Archive for hanuman

A Splash Of Orange Spiritual Vibrations

Posted in Hinduism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2013 by designldg

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“Orange strengthens your emotional body, encouraging a general feeling of joy, well-being, and cheerfulness.”
(“The First Element: Secrets to Maximizing Your Energy” by Tae Yun Kim)

There was a game of lights and shadows on a spectrum of spiritual orange vibrations at the small Hanuman temple standing at the edge of Manikarnika Ghat in front of the Ganges in Varnasi (Benaras).
In Hinduism orange or saffron is the most sacred color representing the fire that burns all kind of impurities, this is the reason why this color symbolizes purity.
It also represents religious abstinence and it is the color of holy men and ascetics who have renounced the world.
Wearing orange symbolizes the quest for light.
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The etymology of Orange is interesting, the word comes from the Old French “orenge” (c.1300), the old term for the fruit “pomme d’orenge” coming from Medieval Latin “pomum de orenge”.
It also comes from the Sanskrit word “naranga-s” which means “orange tree” as the tree was probably coming from northern India.
Later it gave «naarangi» in Hindi, “narang” in Persian, “naranj” in Arabic and “naranja” in Spanish.
The name is also related to the places where the orange tree was exported.
The bitter Persian orange, grown widely in southern Europe after its introduction in Italy during the XI° but it was replaced by sweet oranges brought to the rest of Europe in the XV° from India by some Portuguese traders.
Portuguese, Spanish, Arab, and Dutch sailors planted citrus trees along trade routes to prevent scurvy.
On his second voyage in 1493, Christopher Columbus brought the seeds of oranges, lemons and citrons to Haiti and the Caribbean.
I twas Introduced in Florida (along with lemons) in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon and much later to Hawaii in 1792.
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Devotional Water

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 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.

“Whatever I am offered in devotion with a pure heart – a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water – I accept with joy.”
(Bhagavad Gita)

There is a little temple under the akhara at Jatara ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras) where a priest offers water to the statue of the deity every evening.
It is a long ritual where he has to fill several times a bucket with the holy water of the river.

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Splendour & Beauty

Posted in Pehlwans & Gurus with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 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.

“Because God created it the human body can remain nude and uncovered and preserve its splendour and its beauty.”
(Pope John Paul II, born Karol Józef Wojtyła, 1920-2005)

When I reached the little akhara (gymnasia) which is lost in the fields near Sakalhida, a village in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, I first saw this pelhwan (Indian wrestler) who was outside with a gada.

A gada is a large round rock fixed to the end of a meter-long bamboo staff which is lifted and swung for exercise.
It may weigh as little as five or as much as fifty to sixty kilograms.
In the Ramayana and Mahabharata the gada is often mentioned as a weapon.
In popular religious art and iconography Hanuman is almost never depicted without one. It is not only the symbol of his strength but also of his countenance. The gada he carries is highly decorated and made of gold. At championship bouts wrestlers are awarded gadas made of silver. The gada is, then, clearly the mark of a wrestler’s prowess. Given the preponderance of phallic symbols in the akhara and the gada’s general shape it is evident that swinging a gada has clear symbolic overtones of sexual potency and virility.Each time the gada is swung it is brought to a balanced position, erect from the wrestler’s waist.The phallic aspect of the gada is also evidenced by its association with snakes. In the Harivamsa Akrura dives into the serpent world where he sees Ananta asleep on top of a mace…
In shape a gada resembles the churning stick used to make butter and buttermilk. A parallel between churning and sexual energy has been drawn above. By swinging the gada one might say that a wrestler is churning his body to increase his store of semen.
(“The Wrestler’s Body: Identity and Ideology in North India” by Joseph S. Alter)

“Vanity is so secure in the heart of man that everyone wants to be admired: even I who write this, and you who read this.”
(Blaise Pascal – French Mathematician, Philosopher and Physicist, 1623-1662)

This image was shot at Scindia Ghat along river Ganga in Varanasi (Benaras).
This young man was striking several poses in order to catch my attention so I could take a few snaps of him but I was pretending not to see him as I am mostly working on natural poses.
It was a Sunday afternoon before sunset and he came there to wash his laundry, his attitude was amazing, full of narcissism, each of his gesture was carrying vanity and pride…
After a while I couldn’t help laughing and I took a few pictures, in fact he knew that I was leaving the akhara nearby where I often take pictures of the pehlwani (wrestlers).

The pillar on the left belongs to the remains of a massive palace which used to stand on Scindhia ghat.
The entire structure has sunk several feet into the earth since its erection and is still gradually and slowly sinking.
Sometimes in the winter when the holy waters of the Ganges come very low it is possible to see it otherwise most of the time it stays underwater.

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Towards the Akhara

Posted in Pehlwans & Gurus with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2009 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.

This is a view of the little akhara (gymnasia) which is lost in the fields near Sakalhida, a village in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh at a few minutes from Varanasi (Benaras).
I was there a few weeks ago in the middle of winter and early in the morning, before sunrise, at the time where a heavy fog is still darkening the atmosphere of the countryside.
It is also providing a hazy effect which in a way emphasizes the timeless touch of many of my images.

At that moment I didn’t know yet that I’ll meet amazing faces of several generations of pehlwans (Indian wrestlers) that I would enjoy to capture with my camera.
I couldn’t expect that aura of invigorating peace and tranquility that was at the other side of this lane.
This place, away from the crowded environment of urban India, is actualy the ideal location for an akhara.
At the shade of a tree, under the aroma of freshly moistened earth and the coolness of a refreshing breeze, strength is measured against strength and moves and counter moves are born and develop in sweat…

All the pictures are following this one.

“Vanity is so secure in the heart of man that everyone wants to be admired: even I who write this, and you who read this.”
(Blaise Pascal – French Mathematician, Philosopher and Physicist, 1623-1662)

This image was shot at Scindia Ghat along river Ganga in Varanasi (Benaras).
This young man was striking several poses in order to catch my attention so I could take a few snaps of him but I was pretending not to see him as I am mostly working on natural poses.
It was a Sunday afternoon before sunset and he came there to wash his laundry, his attitude was amazing, full of narcissism, each of his gesture was carrying vanity and pride…
After a while I couldn’t help laughing and I took a few pictures, in fact he knew that I was leaving the akhara nearby where I often take pictures of the pehlwani (wrestlers).

The pillar on the left belongs to the remains of a massive palace which used to stand on Scindhia ghat.
The entire structure has sunk several feet into the earth since its erection and is still gradually and slowly sinking.
Sometimes in the winter when the holy waters of the Ganges come very low it is possible to see it otherwise most of the time it stays underwater.

Join the photographer at www.facebook.com/laurent.goldstein.photography