On The Phone

comments 15
Photography

Is this man a sadhu, a serious searcher after truth, or something else? Who knows?

I met a man who had been on his yatra (pilgrimage to holy places) for years and who had nothing good to say about the ‘fake’ sadhus at Pashupatinath, where I took this photograph. But that was just his take, and he could be wrong.

The man is covered in ash. Some sadhus cover themselves with ash from cremated bodies. As I said, I took this photo at Pashupatinath, by the burning ghats, so this man may have covered himself with ash from the cremations.

I would have wanted to photograph him for his appearance alone, but the fact that he is on the phone adds another dimension.

15 Comments

    • Yes. When I was l in the religious community, for three months I hadn’t seen a film or read a novel, or seen TV. I went into town to buy a film for my camera and in the corner of the store a video was playing. It was a film with Sean Connery. He was in his middle age and he was tied up or confronted by some men on a roof terrace. I felt my head, my attention, being dragged to the screen – and in two minutes, the balance I had built in three months was swept away like floodwater.

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      • This is very interesting … in several ways. Where were you? Was it some type of retreat? At times I’ve been thinking about a retreat, but I’ve been thinking in terms of one week or two.

        Unrelated, but fun ๐Ÿ˜Š: https://youtu.be/emJXMvD8BSU

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        • I was in a seminary for two years in Jerusalem, and the focus was on learning. In Nepal I stayed in Boudhanath, a Buddhist colony near Kathmandu – a mixture of displaced Tibetans, and Nepalis. I met some people there who were in Nepal with their lama, and from there I decided to Kopan monastery. I was lucky there to talk to some nuns. I liked it a lot. I’ve always been interested in things like that, so I did consider staying.

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        • Retreats sound very attractive to me too — but not for months or even years. Also, there are some awesome retreats for (not only) psychiatric patients, which is basically the same thing.

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        • A rabbi in Israel said to the group I was in: If you saw something in a room that was a perfect jewel and gave you everything you wanted, would you want it? The only condition is that you cannot leave the room.

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  1. Wow, the person is fascinating! Not sure how I feel about the human ashes, but I guess dust to dust… I’d love to hear more about your stay in Nepal (me being a self-proclaimed Buddhist), so maybe when you feel like sharing? Or maybe not ๐Ÿ™‚

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