Role of Sadhus in Hindu Religion



Sadhus and swamis are not Hindu religious officials. Compared with Christianity, they are the counterpart of the hermit monk, not the minister. In fact, it is considered inauspicious (unlucky) for a sadhu to show up at a Hindu wedding, for he represents celibacy and infertility.

The Hindu attitude toward asceticism has always been ambivalent. On the one hand, there is a genuine regard for hermits and wandering ascetics and a desire to gain spiritual merit by feeding religious mendicants. On the other hand, the fact that fringe members of society may find a sort of respectable status among Saiva ascetics often led to a decline in the moral reputation of the latter.

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