India: Varanasi – Holy Men in Varanasi
These is the most bizarre and photogenic pics you can have in Varanasi – Holy Men aka sadhu. The ones in Varanasi are called Aghori and they preside over the ritual of the dead (cremation of corpses in fires). They are deeply revered in Hinduism and are considered close to gods with god-like abilities to cure and lay a thick curse on you. Holy men are ascetic wanderers without home and have renounced all their possessions in pursuit of spiritual liberations. They self-impose all kinds of pain and limitation on themselves in pursuit of absolute liberation. Hundreds of them lounge in tarp tents along the Ganges, parading around naked with all the nuts and bolts on display and covered head-to-toe with white ashes from human cremation fires. They often wield human bone pieces they got from the fires and supposedly sometimes eat the charred flesh (I guess they like it well-done). With heavy dreadlocks and stoned eyes they look like Jamaican Rastaman on heavy ganja (reportedly drug addiction along holy men exists as well). Not only have they given up all their possessions, they also embraced eternal celibacy (as evidenced by one guy having a massive lock hanging from his penis). Interestingly, a couple of these holy men in Varanasi were clearly westerners – nutcases rebelling against the norms of society.