The pictures that unfold capture fascinating moments after Sunset on the Banks of the River Kshipra during the month long Mahakumbh held in Ujjain , Madhya Pradesh, India.
“The Naga Sadhus” usually do not wear any clothes and cover their entire body with Bhasm or Ashes.
The Ashen or Ghostly look symbolizes their proximity to the Supreme Being and a break from all Worldly Interests.
The pictures below were a stroke of luck for me, taken on the banks of the gently flowing River Kshipra in which millions would take a ceremonial Bath called “Snan” during the month long “Simhastha MahaKumbh”.
( Do check out previous blogs titled Colour me saffron, Divine Flowers, A River Worshipped and Trinity ,to know more )
A Vast and Beautiful Oil Lamp is brought forth as the Ghostly Sadhu beckons and conducts the entire Ceremony that unfolds before my eyes stretched in wonder . Lucky me!!!
The backdrop is of ancient and beautiful temples that adorn the banks of the Kshipra River. The mythological fables and tales that surround each go back to thousands of years.
Hands outstretched to the Skies , all the Sadhus chant and Prayer to the Almighty as the Oil Lamp is lit and the God of Fire, “Agni ” is invited to join the communal prayers.
The Lit Oil lamp is help in both hands by the Ashen Sadhu and the Aarti or prayers are offered to the Goddess of the River Kshipra.
People set forth small boats with Diyas or Lamps into the River Praying for the well being of their families and friends.
All Elements of Nature are held in high esteem and a request is made during the Aarti for Peace to spread it’s wing Far and Beyond.
The Heavy headgear of the Naga Sadhu consists of Seeds of the Tree Rudraksha, which when roughly translated mean “Tears of Lord Shiva” .
“Enchanting Ghost” is he not?