"Sadhu"16" x 20" inches ~ Oil on PanelEmail me for a price quotePaper and canvas prints available here
Sadhus India's Holy Men
In Hinduism, sadhu is a common term for an ascetic or practitioner of yoga (yogi) who has given up pursuit of the first three Hindu goals of life: kama (pleasure), artha (wealth and power) and even dharma (duty). The sadhu is solely dedicated to achieving moksha (liberation) through meditation and contemplation of God. Although the term Sadhu has its roots in Hinduism it is also used for followers of other religions, if they live a Sadhu life.
There are about five million sadhus, belonging to different sects, whose goal is to achieve a state of enlightenment. The Sadhus practice rituals involving fire, water, yoga, and meditation, and beg for a living, following the lifestyle of Lord Shiva.
Upon joining a sect, an apprentice-sadhu must undergo an initiation-rite, which is regarded as a symbolic death -- and a rebirth. He dies from his former, earthly life and is reborn into the divine life. The visible symbol of this rebirth is the shaven head of the novice.
Many sadhus, who have devoted themselves to this lifestyle wear extremely long hair (jata), in emulation of Lord Shiva, whose long strands of hair are regarded as the 'seat' of his supernatural powers.
Their bodies smeared with ash, forehead anointed with sandalwood paste, sadhus carry all their material possessions with them: a begging or alms bowl, a wooden staff, a woolen blanket and many a rudraksha or tulsi mala around their neck or wrists.
Believers in the "holyness"of Sadhus often give donations in return for their blessings.