Note: Le texte de description des images vient avant les images
Image 01: In Rishikesh, the Ganges is very wide, the current is very strong and it is not advisable to try swimming across. The mountains are very green, all around – this is the foothills of the Himalaya.
There is practically no construction in the mountains, the virgin territory is very good for beautiful cross-country treks. The air is pure and a breeze passes over the Ganges at different moments of the day.
It is one of the most pleasant sites in India.
Image 02: We see here some parts of river banks arranged with stone slabs to welcoming pilgrims who wish to bathe in the Ganges. At certain places, chains have been provided so that we are not carried away by the current which is very strong in Rishikesh.
The nearby city of Haridwar is a favourite place by Hindus for a ritual bath of purification. At this location, the Ganges is reputed to have the power to clean all the bad karma accumulated in one life.
Images 03 and 07: Here are a few pictures of one of the ashrams where I stay regularly. The rooms are very simple, but the atmosphere is very peaceful. As these are situated a bit away from the town, they are peaceful places in which to meditate.
Image 08: Here is an example of an entrance gateway to one of the ashrams. It is one of the oldest at Rishikesh.
In these rooms, one can often find groups of holy men who have gathered in order to meditate or sing.
One sees above the door beautiful paintings which depict classic scenes derived from the scriptures.
1- Yogis sitting in meditation.
2- Two blue people – they are Krishna who teaches the science of various yogas to Uddhava.
Image 09: Shows one of the details of the sculptures that are found nearly everywhere in the beautiful town of Rishikesh – we also see the Swastika representing unending movement that exists since time immemorial – even before Hitler used it.
Image 10: shows us a sadhu dressed in white. This holy man is from the school of Ramanujacharya. He comes probably from South India and this reason why, even in summer, he continues to wear his cap on his head.
In Rishikesh we find holy men from nearly all schools of thought. It is one of the locations that one must cross to access higher regions of the Himalaya and travelling, for example, to the source of the Ganges.
Images 12 and 19: We see several sadhus (holy men) dressed in orange who are going to take part in a ceremony of renunciation : those who have renounced this world in order to dedicate themselves to spiritual life (and at times, dedicate themselves, perhaps a bit too much, to smoking substances that are a bit hallucinogenic!)
Image 13: Shows a detail of one of the gates which lead up to the Ganges for bathing.
The sculpture above shows Krishna and Arjuna on their chariot. Krishna has delivered the famous discourse of the Bhagavad Gita, the most popular among yoga books on a chariot, in the middle of the battlefield – showing us that yogas are meant to be practiced under all circumstances, even on the battlefield. Yoga is an art of acting spiritually in all times and places, and at each moment of our daily lives.
Image 15: On sees a dome like the ones found everywhere in India.
One of the symbolic meanings of this form is that it represents the sacred mountain. The centre of the mountain, the most holy place, is a representation of our heart which must also be treated as a sacred place.
Image 17: Gives us details of the entrance to an ashram. We have three statues here – in the centre you see Vishnu who represents the omnipresent unity of everything and on either side we find the very famous Bhakta Hanuman with his monkey’s tail and on the other side, the eagle Garuda who is Lord Vishnu’s vehicle carrying Him with his wings like an angel.
Image 18: One sees more of the gateway to an ashram with very beautiful sculptures creating a celestial ambience.
Image 20: This picture is one of the shop fronts of the numerous shops one finds in Rishikesh: with a very fine sculpture in marble of Krishna playing his flute.
The sculptures of this holy place are very inspiring, spiritually.
Image 21: This is the famous Ganesh, half elephant and half human.
Image 22: This depicts Sita, Rama, Lakshman, and Hanuman kneeling in prayer.
Image 24: shows us an old woman dedicated to her spiritual practice.
Many aged people come to spend the last years of their lives or the last days of their existence on earth, on the banks of the Ganges so that the soul attains the celestial regions at the moment of death.
Image 26: Depicts a beautiful sculpture that we will explain to you on the spot. Small introduction: it explains the descent of the Ganges. The Ganges descending from the spiritual region, brings us the knowledge that we need in order to attain a high level of consciousness while purifying our hearts… We will explain all these concepts in great detail.
Image 27: A detail from this same sculpture, inviting us to meditate on the creation of the universe. This legendary symbol is extremely useful for our own spiritual awakening.
Image 29: Shows us one of the many shops that one sees in Rishikesh. Nearly all the objects found everywhere in India are available in Rishikesh. It is one of the reasons for which we bring you to this place which is India in miniature.