06 January 2010

Holy (?) man at Rishikesh

We're all teachers in our own ways

Depending on one's attitude, Rishikesh can manifest as anything from an opportunist's (or outright con-artist's) playground to a centre for spiritual enlightenment. Just where on that spectrum this man fitted, I'm not sure — and I doubt it's appropriate to try to categorise him like that. To what extent was his motivation sincere? Was he simply more adept than most at the game? I don’t know, and don’t even know if those are fair questions.  In the caption accompanying the earlier photo of him, I  noted that "con man or not con man" is an inadequate and deceptive way of thinking. I still feel that way. Whether intentionally or not, he taught me a good lesson, and I’m grateful.
I suspect he’s well used to being photographed — after a couple of photos he indicated for me to wait, removed the blanket from around his shoulders and composed himself as you see here.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

3 comments:

Emma said...

Pete, I respect the respect you have for all living things, but as Terence said, I am a man [though come to think of it, I am not, actually, a man]: I hold that nothing human is alien to me. As such, I'll eat my hat if this man isn't the same sort found on Venice Beach, channeling Jim Morrison and scoring all the chicks.

Zhoen said...

Holi man.

Emma's comment seconded.

pohanginapete said...

Emma, Zhoen, you may be right. I guess what one makes of him (or anyone else) depends on one's attitude; the challenge is to remain open-minded without being naïve. A non-dual attitude certainly helps.

"We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world."
— Buddha

(Apologies if that sounds preachy)