India is renowned for its rich and varied culture! At every nook and corner of India, you can find a lifestyle or culture very different from the other. Among the varied ethnic groups in India, Aghoris have the most bizarre and controversial lifestyle.
PC : Mike Behnken
The Aghoris are ascetic Shaiva sadhus known to engage in post-mortem rituals. Akin to their appearance, they have a very controversial lifestyle! Prevalent in cremation grounds across India, Nepal, and even sparsely across cremation grounds in South East Asia, the secrecy of this religious sect leaves no desire for practitioners to aspire for social recognition and notoriety.
They are very often spotted in all the highly revered pilgrim centres of North India like Varanasi and Haridwar. Let's take a tour through the heart of Varanasi to get to know more about their controversial lifestyle and bizarre rituals!
The unique, mysterious and secretive Aghoris!
Varanasi, or the ancient day Kashi, on the banks of Ganges in Uttar Pradesh is a highly revered pilgrim centre among the Hindu community. Called the spiritual capital of India, it is the holiest of seven sacred cities in Hinduism. Known for its pious pilgrim spots, it is also the spiritual headquarters of the Aghori sect.
Aghoris are probably the most feared and most respected clan of Sadhus or ascetics of India! They are notorious for their uncommon and bizarre rituals, they perform as a part and parcel of their religious routine that arouse curiosity and awe among the public.
Baba Keenaram Sthal in Varanasi - Spiritual headquarters of Aghoris
Baba Keenaram Sthal is a world fame spiritual centre and headquarters of Aghori sect across the world, situated at Ravindrapuri in Varanasi. The tomb of Baba Keenaram located here is highly revered among the Aghoris in Varanasi. Baba Keenaram was the first of Aghoris who laid down the foundation of Aghori sect.
Some interesting facts about Aghoris - Nudity, Bizarre Sexual Practices & Eating the dead!!!
Aghoris have the most bizarre of rituals! They have no qualms in being naked! They embrace nudity and are often seen completely naked, covering their body with ashes from dead bodies that are burned on a pyre.
The Aghoris in Varanasi and their stories are quite popular in every hamlet of India and Nepal! They claim to have medicines for even the deadliest of diseases today and are believed to possess supernatural powers! Any cremation ground or haunted house is regarded as holy by the Aghoris where they meditate and perform Sadhana.
The shores of Ganges in Varanasi is one of the important places to find Aghoris and their lifestyle. Cannibalism is openly practised by Aghoris in Varanasi! They consume raw corpses from the cremation grounds and meditate after that!
They are also known for their taboo sexual practices. They believe having sex in the midst of dead bodies gives rise to supernatural powers. The women partners are also smeared in ashes of the dead and the sexual act takes place while drums are beaten and mantras are chanted.
PC : GoDesi.com
If we walk across the streets of Varanasi, we are sure to bump in to a Aghori sooner or later! And it's not at all a strenuous task to spot one; their spooky fashion statement would help you to recognize them in a jiffy. Human skull is their favourite jewellery!!
Aghoris believe that Lord Shiva is absolute, omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient! According to them, whatever happens in this universe, happens because of Shiva. You can spot numerous Aghori Sadhus during the time of Kumbh Mela!
Feared by many, cast out from society and living amongst the dead, these simple holy men represent some of the most extreme forms of living to be found anywhere on the planet. Travel to the holy city of Varanasi to get to know more about their interesting lifestyle. Happy Travelling :)