look in the face of the sun


Senior Member
Hi there,

" What I have heard of Brahmins sitting exposed to four fires and looking in the face of the sun; or hanging suspended, with their heads downward, over flames; or looking at the heavens over their shoulders "...
from Walden

Does the bold part means what it means or it has some metaphoric meaning?

Thanks in advance
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The second part presumably just means "staring at the sun." I don't know what the specific allusion to "four fires" refers to.


    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    Thoreau wants this to be understood literally; he is naming a series of things that cause physical discomfort that some people choose to do with the goal of disciplining the spirit.
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