during the early summer of 2008 i took my first boat ride in what's considered to be the holiest river in india, the ganges. i was staying in the varanasi (a city formerly known as benares) portion of the river. varanasi is known for the ghats (sets of steps) which run along the riverfront and lead down to the river itself, its morning and evening devotional aarti (fire ceremonies), and it's university is widely acclaimed for its music program among other things,. many devout hindus find their way to the ganges to live out the last of their days in the physical plane. to have your body burned along side the ganges and remains thrown into the river is a rite of passage for many in india. around 100 bodies are burned a day while pujas and final rites are performed. varanasi is a convergence of extremes...the exuberance of ceremony, celebration, and unbridled devotion meet here. life and death rub together at such a high vibration it's nearly impossible not to be infected by the overwhelming intensity of it all.
looking back i still have a couple questions though... how did these guys get a tv to work in a boat on the ganges at 6am? and, what are they watching???