Friday, January 9, 2009

Aghori Sadhus

What kind of feelings does the word cannibalism arouses (The practice of eating the flesh of your own kind) ? Well most of us would get disgusted, but there are people who follow cannibalism in India even now.

India land of oldest society, oldest civilization, but all this time in the Indian history there was a sect dedicated to Shiva was involved in cannibalism and other very crude animal behavior. The aghori or aghouri sect has its origin in ancient Vedic system, even though these people don’t follow the main stream Vedic system but the root is the same. The word aghori in Sanskrit means non terrifying, ‘a’-‘ghori’ most of the Hindi speaking people would have heard the phrase ghor kaliyug, ghor paap, etc.. it is the same ghor, theoretically these people don’t attach themselves to anything mortal. They do things which a common man finds to be terrifying, so they overcome this terror by going through it, since they do it regularly it is a common thing for them.

The belief of Agohris

In Hinduism, “there is no evil, everything is emanated from ‘Brahman’, so how could anything in this universe be impure”? this is the kind of philosophy the aghori babas follow. According to them anything in this universe is the manifestation of god itself, so everything is as pure as god and is god like, so abandoning anything is like abandoning god itself.

The aghori mainly worship lord Shiva, according to the sect every human is a ‘shava’(dead body) with emotions and they should try to become ‘Shiva’ by denying the human pleasures and involving in the aghori rituals.

The root of aghoris are as old as Hinduism itself, but the sect in its present form has its origin in Kinaram, he was an aghori ascetic and lived for about 150yrs. He was believed to be the incarnation of lord Shiva. He attained many siddhis through tapas and rituals and then helped the people with his siddhis. There is a temple in Varanasi for this baba and is the most sacred for the aghoris. Some also trace the root to Dattatreya.

The aghori is a human symbol of lord Shiva himself. The aghori lives in cemetery (shmashana), the living place for lord Shiva, this is the representation that the final abode for everyone is the cemetery. And many of the aghoris roam around naked, representing the true humans and their detachment from this world of mortals who live in the world of illusion. By this they transcend beyond human feelings of love, hatred, jealousy, pride etc..

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