What Is Sadhus?

Sadhus traditionally belongs to the fourth “practice” or stage of life, passing through the stages of disciple, layman and first monk. Although Sadhus can be divided into a million different sects, most of them follow either Lord Vishnu (Protector) or Lord Shiva (Destroyer, thus Revival). Sadhus probably lived together in monasteries (mathas), which usually belonged to a specific order. While some practices are still standard among most Hindu sages, these subgroups also have many unique traditions.

Most sadhus are content to remain humble ascetics, avoiding worldly affairs and striving for spiritual liberation. Considered the holiest being in Hinduism, Sadhus are ascetics who successfully shed all attachments to society – material, family, sexual – in search of liberation or complete freedom from ignorance and desire. Usually a sadhu is an ascetic who renounces material attachment in order to practice yoga and meditation. Derived from the Sanskrit root sadh, meaning “to correct” or “to achieve one’s goals,” the word sadhu refers to a beggar, ascetic, or any saint in Hinduism who renounces all earthly attachments and steadfastly connects with the world.

According to Hindu texts, the ultimate goal of life is to let go of worldly attachments, transcend the material self, and reconnect with God (our spiritual source), in other words, on the path of the sadhu. Through meditation and contemplation on Brahmins, Sadhu is devoted exclusively to attaining liberation (freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth), the fourth and final ashram (phase of life). At the end of the day, no matter which denomination a particular sadhu belongs to, the point of any real practice is essentially the same: being aware of the impermanence of mundane life in order to better focus on achieving the goal of oneness with God.

Becoming a sadhu is one of the life stages one has to go through. Traditionally, becoming a sannyasin or sadhu is the fourth and highest stage of life (practice) in classical Hinduism, when a man, usually over 60, leaves the world and undergoes a ritual death (and symbolic rebirth) in search of liberation .

In Hinduism, the terms sadhu, swami and sannyasi refer to hermits and spiritual teachers who typically renounce all material attachments and live in forests, temples and caves across India. The Sanskrit terms sadhu (“good man”) and sadhvi (“good woman”) refer to hermits who choose to live an independent life or the fringes of society in order to focus on their spiritual practice. Most shaivasados ​​have Tripundra markings on their foreheads, wear saffron, red or orange robes, and live monastic life.

Sadhus often wear simple clothes, such as saffron colored robes in Hinduism, white or no clothes in Jainism, to symbolize their sannyas (renunciation of worldly goods). Sadhus come from all over India and camp near the Ganges where they pray, meditate, bless, do yoga, chant mantras and engage in conversations on various topics. Sadhus may also roam the country alone or in small groups, or retire to small huts or caves.

Due to the public recognition of some sadhus as spiritual teachers and social reformers, these figures are often referred to as swamis and may not be as strict in their ascetic practices as other sadhus. Sadhus take vows of chastity and poverty, undertake ascetic practices, observe certain religious rules, survive on charity, and provide religious services to those in need. Their ascetic practices include removal from family and home, bodily markings often associated with a particular sect, wearing clothes associated with a particular sect (or partial or full exposure), growing hair on only five important parts of the body (head, upper jaw, chin, armpits, and pubic area) or full body shaving, adopting a beggarly or sedentary lifestyle, and depending on the kindness of others for day-to-day survival.

From a Hindu point of view, Sadhus is also considered to be the living embodiment of divinity and the true image of human life: religious enlightenment and liberation from the cycle of birth and death (samsara). In ancient times, Sadhuism was considered the highest form of religious life, and Sadhu’s power of repentance was so powerful that it was said that the gods gave up cosmic beauties in order to seduce them, and the generals let go of their hearts. weapons instead of combat. Against them are cities protected by “Sadu”. Sadhu sees sex as a transition from personal and intimate acts to impersonal and ascetic. According to Hindu beliefs, when a sadhu dies, he leaves his body and goes to Mount Kailash, the source of the Ganges and the hometown of Shiva (Destroyer).

The sadhu is not violent by nature, he is not easily disturbed, and he does not disturb others. Out of respect, she is also often referred to as Sadhvi which means pious woman or woman of virtue, chastity and honor. Sadhus In Haridwar, “Sadhus” are itinerant ascetics associated with a wide range of Hindu religious orders and schools.

Most of these wandering holy men are men, but women (called sadhvins, the feminine principle of sadhus) are also represented in their ranks. Millions of non-sadhu pilgrims also take part in the festivals, and the Kumbh Mela is the largest gathering of people with a single religious purpose on the planet. However, it should be noted that there are quite a few sadhus who do not smoke at all. It is also true that since there are millions of sadhus in India who follow different paths, and because some take on the form of sadhus to earn a living or deceive people, not all sadhus are treated or worshiped in the same way.

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