The hindouists consider that the ultimate goal of any life is the Moksha , the release of the illusion ( Mâyâ ), the stop of the cycle of the rebirths and dissolution in the divine one, fusion with the cosmic conscience. This objective is seldom achieved during the life present.
The sâdhu (of the Sanskrit साधु sādhu , “man of good, holy man”) chooses food a life of holiness to accelerate this process, to carry it out at the conclusion of this life. The sâdhu are present in India since several thousands of years, perhaps since prehistory, where them role was connected that of a Chaman. At fifth century BC, the Bouddha joined them one moment in its research of the illumination, they are the gymnosophes , the naked philosophers that the Greeks of Alexandre Large the cross while penetrating in the Indian world. It seems that their number largely developed at the 13th century.
It is generally considered that they form 0,5 % of the Indian population, is four to five million people.
The sâdhu are renonçants, they cut any bond with their family, do not have anything or little things, getting dressed with a longhi , a tunic, color saffron for the shivaïtes, yellow or white for the vishnouites, symbolizing holiness, and sometimes of some collars, they do not have a roof and pass their life to be moved on the and highways to India Nepal, nourishing gifts of the excessively pious people.
In their search for absolute, the sâdhu practice typed , recitations of Mantra S , ritual magic, control of the breath, Yoga unifying the body and the heart, sexual abstinence, wish of silence, Méditation or mortifications, these mortifications that Bouddha will refuse like fallacious defining his average way. The practice of the typed is supposed to increase their spiritual energy allowing them to reach a statute of almost-gods. Sexual energy being a major source of this spiritual energy, the abstinence thus makes it possible to increase it.
A great number of them consume Haschich ritually, as Shiva is supposed to do it, to tear the veil of the Maya , which is tolerated by the Indian State which however prohibits this use in its law. Others however refuse this consumption which they consider opposite with their ideal.
The sâdhu shivaïtes rub their body with ashes, symbols of died and rebirth. To the image of Shiva, they carry their extremely long hair.
The allegiance of the sâdhu to Shiva or Vishnou is recognized by the traditional marks that they paint on their face and sometimes by the color of their clothing. It is able to them to clash at the time of the Kumbhamelâ for problems of precedence, each one claiming to enter the first holy water.
Beside the desire of spiritual research, the original reasons which push to choose the life of sâdhu can be very diverse: to flee its Caste, because the saints men do not recognize them, to escape a painful marital status, with a calamitous economic situation, but also for a woman with the infamy of widowhood, with the result that there exists, although of quite less number (10 % of the population sâdhu ), the sâdhu women or sâdhvi (साध्वी sādhvī ). This is why, one meets few sâdhvi of an young age, contrary to the male chela , the pupils of the sâdhu , which can be of all young boys.
The belief wants that the sadhus obtain certain capacities (siddhis) like the levitation, invisibility, the capacity to grow, live without eating nourishing energy and to go on water.
The important sects shivaïte S of sâdhu
Naga BabaThe Naga (which means “naked”) Baba form a sect shivaïte warriors ascetics. Their existence is probably very old and, contrary to the others sâdhu , they vindicatory, are organized into seven will akhara , i.e. in regiments and enter easily in conflict with the other sects. They fought even militarily against the Musulmans then against the British. They often raise weapons, maintaining symbolic systems rather, like swords, sticks, lances and especially the three-pronged fork, a sign of Shiva.
As their name indicates it, they often exempt whole clothing, as the monks Jaïna will digambara, who are them non-violent. They are specialists in the mortification of their penis, often attaching to it very heavy masses with an aim of the désexualiser, practical attested by the abbot Dubois, one of the first indianists. Their body is coated ashes coming from fire crowned extreme day and night in the honor of Shiva, or better, receuillies on the spot of cremation. Ash is what remains when a body was consumed: the ego is destroyed. The sadhu thus protest their detachment of the businesses of the world.
GorakhnathiGorakhnathis or Nath babas follows the lesson tantric of the founder of their Gorakhnath sect (perhaps around the year millet), which they regard as an incarnation of Shiva and which is the traditional author of the first treaty, now lost, of Hatha Yoga. Their sect are supposed as old as the world and Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva were the first disciples of Gorakhnath at once after creation. Gorakhnathis carry the kundala , a ring with the ear which one bores during a strongly ritualized ceremony. They request also Hanuman and Dattatreya. Their principal center is Gorakhpur in the Uttar Pradesh.
UdasinThe Udasin ascetics or wire of Nanak are neither followers of Shiva, nor even of origin hindouist because they belong to the religion Sikh. The sect was founded by Shrichandra the son of Gurû Nanak, the founder of Sikhisme and its members venerate it as well as the panchayatana , a group of 5 divinities: Shiva, Vishnou, Surya, Durga and Ganesh since they turned to the hindouism when the second gurû sikh excommunicated them. In the event of conflict between sects, they line up at the sides of the shivaïtes.
See also: Aghori
Aghori form most extreme of the sects of sâdhu , founded by Kina RAM, an ascetic of the 18th century. They seek the illumination while following, among the behaviors of Shiva, those which are regarded as more except standards. Enough very few nowadays, a score alive with Vârânasî close to the tomb of their Gurû, they owed the being much in the past, probably 2 to 300 at the end of the 19th century.
Contrary to the other ascetics, and even by the large majority of the Hindus, they are not vegetarians and consume alcohol. With the image of Shiva, they live on the surfaces of cremation, live naked or draped in a shroud. One allots practices of absolute impurity to them, like the meat consumption in decomposition, their excrements and of their urine, the meditation installed on corpses, the copulation with prostitutes during their menses. In this last case, it would be about a rite tantric by which they would be incarnated with their partner in Shiva and Kâlî. In fact, Aghori think that the extremes are identical and that the Hindu traditional distinction between pure and impure is only the result of Mâyâ, the illusion of which they want to be released.
They like to be surrounded by symbols of death, in particular of human craniums which they use as containers with drinking and like ritual instruments.
The important sects Vaishnava S of sâdhu
RamanandiRamanandi form a sect created following the teaching of the philosopher Ramananda (15th century. They are called also Vairâgî, those which the world indiffère , and Avadhûta, those which gave up all . They practice the Bhakti of Râma and Sita.
- the site of the author of a book on the sâdhus (in English and Dutch)
- sâdhus on the site '' pondichery.com '' (in French)
- the role of the sadhu in the Hindu company on the site of eli, " India where I vis"
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