Sadhu in Varanasi images - 56/1.2 & 35/1.4

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
OP deednets Forum Pro • Posts: 10,055
Re: Organised photo shoot business/pics for money etc.

Babu K wrote:

deednets wrote

You sound like you have a deeper insight into all matters Indian!

After 150 trips to India over the last 41 years (yes, one hundred and fifty), I guess I've picked up a few things. The next 2 trips are lined up already.

Of course, lepers can't fake their disease, but as for able-limbed beggars, there are all kinds. I have known some, who put their arm or leg in plaster and add some red colour to fake a wound. Even if you get duped and give money to a fake beggar, I'm sure it'll be good for your karma!

Sadhus are a very mixed bunch as well, there are criminals among them, people on the run from the law, weirdos (check out the Aghoris), loners, as well as truly spiritual and refined truth seekers. The latter are relatively few and rarely found in busy public places like the Ganges bathing ghats. But you never know.

I can't claim 150 trips to India, but have traveled the world extensively over the last 45 years. I guess you can only do so much regarding the fake side of begging.

Varanasi didn't strike me as a spiritually fake place as such only because there are tourists. Western tourists were few, scattered around with little to no inclination to interact with the locals. Any interaction often turns into a sales pitch, which westerners hate with reckless abandon, so if those guys in my pics are using their appearance as a business model, it would be a rather hard one to chose. Most locals I watched gave them coins or rice.

Let me maybe just say, that I might not be cynical enough to smell rats everywhere. I guess we all make our choices in this department.

Why so many trips to India?


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