Aghori Saddhus

Discussion in 'Hindu Saints' started by garry420, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member

    The Aghori (Sanskrit aghora) are ascetic Shaiva sadhus.The term “Aghori” is derived from the Sanskrit word – “Aghor” which has various meanings. Aghor means not to forget or non-terrible in one perspective. And on the other, it means absence of darkness, spiritual darkness or nescience. Agor implies an untainted and a natural state of consciousness in which there is no fear or disgust. But on the contrary, the Aghoris have rituals that are seen as being condemned, lamentable and feared by common people. As for the Aghori sect, the true meaning of the term Aghoriis the one who is fearless , pure, and who does not discriminate. Many Aghori gurus command great reverence from rural populations as they are supposed to possess healing powers gained through their intensely eremitic rites and practices of renunciation and tápasya. They are also known to meditate and perform worship in haunted houses.

    They believe that Lord Shiva is All and in all, the creator, preserver, destroyer, revealer and concealer of all that is. Shaivism incorporates many different Sampradayas (traditions) and sects of which Aghori is but one. Such Sampradayas are widespread throughout Bharat/India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Areas notable for the practice of Shaivism include parts of Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.

    The Aghoris tread an intense Spiritual path . It defines them. Everything forbidden is their calling. Aghoris are distinguished from other Hindu sects by their alcoholic and cannibalistic rituals. Aghoris in India are beyond human imagination with their rituals and mysterious practices. Every horrific thing is their spiritual playground . The demon of the darkness, the terror in the nightmare, the dread experienced in paralytic fear is embraced again and again . This is their training ground and they bring light and release to the darkness and devils that most of us cannot bear to face. Their motto is simply this . "The only way to know it is to experience it" They bring Light and Balance to the entire experience and horror of darkness . Their mind is ever focussed upon The One ...the creator ..the destroyer ...The adhi Guru, Lord Shiva whom they serve entirely unconditionally.

    Hinglaj Mata is the Kuladevata (patron goddess) of the Aghori. The main Aghori pilgrimage centre is Kina Ram's hermitage or ashram in Ravindrapuri, Varanasi. The full name of this place is Baba Keenaram Sthal, Krim-Kund. Here, Kina Ram is buried in a tomb or samadhi which is a centre of pilgrimage for Aghoris and Aghori devotees. Present head (Abbot), since 1978, of Baba Keenaram Sthal is Baba Siddharth Gautam Ram.

    According to Devotees, Baba Siddharth Gautam Ram is reincarnation of Baba Keenaram himself. Apart from this, any cremation ground would be a holy place for an Aghori ascetic. The cremation grounds near the yoni pithas, 51 holy centers for worship of the Hindu Mother Goddess scattered across South Asia and the Himalayan terrain, are key locations preferred for performing sadhana by the Aghoris.

    Aghoris base their beliefs on two principles common to broader Shaiva beliefs: that Shiva is perfect (having omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence) and that Shiva is responsible for everything that occurs – all conditions, causes and effects. Consequently, everything that exists must be perfect and to deny the perfection of anything would be to deny the sacredness of all life in its full manifestation, as well as to deny the Supreme Being.

    Aghoris believe that every person's soul is Shiva but is covered by aṣṭamahāpāśa "eight great nooses or bonds" - sensual pleasure, anger, greed, obsession, fear and hatred. The practices of the Aghoris are centered around the removal of these bonds. Sādhanā in cremation grounds destroys fear; sexual practices with certain riders and controls help release one from sexual desire; being naked destroys shame. On release from all the eight bonds the soul becomes sadāśiva and obtains moksha

    The bliss they arrive at is rarely experienced outside their sect. They can be fierce warriors and the terrifying aghori is understandably feared in both religious and secular society.

    They walk alone . It is known that they engage in post-mortem rituals. They often dwell in graveyards, ritually and daily smear cremation ashes all over their bodies to serve as clothes. This practice is to remind them of how temporarily all life is. In light of this they use bones from human corpses for crafting skull bowls to eat from. (which Shiva and other Hindu Dharmi deities are often iconically depicted holding or using) and craft jewelry.
    Due to their practices that are contradictory to orthodox Hindu/ Sanatan Dharm, they generally live far away from the hustle and bustle of cities and mainstream society, preferring a more solitary existence . The secrecy of this religious sect leaves no desire for practitioners to aspire for social recognition and notoriety.

    God has Gods own people who are called upon and are trained to endure abomination and experience great suffering in mind , heart and deed. The aghoris bear all honouring all that has been demeaned, receiving all that has been cast aside . They wholeheartedly experience everything profoundly unwholesome. This is part of the practice to bring light and reflect all as sacred. They become uniquely qualified to cleanse the worlds of all fear, shame , disturbances and everything heinously disgusting transforming all with clarity rendering it sacrosanct. Aghori practise healing through purification as a pillar of their ritual. Their patients believe the Aghori are able to transfer pollution and health to and from patients as a form of "transformative healing", due to the believed superior state of body and mind of the Aghori. The sādhanā" of the Aghora with both its left and right-handed proclivities , identifies it as principally cutting through attachments and aversion and foregrounding primordiality; a view uncultured, undomesticated and untainted.

    "The gurus and disciples of Aghor believe their state to be primordial and universal. They believe that all human beings are natural-born Aghori. Hari Baba has said on several occasions that human babies of all societies are without discrimination, that they will play as much in their own filth as with the toys around them. Children become progressively discriminating as they grow older and learn the culturally specific attachments and aversions of their parents. Children become increasingly aware of their mortality as they bump their heads and fall to the ground. They come to fear their mortality and then palliate this fear by finding ways to deny it altogether"

    In this sense, the Aghora sādhanā is a process of unlearning deeply internalized cultural models. When this sādhanā takes the form of charnel ground sādhanā, the Aghori faces death as a very young child, simultaneously meditating on the totality of life at its two extremes. This ideal example serves as a prototype for other Aghor practices, both left and right, in ritual and in daily life." For example, the Aghoris are also recorded to perform shava sadhana, worship with a corpse.

    An Aghori embraces total darkness by all means, in order to open their minds and hearts to the mysterious Light of Self realization. Though this is a different approach from other Hindu Dharmi sects, it is believed to be efficacious. They are infamously known for their rituals that include such as Shava Samskara (ritual worship incorporating the use of a corpse at the altar) to invoke the Mother Goddess in her form as Smashan Tara.
     
  2. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member

    In Hindu Dharmi iconography, Tara, like Kali, is one of the ten Mahavidyas (wisdom goddesses) and once invoked can bless the Aghori with supernatural powers. The most popular of the ten Mahavidyas who are worshiped by Aghoris are Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, and Bhairavi. The male Hindu deities primarily worshiped by Aghoris for supernatural powers are manifestations of Shiva, including Mahākāla, Bhairava, Virabhadra, Avadhuti, and others.

    The gurus and disciples of Aghor believe their state to be primordial and universal. They believe that all human beings are natural-born Aghori. Hari Baba has said on several occasions that human babies of all societies are without discrimination, that they will play as much in their own filth as with the toys around them. Children become progressively discriminating as they grow older and learn the culturally specific attachments and aversions of their parents. Children become increasingly aware of their mortality as they bump their heads and fall to the ground. They come to fear their mortality and then palliate this fear by finding ways to deny it altogether.

    The fascination of the West with the ancient Aghori has led to many films and documentaries For example , the Aghori and their spiritual home Varanasi heavily influenced the 2016 British suspense thriller film Feast of Varanasi (2016 film) where a reclusive priest called NANA, who lives on the outskirts of Varanasi plays a significant role in film. The character was played by Indian Actor Ashwath Bhatt.
    The Aghori were referred to in the 2016 horror film "The Other Side of the Door" and were portrayed as a creepy tribe that seem to pop up multiple times to foreshadow otherwordly incidents. (Whether their actual name was used is still to be confirmed, but it seems highly likely that this was based on the Aghori either way.)
    The Aghori were featured on the first episode of the new Ripley's Believe It Or Not television series, hosted by Dean Cain. The program highlighted the Aghori's rituals.
    In Tad Williams' Otherland series, the main member of the resistance group the Circle, Nandi Paradivash, spent several years as an Aghori ascetic while preparing for the final confrontation with the Brotherhood.
    In 2006 a Greek documentary by the name of "Shiva's Flesh" shows a Varanasi Aghori by name Black Boom Boom Baba and the existing faith around Aghoris in Varanasi.
    The television program Wildboyz starring Steve-O and Chris Pontius featured a segment in which the duo learned about the Aghori culture firsthand. Chris and Steve-O were given the ritualistic alcohol from a skull and were covered in remains of a corpse in the form of ashes. One Aghori also demonstrated the drinking of urine. They hinted that more was filmed but censored when Steve-O remarked "Now imagine what we weren't allowed to show you.".......Imagine all that this secretive spiritual path remains unrevealed ...in their fierce adoration of Lord Shiva that no humiliation or abomination is beyond their willing humble acceptance.

    ~ Adapted via Saddhus
     

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