Everywhere one travels in this wonderland India, one come upon the babas, the holy men. Some live in complete asceticism, others are far into yoga or meditation, some practice various kinds of tantra, which amongst others is a sexual practice within the yoga tradition. Other holy men smoke ganja or charras from when the sun rise until it sets with a golden light. Some of them are genuine, but others are deceiving naive Westerners with their appearances and gestures. India has a big heart and there are room for thousands of holy men living on alms. They are on their pilgrimages and most often staying in villages for no longer than three days, and about a week in larger cities, but yet again, always on the move. The pilgrimage routes often follow the good weather, if it gets to hot in the low-lying country, they wander up into the mountains where the air is clear and cool. When the cold comes to the upland, they wander to palm beaches and practice their rituals there.
Every twelfth year there is a big gathering of sadhus and holy men and women, named Kumbh Mela. This is the largest religious gathering taking place on our remarkable planet. Millions of people gather at Ganges or other holy rivers several places in India for cleansing and celebration of the gods, and the Hindus have a wide range to select from.
The origin of Kumbh Mela dates back to the time when gods and demons inhibited the earth. The celebration has taken place since pre historic times. The last time there was a twelve year celebration, more than 70 million Hindus participated.
The Cristian’s Communion wine is not a part of the Hindu tradition, no here ganja plays the main part. According to the law, marijuana and hashish is forbidden in India, after they reluctantly signed Harry Anslinger’s 1961 Single Convention narcotics treaty. Here it was decided which stimulants should remain legal and which one to forbid. The document shows signs of being written after Western norms and thoughts. Since the enjoyment of ganja is so central in the Hindu rituals, there are governmental ganja shops several places in India. A traveller I met had bought ganja in one of them. They did not sell hashish, but oddly enough he was offered Chinese opium. There are many travellers becoming foundered due to wrong use of drugs in India, but most manages well. To reside in such a different culture is almost like an intoxicating experience in itself, so no overstatements are needed here.
The title Coca Cola Babas is a homage to the Indian culture, which has brought with it ceremonies from prehistoric times into our modern era. Through the times, India has protected it’s market. When I visited India in 1972, there was no Coca Cola available, there was an embargo on imports of most goods from abroad. Not before 1993 did Coca Cola start it’s massive campaign in India. It is a growing market which causes Western companies to drool. It is perhaps about time that we in the West open up for influence from India, this ancient culture which probably has a lot to offer.
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