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.