act that is performed with all sincerity and faith.
In the Hindu religion, it is the ritual that one performs to pay homage to one’s ancestors, especially to one’s dead parents.

“Rites with offerings known as shaddha are periodically held after a person has died to nourish the soul in the afterlife.
The rites are often performed once a year and feature a feast with a plate of food of food offered to the dead.
Hindu believe the living must feed the dead living in the World of the Fathers.
If the ancestors are properly taken care of they will reward the living with prosperity and sons.
The shaddha is thought to day back to the Aryans.
It is viewed as a meeting between the living and the dead.
The souls of the dead who are nor properly buried are thought live outside the World of Fathers as ghosts that torment their relatives until they are there. custom”
(“World Religions” edited by Geoffrey Parrinder, Facts on File Publications, New York)

Conceptually, it is a way for people to express heartfelt gratitude and thanks towards their parents and ancestors, for having helped them to be what they are and praying for their peace.
It also can be thought of as a “day of remembrance”.
It is performed for both the father and mother separately, on the days they became deceased.
It performed on the death anniversary or collectively during the Pitru Paksha or Shraaddha paksha (Fortnight of ancestors), right before Sharad Navaratri in autumn.
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Without Harness and Chain

Posted in Wings of the Soul with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2011 by designldg

Without Harness and Chain

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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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“And the weaver said, “Speak to us of Clothes.”
And he answered:
Your clothes conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful.
And though you seek in garments the freedom of privacy you may find in them a harness and a chain.
Would that you could meet the sun and the wind with more of your skin and less of your raiment,
For the breath of life is in the sunlight and the hand of life is in the wind.
Some of you say, “It is the north wind who has woven the clothes to wear.”
But shame was his loom, and the softening of the sinews was his thread.
And when his work was done he laughed in the forest.
Forget not that modesty is for a shield against the eye of the unclean.
And when the unclean shall be no more, what were modesty but a fetter and a fouling of the mind?
And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
(“On Clothes” by Khalil Gibran from “The Prophet”)

This young Brahman was washing a piece of cloth after taking a bath in the holy waters of the Ganges.
This was shot at Nepali ghat in Varanasi (Benaras) in front of a small Vishnu temple where a few priests come every evening before sunset in order to perform a water-pouring ritual.
The angle and perspective I have there allows my camera to attempt to capture the glimpse of what I call the human soul…

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Feeling the Visible World

Posted in Wings of the Soul with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2010 by designldg

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© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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“Hinduism is an imaginative, an image-making, religious tradition in which the sacred is seen as present in the visible world – the world we see in multiple images and deities, in sacred places, and in people.
The notion of darsan call attention as students of Hinduism, to the fact that India is a visual and visionary culture, one in which the eyes have a prominent role in the apprehension of the sacred.
For most ordinary Hindus, the notion of the divine as “invisible” would be foreign indeed.
God is eminently visible, although human beings have not always had the refinement of sight to see.
Furthermore, the divine is visible not only in temple and shrine, but also in the whole continuum of life – in nature, in people, in birth and growth and death…”
(“Darsan – Seeing the Divine Image in India” by By Diana L Eck, Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies, Director of The Pluralism Project, at Harvard University, b. 1945)

One afternoon as I was walking along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras), I met this Brahman who was praying down Mir ghat nearby the holy waters.
He allowed me to stay with him untill sunset and to take several pictures.
I could feel a “nourishing” energy flowing around him…

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Education is Freedom

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2010 by designldg

Education is Freedom

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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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“Only the educated are free.”
(Epictetus – Greek philosopher associated with the Stoics, AD 55-c.135)

This child was following a teaching among a large class of young Bramhan pupils at Vijayanagaram ghat along the holy waters of the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
Like all of them his attention was deeply concentrated and he was making an unusual choregraphy with his note book and pencil which seemed to help him to assimilate the words in Sanskrit.

Shedding the Old Skin

Posted in Corporeality with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2010 by designldg

Shedding the Old Skin

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.”
(Joseph Campbell – American prolific Author, Editor, Philosopher and Teacher, 1904-1987)

I know an old man who comes almost everyday at Ahilyabai ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
He spends most of the time under an huge umbrella that he owns there on a little platform where many people come to visit and to spend some time with him.
Here I met among his visitors priests and palmists, an architect, a few students and a kind of magician.
It is always amazing to see him swimming in the holy waters and then doing yoga and exercise on the ghats as if he was a young man.
I took this picture while he was performing a strength training.
That daily activity maintains his physical fitness and overall his health besides he is a very nice solar person who has so much to give to others.
I made many of his portraits and so far I never dared this picture, in a few days I’ll upload more images in order to show how handsome this old man is.

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Possessed by Nothing

Posted in Wings of the Soul with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2009 by designldg

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© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved. 
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“In India, I found a race of mortals living upon the Earth, but not adhering to it, inhabiting cities, but not being fixed to them, possessing everything, but possessed by nothing”
(Apollonius Tyanaeus – Neo-Pythagorean, 1st)

I met this young brahman in front of a small temple which is nearby Nepali ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
During summer I often see people coming here to bath just before the evening in order to forget the heat of the day at the time of a king of confined ceremony performed by a few priests.

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