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Aghori, Finding God in the Impurity of Society. Cannibalism, Nechrophilia & Coprophagya

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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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Aghori Cannibalism Coprophagya
Photo Aravindan GanesanCC 02

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.

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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.

Our book suggestion about this topic: Aghora: At the Left Hand of God

Aghory lifestyle
Photo by Abhas Jaiswal from Pexels

The Aghori Lifestyle

Aghori choose to live at the margin of society, in the holy city of Varanasi they stay close to the cremations sites.

But they live everywhere in India, outside the cities they live in unhospitable places like caves or deserts.

Some followers of the cult are also present in America, Australia, Russia and European countries such as Germany and Italy.

They choose to live close to the deaths because death is the most important part of their rituals.

Bones from human corpses for crafting kapalas and jewellery. A kapala is a cup made from a human skull used as a ritual in India and Tibet.

Especially in Tibet, they are often carved or elaborately mounted with precious metals and jewels.

According to one myth, Shiva once decapitated one of Brahma’s heads, and was forced to roam about the outskirts of society whilst carrying the head.

Therefore, seeking to emulate Shiva, the Aghori also carry human skulls with them.

Aghory lifestyle
Photo Archit RatanCC 02 – A Aghori sadhu in a cave near Badrinath

Very Bizarre Rituals of the Aghoris

Meditation plus a combination of alcohol and marijuana it’s Aghoris’ way to reach a different level of consciousness and be closer to God.

Urophagy and coprophagia are widely spread practices within the tribe.

The “shava samskara” is one of the most recurrent rituals in the sect, which consists in the use of a corpse as a ceremonial altar.

Aghoris eat basically everything, corpses included. Cannibalism is practiced to absorbe the “Shakti” (or vital energy).

Another of these breaking taboos rituals consist of having sex with consenting menstruating women in the cemetery.

They believe that this accords them with spirituality and supernatural powers.

India is not only Hindu Ascetics, Meet Baba Ram Rahim – Rock Star. Saint. Murderer. Motorbike Customizer. Political Leader.

Can Aghori get married?

No, they don’t believe in marriage.

Does Aghori have magic or supernatural power?

Some of them claim to have acquired supernatural power trough their practices, for example by eating human flesh. Popular legends says they can walk on water and heal people.

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