Who is Naga Sadhu ? Blessings of Celibacy and Penance in Maha kumbh 2021
The biggest attraction of Kumbh Mela in India is always the Naga Sadhu. These mysterious saints are the epitome of divinity on earth. Here we will reveal you the secrets of Naga Sadhu in Haridwar Maha kumbh 2021. How Naga Sadhus drive force to live under the open sky in Sun, Rain, and Cold? How someone becomes Naga? What do Naga Sadhus do in Kumbh Mela? These are the general questions that every visitor to Kumbh wants to know. This time too, as usual sects of ascetics will come for Kalpawas in Kumbh. Let’s know why Naga Sadhus are extraordinary ?
Naga Sadhus – An Epitome of Divinity
Naga Sadhus remain a mystery with their rituals, spiritual practices, penance, and way of life. It takes courage to become a Naga. After performing great penance (Tapa), ordinary celibates are designated to Naga. Many cannot become Naga even after dedicating their whole life. The practices and penance of Naga are strenuous than the worst military drills. Due to their extraordinary powers and prowess, they are revered among general masses of India. The tough practices make these ascetics highly spiritual and divine that is hard for an ordinary man. They appear in every Kumbh Mela. So, they are going to participate in Shahi Snan in Maha Kumbh Mela 2021 in Haridwar too.
Who is Naga ?
To become a Naga, one needs to be celibate who have never consummated with a female. There are some conditions to become Naga.
- Brahmacharya (complete control over sexual and erotic feelings) .
- Do last rites of self considering himself dead
- Renounce all material wealth and worldly pleasure .
- Take permission from certain family members for “Diksha” (admission).
- Attains control over all senses and become moral .
- Don’t wear clothes and rub ash on the body .
- Once a day meal got from begging at maximum 7 houses (if a Naga doesn’t get food from any of 7 houses, he has to keep fast for the day) .
- Sleep on earth.
- Has to live away from people (hills and forests) .
- Keeps “Jata” which is the lock of hair tied together with the help of latex from Peepal tree .
- Selfless devotion (bhakti) to God .
Akhada Procession in Kumbh Mela in Haridwar – the Household of Naga Sadhus
The biggest attraction of Maha Kumbh 2021 is -Akhada Procession. Now you might be thinking “what is Akhada?” Akhada is a big team of Naga Sadhus. They come in group with pomp and show and are given preference to the public for Shahi Snan (main bathing ritual in Kumbh Mela 2021 in Haridwar). Any ordinary man can take a bath in the river only after Akhada Snan. One Akhada has thousands of penancing sadhu who are celibates. They do Yogic practices for 12 years and also carry their weapons. They appear to the public only during the holy bath in the procession. Many of these Nagas live in different parts of India, in forests and Himalayas, and come only to participate with their Akhada.
What is Akhada of Naga Sadhu in Kumbh Mela?
Literally, Akhada means a “wrestling arena”. The Naga Akhada practice started as an armed confrontation to save Vedic Hinduism. However, today Akhada stands for a spiritual wrestling instead of physical powers. Although Naga Sadhu keep weapons as a symbol of protection of Dharma (righteousness), they are harmless. They worship their weapons and don’t use it to kill anyone. A single Akhada has thousands of ascetic Naga coming from all walks of life. Before Shahi Snan in Maha Kumbh 2021 in Haridwar, all Akhadas will come to participate in Kalpawas.
What is Kalpawas of Naga Sadhu?
Kalpawas is simply a practice of renouncing material pleasure. But, ordinary people and Sanyasi both follow different rules for Kalpwas. Naga practices a harder form of penance while in Kalpwas. Some practices of Kalpwas include bathing 3 times a day in the river, sleeping naked under the sky, sleeping on the earth, wearing least or no clothes, cooking own food of begged food, and self-abstinence of all forms. Kalpa is a complex ritual instruction and also focuses on rites of passage.
Extraordinary Feats of Naga Sadhu
Naga Sadhus put themselves to extraordinary traumatic penance . In Maha Kumbh 2021 in Haridwar, people can see the hundreds of Naga practicing their abnormal exercises. Some Siddh Naga can float their bodies on water, fly in the air, and even stay in the air for a longer duration. They practice severe meditation in devotion to God. Bearing immense pain makes these Naga Sadhus immune to worldly vices. Scientists call it a miracle, but it is an ancient spiritual Yoga practice that comes through regular and selfless sacrifices. To see this through your eyes, must visit Maha kumbh 2021 in Haridwar.
Hierarchy of Designation of Naga Sadhu in Akhada
- Shree Mahant
- Jamatiya Mahant
- Thanapati Mahant
- Peer Mahant
- Acharya Mahamandaleswar
- Note – Naga should be considered the entry-level designation
Women Naga Sadhvi–Feminine Energy to Protect Dharma
Naga Sadhvi follows the same practices of Naga Sadhus i.e. leaving ego, lust, sex, greed, desire, and money. They cover their body with single saffron cloth and are not allowed to uncover their body even during Shahi Snan ritual in Kumbh Mela.
Important Akhadas Participating in MahaKumbh 2021 in Haridwar
- Niranjani Akhada
- Juna Akhada
- Mahanirwani Akhada
- Nirmohi AKhada
- Digambar Akhada
- Udasin Akhada
Why Penance of Naga Sadhus is an Attraction in Maha Kumbh 2021?
Naga Sadhu is on a mission to protect Dharma throughout their life. Here Dharma doesn't simply mean the religion. Instead, it symbolizes righteousness. Through their moral and spiritual extraordinary powers, Naga Sadhu protects the right action on earth. Whenever political power becomes weak and a situation of chaos happens on earth, they come forward to protect society. This is why these ascetics get special reverence from mainstream society. Go to see the charm of Naga Akahada Procession in Kumbh Fair 2021 in Haridwar.
Please don’t throw plastics and ritual items in the River Ganga. Keep the river clean!
What holy Voyages does in Maha Kumbh -
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