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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
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.
They immerse themselves in deep devotion to Lord Shiva. Pexels
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.
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.
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
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday asked the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to prevent dumping of toxic wastes in India. Speaking at an event to celebrate DRI's 64th foundation day, Sitharaman lauded DRI's compact strength of about 800 officers for their relentless efforts despite the imminent risks. The Finance Minister stated that the officers may be keeping a low profile, but they are acting like the frontline defence forces, doing spectacular work in safeguarding the economic frontiers of the country. "The recent smuggling attempts of huge quantities of narcotics, gold, red sanders, ivory, cigarettes etc. unearthed by DRI were appreciated by the Finance Minister," the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.
"Sitharaman said that the message through such enforcement actions should be such that these acts of brazen attempts at smuggling are nipped in the bud," the statement added. The Finance Minister also said that better coordination among the law enforcement and intelligence gathering agencies and sharing of actionable intelligence are the way forward in protecting the frontiers of the country more efficiently. "Sitharaman also asked the DRI to focus on interdicting dual use technology items as well as preventing the dumping of toxic wastes in our country," the statement said. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Nirmala Sitharaman, India, Toxic Wastes)
Tech giant Amazon has expanded the sound detection capabilities of Alexa along with more features. Alexa can now identify the sounds of running water and appliances beeping, reports Android Central. This means users can set up an Alexa routine to notify themselves when the washer beeps to indicate that laundry is finished, the report said.
When Alexa detects that the faucet has been left open, it will send users a notification as well so they can take appropriate action, it added. Amazon previously said at its event in September that it would add the ability to programme Alexa to recognise custom sounds, but that feature has yet to arrive. Having said that, the two new sound detection capabilities not only help users save energy, but they also make it easier to avoid paying for unnecessary charges on your home utilities, the report said.
The retail giant has also announced ultrasound motion detection, which will allow you to set up "Occupancy Routines" on additional Echo devices. This feature allows your smart speaker to detect nearby motion and initiate a routine, such as turning on the lights. It is compatible with many of the best Alexa speakers including the 4th-gen Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: laundry, appliances, beeping, running water, Sound, Alexa , Amazon)
By Olivia Sarkar
Comforting Christmas cocktails help you enjoy the celebrations and get into the festive spirit. The Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts offer distinctive cocktails ranging from Hot Toddies to Decadent Egg Nogs. Sit back and enjoy one martini at a time to make the festive season a little brighter.
Dirty Chai Eggnog:
30 ml Bourbon
30 ml Baileys
90 ml Hot milk tea
Sweet cream foam to top up
Cinnamon powder and star anise.
1. In a heavy bottomed med sauce pot, prepare tea with milk. Strain and let it cool.
2. In a cocktail shaker add egg white, Bourbon, Baileys with whole spices. Shake well.
3. Pour the tea in the glass followed by ingredients from cocktail shaker.
4. Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon powder, whole star anise
Eggnog is a Christmas favourite that is accustomed to toasts for good health and prosperity.| Pikist
Inspired by the Christmas Spirits and holiday flavours is a wonderful concoction of warm whisky, sweet vanilla, and thick butter.
45 ml Butter fat washed Whiskey
20 ml Ginger bread syrup
15 ml Spiced Apple liquor
2 dashes of Bitters
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1. Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker
2. Shake well
3. Pour into an old-fashioned glass
4. Garnish with Gingerbread cookie
Inspired by the Christmas Spirits and holiday flavors is a wonderful concoction of warm whisky, sweet vanilla, and thick butter. | Flickr
(Keywords: Santa's Apple, Egg Nogs, December, Cocktail, Cocktail, Christmas, holiday, celebrations)