Duniya Ku

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Gone, But Not Forgotten: AT THE TEMPLE

Dear Reader, I hope these photos do not offend you, but if you are in any way offended, please accept my humble apologies.

What you’re looking at is a Hindu cremation ceremony held at the Pasupatinath Temple complex in Kathmandu. The ceremony is performed daily in public. It is said that an average of 40 bodies a day are cremated here.  The ashes are then scattered into the Bagmati River below.

For me, witnessing this solemn ceremony was truly a profound and humbling experience, something not easily forgotten.

thanks for stopping by

wpc: gone but not forgotten 

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21 comments on “Gone, But Not Forgotten: AT THE TEMPLE

  1. vernette
    December 6, 2014

    This was certainly an eye-opener. Not one I think I will forget either. I’m not sure how I feel but offended is not the word. I think you’re pretty brave for posting this since death and grief is such a personal thing but it is part of all human experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • raroto
      December 6, 2014

      Thank you Vernette for adding your voice.
      One or two photos can be quite disturbing to look at for some people. No harm or offense intended to anyone, especially to the loved ones/friends of the deceased persons. I only hope I have not crossed the line of ethical photography.

      Liked by 1 person

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  3. sustainabilitea
    December 6, 2014

    Fascinating. Thanks for sharing.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  4. bkpyett
    December 6, 2014

    Thank you Raja for sharing these photos. I think it is important that we can appreciate how different people cope with death. I find it fascinating and an important part of life, showing respect for the dead. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • raroto
      December 6, 2014

      We discover and learn new things every day, as long as we can keep an open mind. Thank you for the comment Barbara ❤

      Like

  5. wsmarble
    December 6, 2014

    I cannot help but think that, the more that people of different cultures are able to learn about each other, the more likely we will be to NOT give offense, and to embrace each other’s differences more readily. I took hope from one aspect of the September 11th tragedy: that sales of the Koran in the United States skyrocketed. So many people were starting their reaction, their healing process, at exactly the right point: learning…erasing ignorance. As a result, so many folks discovered that what had happened was not Islam, any more than the Ku Klux Klan represents mainstream American culture. Thank you for these poignant details of another, beautiful culture. Your skills at photography are superb, as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • raroto
      December 7, 2014

      I like the way you think, wsmarble. Appreciate you taking the time to leave me such a noteworthy comment. Thanks 🙂

      Like

      • wsmarble
        December 8, 2014

        Thanks, Engku! And the way you think, and consistently so, make your posts such worthy reads every time. I hope the world finds its way to your wonderful blog.

        Liked by 1 person

        • raroto
          December 8, 2014

          Aaw…you so sweet 🙂 many thanks for your support wsmarble!

          Like

  6. alan
    December 15, 2014

    In my culture it would be offensive for someone to take pictures of a cremation without agreement. We also hide the body when it is cremated but I do not find this offensive because I know that other cultures are different. Whatever helps people accept the loss of someone in a way that lets them move on is good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • raroto
      January 19, 2015

      Hey Alan, I read your comment and clicked ‘Like’ a while back, but I should’ve replied to you back then (tsk tsk, me, bad!) Hope you won’t think I don’t appreciate having you on board. So, first up, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Judging by the responses from you and the other readers, I am relieved to know no one took offense to the images, and that respect, tolerance and the willingness to accept our differences are prevalent within us all ❤

      Like

      • alan
        January 19, 2015

        No worries Raroto. Relax, sit down, have a nice cup of something, take it easy, and make sure you have plenty of sleep. We all know what happens if you don’t! 🙂

        I suppose because the events happened elsewhere we are respectful, tolerant and accepting of differences. If it was somehow to be introduced into, say the UK, I think there might be a different reaction.

        Like

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  8. David Bennett
    January 6, 2015

    Great photos and a privilege to be able to watch it.

    I watched cremations at the ghats in Varanasi on the banks of the Ganges in India.

    It was a good experience and I went back another two times to watch.

    It is not just the bodies burning, is it?

    It is how the relatives behave, and how the workers go about their business.

    One day, on the streets leading into the centre of Varanasi I saw a handcart being pushed at a run by a poor family – hurrying to get to the ghats. They even had their own wood on the handcart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • raroto
      January 10, 2015

      The Varanasi scene would have been quite comical if it wasn’t for the lifeless body in the handcart! Thanks for adding your voice David.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. ChristineR
    January 19, 2015

    OMG, raroto, Thanks for sharing. I went straight into the slideshow before reading the text, so was amazed. It is one thing knowing that these public cremations happen, quite another to see images of it. Splendid. It is how death should be treated, as part of life, though I don’t know if I could go so far as being chopped up and fed to the birds or fishes like they do (or used to do) in Tibet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • raroto
      January 19, 2015

      I was intrigued by your comment about Tibet, and so I googled and found out about “Sky Burial” on wikipedia – where the dead is placed on a mountaintop and left there to decompose or be eaten by scavenging animals. Apparently it is still being practiced in the rural areas in Tibet and Mongolia. But uhm I’m not too sure I can stomach the sight of a human corpse being devoured by vultures though…
      Thanks for adding your voice Christine.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ChristineR
        January 20, 2015

        It sounds awful. The family pays a special priest to cut up the body and bones for the burial. I first became aware of sky burials in an episode on one of those detective shows – someone was putting corpses up on a tower as that was the only place they could find to carry out the ritual. Might have been Inspector Morse. 😮

        Like

  10. Khai
    May 21, 2015

    Knowing that you have been to Nepal and the tragedy that struck them recently, I really hope things will be fine…

    Like

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This entry was posted on December 6, 2014 by in Nepal, Weekly Photo Challenge and tagged , , , .

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