Aghori Tantric : The origin of Aghoris is as old as Hinduism itself . Their lineage originates from Avadhuta Siddhas or Varanasi which in turn originated from Lord Shiva himself .
Aghori Tantric manifested as Bhairava , are monists who seek moksha from the cycle of reincarnation or sansara. This freedom is a realization of the self’s identity with the absolute .Because of this monistic doctrine, the Aghoris maintain that all opposites are ultimately illusory. The purpose of embracing pollution and degradation through various customs is the realization of non –duality through transcending social taboos, attaining what is essentially an altered state of consciousness and perceiving the illusory nature of all conventional categories.
Aghori Tantric are not to be confused with Shivnetras , who are also ardent devotees of Shiva but do not indulge in extreme, tamasic ritual practices .Although the Aghoris enjoy close ties with the Shivnetras, the two groups are quite distinct ,Shivnetras engaging in sattvic worship.
Aghori Tantric base their beliefs on two principles common to broder Shaiva beliefs : that Shiva is perfect and that Shiva is responsible for everything that occurs – all conditions, causes and effects .Consequently , everything that exists must be perfect and to deny the perfection of anything would be to deny the sacredness of all life in its full manifestation ,as well as to deny the Supreme Being .
Aghoris believe that every person’s soul is Shiva but is covered by great nooses or bonds –sensual pleasure ,anger, greed , obsession , fear and hatred .The practices of the Aghori Tantric are centered around the removal of these bonds. Sadhana in cremation grounds destroys fear ; sexual practices with certain riders and controls .It helps release one from sexual desire; state of being naked destroys shame. On release from all the eight bonds the soul becomes sadasiva and obtains moksha.
Aghoris also hold sacred the Hindu deity dattatreya as a predecessor to the Aghori Tantric tradition. Dattatreya was believed to be an incarnation of Brahma , Vishnu and Shiva united in the same singular physical body . Dattatreya is revered in all schools of Tantra, which is the philosophy followed by the Aghora tradition ,and he is often depicted in Hindu artwork and its holy scriptures of folk narratives , the Puranas , indulging in Aghori “left- hand” Tantric worship as his prime practice.
An Aghori Tantric believes in getting into total darkness by all means, and then getting into light or self realizing. Though this is a different approach from other Hindu sects, they believe it to be effective .They are infamously known for their rituals that include such as shava samskara or shava sadhana to invoke the mother goddess in her form as Smashan Tara.
In Hindu iconography , Tara like Kali is one of the ten Mahavidyas and once invoked can bless the Aghori with supernatural powers. The most popular of the ten Mahavidyas who are worshiped by Aghoris are Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi and Bhairavi .The male Hindu deities primarily worshiped by Aghoris for supernatural powers are manifestations of Shiva, including Mahakala , Bhairava , Virabhadra ,Avadhuti and others.
The aghora sadhana is a process of unlearning deeply internalized models. When this sadhana takes the form of charnel ground sadhana , the Aghori faces death as a very young child , simultaneously meditating on the totality of life at its two extremes .This ideal example serves as a prototype for other Aghor practices, both left and right , in ritual and in daily life.
Actually in India, there are two ways of self realization : (1) Yoga and 2nd one is Tantra
The journey for which these two were invented is the same, these two different ways lead to same destination but the paths are very different.