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Phantasmagoric India  

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Naga Sadhu
Indian bride
Shiva Lingam
worship at River Ganges Buddha

Phantasmagoric India invites you to meet Her Holiness the Godess Ganga, asks you to join the celebration of a Devine Wedding and wander to the unique spot where a World Religion was born. Authentic sources help you understand the people, their beliefs and their rituals.

G a n g a :

A Sunday on the banks of the Holy River Ganges.Before sunrise  Sadhus meditate while the dead are burnt on funeral pyres. To Varanasi, the City of Light,  pilgrims come from all over India in order to worship God Shiva. Sadhu Agostgiu tells about the death of Godess Sati, the wife of God Shiva. Shiva was furious about the death and in his anger he cut off one of the five heads of rival Creater God Brahma. The cut off head remained stuck on Shivas hand who was punished to be a begger - with the skull as a bowl for alms raising. Only in Varanasi Shiva could get rid of the skull. Varanasi is also the city of Forgiveness. Huge crowds come to the Varanasi temples for picturesque wedding ceremonies. All day Puja, the worshipping of the gods, is celebrated. Naked Holy Men practice ascetism. At night floating oil lamps are set out on the Holy River to light the way to heaven for the souls of the dead. Brahmins worship the Devine Mother Ganga with torches and holy chanting.

M a h a s h i v r a t r i:

Every year in March Mahashivratri -  the union of Shiva and Parvati  - is celebrated with joy and extravagance in every part of India. In the thousand year old Matangashvara Temple in Kajuraho, Bihar, you participate in this Devine Wedding ceremony. Shiva had lost his wife Sati and mourned for ages. In another lifetime Shiva met the Godess Parvati, not knowing that Parvati was a reincarnation of Sati. At first he did not care for Parvati, but finally fell in love with her and got married. In the Matangashvara ceremony it takes all night to worship the popular God and his consort and to decorate the Shiva Lingam - the biggist in India.

B o d h g a y a:

In Hindu-India there is Bodhgaya, a holy place for Buddhists from all over the world. This is the spot where 2500 years ago the Indian prince Sidharta Gautama Shakyamuni became the Buddha while meditating under a Bodhi Tree. A Venerable monk of the Mahabodhi Mahavihara guides you through the 1400 year old temple with its  innumerable Buddha images and describes the events when the Buddha attained enlightenment. Not only Buddhists worship the Buddha. But also Hindus. In Hinduism the Buddha is a reincarnation of God Vishnu. The outstanding Mahabodhi Vihara is now administered by Buddhists and Hindus together.