I live in Haridwar, so are the numerous Aghoris. Having renounced the world they roam near the cremating grounds of Haridwar or mostly in the forests of Haridwar. They can be sometimes sighted roaming on the road, naked, whether it is a winter or its a summer.
Who is an Aghori ?
An aghori is a practitioner of Aghora. Aghora is a left handed path, which seeks serenity in following all the abandoned practices like Cannibalism, madira-pan etc. So an Aghori is a person who worships the 3rd eye of Lord Siva. What sets them apart from other religious sects is one horrible ritual which is an integral part of their belief system-eating corpses. The sight of an Aghori itself can scare you no end. They cover themselves with the ashes that comes from the burning of dead bodies. The whole body of an aghori including the face will be covered with this ash.The hair and beard are grown to great lengths. If you search them in the daylight, you will hardly find them. Most of them can be witnessed some where near a Samsana .
And I met an Aghori…
I remember, I was always afraid to meet an Aghori. Yet always, it fascinated me.So, I met this Aghori, near one of the Ghats along the Ganges in the northern part of Haridwar. He might be in his thirty’s or forty’s , but I am sceptic that number of years mattered to him.It was evening and he was sitting, staring at the water , . It took a lot of courage for me to approach him. For a person , who believes in Satvik ways of life, Tamsik path can seem very gross.His body, painted white with the ashes was as white as the sand along the Ganges.
Me: Babaji Pranam!
He just looked at me and kind of ignored me.His indifferent look, made me confused, but I politely asked if he can answer a few questions of mine. After having a deep puff from his chilm,he said pucho (ask).
Either I was too much nervous or too much excited that I asked a lot of questions at once. In all I asked him about, What he thinks about the God? How he relates his actions with Moksha and how does his actions can help him attain that.?
To which he replied,
Kid, I have left my world, I do not live for the sake of living , I am living for sake of dying. Death is the one which gives meaning to the life. As Lord Shiva, lives at the uninhabitable Kailasa parvat , though if he could wish live in the Golden Lanka,So do I. To me Shiva is everything, he is in this sands, the flowing water, in the sky , in the living and in the dead. He is in the good and he is in the bad. He is perfect. Good and bad lies in the logic of humans, not in any substance. Everything is Shiva and Shiva is in everything.He is in this water and in the blood as well, so if you can drink this water, why cannot you drink the blood. You will say, blood is unhygienic to drink, but you consider it because you think yourself as the body. If you consider yourself as the atma, and the part of Shiva, will it matter, if blood is hygienic or not? So is the case with the shava (Corpse). What difference does it make , once its dead ? It is just like any other eatable.
I was awestruck. A practical example of the concept of non-dualism, which I always believed in.Now, everything made sense, If we will judge everything with our materialistic eyes, than only we can term it as good or bad. There is no property in any matter that can term it as good or bad, its just our viewpoint, and if God is everywhere, it is also in all those things, that we consider bad.
Life is bound by Karma, and our future life depends on our actions done in this life. But what if we do nothing. Doing nothing is not that easy as it seems to. Doing nothing means, neither eating nor drinking. Just sitting idle, at one place , regardless of the surroundings. Alas, our body does not has that strength.I do not smoke for pleasure, I smoke for serenity. It helps me connect to my Lord. Shambhu, the almighty. This body does not mean anything to me but it does not mean that I should commit suicide.If I shall commit suicide, I will be again born, then what is the use of that. I want to attain moksha.I do not live for money or pleasure, just for myself. This is tamsik, it helps me forget about my body and thats why I smoke and drink.
I had no more questions to ask.He talked for a while more, but I had already got my answers.