Varanasi Day 3 – Ganga Yagya at Sunrise

On the last day, we rose early in the morning (4:45) to be able to travel into the main section of Varanasi on the Ganga River for a special sunrise yagya.

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When we got up, the lights on the yagya pavilion were on, but the sky was dark. The trip into town takes about an hour.

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From our location we could see the city stretching out in front of us along the natural curve of the river. Because of the important role that the Ganga plays in supporting material and spiritual life in this part of India, (irrigation, etc) she is considered to be a form of Lakshmi – the goddess of abundance.

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It had rained the night before and this made for wonderfully clean air and a sense of freshness, not to mention a dramatic sunrise.

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In case of rain, we could have used these, but there was no need.

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The priests and their assistants assembled the yagya quickly and we began the ritual facing the river bathed in the warmth of the rising Sun. It was a wonderful experience.

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Afterwards we all enjoyed eating the prasad and enjoying the morning before returning to the ashram for the afternoon’s yagya.