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Sadhu Rituals

Sadhu Rituals

Sadhus, the religious ascetics in Hinduism are dedicated to achieving 'moksha' or liberation. Achieving liberation in Hinduism marks the advent into entering the final stage of life. Currently there are 4-5 million sadhus in India.

Etymologically Sadhu is a Sanskrit word. It signifies a wise man who renounces the material possessions for attaining 'moksha'. In order to achieve the zenith of human life they live in caves, temples, forests and hill tops, practising austerity.
Sadhus are followers of the Rishis and Sages who were regarded as the bearer of ancient Vedic values, principles and ethics. It is believed that these Rishis were the masters of metaphysics, some of them even wrote the great Hindu epics. For instances include the Ramayana (legend of Lord Rama) by Sage Valmiki, the Mahabharta by Ved Vyas, the Bhagavad Gita (the Lord's Song) and many more.
The Rishis focus on attaining enlightenment through the trajectory of knowledge. They preach philosophies like

  • Advaita (non-dualism)
  • Visishtadvaita (Qualified Monism)
  • Dvaita (Dualism)
  • Dialectical Materialism

These theories help in sharpening one's spiritual acumen and gaining deep insight into life, the vicious circle of pain and sorrow, birth and death.
Sadhus belong to many different sects and orders. Most of these sects are moderate in their practices while few have stead-fast austerity measures. Some of the known extreme sects of Sadhus are the

  • Ramanandis- the largest ascetic group that worships Lord Rama and Lord Vishnu.
  • Naga Sadhus- Shaivite saints who reside in the caves in Himalayas and are known for strict austerity measures.
  • Udasin- follow the teachings of Sri Chand, the son of Guru Nanak Dev.
  • Gorakhnathis/ Yogis- Followers of Lord Shiva. Believe in the Tantric ways of worship, taught by Guru Gorakhnath.
  • Aghoris- They are known to involve in post-mortem rituals.

Following are few details about the Akharas of Naga Baba in Kumbh Mela

Akhadas of Sanyasi

  • Shri Taponidhi Niranjani Akhada Panchayati
  • Shri Panchayati Anand Akhada
  • Shri Panchadashnam Juna Akhada
  • Shri Panch Ahvan Akhada
  • Shri Agni Akhada
  • Shri Panchayat Akhada Mahanirvani
  • Shri Panch Atal Akhada

Akharas of Bajrangi

  • Shri Nirvani Akhada
  • Shri Digambar Akhada
  • Shri Nimrohi Akhada

Akharas of Nirmal

  • Shri Panchayati Akhada
  • Shri Udasin Panchayati Naya Akhada
  • Shri Nirmal Panchayati Akhada

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