Are Aghori Sadhus evil


Sadhu (Sanskrit: साधु sādhu adj. u. m.) leading straight to the goal, correct, accurate; simple, not confused or complicated; docile, compliant, obedient; weighed; effective; ready; orderly, safe, peaceful; good, excellent, beautiful, suitable; noble; a man of honor, an excellent man; a wise man, a saint, an ascetic, a wandering monk; a man looking to the future; Usurer; Jeweler.

In Hinduism there is a Sadhu (Sanskrit: साधु sādhu, "good; good man, holy man") a pious ascetic and a holy person. Although the vast majority of sadhus are yogis, not all yogis are sadhus. The sadhu is solely dedicated to attaining Moksha (liberation) through meditation and contemplation on Brahman, the fourth and final Ashrama (stage of life). Sadhus often wear saffron colored clothing symbolizing their sanyasa (renunciation). This lifestyle is open to women. The feminine form of the word is Sādhvī साध्वी. In 2014, an all-female Akhada (group of sadhus) was formed. It is believed to be the first of its kind in India.

Sukadev on Sadhu

Transcription of a lecture video (2014) by Sukadev on Sadhu

Sadhu means first of all "a good one", "a virtuous one", "one who is oriented towards the highest truth". Sadhu, as it is used today, refers to a monk, someone who has renounced everything. Sadhu is often also the wandering monk who does not have a permanent home. In contrast to swamis who live in larger ashrams, a sadhu is one who either wanders, leads a parivratshaka, a wandering monk's life, or one who lives alone or in very small communities. So this is a sadhu.

Sometimes there are also statements that sadhus are those who also consume substances in order to gain other levels of consciousness, but this is a misinterpretation. Sadhu is literally one who is good, one who is virtuous. In a figurative sense, a sadhu is someone who has devoted his life to the good and who lives as a monk, as a renunciation, in order to experience the highest truth and to help others to experience it too. Of course, sadhu does not mean that someone is perfect.

Precisely because nowadays the word "sadhu" is no longer linked to real goodness, but simply to an orange robe and the vow of renunciation, you never know whether someone who poses as a sadhu is really good. Someone can even wear orange clothes without ever having an initiation. Therefore, when you are in India you have to be a little careful. Not everyone in orange is a saint, and not everyone who claims they have enlightenment has achieved it.

But the word "sadhu" itself means someone who is centered on the truth, someone who is anchored in the truth, a good one, a righteous one. Today the word sadhu means renounced, monk. One could also speak of a female sadhu and thus of a nun, but that is less common. There are also female swamis, but they are more often part of a larger community. But I also know a few female sadhus who also lived or had lived lonely in the cave as women for many years and decades, and who have thus reached very high levels of consciousness.

The story of a sadhu

Article from Swami Sivananda's book "Yoga in Daily Life"

A sadhu was badly beaten by a man and lay unconscious on the ground. An impeccable pious householder (grihasti) took pity on the sadhu and took him to his house in a carriage. He gave him some milk in small sips so that the sadhu gradually came to. After a few hours he was fully conscious again.

The pious Grihasti asked the sadhu: "Who actually hit you?" - The sadhu replied: "The one who gave me milk hit me." The Grihasti was very astonished, even amazed, at this answer. He couldn't understand the meaning of the words (continued below).

The sadhu then explained to the grihasti the laws of fate, the laws of prarabdha, the laws of action and reaction. He said: "God is everything. God does everything. God is just. God does everything for our best. God is the right judge. God is worthy and justly punishes. Therefore we should bear everything with a cool heart."

The grihasti followed the sadhu's example, became a pious man, and attained peace and mukti. Every time you have trouble, if you are concerned, if you get into a dilemma, repeat in your mind the formula: "God is everything. God does everything. God acts justly. God acts for my good." Then your troubles will fade. You will find peace in a moment. Just practice and feel it for yourself.

Copyright Divine Life Society


Bijoy Krishna Goswami - A sadhu

The Sanskrit terms "sadhu" ("good man") and sadhvi ("good woman") refer to people who renounce the world and who have chosen to live apart from or on the margins of society in order to rely on theirs focus on one's own spiritual practice.

The words come from the Sanskrit root, which means something like "achieve one's goal", "pave the way" or "gain power over". The same root is used in the word sadhana, which means "spiritual practice". "Sadhu" can also be used as Vidhyartha, which means: "Make good happen".

Sadhu rituals

Sadhus are sannyasa or renunciations who have left all material attachments behind and live in caves, forests and temples all over India and Nepal. A sadhu is usually called "Baba" by ordinary people. The word Baba also means father, grandfather or uncle in many Indian languages. Sometimes the respectful suffix "-ji" is added to Baba to show the renouncer even more respect. It is also an expression of tenderness for little boys.

There are four to five million sadhus in India right now and they are valued for their holiness and sometimes feared for their curses. It is also believed that the sadhus' renunciation practice helps them burn off their karma, as well as that of the general community. Because they therefore benefit society, sadhus are supported by many people through donations. However, worship of sadhus is by no means general in India. In the past and present, sadhus are often viewed with a degree of suspicion, especially among the rural population of India. Nowadays, posing as a sadhu can be a means of generating income for non-believing beggars, especially in the well-known pilgrimage sites.

There are naked (Digambara or "sky-clad") sadhus who wear their hair as thick dreadlocks, called jata. Aghora sadhus (aghori) say that spirits keep them company and they live in cemeteries as part of their sacred path. Indian culture tends to emphasize an infinite number of paths to God, including sadhus, and so all varieties of sadhus have their place.

A well-known feature of the sadhu rituals is their use of marijuana (known as caras or charas) as a form of the holy of holies, in accordance with their worship of Shiva, who is believed to have worshiped the leaves of the plant or had an affinity to them. The plant is widely used during the Shivaratri celebrations.

Sadhu sects

Sadhus engage in a variety of religious practices. Some practice extreme asceticism while others focus on praying, singing, or meditating. Within the sadhu community there are two main groups of sects: Shaiva sadhus, ascetics who are devoted to Shiva and Vaishnava sadhus, renunciators who are devoted to (Vishnu) and / or his incarnations including Rama and Krishna. Shakta sadhus devoted to Shakti are less numerous. Within these main groups there are numerous sects and sub-sects that reflect different lineages and philosophical schools and traditions (often referred to as "sampradayas").

The Dashanami Sampradaya are smartists. Sadhus in this sect take one of ten names to designate their initiation. The sect is said to have been founded by the philosopher and ascetic Adi Shankara, who is believed to have lived in the 8th century AD, although the complete history of the sect's founding is unclear. Among them was Naga, a naked sadhu known for carrying weapons such as tridents, swords, sticks, and spears. They are said to have acted as an armed order to protect Hindus and as a result were involved in a range of military countermeasures. Although generally around nonviolence these days, some groups are known to practice wrestling and martial arts. Their meetings are still called "Chhavni" or armed camps, and sometimes sham duels are still held between them.

While sadhus ostensibly leave traditional castes behind for their initiation, the caste origins of the new members influence the sect to which they are admitted. Certain ascetic groups, such as the dandis within the Dashnami Sampradaya, are composed entirely of men of Brahmin origin, while other groups allow people from a wide range of caste origins.

Female sadhus (sadhis) exist in many sects. In many cases the women who accept renunciation are widows, and these types of sadhvis often live withdrawn lives in abstinent communities. Sadhvis are sometimes viewed by some as manifestations or forms of the goddess or devi and are worshiped as such. There have been a number of charismatic sadhvis who have achieved fame as religious teachers in contemporary India, such as Anandamayi Ma, Sarada Devi, Amma, and Karunamayi.

How to become a sadhu

The processes and rituals of becoming a sadhu vary from sect to sect. In almost all sects, a sadhu is initiated by a guru who assigns the initiate a new name and a mantra (or sacred sound or phrase). This mantra is generally known only to the sadhu and the guru and can be repeated by the initiate as part of a meditative practice.

Becoming a sadhu is a path that millions follow. It is believed to be the fourth stage in a Hindu's life, after study, fatherhood, and pilgrimage, but for most it is not a practical option. In order to become a sadhu, a person needs Vairagya. Vairagya is the pursuit of achieving something by leaving the world (cutting off family, social, and earthly attachments).

A person who wants to become a sadhu must first find a guru. There he or she has to perform "Guruseva", which means service. The guru decides whether the person is fit to take on sannyasa by observing the shiyshya (disciple). When the person is qualified, Guru Upadesha (which means teaching) is made. Only in this way does the person transform into a sannyasa or sadhu. There are different types of sannyasas in India that follow different sampradaya. But all sadhus have a common goal: to achieve moksha, liberation.

Living as a sadhu is a difficult lifestyle. Sadhus are considered dead in themselves and are legitimately dead to the land of India. They may have to attend their own funeral ritual before following a guru for many years, serving him in menial activities until they have the experience necessary to leave his guidance.

While life in renunciation is described as the fourth stage in life in the classical Sanskrit literature of the Hindu tradition and members of various sects - especially those dominated by initiates with a Brahmin background - typically lived as householders and family founders before When they became sadhu, many sects are composed of men who renounced life at a young age, often in their late teens or early twenties. In a few cases, would-be renunciates become those who choose the sadhu life to flee from family or financial situations that they consider intolerable. When there are worldly debts to be paid back, the guru urges them to settle those debts before they become sadhu.

In 1970 the first person from the west became a sadhu, Baba Rampuri.


The harshness of the sadhu life prevents many from following the sadhu path. Practices such as the obligatory early morning bath in the cold mountains require a detachment from general luxury goods. After the bath, the sadhus gather around the dhuni or the holy fire place and begin with their prayers and meditation for the day. Some sadhus donate healing to the local community, remove evil eyes, or bless a marriage. They are a reminder of divinity for the average Hindu. They are allowed to use all trains for free and are a solid organization.

Kumbha Mela, a mass gathering of sadhus from across India, takes place every three years at one of four locations along India's sacred rivers, including the sacred Ganges. In 2007 it was held in Nasik, Maharashtra. Peter Owen-Jones filmed an episode of Extreme Pilgrim during the event. It took place again in Haridwar in 2010. Sadhus of all sects take part in this meeting. Millions of pilgrims who are not sadhus also take part in the festivals. The Kumbha Mela is the largest gathering of people for a single religious purpose on the planet. The last Kumbha Mela began on January 14, 2013 in Allahabad. At the festival, the sadhus are the biggest crowd-pullers, many of them completely naked with ash-smeared bodies that plunge into the cold water at dawn.

The lives of sadhus in India today are vastly different. Sadhus live in ashrams and temples in the middle of large urban centers, in huts on the outskirts of towns, in caves in remote mountains. Others live a life of constant pilgrimage, ceaselessly moving from one city, one sacred place to another, another, while others live in large communal institutions. For some sadhus, the brotherhood or sisterhood of ascetics is very important.

The rigor of spiritual practice that today's sadhus engage in also varies considerably. In addition to the very few who practice the most dramatic, most impressive deprivations, such as standing on one leg for years or remaining silent for dozens of years, most sadhus engage in some kind of religious practice: divine worship, hatha yoga, fasting, etc. For many Sadhus is the consumption of certain forms of cannabis in accordance with a religious meaning. Sadhus occupy a unique and important place in Hindu society, especially in localities and small towns that are more traditional.

In addition to giving religious instructions and blessings to laypeople, sadhus are often called in to resolve disputes between individuals or to intervene in conflicts within families. Sadhus are also living embodiments of the divine, images in the Hindu view of human life as it really is - religious enlightenment and liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

Although some ascetic sects own property to support their members, most sadhus depend on donations from lay people. Poverty and hunger are ubiquitous realities for many sadhus.

Different spellings for sadhu

Sanskrit words are written in Devanagari in India. In order for Europeans to be able to read this, Devanagari is transcribed into Roman script. There are various conventions on how Devanagari can be transcribed into Roman script. Sadhu in Devanagari is written "साधु", in IAST scientific transcription with diacritical marks "sādhu", in Harvard-Kyoto transcription "sAdhu", in Velthuis transcription "saadhu" , in modern Internet Itrans transcription "sAdhu".

Video on the subject of sadhu

Sadhu is a Sanskrit word. Sanskrit is the language of yoga. Here is a lecture on yoga, meditation and spirituality

Similar Sanskrit words as sadhu

Here are some links to Sanskrit words that either have a similar meaning in Sanskrit or in German as Sadhu or in German or Sanskrit in the alphabet before or after Sadhu:


More information on Sanskrit and Indian languages

Summary German Sanskrit - Sanskrit German

Sanskrit Sadhu - German straight, right, wholesome, capable, good, excellent, noble, good, m honest man, for a good woman, n the straight, right, good; adv straight on, right, tidy, good, right, bravo, (as an exclamation), with
German straight, right, wholesome, capable, good, excellent, noble, good, m honest man, for a good woman, n the straight, right, good; adv straight on, right, tidy, good, right, bravo, (as an exclamation), with Sanskrit Sadhu
Sanskrit - German Sadhu - straight, right, wholesome, capable, good, excellent, noble, good, m honest man, for a good woman, n the straight, right, good; adv straight on, right, tidy, good, right, bravo, (as an exclamation), with
German - Sanskrit straight, right, wholesome, capable, good, excellent, noble, good, m honest man, for a good woman, n the straight, right, good; adv straight on, right, tidy, good, right, bravo, (as an exclamation), with - Sadhu

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