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Environs de Calcutta. Octobre 1842. [A road with a rich Indian's carriage passing a colony of sannyasis.]

Environs de Calcutta.  Octobre 1842.  [A road with a rich Indian's carriage passing a colony of sannyasis.]

Lithographer: Rudder, L.H. de (1807-1881), after Saltuikov, Aleksandr Mikh

Medium: Lithograph

Date: 1848

Shelfmark: P975

Item number: 975

Length: 48.4

Width: 68.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Print

Lithograph of a road in the vicinity of Calcutta by L.H. de Rudder (1807-1881) published in 1848 after an original drawing by Aleksandr Mikhailovich Saltuikov dating from October 1842. This print shows the carriage of a rich Indian passing a colony of sanyasis. Sanyasis or sadhus in Hinduism are holy men who have taken the path of renunciation. In the Hindu tradition, a man's life was divided into four ashramas or stages: brahmacharya (childhood and celibate youth), grihastha (householder) vanaprastha (householder devoted to spiritual pursuits) and sanyasa (ascetic). Sanyasa was in essence the culmination of an ideal life, when a human being practised austerity and tried to discover life's truths and oneness with God. Having turned their back on material comforts, sanyasis sported unshorn hair and beards, meditating and performing rigorous penances and retreating to isolated caves, forests and hills.

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