Tibetan Buddhism (07:50)
Peter Owen-Jones travels two hours uphill to a Nepal monastery; monks gain good karma through good works, rigid prayer schedule, and disciplined lives. They believe suffering and reincarnation is caused by earthly attachments; the religion has been under Chinese Communist attack since the 1950s.
Hinduism: Muktinath (04:25)
Owen-Jones meets a Sadhu on the way to the Muktinath monument in Nepal; he explains the geography's religious history. The shrine includes 108 spouts delivering blessed water; the faithful ritually run, shower, and walk through all streams.
Hindu Buddhist Child Blessing (02:12)
Owen-Jones attends a ritual in Kathmandu; a five day infant is blessed, bathed, and massaged with mustard oil. The midwife becomes a goddess grandmother figure, and the baby is given a secret name to protect it from evil.
Hinduism: Durga Puja (06:40)
Seventy five percent of Calcutta is Hindu; Owen-Jones arrives during a nine day celebration honoring the goddess Durga. Clay Pandals of her likeness don shrines throughout the city, all illustrating her victory over Mahishasura. A woman explains how the deity represents her gender.
Hinduism: Aghoris (05:29)
Most Hindus are cremated; at Tarapith, remains are buried in shallow graves to keep the faithful close to death. Holy men eat flesh, and feces in order to face fears; a priestess gives Owen-Jones a reading, and blessing, after explaining aspects of the faith.
The Bishnoi (03:27)
In Rajasthan, the Bishnoi do not allow anyone to harm trees or deer; 363 faithful were killed during the late 18th century, when a king ordered scrub forests logged for timber. The nature respecting faith was founded by Guru Jhamboge, 550 years ago.
The Nath Firewalkers (05:26)
In Rajasthan deserts, Owen-Jones witnesses a ceremony of Hindus walking over and handling fiery embers. They believe if they follow the religion's rules, they will not be burned.
The caste system is prominent in Dubai; when the Parsi arrived 1,300 years ago, they promised not to convert Hindus. All members of the faith must be born into it; it is a dying religion. Owen-Jones attends a wedding, but a local cameraman must film inside the Fire Temple, closed to outsiders.
Nanded's faith is based in Islam and Hinduism; during a festival, pilgrims arrive from around the world to visit the temple where Guru Gobind Singh Ji was assassinated 300 years ago. Spiritual reverence is given to scripture and weaponry. Nihangs are devoted to the religion's armed services.
In Shravanabelagola, Owen-Jones is welcomed, and dines with the faithful; the sect is strictly vegetarian. They believe all life should be respected in order to gain good karma; a nun discusses her ritual of sweeping the ground with feathers to avoid killing bugs.
Hinduism: Gorehabba Ritual (02:58)
Owen-Jones travels to Tamil Nadu during the Hindu Festival of Lights for a village-unique ceremony. Devotees strip down and anoint each other with cow dung, wrestling, and playing in the substance.
Credits: Rituals: The Indian Subcontinent (00:30)
Credits: Rituals: The Indian Subcontinent
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