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Understanding the Naga Sadhus

If you are interested in learning and knowing about the Naga Sadhus, then an article published in the Deccan Herald by Narendra Kaushik provides a basic introduction into the life of Naga Sadhus – How people become Naga Sadhus, initiation, their aim, the Naga Sadhu organizations or Akharas, the nudity, their congregation during Kumbha Mela, the shahi snan and the naked bath during kumba mela and much more….

Here are some excerpts from the article titled ‘The bare facts’

“Don’t you feel the cold?” encouraged by the affable smile of the Naga. “Who says I don’t? But there is no alternate. An ascetic is supposed to bear it,” he claims,

…nudity helps Nagas to be blasé to the material world. Interestingly, only Shree Digambaras, unshaven and carrying swords, among the ascetics live naked around the year. The rest of the Nagas walk naked only for the royal bath during the Kumbh fair.

Shree Digambaras and Digambaras live in caves in Himalayas and at other camps spread in different parts of country and only come down to Haridwar for the bath. In their absence, the sprawling ashrams, temples, orchards and other properties of the akharas are managed by the akharas respective secretaries and shree mahants.

The initiation of four categories of ascetics — Naga, Sanyasi, Mahapurush and devotee — take place at the hands of acharya mahamandleshwar during the Kumbh melas, organised at Allahabad, Ujjain, Nashik and Haridwar alternately after every three years.

You can read the rest of this informative article on Naga Sadhus here at Deccan Heralad.