Sadhu on Shivaratri

 © Direct Pictures

© Direct Pictures

 

We met up with this this sadhu on Shivaratri in Varanasi, where nearly one million pilgrims had gathered on the banks of the Ganges. While anyone can dress up like a sadhu, the true ones are skilled yogis, versed in the Vedic scriptures, often read and write sanskrit, and are true renunciates.

They take vows of celibacy, sever family ties, do not stay anywhere more than 3 days, and own nothing more than they can easily carry including a water pot, fire tongs, and a blanket. At night they sleep by a consecrated fire called a dhuni, covering their bodies the next morning with its ash. They are dependent on small alms from householders and spend their lives on a ceaseless pilgrimage through the sacred geography of India.

 
John BushComment