Worshipped, frowned, respected, and feared, the Aghori sadhus are among the most mysterious icons in the world. These ascetics are mostly found in Varanasi and their eerie lifestyle has been subject to much speculation and curiosity for centuries. They are known for their grisly rituals that are a part of their religious routine.
Here are some strange facts about Aghori sadhus that you may not have known.
1. Shiva fanatics
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Aghoris worship Shiva, the destroyer of his female counterpart Shakti or Kali. However, unlike other ascetics who practice total abstinence, Aghoris believe that it is the goddess that demands satisfaction by consuming flesh and alcohol, and by carrying out sexual practices. They believe that god is present everywhere, and they therefore consume human fluids and even faeces and decaying human corpses. They thus try to mix the oneness of things, both unholy and holy, to define the true perception of beauty.
2. Baba Keenaram
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It is widely believed that Baba Keenaram was the first ever Aghori sadhu. According to some legends, he lived for 150 years and died in the second half of 18th century. His deity was installed at Hinglaj, a town on Makran coast in the Balochistan district of Pakistan. The Hinglaj Mata temple is one of the sacred pilgrimages of Hindus and is a Shakti Peetha. The place is also known as Maruteerth. After the Partition of India in 1947, Keenaram’s deity was installed in Varanasi.
3. No hatred
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Aghori sadhus are believed to hold no hatred or grudge in their heart. They believe that hatred is a deterrent to meditation. They share food with cows and dogs from the same bowl and consider it to be very pleasing. Aghoris believe that by eliminating all negative thoughts, like animals dirtying their food, they will be able to single-mindedly pursue their target which is to become one with Shiva.