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Sanyassin ( the painted baba ), Varanasi, India | by ianpwatkinson
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Sanyassin ( the painted baba ), Varanasi, India

Every morning he would come for his bath in the ganga , unpainted and minimally dressed. An eloquent, direct man who showed mutual respect to everyone he met on the ghats. By evening he was fully equipped with a forehead of cooling sandal paste and vermillion, plus a garb of sparkling, gilt edged polyester cloth in bright orange. So unreal to see a mendicant not in traditional saffron and red cotton. He had a family, his children were grown, his wife had died many years ago so he became sanyassin and lived his lfe as a wanderer. One night after puja we sat around the fire, and he had not eaten all day, so we took him and his white haired friend for some food. The next night he shared his potatoes cooked in his fire with all around. Give, share, and you will have what you need.

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Taken on January 21, 2008