It takes more than one Kharma to make a Dharma

So it’s a real treat today. Two for the price of one or as we like to say out here BOGOF ( buy one get one free). This is a guide to what we actually did today which seemed to be a tale of world religions! As we know we had to be up and ready to meet our guide this morning at 5.30am for our morning ride down the Ganges. It was still dark as we made our way back to the scene of last nights chaos. It was much calmer this morning although considering the time, there are still a lot of people about but all a little more serene. So we went back to the same ghat and I think we may even have had the same chap rowing our boat. He rowed us a long the various ghats ( there are approx 84 in total) and Prem told us all about them. We saw lots and lots of people doing their morning wash which is a way of focusing on the inner self and I suppose working to be a better person. It’s the focus on inner self that is why they take no notice of the… er….filth. Women and men bathe together but the women get a little changing cabin to protect their modesty. They are focused and they do have to submerse themselves at some point and so clearly it is a ritual but they seem to enjoy it as well as there was lots of splashing and smiling and some even choose to have a 30 mins swim. All along the ghats they are doing this and it was an amazing spectacle to see. Jane even stopped sulking (it was difficult to photograph last night) as it was absolutely brilliant for photos today! Eventually, right when we’d reached another funeral ghat, the sun came up and turned the sky a pinky orange colour and it was so peaceful and beautiful. An absolutely incredible contrast to the darkness and noise of last night.
So after this we did a little walk around some of the back alleys behind the central ghat and this is where we started our religious teachings. One of the things we learned was in the title of today’s blogs ‘it takes more than one Kharma to make a Dharma’. I think what Prem was trying to tell us was that if we do good things we might feel a good Kharma but that is nothing compared to the level of effort required to reach a good Dharma. Or do I have that the wrong way around?
We visited various Hindu temples to different gods and also a mosque. This area had lots and lots of armed security around it as as you can imagine the mix is quite an explosive one. Sometimes literally. For this reason tourists cannot go in these temples. The streets here are incredibly narrow and those cows get everywhere.
After breakfast back at our hotel we were on the minibus again by 9.30 for our half day tour of Varanasi, Sarnath and environs. First of all we visited the Varanasi University which is the biggest in terms of area covered in Asia. We visited a Hindu temple here which we really enjoyed again and reminded us of being back in San Christobal de la Casas in Mexico as we watched the people performing their rituals with flowers, leaves and milk. Then we went onto another temple where I was particularly impressed by the large marble relief map of India we went to see created in something like the 1930s. We then went onto see the place where Buddha gave his first teachings at Sarnath ( who knew?) where there was a large Stupa. This is basically a huge mound made of red brick and partially covered in polished and carved sandstone. The sculptures found here are housed in a museum and feature Buddha. Very impressive. By this time we had absorbed way too much information from Prem in fact I have to report that Jane and Joyce had switched off at about 10am leaving Enid and I desperately trying to maintain eye contact without dropping off. We had been up since 5 you know!
So what we needed now obviously was to end our days tour with a trip to the silk emporium where, luckily, they ‘would treat us like family and not try to force us to buy anything’ . Oh god, please make him stop showing us more and more different coloured things. I don’t want a scarf, I don’t want a duvet cover. I actually did quite like the thing that had the nice colourful pictures of elephants on it but that was $180 …..

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “It takes more than one Kharma to make a Dharma

  1. Laura

    Amazing pictures.. well done Jane (I assume). It all looks quite surreal.
    Jules – do the little changing cabins have a drawstring neck?

  2. Now there’s a good business idea,Laura! You’re right as well, the pics are Jane’s. You’ll be pleased to hear that I am on video……..

  3. Fabulous photographs – particularly the devotees bathing in the Ganges. Keep ’em coming!

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