Thursday, August 4, 2016

Ujjain Kumbh 2016 - Documenting the Naga Sadhus

My Naga tent at Bhiku Mata Road had the Nagas guests of Maha Mandleshwar Kalyanji Giri ,, though he had a bigger spread beyond this road .
I on my part was less in my own tent village and more with the other Nagas staying around our periphery ,, there was one Naga Baba he was also called Vijay Giri and he was very close to the Sufi Qalandaris and would quote Khusro and ,,, Imam Ali ,,
I got along very well with him ..and these were the few that knew I was a Shia Muslim .. rest took me as a Naga Sadhu ,,,I was okay with anything,, I had come here as a photographer to document Hope And Hindutva as a Message of Universal Peace .
My religion I had left back at home here at Ujjain I was all saffron in mind and thought ,, I was also close to a Naga Sadhu who was a dedicated Ardh Nari Nareshwar ,,and the hijras eunuchs surrounded him they danced made merry every evening ,,,
Further ahead took the road to Bhuki Mata Mandir were th Naked Naga Babas ,, I shot but they just wanted of them lived on a swing and liked me ,, he would do yoga raising his leg on my shoulder ,,but he thought I was a Sadhu too..
I did not venture out too much I am not much into Temples architecture I just wanted to shoot the Kumbh life the people the Ling Kriya Shahi Snan and the Kinnar Akhara the Akhara of the Hijras ,
Sadly I could go there only once to meet Guru Laxmi Narayan Tripathi.. the next day I was leaving Ujjain.
I shot over 5500 images a lot of videos ,,,because I lived within the Nagas my pictures had the real taste of the Naga lifestyle .
My friend and senior disciple Mahesh Bhardwaj .. would apply the tilak vermilion sandal wood paste and make sure I became a part of the people I was going to shoot .
I met a few Aghoris ,,and a lot of foreigners ..I had a great Kumbh ,
without any problem I tried to go back for the following Shahi Snans but I was not financially capable ,,,business was low ,,,,
But I am happy to share my pictures my thoughts with all of you ,,
This was my first Ujjain Kumbh ,, I had missed the earlier one all in all this my 4 th Kumbh..
My repertoire as a photographer would be redundant if I had not shot this great event that showcases True India ,, Kumbh Mela .
Har Har Mahadev
It is not "Har" but the Sanskrit word "Hara" which means taking away. This is to denote an embodiment of captivation, consolidaton and destruction.
As you know , Lord Shiva is also associated with the term " The Destroyer" . Thus, this chant implies that "O Great Lord, liberate us from this vicious cycle of births and deaths (or attain Moksha)"
'Hara' here implies taking away our sorrows, grief, lust, ignorance and all worldly attachments and liberate our soul.
meaning of Har Har Mahadev from the net .