Adi Shankaracharya had formed the first Akhada in Hinduism. An Akhada is a group of holy men who are defenders of Hindu faith – who are physically, intellectually and spiritually strong. The most famous Akhada that most people are aware of are that of the Naga Sadhus. Now an all-female Akhada has been formed in
Mahant Trikal Bhavanta, a leading woman sadhu, told AFP late Friday that the all-women akhada was believed to be the first in the history of Hinduism in
An akhada is a group of sadhus -- reclusive ascetics or wandering monks who renounce normal life and are often widely respected for their holiness.
Indiahas more than a dozen such groups, all male-dominated.
Bhavanta said the all-women group was facing criticism from male sadhus, who claim the move goes against age-old customs.
"Nowhere in the Hindu scriptures is it mentioned that women cannot have an akhada of their own," she told AFP.
"We are facing criticism from men because the move ensures that from now on, sanyasins (women sadhus) will also stand to rise in the seers' hierarchy and the subjugation of women in the akhada system run by men will end," Bhavanta added.
Those who become women sadhus and renounce possessions in a quest for enlightenment are often widows.
Bhavanta said her akhada would participate with its own flag in the Maha Kumbh to be held in
next year. Nasik