Archive for sâdhu

Being the Noise

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2012 by designldg

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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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“There is a community of the spirit.
Join it, and feel the delight of walking in the noisy street and being the noise.Drink all your passion, and be a disgrace.Close both eyes to see with the other eye.”
(Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī – Persian poet, 1207-1273)

I often take a few pictures of this sadhu along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
This time he was walking on main ghat wher it is sometimes very noisy.
I tried something with Photoshop in order to focus on him away from this tumultuous flow going around…

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Deep In His Eyes

Posted in Banarsi (Portraits) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 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.

“That man has reached immortality who is disturbed by nothing material.”
(Swami Vivekananda – Indian Spiritual leader of the Hindu religion (Vedanta), 1863-1902)

This is a picture of Lal Baba who is a Saivite (follower of Shiva) sādhu.
He was born in the Indian state of Bihar but he stays most of the time in Varanasi (Benaras).
People call him Lal Baba because he mostly wears garments in red shades, in Hindi “lal” means red.
His huge turban keeps a few meters of dreadlocks and gives him an impressive presence.
Sometimes people think that he can’t see much because of cataract but in fact his eyes have an amazing deep blue colour.
He is a well-known figure along the Ganges however nowadays he only accepts to pose for people he knows.
Whenever I meet him we share a few words and he gives me his blessings while putting his hands on my head…
(Deep in his eyes there is my reflection taking this picture)

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A Perfect Act

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2011 by designldg

A Perfect Act

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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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“A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world.
It was a perfect act.”
(Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi – Political and ideological leader of India, 1869–1948)

This is another picture shot at Darbhanga ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras) of a man sitting next to a drawing of Gandhiji.
This sadhu is a Saivite, a follower of Shiva, who are generally referred to as annyasi or dasnami sannyasin.
I know this man and I already took several pictures of him in different places, he is always happy and talks very easily.

The term sadhu comes from the Sanskrit for “accomplish” and can refer to any religious ascetic or holy man.
They include saints of various traditions, men (and occasionally women) who have left their homes to concentrate on physical and spiritual disciplines, and also hermits, magicians and fortune-tellers (some of dubious religious intent).

The Self Within

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2011 by designldg

The Self Within

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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.

“Having crossed the river,
where will you go, O friend ?

There’s no road to tread,
No traveler ahead,
Neither a beginning, nor an end.

There’s no water, no boat, no boatman, no cord;
No earth is there, no sky, no time, no bank, no ford.

You have forgotten the Self within,
Your search in the void will be in vain;
In a moment the life will ebb
And in this body you won’t remain.

Be ever conscious of this, O friend,
You’ve to immerse within your Self;
Kabir says, salvation you won’t then need,
For what you are, you would be indeed.”
(Kabīr – mystic poet and saint of India, 1440-1518)

A few days ago this timeless sadhu was enjoying the winter sun along the holy waters of the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras), not far from where Kabīr used to write his poetry.
Kabir was influenced by the prevailing religious mood of his times, such as old Brahmanic Hinduism, Hindu and Buddhist Tantrism, the teachings of Nath yogis and the personal devotionalism of South India mixed with the imageless God of Islam.
Eminent historians like R.C. Majumdar, P.N. Chopra, B.N. Puri and M.N. Das have held that Kabir is the first Indian saint to have harmonised Hinduism and Islam by preaching a universal path which both Hindus and Muslims could tread together.

Free from Attachments

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2011 by designldg

Free from Attachments

© All rights reserved.

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.

“We should worship lord Shiva so that we are freed from our worldly attachments just like a fruit falls from a tree after ripening.
Once we are successful in doing this we are liberated from this vicious cycles of life and death.”
(Quotes from the Yajurveda, the third of the four canonical texts of Hinduism)

Since a few days this sadhu is sleeping on a board lifted from the ground by several ropes at Dashaswamedh (Main) Ghat in Varanasi (Benaras).
This morning it was a little colder than the rest of the week and he took a long time to wake up.
A priest came and gave him a cup of tea in order to warm him up.
I think that he made a vow not to leave this board in order to keep the attention of Lord Shiva and to be able to be free, liberated from the cycles of life and death…

Knowledge of Mysteries

Posted in Wings of the Soul with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2011 by designldg

Knowledge of Mysteries

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“Soul receives from soul that knowledge, therefore not by book nor from tongue.
If knowledge of mysteries come after emptiness of mind, that is illumination of heart.”
(Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi – Persian Sufi Mystic Poet, 1207-1273)

This man was at Munshi ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
Those who accept the mysteries of the Eternal city could feel that he was carried away with magnificent wings of the soul…

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On the Edges of Time

Posted in Banarsi (Portraits) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 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).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf.”
(Rabindranath Tagore – Indian Poet, Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, 1861-1941)

A few days ago I met two of my friends who are some of the most well known characters along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
Chai Baba makes the best tea on the ghats and Lal Baba, whome I like to call the ultimate Sādhu, came at sunrise to drink one and to find the company of other souls.
We spoke for a while as I was taking a few shots, it was the first time that I could make a picture of both of them together.
Little by little dawn dissolved allowing the first appearance of daylight to warm up the colour shades in my lens and to give some meaning to Tagore’s words…