The Aghori is considered to be a religious cult that broke away from the overarching Hindu religion in the 14th century AD. In Hindu mythology, it is believed that everything emanates from “Brahman” and that no evil exists.
Aghori followers take this interpretation further by believing that everything is god and to abandon anything is sacrilege. This belief manifests itself into crude rituals, particularly their practice of dwelling near cremation grounds and eating the corpse of the deceased. The term Aghori is basically an Indian concept. This usually refers to sadhus who have powers that are supernatural. The Aghori involves in post mortem rituals. They deal with the dead and that makes them social outcast. There are many stories that have been doing rounds about the Aghori and what they are capable of. The Aghori lives in places where no living being will enter.
They do not fear the dead or death. They can be found in places where human bodies are cremated or burnt as per Hindu customs. They smear the ashes of human bodies on their own body. They can be seen holding a human skull. This is also true that many Hindu gods like Lord Shiva and Goddess Kali can also be seen holding skulls. The Aghori is seldom liked by the normal people and they prefer to stay away from them. The beliefs and activities of the Aghori are quite against the Hindu religious sentiments. Some say that the Aghori can cure many diseases using their powers to heal. These powers are acquired as the Aghori lives in haunted houses and often use the ghosts and the spirits for this healing. The Aghori involves in a lot of sadhna and tamasic rituals that make their practices quite difficult to follow and understand. They are not even tantric. They are beyond all these and much more powerful at times. The Aghori belive that Lord Shiva is the one who is responsible for all that is happening around us. He is the one who controls all the conditions and effects. This is why even death and dead bodies are perfect and they must be accepted and appreciated in some form. If we do this we will be able to appreciate the sacredness of life and its manifestations. The word Aghor literally means, that which is not difficult or terrible.
Aghor is simple and natural state of consciousness. There is no place for feelings of fear, hatred, disgust or discrimination in the eyes of an Aughar. Aperson who practices these virtues may be designated as an Aughar. With constant practice when the soul isestablished in that state, such a person becomes an Avadhuta regardless of his path. An Aghoreshwar is an Avadhut who has gone through all the various stages of Aghor and then has returned to society for the benefit of others. Even though an Aghoreshwar remains above and beyond all social and material illusions, distinctions, and categories, he can bring many social reforms into effect. Realizing his divine nature, retaining the carefree, unattached Aghor state of being, he may have at the same time the appearance of one observing the contemporary social norm rather than a recluse.
The term Aghor goes back to the farthest reaches of time. One of the five faces of Shiva was known as Aghor. The word is as old as Shiva himself. In the SHIVA PURANA, one of India’s oldest legends, there is a hymn to the glory of Shiva by Pushpadanta, head of the Gandharvas, called the Shiva Mahimnah Stotram.
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