Archive for salvation

A Fleeting Reality

Posted in Timeless Black & White with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2013 by designldg

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“To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality.
It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.”
(From “The Mind’s Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers” by Henri Cartier-Bresson)

This picture was shot in the evening at dusk, at Shitla Ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
The light was fading and becoming dull with a lack of contrast suddenly two men came and without warning, started cleaning the place with high pressure water pipes.
People were running here and there in order to avoid to be wet.
The water spread around became an unexpected frame for intriguing reflections…

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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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The Holiest Situation Upon Earth

Posted in The Oldest Living City in the World with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2013 by designldg

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“Benares. This holy city of the Hindus was at the height of its prosperity at least a thousand years before the birth of Christ, and was already old when Plato taught in Athens and when the earliest Roman fortress rose upon the Palatine.
The first view that I gained of Benares from across the Ganges quickened my pulse and made me catch my breath, not merely from its great antiquity, but from the fact that to a vast proportion of the human race this is the holiest situation upon earth, raised spiritually as far above the ordinary abodes of man as the unrivaled summits of the Himalayas soar above the plains of Hindustan.”
(From “India – John L. Stoddard’s Lectures” by John L. Stoddard, published by Norwood Press in 1901)

This is a view of the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras) from Scindia ghat to Munshi ghat.
It was shot at the end of the day when the light comes from the west and gives the feeling that sunsets don’t last very long in the Eternal city…

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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.

Bathing in the Fountain of Youth

Posted in In Search of Lost Time with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2013 by designldg

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“The only true voyage, the only bath in the Fountain of Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to see the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to see the hundred universes that each of them sees, that each of them is; and this we do [with great artists]; with artists like these we do really fly from star to star. ”
(From “The Prisoner and The Fugitive : In search of lost time, vol. 5” by Marcel Proust)

This young man was climbing a pillar which is usually underwater in the Ganges at Scindia ghat.
This architectural element is what is left from the massive palace which used to stand there until the end of the 19th century before the whole structure fell in the holy river.
This picture belongs to a series revolving around my “search of lost time” and of the lost splendour of Varanasi (Benaras)…

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Until Eternity

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.

“Love is from the infinite, and will remain until eternity.
The seeker of love escapes the chains of birth and death.
Tomorrow, when resurrection comes,
The heart that is not in love will fail the test.”
(Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi, known as Jelaluddin Rumi – Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and mystic, 1207–1273)

This view of the Ganges was shot from the window of a private Shiva mandir (temple) which is at the end of Manikarnika Ghat in Varanasi (Benaras).
The owner of this place allows me to come and I enjoy the quietness and the peace I find there as much as I want.
Sometimes a young palmist sits and study there, I often take pictures of what he is doing but I never asked him to read my palms…

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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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