Nagababas/Sadhus of India

1504AOn the other side. A life without attachment of any sorts.IMG_1607
To attain moksha (liberation). But a fascination for golden watch if you notice.IMG_1615
A popular characteristic of Sadhu ritualism is their use of marijuana in line with their worship of Shiva who was believed to have an adoration or affinity for the leaves of the plant.IMG_1467
The rigor of the spiritual practices in which contemporary sadhus engage in dramatic, striking austeritiesβ€”for example, standing on one leg for years on end or remaining silent for a dozen yearsIMG_1043
Kumbh Mela is the largest gathering of human beings for a single religious purpose on the planet; the most recent Kumbh Mela started on 14 January 2013, at Allahabad.
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47 thoughts on “Nagababas/Sadhus of India

  1. I’m glad you saw fit to mention the watch. It would seem, to me at least, that keeping track of the time would be at odds with one seeking “liberation” or a Life without attachments of any sort.

    Individuals who commit themselves to choices like this always cause inner conflict for me. While admiring their strength of resolve I am, at the same time, frustrated at what seems almost a renunciation of Life.

    I will always be, wherever I may find myself, a stranger in a strange land.

    • You caught me. In fact that’s my only input as far as text is concerned. I just couldn’t bring my thoughts together to write anything about them, just random stuff basically not impressed. I find the 8 to 5 working class striving to keep their family together more courageous with stronger resolve.
      It’s easy to renounce the world, damn tough to pay taxes!

      • Yes, I’d certainly agree.

        Still, I can’t help imagining that amongst the pretenders there might be a genuine ascetic who actually may achieve a higher awareness or even enlightenment.

        After all, it’s the trappings of the consumerist material world and our addiction to it that has made Life so difficult for “…the 8 to 5 working class striving to keep their family together…” and brought our entire species to the brink of extinction.

        • πŸ™‚ I’m glad you made this point. Let’s return to what you said in your previous comment. “Stranger in a strange world”. That’s it.
          Richard, the day we figure the balance, take good points from both sections i.e. the working class and ascetic will be our day of enlightenment or perhaps it is not for us to find out or balance, it will reveal. Not just us, everyone no exception is seeking the truth, right or wrong way that’s not for us to judge.
          That you have to take care of your dad, must have altered many aspirations of yours but it makes you more larger than life for me than an enlightened ascetic. As of now, that counts.

          • I’m not so sure “everyone” is seeking the truth Arjun. There seem to be those among us who are very certain that they already “know” the truth and furthermore that their truth is the one and only.

            It seems to me that truth will only reveal itself to those who continue to seek it regardless of what they may have learned so far. I think it is a great error to imagine that one has ever found “the answer”. Every good answer should produce at least one new question.

            Sometimes I think that enlightenment may simply be an endless quest for truth, which is in itself the goal and not a process of ascendency. Perhaps it is the realisation and acceptance of that quest that is enlightenment.

            I don’t know. I’m still learning.

            I know I may be splitting hairs and I apologise for being a “nit picker”, but I don’t “have to” take care of my father. I choose to do so. The reasons are manifold but it all adds up to simply doing what is right. This is my journey for now. I will take what it offers me and continue it until it is done.

            What comes next will doubtless teach me something new. Perhaps it will be a visit to india, to travel the countryside and learn still more.

            Every day is, in reality, a blank slate. Anything can happen and “…chance favours only the prepared mind”.

          • Consider this Richard, We all do, we may not necessarily confess or talk about it. Success, power, ignorance/ego is blinding but we wake up in the morning to our conscious, we all do. Some ponder for a while, some instantly hide behind a mask. Anyway, let that be.
            I agree. The quest is ongoing and you beautifully answered it for both of us. Knowing/Acceptance is good enough.
            You chose hence you are my hero and I’m glad you consider India worth a visit. You got me.
            Love the quote. We are on the right path, at least you are.

  2. I read more on the Wikipedia you provided. It was all very interesting and I even found women could join this practice. I gave much thought and consideration until I came across the obligatory early morning bath in the cold mountains.

    Could you recommend something else?

  3. I’ll raise my glass of tea to you, I used my last quarter on something else. oh wait if you toss me down on the table that man in the green shirt will give you his quarter.

  4. Arjun, this is so dynamic in an unassuming way. Yet, there is the gold watch! This was so interesting. I love our global world and learning more about our beliefs, rituals, and humanity πŸ™‚
    Thank you!

  5. Fascinating post and again, wonderful images to tell the story. And the juxtaposition of the watch was great- I guess we all have to have a little bling in our lives-One of the things I really enjoy about your images is how you capture the contradictions and paradoxes of life-no matter the culture-Keep up the good work-

  6. Naga is a misnomer, it doesn’t means naked. The true Naga tribe (not of Nagaland) is one of the oldest tribe in India, like Santhals, Bhils, Gonds, etc.
    In Allahabad’s Kumbh Mela fake Nagas were created for few days on hire for just 500 Rs per day.

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