“Akal mritue vo mare jo kam kare chandal ka, kaal b uska kya kare jo bhakt ho Mahakaal ka”
Death presents an unknown element that speaks of a certain but unknown future, yet remains an untouchable predicament in the present. The future is and always will be an unknown experience, a reality that will not be known until it is made present, yet it guides the force of intentionality. Nestled on the banks of the Ganges River in North India is one of the holiest and renowned places for pilgrimage: Varanasi or Benares. Benares has been considered the cultural, spiritual and religious metropolis of northern India for centuries. Delving into the history of Benares, the city was referred to as Kasi or Kashi, “the luminous one” in a symbolic appreciation of the city’s prominence for the arts and culture. It is also believed that Lord Shiva, the destroyer of the universe in Hindu cosmology, created the city, therefore making Benares the most religious hub of India. The Aghori are a Hindu sect believed to have split off from the Kapalika order (which dates from 1000 AD) Their origin is based off of Hinduism. The root of aghoris are as old as Hinduism itself, but the sect in its present form has its origin in Kinaram, he was an aghori ascetic and lived for about 150yrs. He was believed to be the incarnation of lord Shiva. He attained many siddhis through tapas and rituals and then helped the people with his siddhis.
There is a temple in Varanasi for this baba and is the most sacred for the aghoris. Some also trace the root to Dattatreya. The word “Aghora” implies several meanings: deeper than deep, illumined, or the absence of darkness. From a spiritual and trans-personal perspective, the word Aghora is the transformation of darkness into light; a transformation of the finite human consciousness inton the effulgence of the Absolute Reality or the Whole. Aghora is the apotheosis of Tantra, the Indian religion whose Supreme Deity is the Mother Goddess Kaali. Most Hindus don’t believe that the Aghori are not Hindu because their practices are tabooed(disliked). This religion takes place mostly in Varanasi a city in Indian, but there are other places in the world that people practice this religion including America. The word Aghor is a noun in that it derives from the name of the fifth face of Shiva, the Aghor face. It forms a compound noun with the word tradition, thus becoming “Aghor tradition.” Aghori ascetics belong to the Aghora discipline and consider themselves devotees of the Hindu god Shiva. Hence, the main center of the Aghori culture is Benares. The main ashram or spiritual community of the Aghoris is situated in Benares, where Kina Ram Aghori’s samadhi (final resting place) resides—an important place for Aghori pilgrimages. Kina Ram was an ascetic who is said to have lived to approximately 150 years of age during the second half of the eighteenth century, and recognized as an incarnation of the Hindu god Shiva. The Aghoris have been a relatively secretive sect in India, drawing attention from curious outsiders and spectators because of their understandably aberrant and inappropriate behaviors and rituals. Consumption of intoxicants such as alcohol and marijuana, intake of human and animal flesh and secretions (which is more ritualistic), meditating upon corpses, the adorning of skulls and bones and Dead-bodies are some of the explicit characteristics of the Aghori. The aghori mainly worship lord Shiva, according to the sect every human is a ‘shava’(dead body) with emotions and they should try to become ‘Shiva’ by denying the human pleasures and involving in the aghori rituals.