Saturday, October 01, 2011


Here are some stills from the beautifully shot BBC documentary series Ganges.
The last image is a photo of a Hindu personification of the river, the goddess Shri Ganga.

I once visited the Ganges at Haridwar. I recall the water seemed to be carrying flecks of mica, which gave it a magical glitter. Splashing some of the water on my head, and soaking my feet,  I found that a cold and various aches and pains I'd been nursing for several days, simply vanished instantaneously. Perhaps is was psychological, but the effect was unexpectedly dramatic. The water was too cold and the current too fast to risk a full emersion, though I did do this on a subsequent trip to the confluence of the Ganges and Jumuna rivers, at Allahabad, where the water is much warmer.

The Self is like the Ganga, which has its source in majestic peaks, originating from the purity of snow, and ultimately merges with the ocean of the universal.
A river has many 'selves' - sources, tributaries, rapids, wide slow meanders, deltas, mouths - yet all these aspects are inseparable from the Self of the entire river. The identity of a river is not altered by its currents and waves.
In Herman Hesse's Siddhartha, the protagonist learns from a river that time is an illusion. From the perspective of an object floating down the river, it seems as if passing things are lost irretrievably; but from the perspective of the river itself, nothing is ever lost. All the past and future are contained within the present moment. This is why meditation is such a powerful thing. Though it seems like it contains nothing, it contains all that ever was and will be. 


Prashanth said...

Beautiful writing. Inspiring and spiritual. Thank you.

jeronimus said...

Thanks Prashanth. It was a very inspiring documentary.