Aghori sadhu is most feared and respected sect in India. A normal person can’t even begin to imagine the life of an aghori sadhu. They’re followers of lord Shiva and so they try to emulate the life once lived by their lord. It’s not easy and definitely not for the weak hearted. Like any other sadhu they have to renounce all worldly possessions, stay away from family, friends, money, with one exception unlike other sadhus they can have coitus. They live their life in darkness to reach out to the light of salvation.
Reader discretion is advised, there are some gruesome facts mentioned about aghori’s below.
1. Shiva is omnipresent
Aghoris believe that lord Shiva is the creator, destroyer and ruler of everything. They worship the female side of lord Shiva who is goddess of death Kali and thus they don’t fear death.
2. Guru to guide them in this path of darkness
A person will first approach a guru who will guide him in the initiation process. Guru also has to be an aghori sadhu.
3. First requirement ‘Kapal’
Once they decide this is the path they want to walk on, the guru will ask the sadhu to find himself a kapal which is a human skull. This kapal will be his begging bowl that he worships, eats in and drinks from. Like civilians have idols to worship aghori’s have kapal.
4. You’ll find them living in
Aghori sadhu’s address is the nearest cremation ground it is here that they meditate and worship their lord. They also live in caves, jungles and deserts.
5. Offerings to god
Unlike you and me who offer flowers and sweets to god. Meat, alcohol and sex are what they offer to their gods.
6. The most unusual diet
Warning don’t imagine what you read. They eat human feces, human flesh, human fluids, and food from dumpsters. Before you judge them for this, here is the reason why they do this. They believe that Shiva is in everything even in the ugliest and filthiest of things. Their mantra is to ‘find purity in the filthiest’. They eat because the body desires food and which has to be met, for them the taste doesn’t matter.
7. Unique and creepy fashion
They cover their body with ashes collected from the burnt pyres and wear skulls as jewelry. This again is done to follow the footsteps of Shiva. Aghori think they’re Shivas children and do as many things as Shiva possible. Sometimes they even roam around nude, by doing this they stop feeling any shame and complete the process of renunciation of worldly materials.
This can be spine-chilling, as an offering to god they have sex with the dead. Sometimes an aghori sadhu would have sex with a female but he can’t force her and she should be menstruating at the time. They overcome their sexual desires by doing all this.
9. Shamshan Tara
In order to invoke goddess Shamshan Tara they use corpses, in return she would fulfill their wishes for supernatural powers.
Marijuana and alcohol takes them in a state of trance, they constantly stay in this state of mind as it helps them to be one with Lord Shiva all the time. No matter how high they are, there is always calmness in their eyes.
11. Sharing to be one
Aghoris find no disgust or weirdness in sharing their food with cows and dogs. Animals eat from their kapal. This helps them kill ego and encourage oneness. For them everything is scared as lord Shiva is in it.
12. Beg to differ
Aghori’s beg to differ with the crowd in their beliefs. Others want to please deities by offering all the good things in life whereas aghori sadhus think that their gods want to be pleased with these unconventional offerings. It’s not the right way but it’s their left way to attain moksha and be one with god.
13. Aghori heritage
The first aghori sadhu can be traced back to the 17th century named Baba Kinaram. Since then this closed group of sadhus have only grew in number and madness.
14. Meditation and trance
Aghori sadhus meditate in a state of trance sitting on top of a corpse. They do everything that is dark and close to death. From midnight to 2:00 am is the time when no humans are around and for spirits to wander.
15. Love all philosophy
An aghori sadhu will never hold any hatred or disgust against any other in his heart. They try to avoid these feelings so that they can mediate with a clear head and achieve enlightenment by self-realization.
16. Masters of black magic
Aghori sadhus attain supernatural powers by doing their bizarre rituals. It is believed they can see the future, cure many diseases by taking it from the victim, talk to the dead, they try to absorb plagues, and many other things with the powers they attain by pleasing lord Shiva and goddess Kali. But they never use it for destruction.
17. Avadhuta gita: Holy book of aghoris
Avadhuta Gita is the text that guides and teaches aghori sadhus of aghori traditions. In it is mentioned that for better part of lord Shivas life he meditated in the cremation grounds. The founder and guru of aghori tradition was an incarnation of Shiva.
18. Vulgarity for a reason
Aghoris are very straight forward, they believe profanity will help them attain liberation and nirvana. Some aghoris are so notorious that they bless people by cursing them, throwing shit at them and in other estranged manner.
19. All is the same
Aghori tradition says that everything in the universe is holy and sacred. There is no shame, ego, frustration, liking, hatred, and attachment, nothing that binds you to this world.
Aghori sadhus like all the other sadhus have faith and are devoted to their lord. We may not agree with their methods in fact it is everything that we stand against, but none of that has ever stopped them from doing things their way.