The Story Of Sadhu(Babas)

 A Sadhu is usually referred to as Baba by common people. The word ‘baba’ also means father, or uncle, in many hindu languages. Sometimes the respectful suffix ‘ji’ may also be added after baba, to give greater respect to the renunciate.There are many sadhus in nepal today and they are still widely respected: revered for their holiness, sometimes feared for their curses. It is also thought that the austere practices of the sadhus help to burn off their karma and that of the community at large. Thus seen as benefiting society, sadhus are supported by donations from many people.Historically and contemporarily, sadhus have often been viewed with a certain degree of suspicion, particularly amongst the urban populations of Nepal. Today, especially in popular pilgrimage cities, posing as a ‘sadhu’ can be a means of acquiring income for non-devout beggars.Sadhus are not unified in their practices. Some live in the mountains alone for years at a time, eating only a few bananas. Others walk around with one hand in the air for decades. Still others partake in the religious consumption of charas (hand-made cannabis hashish) and contemplate the cosmic nature and presence of God in the smoke patterns.There are naked Naga (Digambar, or “sky-clad”) Sadhus which are non-shaven and have thick dreadlocks, and Jata, who carry swords. Aghora sadhus may keep company with ghosts, or live in cemeteries as part of their holy path. Hindu culture tends to emphasize an infinite number of paths to God, such that sadhus, and the varieties that sadhus come in have their place.

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