Friday, February 25, 2011
An offering on the Ganges
My second morning in Varanasi I went on the river in a small boat. It was a foggy morning, as they all seem to be, and my boatman went along the coast. I saw the various ghats, the people bathing in the waters, the laundry being done along the shores. The water buffalo that roam freely.
Then I saw a man, half naked, riding in another small row boat. The man sat motionless, eyes on the horizon. It was as if he was in a trance, but then I understood that he was praying.
After a while the rower stopped and the man stood up. He held this offering in his hands, facing the sun. He made a blessing, bowed, then placed the offering into the Ganges. I was told that he was honoring a departing soul. I took this picture when it floated by my boat.
Later that day I watched a young boy of perhaps only ten, his head shaved in mourning, dressed only in loin cloth, light his father's pyre.