Varanasi - City of Death
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Варанаси — центр Индии
Varanasi, India can be called Amsterdam, cannabis is legalized for use by pilgrims as a sacred plant of Shiva, and is sold in specialized stores with government license, called goverment shop.
- Rishikesh is Shanti Shiva, and Varanasi is angry Shiva. — My friend gave me some idea about this town.
City of million people Varanasi, on the banks of the Ganges, meets guests smell smoke and haze faint but permanent smoke, I will discuss why after.
It seems that India has become more concentrated: streets more narrow, dirty is more dirty, vanity is more vanity.
Coastal narrow streets act as a drain on them flow into the Ganges waste and faeces.
How to you walking to ankles in the urine and feces?
Ganges in Varanasi itself is not shining Himalayan blue, brown, brick, red, yellow, green, colors may vary. What you want, but not blue. In Varanasi there is an opportunity to feel like a hero fiction film "Total Recall" with Schwarzenegger, where he gets in a colony on Mars. Streets of Varanasi full of mutants, prostitutes and drug dealers,, and the sacred color of the city is red.
- You want Hash? - Hash? - You want something? - Hash? - Hash? - Hash? - Offers you drugs on every corner semiconscious dealers with blood red lips from constantly chewing stimulant «Paan».
- This is a holy place! - Indignation they are justified when trying to blame them.
Indeed, the products of the cannabis plant of Shiva in this holy city have legal status.
From chewing stimulant «Paan» lips acquire blood-red hue.
To determine this, the city begs words: crazy, mad, crazy. Often someone might drop dead on the street from overheating in this strange place.
What draws pilgrims and travelers in this city?
Varanasi, also known as Benares, also known as Kashi, also known as Casey - the oldest city of the living present. By skeptical scientists opinion it is 3000 years old. It is a powerful religious center on the banks of the Ganges. This is the most sacred and revered Hindu city.
According to legend, a city built by Shiva. According to another tradition it is the city in which Shiva was born. By another opinions Varanasi is a Shiva.
The city managed to light up the Buddha Gautama. Suburb Sarnath is the place where he gave his first sermon after enlightenment - "turned the wheel of doctrine." If Buddha began his mission here, it says that Varanasi is in those days had a cult status.
Such continuity is time to create a unique atmosphere in Varanasi.
One of the historical names of Varanasi - Mahashmashān, it is mean large shmashān (shmashan - a place for cremation). Varanasi is the biggest India crematorium. For thousands of years, non-stop, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year - here burn dead bodies. Cremation ritual complexes were located along the Ganges. It is typical for the whole of India smell of waste incinerated immediately adds subtle smell of human flesh. But that it creates a unique energy, atmospheric boundary between life and death.
From all India here dead bodies being taken to send their final journey here. Hindus believe that cremation in the city eliminates future rebirths in the wheel of samsara, the human soul after death reaches the state of Moksha, absolute freedom.
European tourists, meeting with death seems unusual and captivating.
Craft cremation is inherited, this caste is called Dom. Dom's are considered untouchable caste, so I have great pleasure touched first Dam, whwn i met him.
Holy men are not cremated, they are sent into the river. It is believed that they are not subject to corruption, and need not be purified by fire.
Cremation is expensive - that the body be burned to the ground, you need a considerable amount of wood. Firewood-engage those same Dom's. Price prostinkih wood for a cremation - about $ 100. Especially prized for cremation sandalwood, but it is more expensive.
Many people when feeling the last hour, come to Varanasi to wait. They live in special rooms at the ghats, resembling a leper colony and a waiting room at a time.
In the movie "Little Buddha" Bertolucci is the moment, Prince Siddhartha had never seen death, sees the cremation, and at night, when the place was burning just meditating ascetic, Buddha takes in hand the ashes left by the body.
This scene shows the ancient tradition (it is same same like сhristan ascetics practin the cemetery) a radical revaluation of life values. Ascetic met death face to face, transcends fear, and finds a new birth, a sacred, eternal, as is already being free from birth and death. The ashes symbolize the impermanence of life, it is an important attribute of Shiva, and ascetics often sprinkled his body to them.
In Varanasi many such ascetics, some of them engaged in the game to the public, some of them are looking for spiritual freedom.
The largest of the surviving sect of radical asceticism called Aghora. Aghori (अघोर) in Sanskrit - Fearless (prefix "a" means to deny, "ghora" - fear, and close to the Slavic "Mountain"). These guys collect human skulls, drink and eat out of them as bowls, fish out the bodies from the Ganges and eat their flesh (not from hunger, and for ritual purposes), go naked smeared with ashes cremation fires in general are implemented in full. The main objective of such parktik - get rid of the opposition bad-good, the beautiful, the ugly, tasty, tasteless, spiritual and materialistic.
) in Sanskrit - Fearless (prefix "a" means to deny, "ghora" - fear, and close to the Slavic "Mountain"). These guys collect human skulls, drink and eat out of them as bowls, fish out the bodies from the Ganges and eat their flesh (not from hunger, and for ritual purposes), go naked smeared with ashes cremation fires in general are implemented in full. The main objective of such parktik - get rid of the opposition bad-good, the beautiful, the ugly, tasty, tasteless, spiritual and materialistic.
Varanasi traditional buildings are narrow streets and alleyways, called Gali. Often they are so narrow that they can be used to navigate by foot or on motorcycles, with pedestrians prizhimatsya to the walls to let the bike. Ghali form densely populated neighborhoods, called Mohalla.
After a while you get used to some piece of local color, and Varanasi does not seem more so awful. I complained to the Shusha Addictive drug traffickers. He said: - This is only the first time so then they get used to you, hello and smile. I'll go better on our roof, now the launch kites.
Varanasi perobrazhaetsya wonderful few days. Lose fear. On the steps of the Ganges, near the crematoria young monks playing cricket and football, Aghori childish boast to each other photographs and newspaper clippings with his picture, with a conspicuous number of colored roofs kites children. Even dealers do not stick with a proposal to buy something, and ask them to say anything should in Russian.