Friday, 21 February 2014

Bathing in the Ganges

Yesterday morning we had an nearly start with a sunrise boat ride. We started at 6 am and visited another cremation site and sat in the boat to welcome the sunrise. It was beautiful. There were a few other boats all ful of pilgrims, chanting. One was full of what looked like Nepalese or Tibetans. They were the loudest and were chanting Om mani padme hung, which was a lovely surprise and I took it to be a final blessing from the Stupa.  Then a quick tour around some of the old town and a peek inside one of the oldest Hindu temples. We came back and meditated on our veranda and had lunch at the Aum cafe where we met up with Roger and Shirley from our hotel. The afternoon was spent reading and resting in the sunshine and watching the local events from our verandah high above the street. In the evening there was a local Arti ceremony where we met up with our friends once again and had a nice meal and chat.
This morning we got up early and went down to the Ghats. They were busy with all the locals going in to bathe. Not wanting to get in the way we sat for a few minutes to watch. As it got a little less crowded I saw my moment and told Dennis I would just go in for a paddle. I attracted a lot of attention as I took off my shoes. I could see all the locals looking at me and wondering if I was going to join them. As I got to the bottom step and my feet met the Ganges my inner goddess took over and before I knew it I was sitting in the water beside a very bemused Indian lady. So I splashed the water over my head and prayed to Shiva and Mother Ganges to remove my Karmic debts, it was a very calm moment. The water felt strangely pure and good, not at all like it looks. There were no smells coming off. I sat beside the lady praying and it felt very cleansing. Getting out was a bit tricky as the steps are quite slippery and I was attracting some attention with my wet t shirt impersonation. Then it was Dens turn, he didn't go all the way in but had a paddle and put some on his head. He kept saying that he couldn't believe it when I got all the way in, nor could I, I was as surprised as he was. But then again as you all know I never do things by halves, and this time I truly found myself upto my neck in it!!
I had to walk back to the hotel in my wet clothes, with quite a few stares, probably at the wet t shirt. Had a good hot shower  and we both remarked how soft our skin feels, then
breakfast. I was sitting at the table feeling really peaceful calm and in a wonderful place when Dennis remarked how cleansed and refreshed he felt! Now he's the sceptic, go figure that one

No comments:

Post a Comment