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. One of its verses is:
“Aghoranna paro mantro Nasti tatvam Guro param.”
The very name of Aghor (Shiva, or the one who has attained the state of Aghor) is a mantra that is above all other mantras. There is nothing higher to be known than the real nature of the Guru.
In the past the word Aghor implied something mysterious. Slowly, over centuries, its meaning came to include methods and practices used by sadhus to overcome their limitations. After the prehistoric association of Aghor with Lord Shiva, another legendary being was not only considered by the ancients to have realized the state of Aghor but was believed to have propounded and taught the knowledge of it to others. This was Lord Dattatreya. Many other saints and mahatmas who embodied this Aghor state arose at their destined times in history, while at other times the lineage became dormant, like embers hidden under ashes. Eventually the methods and means to achieve this Aghor state began to be communicated in guru-disciple relationships.
12 Weird Facts about Aghoris : Aghoris are sadhus belonging to an unconventional clan who are Shiva worshippers. While some believe that they have divine powers and others think they are sadhus with black magic which can harm people. But undoubtedly they have a mystical personality. Let’s take a look at some of the facts about Aghoris.
  1. Accepting the Naked Truth : Aghoris are seen to be mostly naked and accepting of their bodies. You can see Aghori in completely naked bodies covered in ashes from the dead bodies. It definitely scares some people while some people find it enticing
  2. No Haircut : Aghoris let their hair grow long and believe in no haircuts. After all, that is how we were born and what better way to accept our natural self. You will never see Aghori in short, trimmed hair.
  3. Cannibalism : It is believed that these sadhus openly eat human meat. They eat already dead corpses and don’t kill to eat and hence nobody questions them. Found mostly in numbers in Varanasi, which is known for its holy practices, these sadhus are accepted for who they are. They are also known to eat garbage, human faces and also leftover foods.
  4. Shiva is Everything : Aghoris immerse themselves in the devotion of Lord Shiva. They believe that Lord Shiva is the answer to everything as he is omnipresent and absolute. They perform penance, which is of three kinds that are called Shiva Sadhana, Shav Sadhana, and Smashaan Sadhana. Some people also believe that they are the incarnations of Lord Shiva.
  5. Cure for all : Aghori’s are said to have the cure for all the diseases. According to them, the human oil that they take from the pyre when the body is being burnt is extremely powerful and effective. They claim that they have the medicines for even the incurable diseases.
  6. Meditating on a Corpse : Aghori’s are seen to be meditating in a cemetery on a corpse. They also stand on one leg to meditate over a corpse just like Parvati, the goddess standing on the chest of Lord Shiva. Now most of us dread to even go close to the cemetery or dead bodies. So that definitely takes a lot of guts.
  7. Sex with the Corpse : Aghori is known to have sexual intercourse with dead bodies. They say the reason is simply that they find purity in what is considered by the major population as filth. Also, like the believers of the goddess Kali, they say that it is the deeper desire of the goddess that they have to fulfill. Also, it is known to be believed by them that doing sex with the dead give them supernatural powers.
  8. No hate in the Heart : These sadhus share their food with the animals in the cremation ground. Be it a cow or a dog, every life is the same for them. And they believe the person who hates cannot truly meditate. So, it’s important to live a hate free life for sadhus to meditate.
  9. Sages and their Ages : Kina ram, the first aghori who set grounds for the rest of the aghoris is said to have lived for 150 years and his death happened in the late 18th century.
  10. Survival facts : These sadhus survive the harshest and extreme weather conditions. They are known to live in the scariest jungles and also the snow clad mountains. They are also found in the hot desert, in conditions where a normal human being doesn’t survive well.
  11. Oneness of Environment : Aghoris believe that everyone has Aghori in him/her. They believe that when a child is born he/she doesn’t distinguish between faeces, toys, and garbage. But the child is later taught what’s good and bad according to society and that is how it starts discriminating.
  12. The facts about Dark magic : Aghoris are known to perform black magic but not to harm anyone or anything but they say that it heals them and increases their supernatural powers to talk to the dead. They perform a lot of rituals, strange in the eye of a common man to perform dark magic.
(Acharya Pradeep Kumar)