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TRADITIONS & UTENSILS

  

 

 

  bluish vibhuti sadhu

 

India

A sadhu covered in sacred vibhuti ash, wandering the streets of Benares, a city in northeastern India, which is today known as Varanasi or Varansi, and which is considered by Hindus to be a holy city.

 

Known as the city of Shiva (fig.), Varanasi attracts large crowds of pilgrims that come to bathe in the river Ganges (fig.), as well as those who come here to die, as dying in Varanasi is said to guarantee that ones sins are absolved. The bluish shine on this sadhu's body is likely to be a reference to the blue complexion of Shiva (fig.). The sacred ashes symbolize the destruction of ones karma in the fire of austerity, as well as the conquest over death.

 

  bluish vibhuti sadhu