Naga Sadhus are the ultimate advertisement for living a life that is in sync with all of nature.  The western world and the westernized sections of Indian media are obsessed with their nakedness and forget to see them for their amazing grace and powerful existence. At a time when majority of the society is stuck in a consumerist mode and has no control over the impact they create on themselves and the environment, the Naga Sadhus physically portray the possibility of living blissfully with the least number of physical accessories.   Their weapons and powers are never used for aggression and used only to defend. Their immense internal strength and powers makes them non violent. All violence is the expression of your inner feeling of weakness.

Naga Sadhus are seen in large numbers during the Kumbh Mela.  It is about time human beings took a second look at the majority world view versus the possibilities that Naga Sadhus represent.

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How Did the Naga Sadhus Come Into Being?

The order of Naga Sadhus was founded by Dattatreya.  The time when the order was found in not known.  Our tradition used to record aspects that are critical for human consciousness to evolve.  Later, Shankaracharya organized the Nagas to protect Sanatana Dharma.

Sanatan Dharma is the lifestyle that expands our consciousness. In the modern day, Sanatan Dharma has been classified as Hinduism.  The founders of this set of tenets saw this as applicable for all human beings and has no foundation in artificial divisions of human beings based on religion.

Only Liberation: Without Any Identity Crisis

Naga 03Modern society is stuck with creating name and fame for oneself and for their near and extended families.  A glance at political and business families will reinforce this statement.

Naga Sadhus on the contrary have no need to reinforce their identity.  They are dissolved in their Bhakti (devotion) for Mahadeva (Shiva).  They smear their body with sacred ash or bhasma.  Sacred ash denotes the fleeting nature of life.  Smearing it on their body symbolizes that the body is ephemeral and is a reminder of the critical and immediate need for a human being to seek what is permanent and one’s true Self.

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The Ones Unmoved by Lust

The proliferation of pornography in whichever medium human beings have invented shows the unabated nature of lust in human society.  Internet is the latest on this list of mediums.

Naga Sadhus know that lust is a powerful energy which, when transformed, can be channelized to achieve the peak possibility of awakening the latent kundalini energy and merging with pure consciousness.  The naga sadhus practice strict celibacy to achieve the highest states of consciousness.

A Life of Aparigraha or Non-Possessiveness

The per-capita carbon footprint is an indication of the extent of material comfort that human beings seek.  The so-called developed countries are those that have the maximum consumption.  If the world population were to live with the per-capita energy utilisation as that of USA, we will need nine earths to satisfy that demand – completely unsustainable.

Naga sadhus are like Mahadeva. Mahadeva is the emodiment of non-possessiveness. He keeps all the useless things for himself and gives away the best things to the society. During the churning of the Milky Ocean, the best fragrant flower treeswere given to the Devathas; Shyamantaka jewellery was given to Lord Vishnu, Devi Lakshmi was given to Lord Vishnu as well.

Mahadeva kept only one thing for himself – poison! The Halahala poison that came out of the ocean was swallowed by Mahadeva. His ornaments are the snakes which drink that poison.  Same way, Naga sadhus keep all the useless things of the society with themselves.  They do not even wear a dress.  They did not keep the best things with themselves. But all the best things they gave to society.  They don’t bother about the materialistic world.

The Most Non Violent Group of Human Beings

Because they do not want anything that someone has, the Nagas are the most peaceful of humans. They have no enemies since they do not value even their lives.  They leave the least destructive impact on the mother earth.  At the same time they do not fear anyone. Society portrays them as fearful because society controls us by fear and greed. The Nagas – who are not bound by either – strike terror at the hearts of the system that is based on command and control. But in reality there is no group of people who are as non violent as the Nagas.  Their weapon and powers are only used for self defense. Their inner strength makes them non violent. Since violence always comes from the inner feeling of weakness. The strong are never violent.

Great Yogis in the Modern Times

The Nagas are known to perform great acts of penance that would seem impossible to normal human beings.  Many do things like spend years with one hand raised into the air, standing on one leg or lying on a bed of thorns. Some sadhus bury themselves neck-deep in sand, mediate for hours while suspended from a rope or have been silent for years.

  • Sadhus sometimes even bury their head, a feat of breath control that requires mastery of yoga techniques. In 1837, a yogi named Hari Das war buried alive without air, food, liquid or any attention, After being excavated he was easily revived and went on to live a long life.
  • One sadhu at the Pushkar Fair became famous for lifting a 35-kilogram brick with his penis.
  • Some sadhus are said to have the ability to talk with monkeys. Sometimes they are sought out by people for help keeping monkeys from raiding their gardens.
  • According to the Guinness Book of Records, the silent Indian fakir Mastram Bapu stayed in the same spot by a road in the village of Chitra for 22 years, from 1960 to 1982. Swami Maujgiri Maharaja stood for 17 years (from 1955 to November 1973) performing Tapasya(penance) in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. When sleeping, he leaned against a plank
  • According to the Guinness Book of Records, Radhey Shyam Prajapati stood motionless for world record of 18 hours, 5 minutes and 5 seconds in January 1996. Rajikumar Chakraborty did the static wall sit (Samson’c chair) for 11 hours and 5 minutes at the Panposh Sports Hostel in April 1994.

Modern society deals with all sorts of lifestyle induced diseases like diabetes, hypertension etc.  Au contraire, naga sadhus train on yogic practices to maintain highest physical fitness that can withstand extreme weather conditions even when naked. A member of a Naga Akhara is expected to be ready for a wrestling match at any time.

Naga sadhus epitomize transcending everything that the modern society suffers with. Their very lives are shining examples of how all of human suffering is self-created by falling out of sync with the universal cosmic truths. They don’t even need to speak, just looking at them leading their lives is enough reminder to other human beings to introspect on their life choices, and what ideas their life choices are based on.

Kumbh Mela is a unique festival on the planet where human beings get to see the naga sadhus live their simple yet extraordinary lives, and be blessed by being in the same breathing space as them.

First publilshed on Kumbh Mela website. For more articles on the Kumbh Mela, please visit the website.