The year now is 2013 in the Christian Calendar, Vijya Varuda in the Hindu sixty-year cycle, and this year on return I find substantial changes in the urban area surrounding the ashram as well as within ashram itself, although the changes there have more to do with my own willingness finally to recognise that the commercial aspect of modern Hinduism infiltrates the formally sacred ground of Ramana’s descendants, exposing their brahminical greed and hypocrisy. Consequently this year i am much more prepared than usual for signs of corruption along the sadhu drag.
Looks like almost the same group of men seated in the same positions as I photographed last year or was it the year before. The seated sadhu is just opening his sewing bag. I imagine many young people can relate to their lifestyle from this perspective. Even this perspective:
And especially for teenagers, this one in particular at ten-thirty in the morning:
Because these sadhus are free, they need to be self-disciplined for their act to work, they need personal integrity. Some have a definite sense of style but this is unnecessary, whereas an innate disposition towards some form of rigour is essential – it seems, for the modern pseudo-sadhu to accumulate moral fibre, an apprehend-able sort of merit