– fordi tiden kræver et MODSPIL

19. May 2009

Død, tantra og tiggermunke

Aghori, Varanasi

En opbyggelig fortælling, jeg faldt over i forbindelse med lidt research i en helt anden retning.


The other day, a jogi was brought up before the superintendent of the police, by the thanadar of Hatkholah, who stated, that the man had been seen devouring a corpse at Nimtollah Ghat, the place where the deceased Hindus are generally burnt. The cannibal was ordered to be sent out of the precincts of the town.

This is, perhaps, the climax of a systematic nuisance which we suffer, especially in those parts of the town inhabited by natives. This nuisance is created by those jogis and fakirs who are seen perambulating the streets in a state of almost perfect nudity, generally besmeared with ashes, and bedaubed with paints of different kinds; hale, hearty, and impudent fellows, who seem to boast in putting modesty to the blush, and, to our certain knowledge, of corrupting very many innocent young people.

Their principal mode of earning a livelihood is, either by compelling the natives to give them something hy making a clamour at their doors or before their shops, or by selling different roots, drugs, and charms, for the purpose of forcing nature to deviate from her usual course, and other abominations too horrible and improper to be mentioned in these pages.

The jogi who was perceived devouring the corpse, must have been one of the confraternity called Aghori, who infest almost every town in the Upper Provinces, especially Bihar. Their religion —if it can be called by that name— teaches them to act in every respect contrary to the rules of caste, which they despise, and going to the other extreme, they eat all manner of things, which even those who have no respect for the rules of caste do not approach.

Groups of those people may be seen in the native towns in the front of shops, perpetrating the most indecent deeds in the public streets ; and, collecting all manner of abominations in skulls, picked up on the banks of the river, they besmear their bodies with the abominable mixture, and eat it as if it were a savoury article of food. In this manner they continue in the front of each shop until they have succeeded in extorting such a sum from its owner as they please, and then remove to the next shop and do the same there. Should the shopkeeper be obstinate in refusing to comply with the demand of these wretches, they fix themselves before his shop, and spread filth and pieces of putrid carcases, brought from the river, all about the place, which effectually prevents every body from approaching the spot, and the owner of the shop must either comply with the request of the Aghori or quit his premises.

Should he attempt to molest the filthy besiegers of his shop, he has a very unequal battle to maintain; for to his nasal organ the Aghori will oppose the contents of the skulls about him, viz. pieces of putrid human flesh, and all manner of filthy things, which neither Hindu, Mussulman, nor any other person but an Aghori, would approach. We have heard of these people defending themselves against the clubs of the irritated shopkeepers, with the limbs and the hones of human carcases, and thus formidably armed, putting hundreds to flight. — Hurkmu, June 12.

This loathsome being was brought into the Zillah Court on the 19th June, on a cow-cart, with a large mob following him. On his being led in, we took the liberty of asking him what caste he belonged to. "Kutta ka Jaul," said the wretch [dvs., "hundekasten"], "because I feed on carcasses and corpses:" and then went on with a detail of the most disgusting nature. He, every now and then, scraped his teeth with a human rib bone, and, according to his own words, allayed thirst by sucking an arm bone, which he had suspended to his shoulder. He had a number of human bones round his neck, and on his breast he wore a human skull. Tied to his waist he had several bones of animals, and the skull of a dog attached to the band. His teeth, we remarked, were exceedingly white, and the enamel on them was surprisingly beautiful. He had a very pretty dog by him, on which, when hungry, he purposed feasting.

The magistrate ordered the disgusting wretch to be turned away, as giving him quarters at Tallygunge would be doing injustice to the inmates of it. —Ibid., June 23.

Kilde The Asiatic journal and monthly Register for British and Foreign India, British East Asia Company september-december 1837

Man kan læse mere om fænomenet her.


Aghora skrev:
15/05/2009 00:04:52

Et - synes jeg - utroligt fascinerende fænomen, som måske ikke kommer helt til sin ret i den citerede artikel. Se i den forbindelse evt. den meget bevægende dokumentar fra serien 'Sadhus - India's Holy Men', hvor man i tredje og sidste del følger aghoriens Ram Nath's indvielse; og dertil "Bollywood"-filmen 'Naan kadavul'. (Begge kan findes på Youtube. :)

Carsten Agger skrev:
15/05/2009 00:18:35

Naan Kadavul. Dekhni hai mujhe - den må jeg helt bestemt se :-)

Og ja, måske den linkede artikel mere er, hvad jeg lige kunne finde, mens jeg alligevel lagde uddraget fra Asiatic Journal på, end den egentlig er god eller i hvert fald dyb. Jeg kan i øvrigt godt lide detaljen med, at de britiske myndighederspersoner lod manden gå igen for ikke at genere de øvrige indsatte i fængslet.

Tallygunge ligger i øvrigt i den sydlige del af Kolkata, siger Wikipedia - så denne episode er sket i Bengalen. Manden citeres for at tale Hindustani, ikke bengali, så den kunne givetvis være sket over det hele.

Aghora skrev:
15/05/2009 20:22:33

»Aghora (literally, "non-terrifying") is the spiritual path that seeks to negate all that is ghora ("terrible, terrifying") in life. The ghora encompasses all those experiences that most people find intolerable, for almost everyone is as ready to enjoy life's pleasures as they are to avoid misery. Most spiritual advisers admonish their devotees to shy away from the ghora, but aghoris (practitioners of Aghora) embrace the ghora fervidly, for what most terrifies an aghori is the prospect of becoming mired in duality. Aghoris go so far into the ghora that the ghora becomes tolerable to them; diving deeply into darkness, an aghori finally surfaces into light. No means to awakening is too disgusting or frightening for an aghori, for Aghora is the Path of the Shadow of Death, the path that forcibly separates an individual from attachment to every ordinary self-descriptor.

Aghora's temple is the smashan (cremation ground), where aghoris worship death, the Great Transformer, with a savage, all-consuming love. Those who are enslaved by their cravings think aghoris mad for displaying such ferocity in their quest for knowing. They condemn Aghora's outwardly repugnant practices because they cannot see beneath their ritual skin. If they could but peep into an aghori's heart they would find there an ache for Reality so fierce that no means could be too extreme to achieve it. This ache drives the divine fury, the passionately unrestrained non-attachment to absolutely everything, that is Aghora's hallmark. Aghoris earn their illumination by incinerating themselves moment by moment in their own internal fires, laughingly consuming any substance and performing any activity that might further enkindle their awareness. They seize every moment of life that God offers to them, even a trip to the toilet, as a fresh opportunity to surrender to the One. Good aghoris takes their temples with them as they wander the world, ceaselessly amazed to witness the universe consuming itself in the fires of an ongoing cosmic cremation.

Aghora like alchemy substitutes for a set recipe of self-development an outline whose details differ for each practitioner. Each aghori and his customs are unique, and in truth all one aghori has in common with another is their degree of intensity and determination. Aghoris become so desperate in their quests that they channel their every thought and feeling into a super-obsession, a single-minded quest to achieve the Beloved. They endeavor eternally to dismember their restricted selves fully, that God may have a free hand to re-member them completely. They die day by day while they are still alive, that by dying to their limitations they can be reborn into the eternal life of Reality.

Aghoris achieve laser-like focus by learning to awaken and cultivate that evolutionary power that the Tantras call Kundalini. Vimalananda comments, "Ahamkara, your 'I-creating' faculty, continuously remembers you by self-identifying with all the cells in your body and all the facets of your personality. Ahamkara is your personal shakti (power); she integrates the many parts of you into the individual that you are. You develop spiritually when you can cause ahamkara to realize, little by little, that she is actually She: the Kundalini Shakti. This growing realization gradually awakens Kundalini, and as She awakens She forgets to self-identify with your limited human personality. Then She is ready to recollect something new. (...)"«

Robert Svoboda.

Carsten Agger skrev:
17/05/2009 02:04:21

Tankevækkende - tak!

Der er også en reference til Aghoris i Bollywood-filmen "Raaz - the mystery continues" (2009).

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