The word ‘Nag’ or ‘Naga’ means nudity. The nude or semi-nude figures of the holy men in India make everyone bow in reverence. The ascetics shun the worldly ties completely and spend time in the worship of Shiva. The Naga cult began in the 8th century by the great saint Adi Shankaracharya of Hindu religion. The believers of Lord Shiva take such sadhus as His true manifestations. The Saints belong to 12 akharas located across various parts in India. Traditionally, the akharas are places for learning martial arts and other physical feats. In the days, when Hinduism came under severe threat, the Naga Sadhus played leading roles in saving its existence.
Let’s know about the religious practices of Naga Sadhus in north-east and other parts of India that could lead to immense faith and knowledge about the existence God.
The Pristine Kamakhya Temple in Assam and mysticism of Naga Sadhus
In Assam, Naga Sadhus are much sought- after during Ambubachi Mela in Guwahati. Held in the adjacence of famous Kamakhya Temple, the fair gets high turnout of devotees from every part of north-east. The gathering of Saints has the presence of more than 5000 Naga Sadhus on this auspicious occasion. As people fight to touch the feet and get the blessing from the Naga Saints, the holy men often perform divine and miraculous feats that take people by surprise. The unbelievable psychic powers from them could make a barren couple gain the bliss of parenthood. By the blessings of the angels of Sanatana dharma, an unmarried bachelor could get the chance of marrying a beautiful spouse. The masters in the doctrines of Tantra and Yoga could display the divine exploits by standing on one leg for hours. The atmosphere, charged with divine energy, stays unbelievably crowded during the four days ceremony to mark the menstrual period of Mother Kamakhya- the deity presiding in the famous temple of Guwahati.
Complete naked bodies of the saints are just symbols of detachment
The fully naked bodies of holy men, smeared with ash, are symbolic of renunciation of worldly matters. To the devotees’ hearts, the nude bodies carry the truth that everything is just part of an ephemeral show. The visitors to the ambubachi mela bow in reverence before the hallowed figures of the true followers of Lord Shiva, who give the supreme realization that detachment is the only supreme path for realization of God. The attachment towards body and its comforts are barriers on the path of salvation from bondage of mundane matters.
Begging from people might arouse curiosity
The holy men resort to begging during the four days fair. This brings the curiosity inside the minds of visitors that the divine mystics endowed with so much of divine power are going on rounds of begging. Begging is the greatest proof of detachment from ego. A seeker of spirituality gets truly enlightened when he or she completely sheds off personal ego. Divine understanding just leads to self-surrender before the almighty and freedom from agonies of mundane living.
Stay beyond the opposites and it becomes easier to realize the Supreme Soul
The visitors to the fair are taken aback, when they find that the Naga Sadhus are smoking chillums. The humans are accustomed to live merrily when times are good but easily break down in times of adversities. The elevated souls of Naga sect show utter contempt towards prosperity and adversity in life. As they walk on this razor edge of devotion, it becomes easier for them to get supreme realization about divinity.
Related: The miracles of Naga Sadhus
Shiva is death and destruction but beginning of the new
When hordes of devotees begin to pour into ambubachi mela and mix with the naked followers of Shiva, they get self-realization. This makes them feel that the agonies of their past are simply gone and blessings from the nude holy men would only unfold a new lease in their lives. This makes them catch up with the present and do away with the miseries of past. True awakening comes only in the wake of meeting the naked such holy men in the sacred atmosphere of the fair.
Related: Top 10 magnificent temples in Assam
Sedentary living is just the path to more unhappiness and suffering
The Naga mystics always like to live their lives in hardest possible ways, forsaking physical and other pleasures. When the devotees watch the holy men doing their daily rounds of penance, this convinces them that living life in the simplest possible ways only takes them close to God and frees them from sorrow and suffering.
Display of “Yogic prowess” and practice of divine exploits
As people swarm inside the fair ground, they find the Naga yogis displaying their physical and mental prowess through yoga. Some even get initiated by the holy gurus in the practices of yoga that could lead them towards freedom from severe physical and mental maladies.