Life and Death: The Final Journey at Pashupati

Posted by on January 13, 2012
Nighttime at the Temple

The smell of Pashupati temple is the odor of death. This holiest Shivitic shrine on the entire sub-Continent serves as the smoked-shrouded central cremation site for Hindus from all of Kathmandu and greater Nepal.

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Walking up the banks of the Bagmati river. Sometimes an arm, a head, usually a leg peeking out of a pyre of wood is set alight on its way to the next life.

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In front of the main Shiva shrine, loving sons carry a fresh corpse down to the water to bathe it with this water that will eventually flow into India's holy Ganges.

 

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Shrouded and cleansed, this extinguished soul takes its place in the line of bodies waiting for its turn to burn on the public ghats.

 

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As dusk falls, the fires burn on. Needed at a moments' notice, dedicated attendants keep the funeral fires ready to consume at all hours of the day.

Pashupatinath Overlook

Despite the death that engulfs it at all hours, Pashupati is also a place of life.

 

Line of lingnans.

Sadhus meditate and gather alms, pilgrims come to worship at this holiest shrine of Shiva, and once a month believers gather to worship under the pure light of the full moon.

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One Response to Life and Death: The Final Journey at Pashupati

  1. Nan

    It really amazes me at the things that you have seen & learned on this journey of yours!!

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