The Aghori are a Hindu sect believed to have split off from the Kapalika order (which dates from 1000 AD) in the fourteenth century AD. [ [ Indian doc focuses on Hindu cannibal sect] , MSNBC]


Aghori ascetics, while being devotees of the Hindu God Shiva, are monists who adhere to the common Hindu belief in liberation (moksha) from the cycle of reincarnation (samsara). This liberation 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 through various practices is the realization of non-duality through transcending social taboos, and seeing the illusory nature of all conventional categories.

In essence, Aghoris base their beliefs on two principles. First, that Lord Shiva is perfect. Second, that Shiva is responsible for everything; every rock, tree, animal, and even every thought. Due to this, everything that exists must be perfect, and to deny the perfection of anything would be to deny the Gods.


Although akin to the Kapalika ascetics of medieval Kashmir, with whom there may be a historical connection, the Aghoris trace their origin to Kina Ram, an ascetic who is said to have lived 150 years, dying during the second half of the eighteenth century. [cite book | last = Parry | first = Jonathan P. | title = Death in Banaras | publisher = Cambridge University Press | date = July 1994 | url = | isbn = 0521466253 ] Kina Ram is thought to have been an incarnation of the Hindu god Shiva, as have been each of Kina Ram's successors.


The Aghori ascetic is himself a symbol of the God Shiva. He goes naked or wears the shroud of a corpse, he covers himself in the ashes of the cremation ground--which would be polluting for an orthodox Brahmin--and his ritual practices are symbols of his non-dualistic beliefs. The corpse upon which he meditates is a symbol of his own body and the corpse devouring ritual is a symbol of the transcendence of his lower self and a realisation of the greater, all pervading self.


Due to the secrecy of this religious sect, no official figures are available. At the end of the nineteenth century there were an estimated two or three hundred Aghori ascetics in Varanasi, though now there are perhaps as few as twenty living in their main centre.


The main akhada of Aghoris is Kina Ram's hermitage or ashram in Varanasi. Kina Ram's samadhi is a centre of piligrimage for aghoris and aghori devotees. Here Kina Ram is buried in a tomb or samadhi which is a centre of pilgrimage for Aghoris and Aghori devotees.Another centre is Aghor Sodh Sansthan, Ravindrapuri, Varanasi. Apart from this, any cremation ground would be a holy place for an Aghori ascetic.


The Aghori distinguish themselves from other Hindu sects and priests by their alcoholic and cannibalistic rituals. The corpses afloat on the river Ganges are pulled out and consumed raw as the Aghoris believe it gives them immortality and supernatural powers. [ [ Indian cannibal sect eats human corpses, believing it give them supernatural powers] ] [ [ The Aghoris] , Channel 4]



*Dhallapiccola, Anna. "Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend". ISBN 0-500-51088-1
* Svoboda, Robert. "Aghora: At the Left Hand of God". ISBN 0-914732-21-8

External links

* [ Division of Religion and Philosophy St. Martin's College: Aghoris]
Orientalist Sensationalism

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Aghori — Los Aghori (del sánscrito अघोर) son una secta hindú separada de la secta los Kapalikas en el siglo XIV dC. Los Aghori son devotos del dios hindú Shiva en su forma de Señor Bhairava. Son conocidos sobre todo por el hecho de que practican el necro… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Aghori — (Sanskrit: अघोर, aghorī, wörtlich: die Furchtlosen ) sind eine tausend Jahre alte radikale, religiöse Gemeinschaft des shivaitisch tantrischen Hinduismus in Indien. Sie heben sich besonders durch Ablehnung der traditionell und soziologisch… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Aghori — Du sanskrit A Ghor , Ce qui n’est pas terrible , sans peur , absence de difficultés (en hindi, aghori signifie « sale, négligé » [1]), le terme Aghori désigne les adeptes d’un courant de l’hindouisme dont les origines demeurent peu… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Aghori — noun a tribe of Hindu ascetics, supposed to eat the flesh of corpses …   Wiktionary

  • Aghori sadhus —    Paradoxically named, the Aghori (“non terrible”) SADHUS are among the most strange and frighten ing of all the mendicants of India. Their practice is similarly called aghora “non terrible.” They inhabit cremation grounds, where they perform… …   Encyclopedia of Hinduism

  • Agori — Aghori Les Aghori sont une secte de sâdhu de l Inde ; ils vivent près du Gange. La création de la secte est attribuée à Kina Ram, mort vers 1780. Les successeurs de Kina Ram prétendent être une incarnation volontaire de Shiva(avatara). Les… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sâdhu — Deux Sâdhu à Katmandou …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Saddhu — Sâdhu Deux Sâdhu à Katmandou Les hindouistes considèrent que le but ultime de toute vie est la moksha, la libération de l illusion (mâyâ), l arrêt du cycle des renaissances et la dissolution dans le divin, la fusion avec la conscience cosmique.… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sadhu — Sâdhu Deux Sâdhu à Katmandou Les hindouistes considèrent que le but ultime de toute vie est la moksha, la libération de l illusion (mâyâ), l arrêt du cycle des renaissances et la dissolution dans le divin, la fusion avec la conscience cosmique.… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Путь левой руки — (ПЛР) и Путь Правой Руки (ППР) термины, относящиеся к предполагаемой дихотомии между двумя различными типами религий. Точное значение терминов изменялось со временем; наиболее современное использование терминов относительно религий фокусируется… …   Википедия

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.