8 September 2006

Sadhu Bath







Being a Sadhu is not an easy life. Although there are several places available for daily sit down meals; like Yogi Ramsuratkumar Ashram, Sri Seshadri Ashram, takeaways at Ramana Maharshi Ashram and rice breakfasts at the Palakothu Tank, still there's not much chance of tea, coffee, fruit, biscuits, and the essential Sadhu prerequisite of biddies (home-rolled country style cigarettes). Also no nice bed and for most of them it's sleeping rough in the open and taking very publics bath at one of the many water tanks dotted around Tiruvannamalai.

A lot of these sadhus were in fact regular people like teachers, government bureaucrats or railway workers who on retirement decided to take up the life of itinerant sadhu. This is very much in line with the Hindu tradition that sets out the four stages of a person's life; student, householder, solitary, sannyasa (renunciant).

It must be very difficult at a late age, after a lifetime of the usual comforts, to give it all up and live on the streets, sleep on the roads, beg for your food and have to put up with abuse from harsh foreigners; who invariably whine, 'Well, if you're a sadhu; why do you need money?' Such nagging folk should definitely NOT be allowed to leave their homeland under any circumstances!

4 comments:

Marcy Abu said...

Yes its true. Ive been to India lots of times and you hear alot of really mean foreigners say smart things to sadhus and beggars. If people dont give, okay, but its not necessary to humiliate the sadhus. Thats bad.

Divyakka said...

I agree completely with that comment. If you do not want to help, at least do not hurt. Where is the compassion and spirituality in pointing fingers at others, whom we know nothing about at all. Is that why we visit India? To judge others? People should remember what spirituality is, and practice it instead of judging.

Arunachala Living said...

What a life the sadhus live. Sleeping outside in the cold out in the open and having to deal with vagrants, cops and miserably minded people. The toughness must be part of their tapas. Amazing dedication to the Divine. It is not an easy way to make money so even the insincere ones have a tough, tough time.

Divyakka said...

Good comment, I agree with that. It is not as if these sadhus have an easy life. They live outdoors and put up with a lot of hardship.