Aghori, Finding God in the Impurity of Society. Cannibalism, Nechrophilia & Coprophagya
Aghori, The Hindu Ascetics Who Destroy Taboos to Break the Wheel of Reincarnation. Who are the Aghori? The famous and Feared Hindu Cannibals.
Aghoris are one of the many sādhu sects in India, probably the most extreme, feared, and revered.
They are a group of Hindu ascetics, even if often in contradiction with orthodox Hinduism.
Famous especially for the post-mortem rituals they practice, they use to live in charnel grounds, places where bodies are left to decompose uncovered.
If you have been to Varanasi, the holy city, you have probably met them. They are often naked and covered in cremation ashes.
Or seen one of the YouTube videos made by some western journalists. They usually have clickbait titles like “meet the last cannibal tribe on earth”.
And, yes, they eat row body parts of decomposing bodies, but also feces and other stuff.
But this is not a “tribe” of “uncivilized” people, they are an important Hindu sect, and, as far as we know, they don’t hurt anyone and their main goal is to seek god.
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Origins and Beliefs of the Aghori Sect
Before talking about the terrifying rituals they practice, including coprophagy and necrophilia, let’s see what is the belief system of the Aghoris.
Of course, if you want to skip to the splatter part, you are free to scroll down.
The founder of the sect was the ascetic Baba Kinaram, who was born in the 18th century and was considered to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva.
Trough asceticism, the Aghoris wants to break the circle of reincarnation. This freedom is a realization of the self’s identity with the absolute.
Conventional categories and social taboos are illusory. Accepting pollution and degradation through various acts is the realization of non-duality.
According to the Aghoris, the world is only an illusion, in which the veil of Māyā envelops and dulls reality.
There is no beauty or ugliness, right or wrong, but everything is an emanation of Shiva, therefore absolutely perfect.
It would, therefore, be sacrilegious against the gods to feel repulsion for something or to prohibit any behavior, perhaps by keeping it taboo.
For this reason, the Aghoris accept the impure of society, take drugs and alcohol, until the most extreme rituals are implemented.
The majority of Hindu believe in the existence of several gods, while the Aghoris believe there is only one God: Shiva.
All the other gods in the prolific Hinduist mythology are just different manifestations of Shiva.
They mainly worship Bhairava, a form of Shiva associated with death.