also known as yogi or Sanyasi.
He is a Hindu ascetic and equivalent
to Faquir of Sufism in Islam.
Sadhu is in fact a Hindu ascetic who
has renounced all the social activity, authorities the materialistic things
and money in order to quest for the truth of life. Many times people don't
find the difference among a guru, a priest and a Sadhu. A Sadhu
is a guru or a priest for them. But
they do not confused with guru or
priest as Sadhu.
A Sadhu is too far from the orthodox priesthood because he renounces everything
which is considered superior to the rituals of the priests.
The concept of the Sadhu is connected
with the early images of Shiva himself with his
matted hair and body besmears with ashes.
Normally a Sadhu wears a kind of robe in saffron color.The saffron color
is very important because like other colors it also has specific vibrations.
This is the color of the sun and fire and gold which symbolizes
purity,energy and gold, it also represents religious
abstinence. It is the color of holy men and ascetic who have
renounced the world. Wearing this color means the quest for life. Traditionally
they carry a long musical instrument called tong, a trident, a kamandal
(a wooden or brass waterpot), which they use to carry water and to collect
They wear a rosary around their neck of the Rudraksh a bead, which comes
from the tree of ELAEOCARPUS GANITRUS,
found in the Himalayas and is very
effective for the blood pressure to bring it to normal. They have matted
hair and never cut hair besmeares with the ash all over their body like
Shiva, sometimes they live in nude or wrap out a hide of an animal. Generally
a sadhu puts some temporary marks on his hands chests neck and on forehead,
which is made off sandal wood paste or ash. There can be endless variation
of this sectarian mark depending on the sect.
There are two sects of the Sadhus:-
The Shaivite Sadhus
The Vaishnavite Sadhus
The Shaivite Sadhus: are the Shiva's
followers and then they are divided into various sub-sects. The Dasanami
sect (or the monks with 10 names) has about 10 branches and they are scattered
all over India. They each have their own kind of army called the Nagas
and they follow tantrism and shaktism.They eat meat take stimulants such
as hash,cannabis and are often criticized or their erotic practicesThe
Gorakhnathis sect wears large earrings. The aghoris are notorious for
their rites involving the deads.They generally live in crematorium and
besmears the ash of crematorium. Then there is lingayats sect who worship
on ling (phallus) as the symbol of shiva
The Vaishnavite Sadhus: the sadhus
of this sect is devoted to Vishnu.This sect was developed much later than
the shivaits. They are commonly called vairagies (the detached ones) they
are more calm sadhus than the shivaits. They are the members of various
schools of bakthi (devotion) Their common identifying
marks on their fore head is a big (
U ) and then there is a dot ( . )
inside the U. or there is an ( I )
inside the U. They normally wear white clothes and carry the rosary of
Tulsi (sacred basil).Unlike the common Hindu who is cremated,
the sadhu is buried usually in the sitting position and the burial site
normally becomes a place of worship.