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Throngs of people, old, young, large, small, dark, fair-skinned, frail, strong, dressed in gaily coloured sarees, sarongs, shirts and kurtas, press bodies side by side in a never-ending flow to the river. This river is like no other river found in other parts of the world. The waters here are Holy. Sacred and worshipped in prayer to their gods, the people who throng in the tens of thousands to the River Ganges at Varanasi come in the hope of attaining forgiveness for all sins. Not just one sin but all sins – past and present. I am told by my friend and guide of today that the River Ganges is holiness in an ever-flowing sea. Attaining moksha is a liberation from Samsara - the eternal circle of life and rebirth, better known as reincarnation.

This river draws millions of pilgrims from all over India to visit the city and give an opportunity to their deceased a chance to attain the forgiveness of eternal sins.

Men, women and children adorn the steps and the surrounding areas. The waters are filled with people; bathing, chanting, worshipping, and praying for a better life. I have decided not to bathe in the water; my sins to keep, yet I touch the river once

Originating from a Hindu belief, Moksha is a tradition that considers life and death to be no different, where the ashes of the dead must be returned to what is believed as the origins of life in the Ganges. Varanasi, a place of extraordinary authenticity and purity, is considered one of seven sacred cities holding a bridge to reach the other side. Beliefs are that the avataras (descendants) align to form a path that permits the faithful to get different dimensions.

Some come here, I am told, to heal from illness, others believe it a blessing to bath their heads and body in its waters, but for the most part, the people who make it to this river are here to bury their dead in a water ceremony of cremation on these sacred waters and help their loved ones to receive forgiveness for all their sins.