Who are Aghoris?
Aghoris are a set of people who worship Lord Shiva (Lord of Death) and aim to achieve simplicity in their lives. You will not find these people easily in Indian villages and towns. Discovering an Aghori in a city like Delhi or Mumbai is nearly impossible.
For many Indians and foreigners, they conjure a feeling of awe, fear and revulsion. Thanks to the controversy generated by a CNN program, there is a new found curiosity about this secret cult.
These people can generally be found in the cremation grounds. Not all the Hindu cremation grounds have Aghoris, though. If you are lucky, you may find them either entering a pre-designated cremation ground or exiting it.
If you really want to see Aghoris, then you can see them in Kumbh Melas that are organized every four years in India.
Do they really eat human flesh?
It is difficult to answer this question. I haven’t seen even one Aghori consuming human flesh. But this much is certain- members of this sect interpret life and death in very simple means. For them, it is impractical to distinguish between what is pure and what is not.
What is their philosophy in life?
These people lead a very simple life. Nothing is impure for them. Their needs are few and they live to attain Moksha or salvation.
Moksha means escape from the cycle of life and death. We never escape this cycle because, we are always full of desires. Aghoris are always trying to escape this web of desire.
So they practice Tantra?
Yes, they do.
Aghoris chant occult mantras that resonate with energy. It is not easy for everyone to possess that secret because in order to be powerful, one has to subsume every desire of his.
I know that mantra but won’t reveal it here and now.
Are Aghoris dangerous?
No, they are not. It is an incorrect notion that these people kill others at will and eat their flesh. No, it is not that way.
These gentle people love everything that the society detests. Rather, the operative word is ‘accept’. If we loathe a dead body, they will accept it. If we detest a leper, the Aghoris will accept the leper too.
The point is, these people defy conventional logic and wisdom and that is why, it is difficult to understand this Indian sect.
We consider dead bodies impure but the Aghoris are ready to consume them too, for their subsistence.
What all do these people eat?
Everything that is available as long as it does not contain life. You will find an Aghori eat human excreta as well as the choicest dairy products.
They never eat cows, though.
Why do they visit the cremation grounds?
An Aghori believes that to practice tantra, the best place is the cremation ground as there is no disturbance. As part of his tantra practice, the Aghori tries to understand death and the migration of the human soul.
Is it possible to speak with the spirit of a dead human being?
Is it also possible to bring the dead back to life?
These are just a few questions that always trouble an Aghori.
Why is an Aghori always angry?
This is not true. He sports and angry visage to discourage common people to come near him.
Though his eyes are always red, the Aghori has always words of reassurance when when he speaks.
Which are the most important places in India for Aghoris?
There are 3 main cremation grounds for these people to pray and practice tantra;
- Kamakhya Devi temple cremation grounds n Assam
- Tarapeeth cremation grounds near Kolkata, Bengal
- The cremation grounds of Rajrappa
To sum up, the Aghoris are not at all a dangerous set of people. They practice tantra to achieve Moksha and do not believe in discriminating between ‘pure’ and ‘impure’ things.
For them, every thing can be eaten for subsistence, except the flesh of the cow.
Watch this video to get a sneak peek into the world of Aghoris.