To take God’s name & die in Varanasi – this is interpreted by Hindus in India as liberation of the soul, release from constant cycle of rebirth and reach the ultimate destination called “Moksha”. Kashi Labh MUKTI BHAVAN (“liberation house”) is one such place in Varanasi where people check-in to die because they believe dying a good death in Varanasi forgives bad karma (culmination of deeds).
People from all across India, from diverse cultures of Hinduism come to this sacred hospice with their loved ones to celebrate their death, rather their “Mukti” (release of soul). Every moment after checking in to this hospice, they pray to God for death, they start counting the days. They all want the death to happen as soon as possible so that the remains of the body can be offered to River Ganga in Varanasi and soul will get holy escape from rebirth cycle. All the boarders have pious last 15 days of their lives to stay in this Bhavan which would lead them to the doors of heaven. Otherwise they have to return back to their home, the stairway to heaven would be closed down forever.
“While the rest of the world celebrates a new life when a child is born, similarly we celebrate death,” said Bhairav Nath Shukla, the manager of 12 room free hospice MuktiBhawan, opening death register of last 100+ years of this hospice where more than 15000 names are listed who have died here. He believes that people are not dying here, otherwise it would be a haunted house. It is the last stop for them before the salvation from the cycle of reincarnation.
About Debiprasad Mukherjee
Debiprasad is an Indian freelance documentary photographer based out of Kolkata, India. He strongly believes that as a documentary photographer, it is his responsibility to showcase the social changes and its impact on human race and he is committed to leverage photography as the most powerful tool to capture the social changes & behaviors across the globe over the years. His photographic vision is not only to depict social, political and financial issues & conflicts but also to portray surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. That is why, while photographing Debi always asks himself what changes his photos can bring to the lives of his “subjects” suffering in the darkest corners of the world.
He is a winner of Neutral Density Photography Gold Star Award, Nikon India PowerYourClicks Photography Contest, Monochrome Awards, United Photographers International Gold Medal, Fotoforum Award Menschen Germany, International Union of Photographers Jury’s Choice Gold Medal Hong Kong, International Association of Art Photographers Gold Medal, Photographic Society of Singapore Gold Medal, Czech Federation of Art Photography Silver Medal, Runner-up in InterAction (alliance organization in Washington, D.C. of NGOs) 14th Annual Photo Contest for “Women Empowerment”, Photographic Society of America Gold Medal, Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique Gold Medal, Finalist of HIPA Award, and many more from Ireland, Serbia, US, Singapore, UK, Argentina, Germany, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hong Kong, Ukrain, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Bosnia and Herzegovina & India.
His photographs have been published in many international magazines/websites e.g. Vogue Italia, National Geographic, F-Stop (USA), Fotoforum (Germany), Rammajamma Images (Australia), Society of International Travel & Tourism Photographers (UK), The Telegraph, Life Force Magazine (UK), Dodho Magazine (Spain), Positive Magazine (Germany), Social Documentary Network, Private Photo Review, ViewFind (USA), Edge of Humanity, Monovisions, World Street Photography etc.
Debiprasad’s photographs were exhibited in several exhibitions globally e.g. International Exhibition of Art & Photography at Alliance Française, Indo-French Cultural Center, New Delhi, Slovenia International Photographic Exhibition, Plovdiv International Photo Festival Bulgaria, The Search for Economic Justice Exhibition at University of Wisconsin La Crosse Murphy library USA, Photography Group Exhibition “Portraiture” Serbia, PONDY-ART 2016 – DRIVING FORCE Photography Exhibition, Pondicherry, India, Asian University for Women Bangladesh, Instagram First Ever Photography Exhibition in India, Spring Photo Festival Bardaf Slovakia etc.
Debiprasad is associated with many non-profit social organizations/NGOs like Consortium for Street Children (UK), Child in Need Institute (UK/IND), InterAction (USA) etc.
You can find Debiprasad Mukherjee on the web:
All the pictures in this post are copyrighted Debiprasad Mukherjee. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.