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  • Sandra Cesca

Gratitude on the Ganges

Updated: Jun 10, 2019

It was still dark when I got up early my second morning in Varanasi to see the sunrise over the Ganges River. Maa Ganga or Mother Ganges is the sacred river in northern India that is believed to wash away the sins of all who bathe or drink in her pure waters. Every morning Indians begin their day by giving thanks to their many gods for their blessings…daily acts of gratitude I experienced where ever I went. I especially saw this in the small towns along the Ganges River. Those living near the Ganges walk to its shores to bathe in the water each morning.

There were many ascetics and sadhus (Indian holy men) near the river. These men have renounced all worldly possessions and wander the country searching for enlightenment. Hindu priests offer evening prayers and chants from the ashrams situated along its banks. In Varanasi, believed to be the oldest town on the Ganges, cremations take place on Manikarnika Ghat. About 150 cremations a day. See my story later about this ancient holy practice.

I felt enveloped in the ever present spirituality of these humble people. It was an amazing experience even as I joined those in one of the evening ceremonies, ending the day by sending my flickering candle in its bay leaf boat floating on down the Ganges. I have much gratitude for these people, their culture and for the opportunity to experience some of their daily practices.

If you want to read more about art and culture from my travels, go here. If you are ever in Vallarta and would like to take a walking tour with me, go to my Walking Tours website for more information and photos.

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