Monday, October 30, 2006

Some thoughts by...

How deep? Deeper than Atlantis.

Benares has a definite affect upon whomever trudges through the twists and turns of the old city, spinning you into a whirling dervish amongst the myriad sounds and smells. It felt like I was going deeper into an ancient city and the further along I went I thought to myself an ancient civilization.

I have only taken in but a few things Benares has to offer. I have been fortunate enough to see the sunrise on the Ganga as people are offering their puja, bathing themselves or burning off the dead. Yes that's right, dead. Benares is well famous for it's cremation ghats. The Harish Chandra Ghat and for the deluxe version you have the Mani Karnika Ghat.

I spent the entire afternoon with the owner (undertaker) of the Harish Chandra Ghat. We watched as bodies were taken into the Ganga for their last bath, he explained the rituals behind each of the faiths and showed me the eternal flame. The eternal flame was surrounded by tridents and there is no record of when the fire was started. It is the flame that starts all other flames. I watched as the charred bodies were prodded and poked to get the ultimate burn. I sat with complete peace with nothing going on in my mind. I was witnessing numerous bodies being burned and sent out to their resting place in the Ganga. The remains of what isn't burnt (which is quite a bit I might add) is taken into the middle of the Ganga and weighted down and given to the inhabitants of the water to complete the circle of life. Hanging out in the smashan was revealing to say the least.

After the lecture on cremation processes and life in general we began roaming the streets together. I was rolling in the hood with the undertaker - the man who makes sure you burn when you die. We enjoyed some paan, chai and viewing of some famous Varanasi silk.



So my deep thoughts lie with this concept:
We can enjoy each other's commonalities but we can't enjoy our differences. The differences are what should be cherished, loved and accepted.

2 comments:

  1. I dig the closing deep thoughts. Nicely said. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. We are all "different"... that's what makes us the same.

    ReplyDelete

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