Sadhu Dress Code
How to Dress like a Sadhu ?
Indian Sadhu Dress Complete Set:- Original and Authentic:- 499 USD (Free Shipping Worldwide)
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2 Saffron Dhoti (For Lower Body), 2 Saffron Odni (For Upper Body), 2 Saffron Cloth for Pagdi with Religious Hindu Markings.
Big Beads Rudraksha Mala for Neck Wearing Purpose.
Small Beads Rudraksha Mala for Chanting Purpose.
Wooden Charan Paduka (Sadhu Slippers).
Chandan and Kumkum Teeka.
Janeu (White Thread).
Jal Lota (Water Pot).
Shaligram (For worship purpose).
Book set (Shiva, Vishnu, Hanuman, Krishna, Mahamantra).
Asan (Worshipping Mat).
Mauli (Holy Red / Yellow / Orange Thread)
Brass Utensils (Plate, Katori, Spoon, Glass)
Rudraksha Bracelets (Both Hands).
Jhola (Carry Bag).
Sadhus are wandering ascetics affiliated with a wide range of Hindu religious orders and schools. Found throughout India and Nepal, they are seen in towns and cities and walking along roads with begging pots and staffs. They are respected by Hindus and given food in return for their blessings and prayers. They are also known as babas. A fakir is a holy man who lives by begging.
Sadhu have been around for at least 2000 years . They were called “the silent ones” or the “the long haired ones” in ancient Vedic verses. In ancient times sadhuism was regarded as the highest form of religious life and the power of sadhu penance was such, it was said, that the gods unsuccessfully set down cosmic beauties to try to seduce them and generals laid down their arms rather than wage war against a city protects by a sadhus .
Originally only Brahmins were allowed to become sadhus. Now members of any caste can become one. They take vows of chastity and poverty, adopt ascetic practices, observe certain religious regulations, survive on charities, and provide religious services to those in need. They are expected to severe ties with family or home and wear markings and clothes associated with the sect they belong too.
There are believed to be around five million sadhus belonging to several thousand schools or sects in India. Most sadhus are males. The few females ones are called sadvin (the feminine of sadhu). The most conservative sadhus, the nagas , wear only a loin cloth and have long stringy locks of hair that resemble dreadlocks. Some have nicknames like “Long Haired Man” in honor of locks that if uncoiled would reach the ground.
Sadhus are revered by Hindus as representatives of the gods. Being a sadhu is one of the stages of life a person is expected to pass through. Even so in the caste system sadhus often occupy a position roughly equal to that of domestic servants.
Sadhu Customs and Duties:-
In India of the 1990s, several hundred thousand Hindu and Jain sadhus and a few thousand holy women (sadhvis ) live an ascetic life. They have chosen to wear ocher robes, or perhaps no clothing at all, to daub their skin with holy ash, to pray and meditate, and to wander from place to place, depending on the charity of others. Most have given up affiliation with their caste and kin and have undergone a funeral ceremony for themselves, followed by a ritual rebirth into their new ascetic life. They come from all walks of life, and range from illiterate villagers to well-educated professionals. In their new lives as renunciants, they are devoted to spiritual concerns, yet each is affiliated with an ascetic order or subsect demanding strict adherence to rules of dress, itinerancy, diet, worship, and ritual pollution. Within each order, hierarchical concerns are exhibited in the subservience novitiates display to revered gurus. Further, at pilgrimage sites, different orders take precedence in accordance with an accepted hierarchy. Thus, although sadhus have foresworn many of the trappings of ordinary life, they have not given up the hierarchy and interdependence so pervasive in Indian society.
Hindus Sadhus, Aghori Baba and Buddhist monks have some similar customs. Both wander from place to place, surviving off alms and the goodness of others. In India it is a tradition for old men to leave their families and seek salvation. This is rooted in the Hindu belief in four stages of life: 1) studentship; 2) becoming a householder; 3) retiring to the forest to meditate; and 4) becoming a mendicant ( sannyasi ).
During the third stage a man is expected to move into a hut in the forest with his wife and perform religious exercises. During the forth stage a man is expected to renounced all his worldly possession and become a beggar and devote himself totally to religion. According to the Laws of Manu: He should not wish to die. nor hope to live. but await the time appointed as a servant awaits his wages… Rejoicing in the things of the spirit. calm. caring in for nothing. abstaining from sexual pleasure. himself his only helper. he lives in the world. In hope of eternal bliss
Some sadhus wander and travel a great deal. Others are more sedentary. Their religion duties include acts of self purification, worship, participation in religious discourses, making pilgrimages and studying religious texts. They also preach, teach religious doctrine, help the poor and troubled, and open schools and hospitals.
Many sadhus are Shaivaites. See Sects
A shaved head is a sign of penance. Many devotees have shaved heads this when they first become sadhus. The offering of water is considered a sign of respect. A water pot in some sects is the only possession a sadhu is allowed to own. It is the equivalent of the begging bowl of a Buddhist monk.
Sadhu Clothes and Markings:-
Sadhus generally identify which sect they belong to by clothing color, symbols on specific parts of their body and possessions such as a rosary, water pot or staff. Sometimes body adornments are expressions of sadhus individuality and artisanship rather than symbols of a sect.
Some Hindu holy men wear saffron robes, holy beads and have a vermillion and ash spot on their forehead. Others wear only a loin cloth. Some wear only a loin cloth and a gold chain or a gold bracelet. Some wear nothing at all. Nagas are known for walking around completely naked.
Many sadhus follow rules in which they are allowed to grow hair in five areas: their head, their upper jaw, their chin, their armpits and their pubic areas. Some sadhus shave their entire bodies. Brahmin sadhus are identified by a sacred thread that runs diagonally from their left shoulder to their waist under their right arm.
During important festival sadhus cover their bodies with paint, sandalwood ash, and even sequins. On holy days some loin-cloth-clad sadhus wrap flowers around the top-knot in the their hair and smear their bodies with ashes. Sometimes their outfits can be quite elaborate. One mendicant was observed in a Mysore village with more than 100 different items on his body. It took him a couple of hours to dress and put on all his religious markers.
Some sadhus cover themselves with the ash of cremated bodies. Some tikkas are made from the ash of incense. Others place the mark of Vishnu on their brow or tattoo their forehead with mantras of Lord Rama and his wife Sita. In Pushkar, one journalist saw holyman with no arms or legs.
Sadhus generally are not part of any distinct community. They either live in monasteries (called ashrams , matha or mandira ), if they have chosen a sedentary lifestyle, or take up temporary residence in pilgrimage shrines, if they are on a pilgrimage. Each sects has its own monasteries and pilgrimage shrines. Many monasteries and shrines are supported by lay people who receive spiritual counseling in return for their support. Many sadhus camp out at night when they are wandering around or are put up by almsgivers.
The sadhu lifestyle places a premium on austerity, discipline and self-control. A sadhu’s daily routine includes exercise intended to purify the physical body and elevate the mind, reading sacred verses, and attempting to reach levels of ecstacy through prayer. Generally, the only possessions owned by holy men are a wooden staff, an aluminum begging pot and a cloth bag slung around the neck with a few possessions, such as maybe a spoon, some scriptures and religious mementos. Holy men are supposed to beg only for food, discarding items given to them, saying “I never touch money. It buys only trouble. I would have to fight off thieves. Please, all I want is world peace.”
Sadhus are almost totally dependant on the generosity of others for their subsistence. Some supplement what they receive in alms from begging by serving as spiritual mentors, manufacturing amulets, tickling people with feather dusters, fortunetelling, performing exorcisms, singing, juggling, selling medicinal herbs, tattooing, interpreting dreams, reading palms, casting spells and making potions. Many make and sell talisman known as kavacga which are supposed to attract good spirits and repel evil ones.
Some sadhus have never been married. Other remain married while functioning as sadhus. Many leave their families. It has been suggested that unhappy family lives and marital collapse is the reason that many men decide to become sadhus. Some are orphans or runaways that were adopted by a sadhu order. These generally receive some kind of training that can last months or years before they begin wandering the countryside. Some become sadhus by following the Vedic progression of life stages. They often go through an initiation process and change their names when they become sadhus. Many sadhus have university degrees and families that miss them.
Sadhu Religious Activities:-
It is difficult to generalize about the religious activities of sadhus because they are a diverse group and the sects they belong to have many different traditions, customs, practices and beliefs. Their activities are directed at different gods. Many sadhus light sacred fires when they camp in the monasteries and pilgrimage shrines they stay in. Before sadhus are initiated into a higher level they are symbolically cleansed by clay oil lamps.
Some sadhus spend their entire lives on pilgrimages or even a single pilgrimage. Indra, the god of travelers, once said: “All his sins are destroyed by his fatigues and wanderings.” Others sit in the lotus position on a pair of stacked stones in a cave. As an act of devotion some sadhus put a lime at the end of a spear and then dip the spear in the Ganges. Others chant the name of the monkey god Hanuman a thousand times before a holy fire. After giving advise many sadhus give a banana, a sweetmeat, and a spoonful of Ganges water.
When asked why he spent the winter in a cave at 13,000-foot-high source of the Ganges with two meters of snow around him a sadhu told National Geographic, “God wanted me to do this spiritual work, to meditate and introspect on the spiritual truths of the scriptures. Why, for instance, is it written, and what does it mean, that the Ganges washes away sin? Can I give any scientific interpretation? Only by committing my own body and mind to this research can I hope to find the answer. Often when I sit by the Ganges I slowly open my heart and pour one after another my doubts. Mother Ganges always answers.”
Some sadhus are fierce Hindu nationalists involved in anti-Muslim activities (See Ayoda Temple). Others are involved in environmental activities. Sadhus have demonstrated in Allahabad, for example, demanding that the Ganges be cleaned up.
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