Camino Post #18 – Indian Pilgrims

In the past few days, thousands of Indian pilgrims have been killed in monsoon floods in northern India.

I was there, this time last year. I’d gone to Rishikesh, a sacred town on the Ganges, then down to Haridwar, a larger city that had attracted literally millions of pilgrims to celebrate the first rains of the monsoons.

This year, those rains have killed thousands. And destroyed towns and villages.

Here is a link to a story in today’s New York Times about the tragedy.

http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/22/when-the-himalayas-poured/?emc=tnt&tntemail0=y&_r=0

And following are some pictures I took at Haridwar this time last year.

Please spare a few moments to pray, in whatever form that might take for you, for these pilgrims who died on their way.

By the way, when I was struggling on the Camino with my bung knee, I thought of this pilgrim (below) in India. I remember he was moving on his crutches as fast as our car, to get to the sacred Ganges.

Ganges 3 Ganeges 2 Ganges.1

8 thoughts on “Camino Post #18 – Indian Pilgrims

  1. Still enjoying your post camino posts and reflections 🙂 I especially liked your post about crossing the road to avoid the news.
    The flooding in N India is disastrous but receiving little media coverage here it seems. Too many disasters, people are immune to them, or overwhelmed?
    Do you think that when people are killed while making a pilgrimage, that it must shake their faith in their god/gods? Or strengthen it? Or does it give them a direct passage to nirvana/heaven/paradise? I was particularly horrified when reading this article to think of the people who perished, not only on a holy pilgrimage, but when sheltering in the sacred temple itself.

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  2. Hi Wendy – I’ve been watching the tv news lately – SBS news here in Australia, which has a strong emphasis on international news – to see what’s been happening with the Indian floods. And when I do, my wife says dryly – “Are we going to cross the road now?” Meaning, turn it off!

    To answer your question about the floods, and the pilgrims sheltering in the temple – that’s a hard one, isn’t it. I thought it was interesting in that NY Times article that they were praying to Vishnu, which is the God of Destruction in the Hindu pantheon.

    Watching the footage on the news, the floods were ferocious. It’s a wonder anyone was able to survive. But I guess it’s like those tragic stories you hear of people dying whilst walking the Camino. Their relatives invariably state that they find peace in knowing that the death happened on a sacred pilgrimage.

    Bill

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