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.


  1. My father visited the Ganges in 1939 as a merchant marine. His b/w photos that I still have describe very much what you so colorfully wrote. Remains the same after all these years.

  2. Thank you. I appreciate hearing that.

  3. nice post dear blogger