Allahabad: The naked or the Naga sadhus have been drawing crowds at the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad. People drop jaws looking at the yoga kriyas of these grotesque saints who wear no clothes on their ash-covered bodies. But little do we know about their origin.
70-years-old Digambar Ramdev Giriji, a Naga for the past 25 years controls his sexual desires, by practicing Ling Kriya—passing an iron rod through his private organs.
“You need a good soul to become a Naga, not money,” says the saint who lives in a cage and survives on herbs.
Naga is a process, which takes many years, he tells. The First Stage is called the Mahapurush, the second stage—the Avdhoot and the final one is called the Naga. And when the Naga Sadhus become senior depending on their Yoga Siddhis they aspire to become Digamabaras and Sirdigambaras.
At the Kumbh Mela this year, more than 2,000 sadhus have gathered who aspire to become Naga Sadhus. This is an opportunity for them that comes only during the Kumbh and the Ardh Kumbh. The aspiring sadhus perform Pind Daan—a ceremony which helps them consider themselves dead and ready to surrender their souls to the almighty.
"It is ceremony of the sanyasa which means complete renunciation from the worldly joys,” says Swami Avdeshanand the head of Juna Akhada.
A Naga Sadhu is just not a naked ash-smeared ascetic but an individual who crosses all the boundaries to attain the ultimate truth of life.