On The Phone

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 thoughts on “On The Phone

    1. 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.


        1. 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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        2. 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.


        3. 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.


  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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