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Great PaulVDV 2020-08-14 2:42

Hello Miguel,
I think this picture is taken on Durbar Square but I'm not sure. You've also visited Pashupatinath Temple.
There I've seen many Sadhus.
But an official guide that I hired for the temple visit told me there are many fake Sadhus. A fake Sadhu is an ordinary citizen who puts on colourful clothes, grows his hair long, applies religious patterns in colour to his forehead, does not live like a Sadhu at all but strategically positions himself in certain places (for example in the Pashupatinath Temple) so that visitors can take pictures of him and then have to pay for it. After their 'working hours' they go back home.
I saw a lot of Sadhus in that famous Hindu temple of Kathmandu and according to that guide most of them were not real Sadhus.
So how can you as a Westerner recognise a real from a fake one?
I couldn't. I wanted to see real Sadhus and my guide pointed out some from afar but when I went closer one of them approached me and whispered in my ear 'fifty dollars please'.
Since this is a considerable sum in a country like Nepal, I was sure this man was not a real Sadhu either.
But how to recognize a real one?
I know Sadhus live on donated alms but I remember seeing Sadhus many years ago in India who did not ask anyone for money.
I had the impression that mainly in the Pashupatinath Temple being a Sadhu was mostly set up. In other places in Nepal I have not experienced that in the same way.
It is and remains a very curious and striking thing from the Hindu society. However, I'm left with the question how can one distinguish a real from a fake.
I do like this picture very much. The colourful clothes and the beautiful constructions on the background make a splendid shot.
Best regards, Paul

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Old 08-14-2020, 03:17 PM
Miguel82 Miguel82 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 468
Default To PaulVDV: Paul

Hello, I don't know how to recognize a true sadhu from a common man dressed as a sadhu. I will say it depends of the place you meet them and what they are doing. In gatherings like the melas (fairs), the sadhus are coming for religious purpose and to meet each other so I think one can meet true sadhus in such places.
Yes indeed the picture was taken at Kathmandu Durbar square.
Regards
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