Blog

Sharing my experiences of this beautiful world that we live in through photography. And some geeky tech photo stuff.

Monk with really long hair

January 22, 2013  -  Festivals, Monks & Priests

Ok, I admit I could have come up with a more creative blog post title but at least it gets straight to the point.

At the Kumbha Mela festival that I attended in Haridwar in 2010 I met a monk with really long hair. He invited me to join him and his devotees around a smoldering log that they were sitting around. After being there for a little while he decided to unwrap his turban. Well, it was not really a turban but a big piece of cloth which seemed to be holding a lot of hair on his head.

He slowly unwrapped the cloth and gently extended his matted hair which extended and extended. It was easily over 6 feet long and beautifully matted over many, many years. He was very proud of it and wanted me to photograph this. I couldn’t really tell where he was from but he looked like he was from either Nepal or Tibet. One of many wonderful experiences that I had at the Kumbha Mela festival.

Note our 2013 Kumbha Mela tour and journey across north India is from the 4th of February to the 16th.

Tagged with: , , , ,

Can Women be Monks?

January 21, 2013  -  Monks & Priests, Women

It is a question I get asked quite often and the answer, at least in the Hindu religion, is Yes! And if you want to be pedantic then they would more appropriately be called nuns.

In Hinduism men and women can attain the same heights of spiritual awakening. It is taught that God is equally present in all. Women tend to naturally gravitate towards the householder path hence you see more men as monastics as oppose to women. However, throughout time there have been many women monastics in Hinduism who have been greatly respected by Hindus all over the world.

At the Kumbh Mela festival in Hardwar that I attended in January 2010 there were a small contingent of nuns. Some were in the role of gurus, spiritual leaders with small to large groups of disciples and then there were a few women ascetics who appeared to be more reclusive.

Here are some images that I took at the Kumbh Mela of these Hindu nuns – gurus and anchorites, a small photographic insight into the world of women and the monastic path.

Women monks in Hinduism at the Kumbha Mela in Hardwar

Women monks in Hinduism at the Kumbha Mela in Hardwar

Women monks in Hinduism at the Kumbha Mela in Hardwar

Women monks in Hinduism at the Kumbha Mela in Hardwar

Women monks in Hinduism at the Kumbha Mela in Hardwar

Women monks in Hinduism at the Kumbha Mela in Hardwar

Women monks in Hinduism at the Kumbha Mela in Hardwar

Women monks in Hinduism at the Kumbha Mela in Hardwar

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Extraordinary display of will at the Kumbh Mela

January 20, 2013  -  Monks & Priests

Naga Baba Amar Bharti Ji

Naga Baba Amar Bharti Ji

This is a photo of Naga Baba Amar Bharti Ji taken at the last Kumbha Mela in Haridwar, North India in 2010. According to those present at the location I was told he has been holding his arm in the air for 28 years. Many Hindus perform tapas or austerities of varying degrees and this is certainly one of the more extreme one’s I’ve encountered. His hand has atrophied from the years of his tapas and his fingernails curl out of his clenched fist.

The performance of tapas helps to develop willpower and remold the subconscious allowing for the superconscious to flow through.

The Kumbha Mela festival is the largest gathering of sadhus anywhere in the world. Join us on our spiritual adventure next February to the grand 2013 Kumbha Mela in Allahabad.

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,