Holy Men of Varanasi, India
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Varanasi is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world; it’s thought that people may have lived in Varanasi for about 3,000 years or longer.… Read More
Varanasi is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world; it’s thought that people may have lived in Varanasi for about 3,000 years or longer. It’s the epicenter of Hindu faith, similar to Jerusalem for Christians and Mecca for Muslims.
 I began the Holy Men collection with a photo series from the North of Ethiopia focusing on Coptic Christianity. In this new series, Sadhus and religious students are the featured subjects. Although Coptic Christian monks and Sadhus live in different corners of the world, the connection all these subjects have to each other is profound. Almost every major religion breeds ascetics; wandering monks who have renounced all earthly possessions, dedicating their lives to the pursuit of spiritual liberation. Their reality is dictated only by the mind, not material objects. Even death is not a fearsome concept, but a passing from the world of illusion. Read Less
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Vijay Nund on Ganges River
Ascetic priest Baba Vijay Nund rows a boat along the Ganges River.
Vijay Nund Morning Puja
Vijay Nund performing morning rituals in the Ganges River, the most sacred river in Hinduism.
Aghora
Aghori sadhus cover themselves with human ash, which is the last rite of the material body.
Aghora Puja
The Aghori have a profound connection with the dead. Death is not a fearsome concept, but a passing from the world of illusion.
Lal Baba
When he was young, Lal Baba’s parents arranged a marriage for him. Uncertain about his future, he ran away from home in Bihar Siwan and took up the lifelong task of becoming a sadhu.
Jatas
Lal Baba has dreadlocks (jatas) several meters long, which have been growing for over 40 years. To sadhus, dreadlocks are a sign of renunciation and a life dedicated to spirituality.
Portrait of Lal Baba
Lal Baba’s life is to travel. Even at 85 years old, he will continue to travel from holy place to holy place in India and Nepal.
Portrait of Ram Das.
Ram Das
Ram Das beside boat wreckage.
Magesh Nalla
Magesh left a well paid job as an IT computer consultant to pursue to path of Aghora. After years of practice, he finds no temptation to return to his old life.
Portrait of Magesh Nalla
Magesh left a well paid job as an IT computer consultant to pursue to path of Aghora. After years of practice, he finds no temptation to return to his old life.
Aghori at Shiva Temple
Aghori sadhus inside a sunken Shiva temple at Scindia Ghat, on the banks of the River Ganges.
Amit Byasi & Banmi Shri Ra
Batuk Students.
Saurav Kumar Pandey
Batuk Student.
Aghori Puja I
Baba Mooni conducting Aghori Puja.
Aghori Puja II
Baba Mooni conducting Aghori Puja.
Chet Singh Ghat
Baba Vijay Nund on the steps of Chet Singh Ghat on the banks of the Ganges River.
Portrait of Baba Vijay Nund
Baba Vijay Nund outside his ashram on the banks of the Ganges River.
Baba Mooni
Baba Mooni conducting Aghori Puja.
Portrait of Shiv Ji Tiwari
Shiv Ji Tiwari