Voices harmonise in the deep calming quietness of the mantra.
In darkness the figures sit, shrouded in their shawls.
Stars shine out in the black of the morning sky.
Venus, a piercing spot, the moon, a heavy crescent of light.
The figures sit in silence.
Then, bowing, move to standing.
As the slow poses continue, the sky over the mountains lightens and brightens to pink,
then yellow and finally blue as the sun rises.
Maharashtra is one of the 12 holiest areas in India. Millions of pilgrims visit for the Maha Kumbha Shivaratri festival, take their ritual bathe and do pooja at the Shivalingam amidst chanting, and ringing of temple bells.
The ashram faces south, which is……
[ Photographs to follow ]