Gold in the Ganga

Never underestimate the power of death – or indeed the power of life!

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Something I learned in India a couple of years ago. I’d taken myself off for some peace & quiet, away from the hustle & bustle of Rishikesh market to sit for a while on the banks of the sacred river Ganga. Ram Jhula to be exact.  Where holy men bathe, and cows roam peacefully alongside them. You can’t help but notice the the interconnectedness of all living things in a place like this. On this particular day however, I learned an even greater lesson.  Looking out across the river, a young boy of 11 or 12yrs old caught my eye. Barefoot and dressed only in  red draped material from waist to thigh, he rummaged in the water, every so often popping something into his mouth. It was hard to make out exactly what he was picking up from a distance and after a while, curiosity got the better of me. For half an hour I’d watched this strange behaviour and had to find out.  When I asked, the answer was far from what I expected. In broken English, he told me how he was collecting gold. Gold from the bodies of dead people cremated there. Gold they no longer needed,  which could feed his family for a week.  At this moment everything made sense.  The irrational fear of death, when actually it’s merely a continuation of life.

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1 thought on “Gold in the Ganga

  1. Pingback: Gold in the Ganga | Mind Medicine

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