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Published on 03 Oct 2011 | over 5 years ago

A place considered dreadful by others is home for Aghoris - The Hindu cremation ground. Do not confuse the Aghori sect for Hinduism which covers a more straight-forward arc between Sanatam Dharm and Arya Samaj and a lot more conservatism in between.

Out of the various sects found in India, the most extreme and most feared of all are the Aghoris. The word Aghori in Sanskrit directly translates to "non terrifying". The term Aghori is derived from the Sanskrit word Aghor which has various meanings. Aghor means "not difficult" or "non terrible" in one perspective and on the other it means absence of darkness. Aghor implies a simple and natural state of consciousness, in which there is no fear or disgust but on the contrary, the Aghoris have rituals that are seen as being disgusting and are feared by common people. As per the Aghori sect, the true meaning of the term Aghori is one 'who is fearless and who does not discriminate'.

Aghori sadhus are associated with cannibalism and rituals using human skulls and animal sacrifices.The practice of cannibalism and animal or human sacrifices are mostly related to Tantric rites of the Sakta worshippers of Devi, the Mother Goddess in any of her various forms be it Kali, Durga or Chamunda.

The Kamakhya Temple situated on top of the Nilachal Hill, in Guwahati in North-East India, is the centre of widely practiced, powerful tantric or black magic cult in India. Legend has it that the Temple of Kamakhya Devi, consort of Lord Shiva, came into existence when the Lord was carrying the corpse of his wife, and her Yoni, or female genitalia fell to the ground at the spot where the temple now stands. The Ambubachi mela, the second largest religious congregation of people in the world, is held at the temple every year during the monsoon season as the devotees believe that the Goddess Kamakhya goes through her menstrual cycle at that time. Therefore the temple remains closed for 3 days. On the fourth day the temple reopens and thousands of devotees and sadhus of all sects make a mad rush to receive the unique and highly powerful Prasad which is comprised of small bits of cloth, supposedly moist with the menstrual fluid of Goddess Kamakhya. Many of the Aghoris come here during this time before starting their initiation, for the blessings of Goddess Kamakhya.

The life of an Aghori Sadhu is not easy. There are certain rules one must follow to become an Aghori...

• Firstly, an Aghori must find a teacher and do what the teacher tells him to.

• An Aghori must find a human skull known as a 'Kapala' and use only this as his food bowl before initiation.

• An Aghori must apply the ash of a pyre to his body during meditation.

The final part of the ritual requires eating of rotten human flesh, and also meditating while sitting on a dead corpse, symbolizing the rise from 'Shava to Shiva'.

Many of the Aghoris roam around naked, representing the true human form and their detachment from this world of mortals who according to them live in a world of illusion or "Maya". These Aghoris eat things like rotten food, leftover food from garbage dumps, and more... The more they blur the line between clean and unclean, holy and unholy, good and bad, the more powers they obtain.

The Aghori gurus believe that a true aghori should break all ties with family and friends and all earthly possessions. He should live his entire life at the cremation ground and eat and drink only through the kapala.

The Aghoris - feared by others, they embrace their own outcaste status.The Aghoris of India - with rituals and powers beyond the human imagination, with mysterious practices but also with the philosophy of a simple, unfettered and uncluttered life...

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