March 2018
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Month March 2018

@ sunday morning read

There’s a small roof terrace on top of the hotel. Perfect for reading the paper on Sunday morning

The Hindu has the 2nd largest English-language circulation here, after the The Times of India, and in 1995 was the first Indian paper to have an online edition. It’s one of only 2 Indian ‘newspapers of record’

This piece in the op ed section. Not being posted here with any political axe to grind, just an intelligent piece that in the current polarized environment would be hard to find in a North American paper

Click to read

Or just skip to the last 2 paragraphs here

“real ethical lives dip into different ideological currents”



Scrolling through the pics, putting them in folders for post stories, but this is my favourite thing.

Deer Park

Buddha gave his first sermon here, to his 5 disciples, some time before 400 BCE

The place is called Sarnath. It’s about 30 minutes out of Varanasi. The translation of Sarnath is here:

“In the Buddha’s first sermon, at Deer Park, he taught the Four Noble Truths by addressing the existence of suffering, its cause, and its end” from here

Here it is, written in Hindi, shorthand

How extraordinary. More so since my tendency has been towards Buddhism as an idea, since first being attracted to it through a multi-year buy-in with the Haight-Ashbury type hippie philosopher Alan Watts in my late teens and early twenties, so there’s a satisfaction that I lucked out with the blog name, and it now has more meaning than the actual origin, in the video below. Ride day 3 from home! Noob! October 1 2012, Osoyoos to Kalispell, 615K

Deer Park, Washington State

And Deer Park, Uttar Pradesh

This far

how to end an argument in India

V 8

Here’s the holiest of the holy, closest to Shiva and nirvana, a state where both suffering and desire go away

My local and respected guide took me above the ghats to see a couple of these men. He asked for permission to take a pic, and there was no problem, he simply couldn’t care

The best piece I could find, here

V 7, clips, a

The ghat

Down the main street, at about 5:00 am, an hour ahead of the madness, to the ghats. The big pipe in the meridian is sewage out, the closer smaller pipe is water in

The scene, always

The water buffalo move through quickly, up and down the steps, picking the right line with authority, following the alpha male

The step width allows teenage boys to play 5-a-side cricket. From a boat, you can see maybe 5 or 6 games in the northern area at a time

Novices meditate

Then celebrate

The main event, twice a day in a few locations, at dawn and dusk, in front of many thousands

V 6

The priests who lead the dawn and dusk ceremonies to Shiva are Brahmin. This is by bloodline

In the caste system, they have the highest standing, and if they’re here, doing this at either of the major ghats, their legitimacy is incontestable.

There are 2 more types, highest up in the order of worship. Famously, the Sadhu. But these are not, they just appear to be. It’s India, so anything goes

This is a Sadhu, with the book, or maybe even a Guru, the third.

But as usual, I may be wrong.

V 5

This fire has been tended and burned continuously for 4000 years, they say

‘Chaudharys (the untouchables) are the lowest social caste in India, whose job, for the last thousands of years is to burn dead bodies in the holy city of Varanasi. This extremely tough profession has been assigned to them as one of many unprivileged works they perform in the Hindu society. It is Them, who protect the symbolic Eternal Flame of the heath of Manikarnika Ghat, keeping the hundreds of bodies constantly burning in stacks, every night and day. Cremations, done there by Chaudharys, provide the full closure of sansara and allow to reach the state of nirvana. Hand to hand, they work to burn the bodies – fathers with sons, cousins with uncles, young and elderly ones’

From here