The Aghoris And The Idea Of Cannibalism

“Humans eating humans” is a unique form of ideology, Isn’t it? But this is surprisingly a real fact and this is what cannibalism means in layman’s terms. Those who knew about this belief through history books, movies and etc might assume that it is all in the past but confoundingly it’s a no. Cannibalism is still followed by Aghoris in India. But who are they?

The Aghori Babas of Varanasi, India, are renowned for their ghastly and terrifying quest for heavenly salvation and their practice of devouring corpses. They contend that the dread of death, which is the most intense fear experienced by people, prevents them from attaining enlightenment. One can achieve liberty by overcoming this fear. They are one of the hermits who turn to cannibalism to get through the obstacle of spiritual freedom.

The central tenet of Aghori religion is that everything in the world, even corpses, is equally sacred. There is no such thing as good or bad according to them. The Aghoris strive to transcend all divisions, recognise the false essence of all divisions already in existence, and find eternal happiness by uniting with ultimate presence. However, traditional Hinduism disapproves of this rite. Aghoris are outspoken critics of inequality and the caste system’s enduring effects, which historically segregated Indians into rigid social groups.Also, they don’t harm any other human around them.

While some techniques are as easy as mindfulness, others could be quite strenuous and combative. There is no acceptable or thorough reason for cannibalism. It has been used by several societies and civilizations for a variety of reasons. It makes no sense in general. Instead, it is designed to fit the religious framework of the culture in which it is practiced.

Yoga for Everyone

Yoga : Its Origin, History and Development

Yoga is a collection of physical, mental, and spiritual activities that originated in ancient India that aim to control and still the mind the mind by recognizing a detached witness-consciousness that is unaffected by the mind or ordinary sorrow.

The name ‘Yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj,’ which means ‘to join, yoke, or unify.’ Yoga, according to Yogic texts, leads to the union of individual consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness, implying complete harmony between the mind and body, as well as between Man and Nature. Everything in the universe, according to modern scientists, is just a manifestation of the same quantum firmament. A yogi is someone who has experienced this oneness of existence and has attained the state of freedom known as mukti, nirvana, or moksha. As a result, the goal of Yoga is to achieve Self-realization, which leads to ‘the state of liberation’ (Moksha) or ‘freedom’ (Kaivalya).

Yoga’s beginnings may be traced back over 5,000 years to northern India. The Rig Veda, an old sacred scripture, is where the word yoga first appeared. Yoga is one of Hinduism’s six schools of philosophy, and it’s also a big part of Buddhism’s meditation practices.

Terminology of Yoga

Here are a few words you could hear during a yoga practice and what they mean:
Āsana
An Āsana is a body posture that includes reclining, standing, inverted, twisting, and balancing poses. It was originally and still is a general term for a sitting meditation pose, but it was later extended in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise to any type of position, including balancing, twisting, and balancing poses.

Prānāyāma
In Sanskrit, Prānāyāma refers to the life energy that pervades all living things. The term Prānāyāma is used in modern-day yoga sessions to describe breathing exercises that erase physical and mental blockages in our bodies to release the breath.

Yoga Postures

When you first begin practising yoga, there will be specific postures that will form the foundation of your practice. You may receive the benefits of yoga by anchoring your practice with these postures: flexibility, greater muscle strength, spine protection, increased blood flow, and even improved happiness.

It is believed that there are 19 different types of yoga and 66 basic yoga postures. Some of the basic postures are:

  1. ŚĪRṢĀSANA – HEADSTAND
    You balance on your elbows, arms, and head in this asana. The Headstand is the first in the sequence and is known as the “King of āsanas” due to its numerous benefits. “Head-stand is a panacea, a cure-all, a sovereign specific for all diseases,” Swami Sivananda said.
  2. SARVĀṄGĀSANA – SHOULDERSTAND
    With the body resting on the shoulders, this is an inverted stance. Sarvangāsana denotes totality. Sarvangāsana, also known as the “Queen of āsanas,” strengthens the entire body. Because the chin is forced on the throat in this position, the thyroid gland is regulated, which in turn balances all other glands in the body, ensuring that all bodily systems and organs function properly.
  3. HALĀSANA – PLOUGH
    A plough-like stance with hands and feet on the floor. Its name comes from the Sanskrit word hala, which means plough. Halasana strengthens and tones the spine, as well as correcting a pronounced lower back curvature (lordosis). As the abdominal organs are massaged, it reduces problems like indigestion and constipation.
  4. MATSYĀSANA – FISH
    Matsyāsana posture is resting on the arms, arching the back and expanding the chest. The name Matsyāsana comes from the fact that it allows one to float in water like a fish. This posture promotes improved lung capacity and better breathing, which aids in the treatment of respiratory illnesses such as chronic bronchitis and asthma.
  5. PAŚCIMOTTĀNĀSANA – SITTING FORWARD BEND
    Paścimottānāsana Posture is stretching the spine forward. This seemingly simple pose is one of the most powerful and significant of all postures. It relieves the pressure on the spine generated by standing erect. Continuous practice helps to keep the back supple, the joints mobile, the nervous system energized, and the internal organs toned. It also helps to prevent diabetes by massaging the pancreas naturally.
  6. BHUJAṄGĀSANA – COBRA
    This posture is arching the upper body and expanding the chest. This position enhances flexibility, rejuvenates spinal nerves, and provides a rich blood supply to the spine by arching the spine. It helps to support the neck and upper back.
  7. ŚALABHĀSANA – LOCUST
    Śalabhāsana Posture is lying on the front with lifted legs. Śalabhāsana improves the operation of the intestines, strengthens the abdominal walls, and improves digestion. This posture enhances cervical flexibility and helps lower back pain and sciatica by bending the spine backwards. This posture aids in the development of willpower.
  8. DHANURĀSANA – BOW
    Dhanurāsana Posture is balancing on the abdomen in the shape of a bow. The benefits of Cobra and Locust positions are combined and enhanced in Dhanurāsana. This posture increases flexibility in the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral regions by working on the entire spine. It massages and energizes the digestive organs, which aids in the treatment of a variety of diseases. Another good āsana for women because it helps with menstrual difficulties.
  9.  ARDHA MATSYENDRĀSANA – HALF SPINAL TWIST
    Ardha Matsyendrāsana Posture is a twist for the entire spine. This asana is named after Matsyendranath, a renowned yogi. The Half Spinal Twist increases the mobility of the spine by twisting the vertebrae in both directions. In this position, the abdominal organs receive a deep massage, which helps to relieve digestive disorders.
  10. KAKĀSANA – CROW
    Kakāsana Posture is balancing in a squatting position. Kakāsana helps to strengthen the arm, wrists, and shoulders while also stretching the hips. It improves concentration and fosters mental and physical balance, as do all balancing poses.
  11. PĀDAHASTĀSANA – STANDING FORWARD BEND
    Pādahastāsana is a bending forward in a standing position. Pādahastāsana stretches the spine and mobilizes the joints, making it more elastic. It improves the neurological system by increasing blood flow to the brain. Standing Forward Bend is an exercise that promotes eternal youth.
  12. TRIKOṆĀSANA – TRIANGLE
    Posture is a lateral bend resembling a triangle. Trikonansa’s lateral stretch elongates the spine and improves hip and leg flexibility. The circulatory system is stimulated, the liver and spleen are massaged, and the digestive tract’s peristalsis is boosted. Other asanas improve as the body becomes lighter.

The art of forgiving

I have grown up idealizing my grandma. I love her and love everything she does. For me she has always been my iron woman. I have never in my life seen her whine or cry over something even once. It’s as if she doesn’t care. As if this world is too juvenile for her attention and care. Trust me, she doesn’t give two hoots about anything on this planet. Her life has always revolved around her and it continues to be like that. I’m not saying she’s selfish, she’s just not as bothered about others as we are. If she ever receives a compliment from someone, she thanks them. If people ever talk I’ll about her she does something which most of us fail to do- she forgives them.

I don’t know how she does it. I asked her one day how she lets go of all her anger to which she said that people who make you angry have the sole purpose of annoying nad irritating you. They want to get inside your mind and poison it. They want you to constantly think of them and how they wronged you. When you get angry at someone you pledge that you would never talk to them or think of them and in order to hold up this pledge you have to constantly remind your mind to not think of them. This is counterproductive because in order to forcefully and deliberately forget people you in turn constantly remind yourself of their bad deeds. This spoils your mind and wastes your time. Holding a grudge against someone comes with a heavy cost which you have to pay with your peace of mind. Thus, in order to be happy, you have to prioritise who is more important to you- yourself or others and if the answer is the former, you must forgive others.

Forgiveness isn’t philanthropy. You are not doing it to release others from their crimes and deeds, you are doing that to release your own self from the negative emotions and thoughts which come with resentment.

Life is too short to live it for others. You must start living for yourself. Love more, hate less because this is going to benefit you. Prioritise yourself. You should be your first priority and your happiness should be above your ego. The day you start loving yourself and the moment you realise that you want to start living life for your soul is the moment you will learn the art of forgiving. Imagine living for a 100 years. When you were 5 years old you had a fight with a friend of yours and you decided you would never speak to that friend or ever think of him. Now, you spent the next 95 years of your life reminding yourself how that person hurt you and how you should never think of him. Thus, you kept living every moment of your life for that person and just wasted a glorious 100 years holding on to a grudge which was fatal for your mental peace and we’ll being.

Thus, the path to eternal happiness starts from forgiveness. Let go of the hatred you have towards other people and you’ll notice how improved your life is. Always remember that your self respect is greater than your ego. While your ego prefers holding on to something your self respect will always remind you to let go because that’s the only way you can actually honour yourself.

Om Shanti.