A few sunrise photos captured on the phone camera of the important Ganga whose significance to Hindus is as deep as its waters.\n\n\n\u00a0\n\n\nThis may seem obvious \u2013 but it did strike me \u2013 that the river is very different from the sea.\nThe sea is always churning and ever wave looks so different from the other. The motion is intermittent \u2013 after a wave crashes the sea takes a moment to catch its breath and then swells into a new wave that comes hurtling at the shore. The active energy \u2013 noise \u2013 motion \u2013 visuals \u2013 are all packed in and despite the moments of low activity between waves, there is never a sense of peace \u2013 one is always anticipating the next wave and preparing for its crash.\nOn the contrary, the river was quiet. It was vast. Being able to see the other side made clear the extent of the vastness.\nIt moved in pin drop silence. Constantly. Unidirectionally. No regurgitation or back & forth like the waves of the sea \u2013 just on & on \u2013 without a moment of stopping. Right to left \u2013 on & on & on. I\u00a0 remember thinking \u201cThe patch of grass that was floating with the water that was in front of me just this moment has now moved away 100m away and before I could complete this thought \u2013 its further away 500m \u2013 and now it is so far away that I cannot even see it anymore\u201d.\nLike time.\nJust flowing unidirectionally.\nThere IS NO GOING BACK.\nExactly like life.\n\u00a0\n***\nIt is said one washes off one\u2019s sins when we step into the Ganga. If only it were that easy for a physical action to cleanse one\u2019s karma. But I firmly believe that those who made these rituals had a deeper meaning \u2013 and with respect to this my conjecture and personal experience is this:\nBeing at the river banks in solitude allows space for contemplation and given the ethos of Benaras and all the other holy cities along the Ganga, the question of Life & Death is never too distant. And so the self-time naturally veers towards, the meaning of life, about things that are important and things that are not. And in an informal examination and evaluation of one\u2019s life,\u00a0 it is easy to see the mistakes one has made in life. It is this realisation that sows the seeds for the cleansing of the soul. Because once the realisation sets in, then the conscience guides one to make things right \u2026 and through the subsequent attempts or acts of correcting one\u2019s wrongdoings, one cleanses one\u2019s soul.\nMaybe that is what was meant by washing off one\u2019s sins in the Ganga.\njm\nSept 2016\n\u00a0\np.s. No doubt any river is good enough \u2013 but here the spiritual ethos in Benaras\u00a0 is conducive to this sort of thing. (for that matter even one\u2019s armchair is good enough too right?! we have never really needed churches and temples to be contemplative / reverent / grateful!)\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\nThe post The Holy River Ganga appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.