Photo Essay

Boats of Varanasi 2013

Boats on the ganges river, Varanasi - 7

In a lot of cases, though, boats are the best, and frequently the only way, to properly see a destination. At Varanasi , if you ever want to see the Varanasi ghats then it has to be through the boats only.

One of the things about human civillsation is the references to 'boats' in various cultural consciousness.

Here are some references from early Vedantic thought : Not the unique way boats are referred to .

Brahman or the Supreme Being is the highest of all. Om is His name. So, Om is to be adored. Om is everything. Om is the symbol of Brahman.

It is the word of power. It is the sacred monosyllable. It is the essence of the Vedas. It is the boat to take you to the other chore of fearlessness and immortality.

Sayings from Sankyacharaya "The company of the wise, even for a moment, becomes the boat to cross the ocean of samsara.

OM is a symbol of Brahman. OM or Pranava is a sparkling ferry-boat for men who have fallen into the never-ending ocean of mundane life.

Many have crossed this ocean of Samsara with the help of this ferry-boat. You can also do so if you will. Meditate constantly on OM with Bhava and Meaning and realise the Self.

Literally the word pranava means, "humming". Pranava can be a reference to a boat that carries one across the ocean of birth and reincarnation.

Vaivasvata Manu, whose original name was Satyavrata, is the 7th Manu and considered the first king to rule this earth, who saved humanity from the great flood — after being

warned of it by the Matsya avatar of Vishnu,who had also advised him to build a giant boat. The story is mentioned in early Hindu scriptures such as the Satapatha Brahmana,

and it has often been compared with the popular traditions of a Great Deluge from other cultures around the world,particularly that of Noah's Ark.Because Manu was believed

to be absolutely honest, he was initially known as Satyavrata ("One with the oath of truth").

Vaivasvata Manu ruled as King Manu. His wife was Sraddha.

One should not lament individually for a sorrowful occurrence that concerns an entire community.

All combinations are destined to end in dissolution. Union is sure to end in disunion. and life is certain to end in death. One`s allotted period of life is running

continually. It stops not in its course for even a single moment.

Days and nights are ceaselessly running bearing away in their current the periods of life of all human beings.

Upon the dissolution of the body, another body, which is as much destructible as the one that is destroyed, is kept ready for the burnt or destroyed creature (to migrate into)

even as one boat goes to another for transferring to itself the passengers of the other boat.

Here is Tagore's poem on boat ...

The Boat

I must launch out my boat.

The languid hours pass by on the

shore---Alas for me!

The spring has done its flowering and taken leave.

And now with the burden of faded futile flowers I wait and linger.

The waves have become clamorous, and upon the bank in the shady lane

the yellow leaves flutter and fall.

What emptiness do you gaze upon!

Do you not feel a thrill passing through the air

with the notes of the far-away song

floating from the other shore?

--- Rabindranath Tagore

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1 response

  • Michele Wambaugh

    Michele Wambaugh (Deleted) said (12 Sep 2013):

    This is a wonderful photo essay, Pinaki! Thank you for sharing. I voted!

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