Aghoris Sadhus: 5 Facts About Their Weird Rituals And Practices

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Aghoris are a group of ascetics who worship Lord Shiva. Their weird, unusual practices and rituals have turned heads of people. These 5 facts about their rituals will shed some light that will surely turn your heads.

Aghoranna paro mantro

 Nasti tatvam Guro param.

The very name of Aghor (Shiva, or the one who has attained the state of Aghor) is a mantra that is above all other mantras. There is nothing higher to be known than the real nature of the Guru.

Aghoris are the saints who worship Lord Shiva as the Supreme Being or its female manifestation: Shakti or Kali, the goddess of death. 

For them, Shiva is the ultimate creator and destroyer of this world. And if Shiva is the ultimate creator then everything that exists must be perfect and to deny the perfection of anything would deny the sacredness of all life in its full manifestation.

These are 5 things that you most probably don’t know about them:

1. They Stay Naked

Aghoris in the Kumbha Mela – Taking Spiritual Bath on the Ganga River
(Image Credits: WeDriveIndia)

If you have seen any aghoris then you might have seen them naked and with long hairs. It is because they accept their bodies as it is and they never cut their hairs. They believe that the hair is natural and part of their body so it is unethical to cut down the hair.

2. Shiva is the ultimate God

A Devotee Dressed As Lord Shiva Puts A Snake In His Mouth
(Image Credits: TeaHub)

Shiva is the ultimate being and they worship Shiva manifested as Bhairava. They practice nondualism which refers to a mature state of consciousness. It teaches that the multiplicity of the universe is reducible to one essential reality.

3. They Practice Cannibalism

An Aghori Performing a Ritual Before Eating the Flesh

It is believed that they do eat human flesh in order to gain supernatural powers and to remain ageless. Though this act is highly debated but the aghoris do continue to eat the flesh of the dead people. 

4. They Have Sex With Dead Bodies

Aghoris at the Mahakumbh Mela

Aghoris practice rituals that create a sense of surprise and disgust in the general masses. The act of having sexual intercourse with a dead body is believed to be one of the demands of Goddess Kali.

As per their beliefs, to satisfy goddess Kali, they find an appropriate corpse to have intercourse with. They say, ‘The reason why we do things that seem outrageous to the outside world is actually simple. To find purity in the filthiest! If an Aghori manages to remain focused on God even during sex with a corpse or while eating a human brain, then he is on the right way.’

5. They Have No Hate In Their Hearts

‘To possess hate and to meditate is a sin’. They share their food with everyone and anyone. Be it a cow or a dog doesn’t matter to them. Aghoris even eat food alongside animals in the same bowl.


There are many rituals that they do which may seem unusual and odd in the eyes of the general public but that is how they live. They live in the scariest of jungles, the coldest of mountains and usually you can find them roaming in the cremation grounds with ashes smeared on their whole body. 

They perform black magic, not to do any harm but to increase their senses and their ability to talk to the dead ones. 

Their dedication and penance to attain the highest form of enlightenment are what they aspire to do. 

Oṃ aghorebhyo’tha ghorebhyo ghora ghora tarebhyaḥ sarvebhyas sarva sarvebhyo namaste’stu rudra rūpebhyaḥ

Which translates to, ‘My salutations to those who are not terrible, to those who are terrible, and to those who are both terrible and not terrible. Everywhere and always I bow to all Rudra forms.’

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Sheila Ray
Sheila Ray
2 years ago

Are they still practicing all these customs and beliefs?

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