Monday, August 31, 2015
I was at Trimbakeshwar a few friends wanted to have a dip at the Kund and here I spotted Shree Bhagwat Giri of Juna Akhara I had met him at Allahabad Maha Kumbh through my Guru Shree Vijay Giri Maharaj and it was Bhagwat Giri who took us to the Sabapati of the Juna Akhara ,, he was very happy to see me and he is a highly connected Naga Guru.
He informed me of this procession that was to start from near where I stayed at Pingal Wadi Sadhugram..I returned to Sadhugram by the time I had showered and reached the starting point I was told the Naga procession had left but I did not give up hope ,, I took a lift from a motorbike guy and he dropped me at a point from there limping I managed to catch up with the Naga heads in front of them were the naked Naga Sadhus ,, I shot them for several kms and luckily I had the company of my Facebook friend photo journalist CS Shelare.. I shot a lot including a video.. as most of these following shots are of the Nagas frontal nudity I will restricting it from public view only a Flickr member can see them.
After having shot all this I returned walking till the Bus Depot to find another procession of the Udasin Akhara and the buses were halted , so I shot this procession too ,,, and tired walked back to my Naga base ,,,next to Jagadguru Shankarcharya of Dwarkapeeths Mutt ,, 3 km away ,,
One thing is certain had I stayed next to my Naga Guru after I got out of the car that bought us to the Trimbakeshwar temple town I would have taken the Holy Dip along with the others disciples of Shree Vijay Giri Maharaj Triveni Juna Akhada ,, I had taken a dip in the Sangam at Allahabad with my Guru on Basant Panchami Shahi Snan.
I had a leg injury so I was trailing behind and got lost in the crowd ,, the mobile phone was of no use ,, with the chaos and drums and the high pitched fervor of the crowds and the sonorous chant of Har Har Mahadev,,
But there was no turning back I had to enter the Trimbakeshwar Kund and that is when his Holiness Shree Avdesh Anandji saw me shooting him and asked me who I was .. I told him truthfully I was a Muslim documenting Hope and Hindutva as a Message of Universal Peace Hope Humanity ,, he sent me me his card along with his pictures I added it on the reverse of my Press Card as his cortege moved ahead I followed him and I was in the Kund shooting the Nagas hitting the waters cheering .. I stood near the corner and after they left one of the volunteers told me that I should leave to as my Akhara had left ,. I politely walked towards the Press Stand spotted my friend Jeetendra from Reuters Allahabad and stuck by his side all the time from 3 am to 6 am and once the Digmabari Naga Sadhus completed their Shahi Snan I decided to move out and shoot the streets , my leg injury was hurting badly I had not eaten or drunk water all this time ,, The first thing I did was get a bottle and moved out from Trimbakeshwar had two batata wada ..I had to walk back about 3 Km I tried to get a lift from moving official cars trucks but God wanted me to walk and I did till I reached my sector at Sadhugram.. near where I stayed across the road was a Marathi family that had a tea stall, he gave me black tea and two more batata wadas ..
But when I stepped in to my Gurus Akhara , he was worried about me ,, I narrated him my story , he touched my head gave me smile and told me to shower and rest.
This was my Shahi Snan experience and my story is in pictures that await their turn.. this is a story board . of a day in the life of a beggar poet from Mumbai.
About Trimbakeshwar Kund by my dear Twitter friend Artis My Yatra Diary ,, she has given me permission to share her post with all of you .. my knowledge of Hinduism is very limited ,,
Monday, January 24, 2011
Kushavart Kund - Trimbakeshwar
After visiting the Trimbakeshwar Temple, we headed towards a water tank revered as a sacred bathing place, the Kushavart kund.
There is an interesting account explaining the significance of the place. Sage Gautam once committed a sin of killing a cow. As an act of repentance, He performed penance at the peaks of the Brahmagiri Mountains, appeased Lord Shiva and asked for the Ganga waters so that he could wipe off his sin. Pleased with his devotion, Lord Shiva jerked His big locks of matted hairs on the Brahmagiri Mountains and sent Ganga down onto the earth. Today that place is known as Gangadwar, situated half way to the Brahmagiri Mountains. There is a temple of Ganga, now known as Godavari River. Ganga appears first time here, after which it vanishes.
But the flow of the Ganges was tremendous due to which the sage could not bathe in her waters. He then surrounded the river with Kusha, a type of grass and put a stop to her flow. After bathing here his sin of killing a cow was finally wiped off. The tirth (pilgrimage) came to be known as Kushavart.
Thus today, Kushavart is known as the symbolic origin of the River Godavari. It is from this Kushavart that the river Godavari flows up to the sea. There are temples at the four corners of Kushavart.
to be poetically precise
ignorance is bliss possibly
wise my tantrik kundalini
held me in a vice after every
step that i tripped i tried to rise
nasik kumbh 2015 ..through
a beggar poets eyes ..on the
shores of hope and hindutva
the boat of my destiny capsized
om namo narayan hands outstretched
at ramkundh the beggars cry,, a batata
wada pao..is what he gets from rich hands
karma dharma at a price ,, was god with á leprous
face watching his followers in human disguise
I could hardly climb Brahma Giri and Nilgiri Parbhat the abode of the Naga Sadhus ,, I shot one Naga procession till Nilgiri Parbhat , I shot a lot of Naga Sadhus , their march and their dip in a local pond ,,
As I am shooting a storyboard those pictures will come later and finally the 29 August Shahi Snan I shot videos too that I will upload at Flickr and You Tube of my spiritual trek into Hope and Hindutva,,
These are all part of my Hindu blogs and now I will be uploading my third memory card .. I mostly shot RAW and JPEG..32 GB card and a few 16 GB card and some 8 GB card ,, I shot Trimbakeshwar with Canon 60 D and shot Ramkund Tapovan with Canon 7 D ,, And Arjit Sen of HTA Shot and posted my picture at Satkar Belgaum.. I came to know of this from my dear friend Biradar ,, a fine art photographer ,,
I shot a lot of beggars at Ramkund but honestly I hardly know anyone at Tapovan.. my contacts being more among the Juna Akhara ..but I would like to shoot the Shahi Snan at Ramkund Panchvati... if God wills ,, otherwise I am happy with what I shot at Trimbakeshwar of 29 August Shahi Snan.. At Ramjund two boys from Thane helped me a lot ,, avid photographers ,,I gave them a lot of tips on how to shoot the Kumbh Mela ..without getting into the eye of a storm..
Now I will continue with uploading my next lot ,,
Firstly I dont scrounge when I shoot an event like the Kumbh ..I had a lot of SD Cards I could not use ,, as I knew when to stop shooting ,,never went overboard or got carried away by the conceit of my camera ,, I held it on a mental leash.
Most important I dont get scared or intimidated , but I dont fight back if the Naga Sadhu objects to my camera I move away ,, there are far too many willing fishes in the waters .. but I shoot only what I was ordained to cosmically shoot .
But I protect my camera from the blows of the Nagas stick.. I protect it with my life ,, and I am fast with my reflexes ,,There was an incident with a Naga Sadhu , he was stark nude I had not shot him yet he charged at me ,, I merely moved away from his anger and his burning glare ,,there was another incident on the day of the Shahi Snan a foreign photographer had got a plum corner and was not moving out to give space to the Indian photographers instead he was intimidating them , the Indian photographers pulled him away and somebody did beat him too all this in the press enclosure and the cops came in took the details and I thank my stars that I am not part of this whorish press pack,. and was shooting away from all of them in the company of a nice Reuters photographer ,, here too there was chaos ,,, but it did not touch me I could have shot all day I moved out giving others a chance I had shot from 3 am to 6 am what more could I ask for on the day of the first Shahi Snan at Trimbakeshwar Nasik Kumbh 2015
I had come with Mahesh Bhardwaj to Trimbakeshwar Temple town for the permission card for Gurujis vehicle from the Police .. because without the permission you cannot ply the car at Trimbakeshwar on the day of the Shahi Snan ,, and these images were shot on 26 August ,,
It was here close to this place I shot the naked Naga Babas .. too.. and here I walked a lot on my injured foot ,,
The Aghori (Sanskrit aghora) are ascetic Shaiva sadhus.
The Aghori in Shaivism.
The Aghori are known to engage in post-mortem rituals. They often dwell in charnel grounds, have been witnessed smearing cremation ashes on their bodies, and have been known to use bones from human corpses for crafting kapalas (which Shiva and other Hindu deities are often iconically depicted holding or using) and jewelry. Due to their practices that are contradictory to orthodox Hinduism, they are generally opposed.
Many Aghori gurus command great reverence from rural populations as they are supposed to possess healing powers gained through their intensely eremitic rites and practices of renunciation and tápasya. They are also known to meditate and perform worship in haunted houses.
Aghoris are devotees of Shiva manifested as Bhairava, are monists who seek moksha from the cycle of reincarnation or saṃsāra. This freedom is a realization of the self's identity with the absolute. Because of this monistic doctrine, the Aghoris maintain that all opposites are ultimately illusory. The purpose of embracing pollution and degradation through various customs is the realization of non-duality (advaita) through transcending social taboos, attaining what is essentially an altered state of consciousness and perceiving the illusory nature of all conventional categories.
Aghoris are not to be confused with Shivnetras, who are also ardent devotees of Shiva but do not indulge in extreme, tamasic ritual practices. Although the Aghoris enjoy close ties with the Shivnetras, the two groups are quite distinct, Shivnetras engaging in sattvic worship.
Aghoris base their beliefs on two principles common to broader Shaiva beliefs: that Shiva is perfect (having omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence) and that Shiva is responsible for everything that occurs – all conditions, causes and effects. Consequently, everything that exists must be perfect and to deny the perfection of anything would be to deny the sacredness of all life in its full manifestation, as well as to deny the Supreme Being.
Aghoris believe that every person's soul is Shiva but is covered by astamahapasha ("eight great nooses or bonds") - sensual pleasure, anger, greed, obsession, fear and hatred. The practices of the Aghoris are centered around the removal of these bonds. Sadhana in cremation grounds destroys fear; sexual practices with certain riders and controls help release one from sexual desire; being naked destroys shame. On release from all the eight bonds the soul becomes sadashiva and obtains moksha.
Aghori in Satopant.
An Aghori man in Badrinath smoking hashish or Cannabis from a chillum in 2011.
Although akin to the Kapalika ascetics of medieval Kashmir, as well as the Kalamukhas, with whom there may be a historical connection, the Aghoris trace their origin to Kina Ram, an ascetic who is said to have lived 150 years, dying during the second half of the 18th century. Dattatreya the avadhuta, to whom has been attributed the esteemed nondual medieval song, the Avadhuta Gita, was a founding adi guru of the Aghor tradition according to Barrett (2008: p. 33):
Lord Dattatreya, an antinomian form of Shiva closely associated with the cremation ground, who appeared to Baba Keenaram atop Girnar Mountain in Gujarat. Considered to be the adi guru (ancient spiritual teacher) and founding deity of Aghor, Lord Dattatreya offered his own flesh to the young ascetic as prasād (a kind of blessing), conferring upon him the power of clairvoyance and establishing a guru-disciple relationship between them.
Aghoris also hold sacred the Hindu deity Dattatreya as a predecessor to the Aghori Tantric tradition. Dattatreya was believed to be an incarnation of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva united in the same singular physical body. Dattatreya is revered in all schools of Tantrism, which is the philosophy followed by the Aghora tradition, and he is often depicted in Hindu artwork and its holy scriptures of folk narratives, the Puranas, indulging in Aghori "left-hand" Tantric worship as his prime practice.
An aghori believes in getting into total darkness by all means, and then getting into light or self realizing. Though this is a different approach from other Hindu sects, they believe it to be effective. They are infamously known for their rituals that include such as shava samskara (ritual worship incorporating the use of a corpse as the altar) to invoke the mother goddess in her form as Smashan Tara (Tara of the Cremation Grounds).
In Hindu iconography, Tara, like Kali, is one of the ten Mahavidyas (wisdom goddesses) and once invoked can bless the Aghori with supernatural powers. The most popular of the ten Mahavidyas who are worshiped by Aghoris are Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, and Bhairavi. The male Hindu deities primarily worshiped by Aghoris for supernatural powers are manifestations of Shiva, including Mahākāla, Bhairava, Virabhadra, Avadhuti, and others.
Barrett (2008: p. 161) discusses the "charnel ground sādhanā" of the Aghora in both its left and right-handed proclivities and identifies it as principally cutting through attachments and aversion and foregrounding primordiality; a view uncultured, undomesticated:
The gurus and disciples of Aghor believe their state to be primordial and universal. They believe that all human beings are natural-born Aghori. Hari Baba has said on several occasions that human babies of all societies are without discrimination, that they will play as much in their own filth as with the toys around them. Children become progressively discriminating as they grow older and learn the culturally specific attachments and aversions of their parents. Children become increasingly aware of their mortality as they bump their heads and fall to the ground. They come to fear their mortality and then palliate this fear by finding ways to deny it altogether.
In this sense, the Aghora sādhanā is a process of unlearning deeply internalized cultural models. When this sādhanā takes the form of charnel ground sādhanā, the Aghori faces death as a very young child, simultaneously meditating on the totality of life at its two extremes. This ideal example serves as a prototype for other Aghor practices, both left and right, in ritual and in daily life." The Aghoris are also recorded to perform shava sadhana, worship with a corpse.
Though Aghoris are prevalent in cremation grounds across India, Nepal, and even sparsely across cremation grounds in South East Asia, the secrecy of this religious sect leaves no desire for practitioners to aspire for social recognition and notoriety. 
Hinglaj Mata is the Kuladevata (patron goddess) of the Aghori. The main Aghori pilgrimage centre is Kina Ram's hermitage or ashram in Ravindrapuri, Varanasi. The full name of this place is Baba Keenaram Sthal, Krim-Kund. Here, Kina Ram is buried in a tomb or samadhi which is a centre of pilgrimage for Aghoris and Aghori devotees. Present head (Abbot), since 1978, of Baba Keenaram Sthal is Baba Siddharth Gautam Ram.
According to Devotees, Baba Siddharth Gautam Ram is reincarnation of Baba Keenaram himself. Apart from this, any cremation ground would be a holy place for an Aghori ascetic. The cremation grounds near the yoni pithas, 51 holy centers for worship of the Hindu Mother Goddess scattered across South Asia and the Himalayan terrain, are key locations preferred for performing sadhana by the Aghoris. They are also known to meditate and perform sadhana in haunted houses.
Aghori practise healing through purification as a pillar of their ritual. Their patients believe the Aghori are able to transfer pollution and health to and from patients as a form of "transformative healing", due to the believed superior state of body and mind of the Aghori.[verification needed]
All these images shot of the Nasikh Kumbh at Trimbakeshwar and Ramkund are part of my Hindu blogs at Flickr titled Hope And Hindutva Hinduism over 65000 blogs shot all over India .. feasts festivals and two Kumbhs including the Maha Kumbh Allahabad 2013.
I can only shoot what I was destined to shoot and as photography is not my profession only a passion hobby I try to document it as much as I can with limited financial resources ,, I too would like to go to the various Jyoti Lings Kailash Mansarovar but I dont have the resources for the same so I shoot my backyard and the ethos of the Hindu faith and our composite culture that is the pride of India.. I shoot Hinduism as passionately as I shoot my Shia faith during Moharam ..my friends religion is important to me as my own religion .. and my Naga Guru from Juna Akhara a scholar , a humble humanbeing has blessed me a lot ,he was a teacher before he became a Naga Sadhu so this maybe one reason we get along well and he respects my faith as much as I respect his faith.
He invited me to the Maha Kumbh Allahabad introduced me to the Sabapati and his Maha Mandleshwar Shree Kalyananandji Giri..
This year he wanted me to come to Nasikh I had a serious leg injury that was not healing and though my wife wanted me to go to Delhi to visit our only daughter on 29 August ,, I told her I had to shoot the Shahi Snan on the same day at Trimbakeshwar and honestly I dont like Delhi for reasons unknown.
I had a good Kumbh I shot a lot I used two cameras I shot Trimbakeshwar on my Canon 60D and Ramkund and Tapovan on Canon 7 D ,, and I had a lot of human awakening ,, I met a child beggar who begged at Ajmer here at Kumbh dressed as a Hindu.. and he smiled at me and I realized beggars have no religion perhaps their God is a Beggar too.. he gives them alms from his own beggars bowl..
I met a group of Bengalis from Kolkatta , they were highly educated and when I told them I was a Muslim and not a Sadhu though I was dressed as one they hugged me , they touched my feet , and I had to brush away my own tears ..and one of them put a few notes in my hand ,, all he said was please feed some beggars on our behalf..and this is the Make In India that captures my heart my mind my soul.. and this is the India of blood sweat tears I shoot not as pictures but as emotions as my Hindu Blogs of Peace .
I met Aghori babas and most of the Naga Sadhus at Sadhugram would call me Malang Baba ,,out of respect and their highest regard for Khwajah Garib Nawaz .
I did not have the luxury of staying for a longer time at the Kumbh I had to come back.. to my work, my responsibilities .
The Nasikh Kumbh is not as huge as the Maha Kumbh of Allahabad but it is well organized a lot of toilets , clean roads and disciplined cops ,,the locals too are in awe of the spirituality of their town..because of my leg injury I had to be very careful but it was worth all the pain..
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