Naga Sadhus

Naga Sadhus – often misunderstood and jeered by the western media – are the epitome of renunciation. Nag Sadhus don’t bother whether they are misunderstood or called the naked holy men of India or ash-smeared and naked Hindu saints. They represent human beings in purity and are representatives of Lord Shiva.

The Naga Sadhus – part of a mysterious and secret society – are worshippers of Lord Shiva. Nag means ‘naked’ and they are also known as Nag Babas and Warrior-Ascetics. The mainly appear in public during the Kumbh Mela.

The order of Naga Sadhus was founded by Dattatreya and the date of founding is lost in time. Perhaps an age when humans never cared for time. Shankaracharya first organized the Nagas to protect Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism).

They never bother about the materialistic world and practice celibacy to escape from the cycle of rebirth and to merge with the Brahman. As they belong to the Shaiva sect, they have matted locks of hair and their bodies are covered in ashes like Lord Shiva.

The Nag Babas are a warrior class and are divided like a regiment in an army. They have no fear of death and when Naga Sadhus are in anger the best option is ‘to run.’ Few people on the earth can face their wrath.

The trident, sword, stick, conch shells and other weapons and musical instruments they carry symbolize their warrior status. They smoke a maijuana pipe, known as a chillum or Shiv muli.

The place where the Naga Sadhus live is called ‘Akharas.’ The member of an ‘Akhara’ should always be ready for an intellectual fight and even for wrestling.

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