Naga Sadhu

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Naga Sadhu is an ascetic that belongs to a group that wears no clothes.


Naga Sadhus are the ultimate advertisement for living a life that is in sync with all of nature. The western world and the westernized sections of Indian media are obsessed with their nakedness and forget to see them for their amazing grace and powerful existence. At a time when majority of the society is stuck in a consumerist mode and has no control over the impact they create on themselves and the environment, the Naga Sadhus physically portray the possibility of living blissfully with the least number of physical accessories.

Their weapons and powers are never used for aggression and used only to defend. Their immense internal strength and powers makes them non violent. All violence is the expression of your inner feeling of weakness.

Naga Sadhus are seen in large numbers during the Kumbh Mela. It is about time human beings took a second look at the majority world view versus the possibilities that Naga Sadhus represent.

How Did the Naga Sadhus Come Into Being?

The order of Naga Sadhus was founded by Dattatreya. The time when the order was found in not known. Our tradition used to record aspects that are critical for human consciousness to evolve. Later, Shankaracharya organized the Nagas to protect Sanatana Dharma.

Sanatan Dharma is the lifestyle that expands our consciousness. In the modern day, Sanatan Dharma has been classified as Hinduism. The founders of this set of tenets saw this as applicable for all human beings and has no foundation in artificial divisions of human beings based on religion.

Only Liberation: Without Any Identity Crisis

Modern society is stuck with creating name and fame for oneself and for their near and extended families. A glance at political and business families will reinforce this statement.

Naga Sadhus on the contrary have no need to reinforce their identity. They are dissolved in their Bhakti (devotion) for Mahadeva (Shiva). They smear their body with sacred ash or bhasma. Sacred ash denotes the fleeting nature of life. Smearing it on their body symbolizes that the body is ephemeral and is a reminder of the critical and immediate need for a human being to seek what is permanent and one’s true Self.

The Ones Unmoved by Lust

The proliferation of pornography in whichever medium human beings have invented shows the unabated nature of lust in human society. Internet is the latest on this list of mediums.

Naga Sadhus know that lust is a powerful energy which, when transformed, can be channelized to achieve the peak possibility of awakening the latent kundalini energy and merging with pure consciousness. The naga sadhus practice strict celibacy to achieve the highest states of consciousness.

A Life of Aparigraha or Non-Possessiveness

The per-capita carbon footprint is an indication of the extent of material comfort that human beings seek. The so-called developed countries are those that have the maximum consumption. If the world population were to live with the per-capita energy utilisation as that of USA, we will need nine earths to satisfy that demand – completely unsustainable.

Naga sadhus are like Mahadeva. Mahadeva is the emodiment of non-possessiveness. He keeps all the useless things for himself and gives away the best things to the society. During the churning of the Milky Ocean, the best fragrant flower treeswere given to the Devathas; Shyamantaka jewellery was given to Lord Vishnu, Devi Lakshmi was given to Lord Vishnu as well.

Mahadeva kept only one thing for himself – poison! The Halahala poison that came out of the ocean was swallowed by Mahadeva. His ornaments are the snakes which drink that poison. Same way, Naga sadhus keep all the useless things of the society with themselves. They do not even wear a dress. They did not keep the best things with themselves. But all the best things they gave to society. They don’t bother about the materialistic world.

The Most Non Violent Group of Human Beings

Because they do not want anything that someone has, the Nagas are the most peaceful of humans. They have no enemies since they do not value even their lives. They leave the least destructive impact on the mother earth. At the same time they do not fear anyone. Society portrays them as fearful because society controls us by fear and greed. The Nagas – who are not bound by either – strike terror at the hearts of the system that is based on command and control. But in reality there is no group of people who are as non violent as the Nagas. Their weapon and powers are only used for self defense. Their inner strength makes them non violent. Since violence always comes from the inner feeling of weakness. The strong are never violent.

Great Yogis in the Modern Times

The Nagas are known to perform great acts of penance that would seem impossible to normal human beings. Many do things like spend years with one hand raised into the air, standing on one leg or lying on a bed of thorns. Some sadhus bury themselves neck-deep in sand, mediate for hours while suspended from a rope or have been silent for years.

Sadhus sometimes even bury their head, a feat of breath control that requires mastery of yoga techniques. In 1837, a yogi named Hari Das war buried alive without air, food, liquid or any attention, After being excavated he was easily revived and went on to live a long life. One sadhu at the Pushkar Fair became famous for lifting a 35-kilogram brick with his penis. Some sadhus are said to have the ability to talk with monkeys. Sometimes they are sought out by people for help keeping monkeys from raiding their gardens.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the silent Indian fakir Mastram Bapu stayed in the same spot by a road in the village of Chitra for 22 years, from 1960 to 1982. Swami Maujgiri Maharaja stood for 17 years (from 1955 to November 1973) performing Tapasya(penance) in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. When sleeping, he leaned against a plank

According to the Guinness Book of Records, Radhey Shyam Prajapati stood motionless for world record of 18 hours, 5 minutes and 5 seconds in January 1996. Rajikumar Chakraborty did the static wall sit (Samson’c chair) for 11 hours and 5 minutes at the Panposh Sports Hostel in April 1994. Modern society deals with all sorts of lifestyle induced diseases like diabetes, hypertension etc. Au contraire, naga sadhus train on yogic practices to maintain highest physical fitness that can withstand extreme weather conditions even when naked. A member of a Naga Akhara is expected to be ready for a wrestling match at any time.

Naga Sadhus of the Kumbh Mela

Naga sadhus epitomize transcending everything that the modern society suffers with. Their very lives are shining examples of how all of human suffering is self-created by falling out of sync with the universal cosmic truths. They don’t even need to speak, just looking at them leading their lives is enough reminder to other human beings to introspect on their life choices, and what ideas their life choices are based on.

Kumbh Mela is a unique festival on the planet where human beings get to see the Naga Sadhus live their simple yet extraordinary lives, and be blessed by being in the same breathing space as them.

Kumbh Mela is an opportunity to experience the complete surrender of the unabashedly naked, fierce and fearless Nagas whose vows to a life of severe austerity, celibacy and monasticism is legendary.

HH Paramahamsa Nithyananda Paramashivam on Naga Sadhus

Naga Sadhus' Contributions to Hinduism

All the best things you see in life, whether it is intelligence, or art and architecture, or language, or music and poetry, or lifestyle knowledge, anything best, please understand, anything best you see is the gift of Sannyasis. It is contribution of Sannyasis.

Recently, I am spending a lot of time with the history of Naga Sannyasis. I had the opportunity to see the original documents and records belongs to Mahanirvani Akhada, our akhada and many of the historical references about our Mahants; during the Moghul period, British period, the achievements of these great sadhus; and pre-history, 5,000 years before, the contribution of these sadhus. I tell you, please understand, these sadhus are literally like Mahadeva, Shiva. If you see Shiva’s story, all the useless things he keeps with himself, but all the best things he gives to society. See when the churning of the Milky Ocean happened, the best fragrant flower trees, he gave to devatha’s; Shyamantaka jewelry he gave it to Vishnu; the Miss Universe – Lakshmi – he gave it to Narayana. Everything he gave away. What finally he kept with himself? Poison! What is his ornaments? The snakes which drinks that poison. Same way, Naga sadhus, all the useless things of the society they kept with themselves. They did not even wear dress. They did not keep the best things with themselves. All the useless things they kept with themselves. But all the best things they gave to society. All the best things they gave to society.

When I was studying, please understand, the first flight is not done by the Wright Brothers. It is done by a person in Mumbai; you need to know this fact, financed by Nagas of Mumbai Mahanirvani Akhada. Sannyas ashram of Mumbai. Swami Maheshwarananda Puri has financed this venture. There are records. Swami Maheshwarananda Puri of Mumbai Sannyas ashram has financed the first aircraft building forty years before the Wright Brothers flew into the air. So, the first aircraft was not created by the Wright Brothers. It was created by a pundit, Vedic pundit in Mumbai. The pundit did not have any money. It was financed by the Mahanirvani Akhada.

When I dig out the history of the Naga sadhus, the amount of contribution they have done in the Science, Art, in every field education in every field. Unimaginable contribution, what they have done then and what they are doing even now. It is unimaginable, amazing contribution. They protected the Dharma. Dharma protected them. Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitaha! They protected Dharma and Dharma protected them. It the contribution of the Sannyasis still this country’s culture, knowledge is alive. The contribution of Sannyasis is unimaginable, unique, amazing. I can give you tons and tons of references how all the ancient best things are preserved, protected, enriched and expounded by the great Sannyasis. Not just in the spiritual field, even in the field of agriculture, in the field of clothes, in the field of architecture, how the intelligence of Sannyasis played such a major role and efficiency of the Sannyasis played such an amazing role in the whole field. It’s unimaginable.

Please understand, it is time for us to revive that same tradition. I am committing with Mahanirvani Peeta, in this lifetime, in this body, in this lifetime, I will create ten lakh sadhus. It is my commitment to Mahanirvani Peeta, revive this Sannyas Sampradaya. India has 6,40,000 villages. I’ll see to it that each village has installed at least one Sannyasi.

Naga Sadhus Manifesting Powers

Naga Sadhu Pulling Swamijis Chariot

Today one of our Naga sadhu from JunaAkhada came. Through his male organ he pulled the car. How many of you saw? Understand, it is a power actually. It is a big possibility. He has mastered it, the yogic power. Actually, a very strict, very powerful, physical, mental, psychological, emotional brahmacharya is required to master that power. He mastered that. He has mastered his whole system. Naturally now he can go to the next level and manifest other powers.

I have seen Naga Sadhus doing powerful, difficult practices like keeping one hand raised up for twelve years, and not sleeping for twenty-one years; not lying down and sleeping at all, just standing, and sleeping standing, holding a pillar or something!

Naga Sadhus' Lifestyle

Early morning when you wake up, jump out of bed. The moment you are aware, your legs should be on the ground. Sadhu who rolls in the bed will never be able to live brahmacharya life. Feel bed is like a fire. You will be there on it only when you are unconscious. You will lie down on it only when you are unconscious. Never when you are conscious. Same way, when sadhus when they sleep, sometimes all male sadhus have to sleep in one place, female sadhus have to sleep in another one place.

Usually the sadhus should reside alone. Not only he should not stay in a same place with opposite gender he should not stay in the same place even with his own gender. Understand very clearly, sadhus should not sleep in a same room or a same space not only with opposite gender even with his own gender, same gender. But sometime no place. So all men have to stay in one place. That time, even when you sleep next, next, next your legs should be in the side of the other person’s head. It should not be parallel. These are the precise detailed instructions from the Naga Sampradayas. Even now, when Nagas travel, if they sleep, you will see very clearly, one sadhu’s head is in the east side, the other sadhu will put his leg on the east. They will not sleep parallel, next to each other. Even men. Forget about opposite gender, you can’t stay even closer. Even the same gender.

Naga Sadhus' History

Just the other day I was sitting with Atal Acharya and discussing. We got a very old book a reference notes about Akhada which says, when Aurangazeb attacked Varanasi – the Jnanavyapi War – two lakh Atal Naga sannyasis conquered the Aurangazeb’s army,won the war and protected the Varanasi Vishwanatha Temple but, unfortunately, during a festival after two months, during a festival when the Nagas were without weapon, when they were celebrating, doing rituals, they attacked, they did a guerilla attack, and killed the top leaders. So we were discussing all these points. I told him, ‘Swamiji, it is my commitment to Atal Peetha, it is my commitment to Akhada, it is my commitment to the Sarvajna Peetha, we will revive it, bring at least ten lakh sadhus. We will become at least ten lakh sadhus’ akhada.’ See, now our need is different; we don’t need to now take a weapon and wage war. No, we don’t need that, but we need shaastra dhaaris who learn and teach, who learn and preach. We need shaastra dhaaris. We don’t need shastra dhaaris, we don’t need sadhus with weapons, we don’t need to go for any fight; but we need to be shaastra dhaaris, studying and teaching.

So much, has been done to humanity by this Sannyas tradition. Sannyas tradition has given to the humanity million times more than what the marriage, the organization; the institution marriage has given to the world. Especially, the whole India, whole India has been built by the Sannyasis. Everything best has been contributed to the Indic tradition by the Sannyasis. Whether it is our architecture, art, culture, language; everything, everything, everything. All the best things we have is from Sanyasis. When I read the history of akhadas, ten lakh sadhus, please understand, ten lakh sadhus used to be Shaastra Dhaari sannyasis; means, mastering the spiritual knowledge, the Science of Enlightenment, Jeevan Mukthi and teaching all over the world... Ten lakh Sannyasis going all over the world and teaching, Shaastra Dhaari sannyasis and one crore Shastra Dhaari Sannyasis means one crore Sannyasis who were protecting the borders, who were protecting the people from invasions. Please understand all invasions happened only after killing Naga sadhus. When Hindus stopped sending their children to become sadhus, the whole system collapsed because there is nobody to defend. All our knowledge, all our tradition, all our amazing divine values, the spiritual lifestyle, everything is lost. Be very clear, if you are dying in depression, if you are suffering with discontentment with the life, you deeply hate life; be very clear, you are responsible. Your forefathers did not spare one child from the family to become a Sannyasi; that is why you are suffering. It is time; spare at least one child from a family to become a Sannyas. Plan your family in this way: at least one child and one share to monastery. One child for a Sannyas, one share to a monastery. Let the Peethas happen everywhere in the world... In the modern day, we don’t need Shastra Dhaaris, means weapon Sannyasis. We don’t need them. But we need Shaastra Dhaaris, the intellectual teachers, preachers, who will go around all over the world to teach the Science of Completion, who will teach the Science of Enlightenment. I alone, sitting in one corner of the world, how much I can contribute? How much I can do? We need at least million Sannyasis, ten lakh Sannyasis. Please understand, Sannyas is you living in the space of Completion and go on enriching everyone to be in the space of Completion. You living in the space of Completion go on enriching everyone to be in the space of Completion. Our whole Sangha should be Sannyas-based Sangha. Either you are a Sannyas, or you are very clear you missed Sannyas this time, but you enrich the world to take Sannyas.

Understand, no way, nowhere any one of our incarnations converted based on sword or force! Ramanuja never took sword and went and converted people. No! Shankara never took a sword and converted people. No! Buddha never took a sword and converted people. No! None of them converted anybody with sword. No! Swaminarayan did not convert people with sword. Even Naga sadhus, our Mahanirvani Peetha, we never went and killed anybody or attacked anybody for converting. We used our weapons only to defend ourselves, protect ourselves, protecting our knowledge, our libraries, our manuscripts. Mahanirvani Peetha’s library was robbed, burnt for months together continuously!