om swastik belpatra


What is Aghor? Who is Aghori? Who is Aghoreshwar?

The Aghori are a Hindu sect believed to have split off from the Kapalika. Both Kapalika and Aghori sects are worshipers of Lord Shiva. Aghor means non-terrifying "who is not in Darkness" in Sanskrit, and may refer to how members of the sect view death. This extremely secretive community is known to live in graveyards, wear ash from the pyre, and use human bones from graveyards for rituals.

The literal meaning of Aghor (=A + ghor; A meaning not and ghor meaning terrible) is non-terrible, i.e., one which is simple. What is alludes to is that spirituality is very straightforward indeed. It does not require any special knowledge, faith, worship or ritual. All it requires is inspiration, determination, perseverance and patience. Aghor is a ‘tantric’ tradition. Although Aghor ‘sadhna’ does not depend on so called tantric activities. In fact, Aghor is a state of “Shivattva” and an “Aughar” is an embodiment of “Shiva” who himself is the originator of ‘tantra’. In other words, an Aughar could be a source of tantra but he does not depend on it.

What is the Doctrines of Aghor panth?

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 realisation of the self's identity with the absolute. Because of this monistic doctrine, the Aghoris maintain that all opposites are identical and that the conventional Hindu distinctions between purity and impurity 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. Although Aughars stayed away from society, people started visited them to seek their blessings and to benefit from their spiritual power. This became a threat to the livelihood of Brahmins and Vaishnava leaders, whose job was to keep people entangled in superstitions and complex rituals in order to maintain their own domination on people’s lives.

An Aughar does not publicize his healing activities. He heels up in such a way that even his own people are unable to figure it out. On the other hand, when he notices some virtue in a fellow being, he tries to promote it as much as possible.

It is generally believed that an Aghor aspirant is the worshiper of Lord Shiva because that is what reflects from an Aughar’s attire: ashes on body, trishool in hand, beard on face and garland around the neck. Although, his attire is starting to disappear, the name Aughar instantly creates that picture in mind because that is the mode Aughars have lived in since ancient times. However, in reality, the word Aghor has a broader meaning which covers not only “Shaiva” but also includes “Shakta”. Many of the Indian epics provide description of Kali or “Chandee” as the one who roams at cremation grounds. Since Aughars spend a lot of time at cremation grounds, that identifies an Aughar as the one who has the attire of Shiva and activities of Kali (power). Thus Aghor Sadhna, Aghor behavior and Aghor brain represent a blend of “Shaivism” and “Shaktism”.

In essence, Aghoris base their beliefs on two principles.

First, that the gods are perfect.
Second, that the gods are 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. For this reason, Aghoris are known to prove their faith by challenging pre-conceived notions of the grotesque, and find the beauty or perfection in such conventionally taboo notions as, for example, cannibalism. An Aghor aspirant performs a “ghor tapasya” (very severe penance or self-mortification). During this period, he lives a shelter less and means less life in total isolation, completely detached from the worldly affairs. He does care at all about his own physical conditions. His only mission during this period is to experience and realize that divine power, the “Shakti”.

This kind of severe “Tapasya” is known only in Aghor tradition. This is how an Aughar attains a spiritual elevation. Aughar is actually a high stage in seekers life when all rules are finished. It is the highest discipline, without any worldly discipline. Contrary to accepted practice for religious sects, Aughars have no rules for eating, sleeping, cleanliness or wearing particular robes. For them there is no difference between the water in the gutter and the sacred water from the Ganges river. For them there is no difference between a diet of pure fruit and vegetables and the decayed flesh of dead animals. They are above good and bad.

They are totally against performing miracles. They want mantra and tantra to become a convention in society. They are concerned that people would not understand the subtle things and would start to talk about or do things that will not be good for the society. And therefore, Aughars deal with or attend to everything is such a simple and natural way that people can understand. For instance, Aughar recognize that Medical Science too is the great gift of the Divine Mother. One should make full use of it. They believe in the fusion of science and spiritual discipline. An Aughar teaches his people two things: conform to the social provisions and at the same time, develop mental stability.

An Aughar is not interested in spreading the name or expanding the influence of his tradition. His interest is to serve the humanity and to bring harmony in society, nation and the world. He is against the polarization of the humanity caused by faith, religion, race, culture or geography.

Unlike other traditions, where people become disciples to live in a monastery or an “Ashram” and live a traditional life of devotee, Aghor tradition really believes in active Sadhna and Tapasya (penance, self-mortification). An Aughar wants to acquire spiritual power within himself and in order to do so he goes through a very difficult period of “Tapasya”.

During this period, he lives a shelter less, meal less, cloth less and mean less life; he does not care whatever happens to his own body; the only motivation that drives him is his desire to see or feel the power, the Almighty. The primary difference between Aghor and other traditions is that in other traditions, in general a devotee makes a complete surrender to God and follows a path of devotion which brings him mental peace. An Aughar on the other hand goes a step beyond that. He not only makes a complete surrender to God, he actually became aware of Brahm in Himself.


The details of an Aghor Sadhna are known only to the Guru (an Aughar) who transfers his knowledge to is disciple(s) if and when he chooses to do so. It is not open to everyone. The external activities of an Aughar are no clues at all for what goes on within. And that is why this chain is survived since ancient times despite numerous upheavals and turmoil in society and in the country.

After becoming an Aughar, aspirant’s heart becomes very pure and no evil can touch him. His mind resides in vacuum (a state of mind with no thoughts) all the time. He attains a state of indifference; for him, all living beings are Godly creatures and therefore they are equal. Actually, there are people in this state of mind all over the world, however, they may not be known as Awadhoots, Aghoris or Aughars.

Aghor Tantriks believes that is behavior and conduct, not his talk, should represent his Guru. For this, he draws an analogy with the culture of an Indian wife who never utters her beloved husband’s name. He encourages everyone to avoid using Guru’s or Master’s name in general conversations. This is vital for bringing harmony in the spiritual world. An Aughar has two forms of behavior: one is external or social that people can see but can’t understand. And other one is his personal treatment which is very sweet. He has no such thing like hatred for anything or anybody. He is at such a mental stage that he is capable of giving equal treatment to everyone.


Although akin to the Kapalika ascetics of medieval Kashmir, with whom there may be a historical connection, the Aghoris trace their origin even before Ramayan. Aughars have traditionally lived in isolation, in mountain caves, jungles and on cremation grounds. They visited households only occasionally. They neither had a need nor desire to live within the society and hence they stayed away from it. That is why they adopted a living style that distracted general public. To avoid people, they behaved as though they were imbalanced.

What are Symbols of Aghorism?

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.

How many Adherents are there?

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 Aghoris do, however, have a large lay following, and devotees in India.

Where we can find the Aghoris?

Any cremation ground would be a holy place for an Aghori ascetic.

They encourage complete freedom in spiritual practice. Man is born free and should remain free. They believe that spiritual capacity should indeed be used to provide relief to the worldly people. However, it should be done in confidence, not with a great pomp and show. There primary goal is the upliftment of the common humanity and in particular, support and care for the neglected and destitute people. Aughars themselves don’t want to be in the limelight. Aughars believe in complete freedom: freedom from cant, freedom from hypocrisy, freedom from hatred, envy and pettiness, freedom from desire, freedom from ego, freedom even from scriptures. They prefer character to brilliance, action to inaction, justice to mercy.