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Dust and Ash


Varanasi is one of those places that I had always wanted to see and feel for myself. I had an opportunity to go there for a few hours on one of our trips to India. I went to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple which has been renovated. It was a very hot day and we reached in the middle of the day. Sun was at its peak. We had to walk through the temple complex barefoot over carpet but it still felt like my feet would melt away.

We had heard Varanasi can be extremely crowded and to see the Shiva Linga (the god we go to see) can be difficult. But as the heat would have it, there was nobody around and we were the only people to go to the temple and got the best darshan (look) possible. Endurance does bear its fruits. I felt extremely satisfied.

We walked towards The Ganges River which is on one side of the temple. Even though everything was sunny, bright and too hot, I still wanted to have a quick ride along the river to see the view of the Ghats(river bank). This is the most revered photo I remembered and longed to see myself. It went past my expectations.

The most surprising thing for me was the Manikarnika Ghat next to the temple complex which can be seen from the river boat ride. Pyres burning at different levels. To die in Varanasi, supposedly is very devout and sacred for any Hindu. People come in their last days here. Bodies can be seen burning all over this ghat as the boat comes near there.

My realisation of death looked real in front of my eyes. Dust and ashes is what we all end up as. I felt liberated. A wave of inner upliftment took over me. I could not be a more happier person.

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