Returned in the morning from Haridwar.. This time I looked at the religious place from a different angle. I went there with family but took a stroll alone in the morning one day.
First I went to Gau Ghaat, which is said to be a ghat where death ceremonies are completed. It was very peaceful and one of the most sacred ghats after Har ki pauri. While I sat at this place, I felt a peaceful breeze inside me. An aura surrounded me and then I saw something out of the unusual. 2 sadhus came to the ghat at a place which was just used for a death ceremony. They picked up the ashes and applied them on their body. Then, they picked up the skull, which was half burnt, washed it in the ganga, chanted for a while in some sanskrit dialect and then most unexpected thing happend. One of them put a string around it and happily hung it around his neck. This was enough to attract me.
I went up to them and with a hold on my emotions, I talked to them. Note – I am a follower of shiv and these rituals are not new to me. I understood the importance of that event but needed to have some clarifications.
These sadhus were from a group called Shaivism. It is one of the most widely followed sect of Hinduism. These people are followers of Shiv. They believe that Shiva is All and in all, the creator, preserver, destroyer, revealer and concealer of all that is.
The ash on body –
Sacred ash came to be used as a sign of Shaivism. Devotees of Shiva wear it as a sectarian mark on their foreheads and other parts of their bodies with reverence. The Sanskrit words bhasma and vibhuti can both be translated as “sacred ash”.
These sadhus are dedicated to Shiv in every way. They spend life outside the society and away from the materialistic world.
The ghat which is used for death ceremonies are a sacred place for them. This is a place where soul leaves the materialistic world to enter a world away from miseries and boundations of the body.
As I was getting the knowledge, few people walked across me giving me a weird look as they were scared of the look of these guys. But, there was nothing to be scared of… There are many so called “sophisticated” people who are more terrifying than these two pure souls..
Ignoring the lost souls, and coming back to my conversation… I found that these guys were so intellectual in their own way which was intriguing and I wish, one day, I can join them…. as I could relate to most of their stories…
Then, as sun was going down, I sat with them by the Ganga, smoked some natural charas in a naturally made cihillum… watching the sun go down by the peaceful ganga…