Neben den bunten und geschäftstüchtigen Sadhus gibt es im Tempel auch noch echte heilige Männer, vor allem Einsiedler mit ihren Anhängern, die in von Menschenhand gebauten Höhlen am oberen Ende des Flusses leben. Sie heißen meistens Baba, Vater, und leben wie Kali Baba in Changu Narayan von nur einem Lebensmittel ihrer Wahl und Cannabis Rauch. Wir lernen ein gruseliges Detail über Kali Baba und die anderen Kali geweihten: sie brechen ihr strenges Essensreglement einmal im Jahr für ein besonderes Mahl: Menschenfleisch!!! Sie nehmen es von einem Toten vom Scheiterhaufen. Ich bin nur froh, dass wir nichts davon wussten, als wir bei Kali Baba waren. Im Tempel gibt es einen Baba mit einer anderen interessanten Wahl als Lebenmittel: Der Milk Baba (keine Punkte wenn ihr erratet, wovon der lebt). Leider ist er zur Zeit auf Promotiontour in den USA und so mussten wir uns damit zufrieden geben, seine Anhänger und die großzügigen Mengen Hasch zu betrachten, die sie rauchen.
Pashupati, the lord of the beasts, is one of millions of manifestations of the Hindu god Shiva. His temple in Kathmandu, Pashupatinath, is the largest and one of the most important places of worship for people from all over the world. Non-Hindus, at least the ones that can be identified from their appearance, are only allowed in certain areas and can not visit the most important temple. They are allowed on the precinct, however, and can take pictures from the other bank of the Bagmati, that flows through the grounds. On the gate we meet an Italian, waiting for his Indian wife. She disappeared into the temple more than half an hour ago and never came back. His hope grows when he finds her shoes still in front of the temple. After a while we meet both, blissfully reunited, inside the complex.
After the funeral, the ashes get thrown into the river, along with some offerings. The water gets cleared just before it flows through here so it is not as smelly as on other parts of the river. The East bank is used by people remembering their dead. Whole families give offerings and throw them into the river. As usual with Hindu temples there is a lot of action. Every visitor seems to do something different and still everyone seems to know his or her place and how to behave. There is very little organisation around and the glimpses across into the holiest temple suggest that it is not much different in there.
Apart from the colourful and enterprising Sadhus, there are also real holy men, mostly hermits and their following, that live in man-made caves on the upper end of the river. They are usually called baba, father, and just as Kali baba in Changu Narayan, live mainly of one food of their choice, and cannabis smoke. We learn one more gruesome detail about Kali baba and some others devoted to Kali as well. They break their strict food choice once a year for a special meal: human flesh!!! They take it from a dead person on the funeral pyre. I’m happy we didn’t hear about it when we were there… The temple has a baba with another strange choice of food: the milk baba (no points for guessing what he eats…). Unfortunately, he was on promotion tour in the States so we were left looking at his devotees and the copious amounts of hash they were smoking.