Archive for cremation

As a Wild Hunter

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2012 by designldg

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“With my mouth I speak slander, day and night.
I spy on the houses of others – I am such a wretched low-life !
Unfulfilled sexual desire and unresolved anger dwell in my body, like the outcasts who cremate the dead.
I live as a wild hunter, O Creator !”
(From the Guru Granth Sahib – the religious text of Sikhism)

This is a picture of the burning ghats of Manikarnika shot at sunset from a boat on the holy waters of the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
Antyesti, the Last Rite, is an important Sanskara, sacrament of Hindu society
According Hinduism cremation is releases an individual’s spiritual essence from its transitory physical body so it can be reborn.
If it is not done or not done properly, it is thought, the soul will be disturbed and not find its way to its proper place in the afterlife and come back and haunt living relatives…

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The Way to Heaven

Posted in Dev Diwali with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2011 by designldg

© 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.

“If only the bone of a person should touch the water of the Ganges, that person shall dwell, honored, in heaven.”
(A popular śloka from the Mahabharata)

This is Manikarnika Ghat during the night of Dev Diwali in Varanasi (Benaras).
This place has a great significance not only in Hindu mythology and way of life but also in the philosophies of life and death as this is the “Maha-Shmashan” or the Great Cremation Ground of the entire Universe.
Hindu mythology teaches that this ghat is especially sacred and that persons cremated there receive moksha and are granted instant salvation, it is an instant gateway to liberation from the cycle of births and rebirths.
There stands the sacred fire (dhuni) which might be the oldest fire, it is said that this place is the “navel of the world”.

Today Western Christians will observe All Saints’ Day and I thought that this picture could make a bridge between the two cultures.
Catholics celebrate All Saints’ Day in the fundamental belief that there is a prayerful spiritual communion between those in the state of grace who have died and are either being purified in purgatory or are in heaven and the “church militant” who are the living.
Tonight the tradition is to light candles while visit ing the graves of deceased relatives in cimeteries and the atmosphere will be very close to what I see along the sacred river at the same time of the year…

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A Gateway to the Spiritual World

Posted in Ethereal Dreams with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 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.

It was at the end of the day, a life was ending there at Manikarnika ghat, the sacred gateway to the spiritual world, along the sacred Ganges, in a city of many names, known in ancient time as Kashi, the city of light, and refered in the Mahabharata as Varanasi (Banaras), “the oldest living city in the world”.

This is the place where people have to die in order to achieve liberation from samsara.
“Death, which elsewhere is feared, here is welcomed as a long-expected guest.”
“Death, which elsewhere is polluting, is here holy and auspicious.”
People travel from around the country and the planet to spend their last days in Banaras because, “Death, the most natural, unavoidable, and certain of human realities, is here the sure gate to moksha, the rarest, most precious, most difficult to achieve of spiritual goals”.

As I don’t want to be disrespectful, I wont show any closer picture of the funeral pyres, besides they are not allowed.
Those men who are mourning the dead one, will later walk away without looking back.

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