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Aghoris are sadhus belonging to an unconventional clan who are worship Bhairava, a form of Shiva associated with death.

Varanasi is the holy city of pilgrimage of the Hindu community that lies on the banks of the Ganges in Uttar Pradesh. It was popularly known as Kashi the city of lights in ancient times. It is the spiritual capital of India, the holiest city of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism. With that, it is also the spiritual headquarters of the Aghori sadhus of India. Due to the prevalence of numerous religions in the history of India, today we see different cults and practices which have emerged from the main body. Each sub-culture has their individual beliefs, rituals, deities, and dictate their ways of living.

Aghori Sadhus is one of the most feared and simultaneously the most revered clan of them all. They lead a bizarre lifestyle that is beyond common understanding. Aghoris are sadhus belonging to an unconventional clan who are worship Lord Shiva, mainly Bhairava who is a form of Shiva associated with death. They engage in post-mortem rituals with their body covered in the ashes from the dead bodies. Their practices often stand against orthodox Hinduism.


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The unconventional lifestyle of Aghori Sadhus

Nudity

Aghori Sadhus accept nudity and are mostly spotted naked with their bodies smeared with ashes from the dead. They use bones from human corpses to craft skull cups, bowls, and jewelry. They let their hair grow long without ever cutting them, believing that "this is how we were born and we should accept our natural self.

Smoking Weed and Alcoholism

Like most Sadhus, Aghoris also reek spiritual enlightenment, upliftment, and being free from the cycle of rebirth. However, they do not indulge in worshiping idols, instead, they rely on meditation along with the consumption of cannabis and alcohol. They believe that the use of drugs transports them to a higher plane of spirituality which is closer to God and helps them practice greater concentration.

Aghori sadhu in meditation They immerse themselves in deep devotion to Lord Shiva. Pexels

Sex-Rituals

Aghori Sadhus claim that goddess Kali demands satisfaction in meat, alcohol, and sex, to find purity in the filthiest. They indulge in having sexual intercourse with appropriate dead bodies. They say that if an Aghori can focus on God during sex then they are on the right path.

They also practice sexual acts with consenting menstruating women in the middle of cemeteries with human ashes all over their bodies. They cannot be involved or involve someone in the act by force. These activities give the sadhus supernatural powers and transcend spiritual levels to reach God.

Cannibalism

It is rumored that Aghoris eat human flesh from the dead bodies and practice meditation on the dead body. They are not questioned only because they do not kill to eat. Cannibalism is openly practiced by these Aghoris in Varanasi. Their bizarre eating habits do not end here they are also known to eat garbage, human faces, and also leftover foods. They are often witnessed sharing their food with animals eating out of the same bowl. They believe that the true devotee of Shiva should not hold any hatred in their heart and they believe considering animals dirty is wrong.

ALSO READ: Human Cannibalism Is Still Practiced In India

Aghoris live their lives on the edge of bizarre and away from all human norms. They immerse themselves in deep devotion to Lord Shiva. They preach that Lord Shiva is the answer to everything as he is omnipresent and absolute. They perform penance, which is of three kinds that are called Shiva Sadhana, Shav Sadhana, and Smashaan Sadhana. Their lifestyle leaves the rest of the population with mixed emotions of curiosity, disgust, fear, and respect. They must be left on their own, as is their wish.

Keywords: Aghori, Aghori tribe, Aghori cannabilism, India, Hindu, Shaivism, bizarre practices, necrophilia


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