sādhu (tranlation;”good man,or holy man”) denotes an ascetic, wandering monk. Although the vast majority of sādhus are yogīs, not all yogīs are sādhus. The sādhu is solely dedicated to achieving liberation or otherwise spiritual perfection while here & now on Earth through constant meditation and contemplation of God-Consciousness. Sādhus often wear saffron-colored clothing, symbolizing their descision to outwardly manifest their inherent divinity, that is naturally within all aspects or “incarnations” of Mother-Nature…
spiritual enlightenment(‘to know whats up’) has always been the highest goal in life, the one thing that gives it meaning and purpose.
Moreover, enlightenment is a state of natural, pure, & Godly being that is attainable for everybody.
The average individual, however, would need many incarnations to become enlightened, to see God, to become one with the Absolute, to merge one’s mind with Cosmic Consciousness — in short, to become God.
“there are no enlightened individuals, only enlightened qualities”
– Chan buddhist Master, speaking about how ‘enlightenment is simply manifesting your own inherent nature.’
But since time immemorial shortcuts have been available for people wanting to become enlightened in this life rather than the next.
Those who follow the fast track, mostly men, are the sadhus, the ‘holy men’ of India, & soon perhaps the rest of the world…
For thousands of years they have been around.shamans & mystics with no formal backing from a particular organization
Organised in various sects, they passed on the wisdom of old, the method of yoga, that is ‘yoking’ soul and Soul together.
Usually they live by themselves, on the fringes of society, and spend their days in devotion, & deep mystic practices were sadhus pursue communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or otherwise called GOD through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight. Sadhana(or spiritual practice) usually centers on practices intended to nurture those experiences.
Some perform magical rituals to make contact with the gods, others practise intense forms of yoga and meditation to increase their spiritual powers and acquire mystical knowledge.
Certainly, not all sadhus are enlightened. But believers regard them all as holy anyway, if only because of their radical commitment. And successful sadhus are even worshipped as ‘gods on earth’.
Believers only have to ‘behold’ a sadhu — as a kind of living idol — to receive a spark of his spiritual energy. They give donations to the sadhus — regarded as offerings to the gods — and get their blessing in return. Thus, since time immemorial, has Indian society been organised to support the holy men, for they are not supposed to work…
in the West from the 60’s onward many disenfranchised youth gained alot of interest in sadhus, hinduism, yoga, buddhism, & taoism…
or otherwise just philosophy after all
“Love is my religion”-Ziggy Marley
many chose to go to india and become traditional sadhus with an upsurge of interest in the ‘mystic East’ mirroring a growing discontent with the ‘materialistic West’, scores of young Westerners went to India searching for the meaning of life and often finding a guru.
Many became disciples of famous, international gurus such as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Bhagwan Rajneesh, and Saï Baba, but others chose the more individualistic path of the sadhu and committed themselves to the hardships of the ascetic life.
no matter which dogma you adopt(yoga, hindu, buddhist, taoist,new age, mystic forms of wicca, christianity, islam, etc) to better understand the unspeakable truth… the Sadhu life is an appropriate path for those who wish to become liberated from relative existence and live in the vivid realisation of non-dual unity with Jah.
After a short 50 years in the american mainstream many young people are takeing up yogic practice with zeal, it(and others of course) has become a popular religion in america, now many americans want to take up sannyasa(monkhood) and focus solely on the pursuit of “enlightenment” or self-realization…
people who wish to adopt this path must be ready determined and full of conviction… but most of all one must have Vairāgya. Vairāgya;is a Sanskrit term that roughly translates as dispassion, detachment, or renunciation, in particular renunciation from the pains and pleasures in the material world (Maya)…otherwords the falling away of material desires and attachments and a desire to leave the world behind.
Although the Sadhu path is open to absolutely anyone, rules are thought of to give guidelines on how to transform the mind from a human to a living Deity. This often includes studying under a Guru for many years(in most traditions the Guru is a lifetime commintment like getting married), study of many sacred texts until you are fluent in religious concepts & ideas, vigorous physical & mental training. & of course constant meditation…
different Gurus teach different methods to reach yoga(union with God) however the goal is the same which is release from worldly existence.
the sadhu starts with one final descision, to be free, or to keep going.
“the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step…”-Lao Tzu
Modern sadhus often travel, mix with all kinds of company, genuinely practice everyday until the mind is purified by ignorance.
The Modern Sadhu is remains unseen often, or is seen as a town madman, as Modern Sadhus emmulate mystics of other traditions honoring them by wearin saffron robes, dreadlocks( called Jati), rasta hats,or wear almost nothing until they look like a street urchin. sometimes they act like they are the king of all reality, & othertimes they act like they are nothing but a poor begger.
modern sadhus carry a medicine Bag with them for all their high vibrational objects “on loan” from God. as well as various herbs and medicines used in spiritual practice…
they often keep sacred texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Atma Bodha, the Avadhuta Gita, or the Hua hu Ching.
they often keep divine images of favored deities and images/symbols.
the modern Sadhu often keeps handy;
a begging bowl or cup for spareing change
a peace pipe
shoes(for going inside places, not everyone lets a barefoot vagrent walk in, even a living deity)
wallet(with ID, and solsitation materials, as well as contact numbers)
phone ( if Mother-Nature has blessed you with a phone in this here & now then appretiate this gift)
sometimes a staff
Living as a sadhu is a difficult lifestyle. Sadhus are considered to be dead unto themselves. they sometimes attend their own funeral before following a guru for many years, serving him by doing menial tasks until acquiring the necessary experience to leave his leadership.The ruggedness of the sadhu life deters many from following the sadhu path. Such practices as the obligatory early morning bath in the cold mountains require a detachment from common luxuries. After the bath, sadhus gather around the dhuni, or holy fireplace, and begin with their prayers and meditation for the day.
Some sadhus dispense blessings to the local community, remove evil eyes or bless a marriage. They are a walking reminder to the average Hindu of Divinity. They are generally allowed free passage on the trains and are a close-knit organization.
sadhus are starting to appear in all parts of the world with such free information many take up sannyas while never seeing india.
“where ever you are there you are.” says one american neo-sadhu
many “american” Sadhus blend in to mainstream society as diehard Hippies or broke stoners, but there choice to live apart from society has recreated the sadhu ideal in the west, as with all new religious trends it will definately have a effect.
one effect is that almost all american sadhus are more intellectually bent than there indian counterparts, focusing on Jnana(wisdom) instead of Tapas(inner purifications).
many also do not have Gurus, unlike in india were most ascetics are initiated by a teacher. but even this is changeing as many yogis realize Cosmic Consciousness they are in turn “retiring” into Gurus who are teaching the second generations of these Modern Sadhus…
The goal of Sadhu is to be one with God. For the Sadhu there is concentration on the breath & the remembrance of God through the recitation of the name of God.