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Photographer's Note

A holyman in Pashupatinath - Lord of Shiva

Shiva is the god of the god. He is the creator and destroyer. He is the most important god in Nepal (so it is important to keep on his god side!).

It is often represented by the phallic lingam, symbolic of of his creative role. His vehicule is the bull "Nandy", which is outside of the Shiva temples. The symbol most often seen in Shiva's hand is the trident.

In Nepal, the temple of Pashupatinath (the lord of the beasts) is the ost important Hindu temple in the country.

In this picture you can see an "old shaddu" (about 60 years old) in front of an open-air cremation.

In Hinduism, the body is seen as an instrument to carry the soul. According to Hindu traditions, the reasons for preferring to destroy the corpse by fire over burying it into ground is to induce a feeling of detachment into the freshly disembodied spirit, which will be helpful to encourage it into passing to "the other world" (the ultimate destination of the dead).

This also explains the ground burial of holy men (whose spirit is already "detached" enough due to lifelong ascetic practices) and young children (the spirit has not lived long enough to grow attachments to this world). Hindu holy men are buried in lotus position and not in a horizontal position, as in other religions.[citation needed] Hindus have 16 rituals (Sanskars), like Name, Thread ceremony, beginning of student life, marriage, etc., and the last one is Cremation.

Lookin into TE I found that he was already there in 2003

downer, parbo, besnard, jjcordier, CLODO has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Michel Detay (mdetay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 487 W: 1 N: 1045] (4929)
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