Monday, April 10, 2006

Tantric Tidbits Land Priests In Jail

File under: Gurus Doin' Time

In a spectacular demonstration of the lust for spiritual power, two Hindu priests who were guru and chela have been arrested for eating the remains of a recently deceased child:
"Our investigations revealed the pair exhumed the body on Friday and after lopping off its head they devoured its heart, liver and other soft organs, thinking the act would give them with immense powers," Jaunpur police chief Abhay Kumar Prasad said.
Too bad they didn't appear to have a clue about the fact that tantric cannibalism is about radically transgressing the extents of human individual identity rather than being about acquiring mostly imagined supernatural powers.

The blame for the whole brouhaha goes to the British, because before they took over, you could find Aghora tantrikas wandering the cremation grounds of India, devouring human remains and generally minding their own business:
The gruesome Aghoris of India are said to have been given human flesh to eat at their initiations. This was generally choice pieces filched from the cremation ground rather than specially cooked morsels. Shri Ramakrishna, the Bengali Saint, is said to have undertaken a similar initiation but shrank from actually eating the human titbit. He satisfied the initiation rites by tasting it with the tongue. The Aghoris took this meat to prove to themselves and others that the concept of opposites–good and bad, nice and unpleasant (also mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita)–only existed in the mind. The Lord Shiva is also known by the name Aghora and meaning that there is nothing really horrible, or can be in a world supported by delusion.
Naked, covered in ash and out of their minds. Leave out the cannibalism and it sounds to us like you've got the makings of a pretty good party.

Update: A kind reader has provided a link to the musings of a modern Aghori in India.

6 Comments:

At 4/11/2006 8:17 AM, Blogger ontheotherhand said...

Jody,

Did Ramakrishna actually do that? Can't help it -- sounds waaay over the top to me. This article is nauseating. What powers do these people hope to get btw?

 
At 4/11/2006 9:22 AM, Blogger RITA said...

I almost hate to say this Jody, but doesn't drug use form a cental part of the Aghora tradition? Don't you think drugs or other kinds of intoxicants could contribute to this kind of thinking? Seems like I have read a number of times over the years that one group of Aghoris will get into a sword fight with another group over who gets to bathe first at a Mela. This sounds like ordinary arrogance blown out of porportion by psychedelics.

 
At 4/11/2006 9:29 AM, Blogger jody said...

doesn't drug use form a cental part of the Aghora tradition?

I really don't know what modern Aghoris are doing now.

one group of Aghoris will get into a sword fight with another group over who gets to bathe first at a Mela.

Sounds like they're eating too much meat.

This sounds like ordinary arrogance blown out of porportion by psychedelics.

Go to Burning Man. You'll find thousands of folks on psychedelics, none of them doing anything more than loving one another for it.

 
At 4/11/2006 9:34 AM, Blogger jody said...

Did Ramakrishna actually do that?

He admitted as much himself in the Kathamrita.

What powers do these people hope to get btw?

The usual black magic bullshit.

 
At 4/11/2006 1:02 PM, Blogger Shoonyata said...

I have doubts that these two are even part of a formal aghori sect/lineage. They must be complete idiots to expect to achieve superpowers by eating human flesh. As jody has already explained, the whole point in that traditional use of these rituals is overcoming all duality and going beyond to become Bhairava. They don't really imbibe much either. It is usually only a token offering.

About the drug usage: Yes, many aghoris smoke marijuana (usually hashish) in their chillums. That is certainly not responsible for their violent behavior. I'm pretty sure after a good toke or three they'd to be too stoned to even move their asses off their mats. "Yeaahhhh, dude, I'm one with Shiva!"

But in all seriousness, the real adepts use intoxicants to move beyond the influence they exert on the mind. Some use cannabis to bring about more awareness of body consciousness, and to keep them more grounded while dissolving in samadhi or while emerging from it, as Ramakrishna did.

 
At 4/14/2006 11:41 PM, Blogger In search of ... said...

I recently (today)came across this blog in search for Swami Nithyananda. This thread was interesting as I almost finished reading a beautiful book: KALI: The black godess of Dakshineswar by Elizabeth U. Harding.
This is the Temple where Shri Ramakrishna was priest. He himself has narrated to be trained in Trantic tradition and says about Brahmani (his female guru)offering him rotten flash saying "aversion should not be entertained" THis has a very deep meaning if you try to ponder. But he did not do it himself and says that he went into bhavasamadhi while Brahmani did it. I dont think anywhere he says about human flesh. Please read the book that is filled with knowledge and may clear some misunderstaning on the trantic traditions

 

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