Kumbh Mela 2019: 21 Naga Sadhu Facts You Must Know!

Some call them Naga Sadhus, while others address the as Naga Babas and Naga Sanyasis. Call them whatever you may, but the Naga Sadhus always steal the show at the Kumbh Mela. So what’s their story? Where do they come from? How does a man become a Naga Sadhu? What sets them apart from the rest? Read on to learn all about the Naga Babas here.

Naga Sadhus

21 Mind-Boggling Facts About Naga Sadhus:

1. There are 13 main Akharas where in a person acquires the honour of becoming a Naga Sadhu after being educated by the Akhara heads.

2. After this, he gets assigned 5 Gurus (spiritual mentors). After learning all that there is to know, they are put under rigorous tests.

NAGA babas

3. The first test in the path of becoming a Naga Sadhu is to live the life of Bramhacharya. The Naga Sadhu has to lead a life of celibacy among other things for a maximum of 12 years to a minimum of 6 months. It is only after this that they are allowed to take on the next test.

4. The third phase involves the Naga Sadhu to stand under the flag of his respective Akhara for 24 hours. Then, a vein in the Naga Sadhus male organ is made dysfunctional, leading to impotence for life. When this is done, the Naga Sahu becomes a ‘Digambar Sadhu’.

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5. There are Female Naga Sadhus as well who are addressed as ‘Matha’ (mother).

6. Before attaining the privilege of being a Naga Sadhu, they have to shave off the hair in their heads and take 108 dips in the River Ganges.

7. In order to be a Naga Sadhu, they are expected to leave their worldly lives behind. This is done in a ceremonial funeral of the Nag Baba, performed by the heads of the Akharas.

Naga Sadhu as part of the grand procession at Allahabad

8. To be able to teach, the Naga sadhus are handed a guru mantra. It is basis this that the Naga sadhu devotes his or her meditation around, throughout their lives.

9. Sacrificing all materialistic things is essential in the life of Naga Sadhus. And so, they abstain from wearing clothes. They are only handed a single piece of orange cloth that they can wear if they want to.

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10. Apart from spiritual enlightenment, Naga Sadhus are also trained as warriors. They were known to be the army of Shankaracharya who would protect their religious rights in times of need. Which is why, at the Kumbh Mela you will notice that every Naga Sadhu carries a Trishul or a sword with him.

11. Naga Sadhus only sleep on the floor with no beds, cots, pillows or blankets used.

12. The Naga Babas always live in isolation, away from the hustle bustles of cities and modernity. Most of the Naga Babas live in the higher Himalayan caves, meditating, in order to reach higher achieve a higher state of enlightenment.

13. If a Naga Sahu comes knocking on your door, provide him food. Naga Sadhus knock only 7 doors a day. If they aren’t offered anything during this time, they stay hungry all day and go begging for alms the next day.

Naga Sadhu

14. A typical morning of a Naga Sadhu involves prayers, taking a bath and smearing human ash all over his body, followed putting on Rudraksh necklaces and painting a Tilak on his forehead.

15. Each Akhara has a distinct ‘Tilak’. At the Kumbh Mela, you will find Naga Babas perfecting their Tilaks over and over; trying to make their Tilaks as good as the one from the previous day.

16. They also carry ‘Chimtas’, a musical tong that they are very fond of. They use this to sing and praise Lord Shiva during their day.

17. Naga Sadhus can only be seen in public at the Kumbh Mela. They are known to quietly leave the holy grounds during the last night of the Kumbh in secrecy.

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18. The Naga Sadhu s only worship Lord Shiva, and no other god of Hinduism.

19. Every Akhara have an assigned Daroga. Darogas are men who are sent to the other Akharas when the Naga Babas need to communicate things across.

20. Naga Babas only consume Satvik Food.

Nga Sadhus during the Shahi Snan at the Kumbh Mela

Nga Sadhus during the Shahi Snan at the Kumbh Mela

21. The Naga Sadhus are always the first to take a dip of salvation in the Sangam during the Kumbh Mela. It is called ‘The Shahi Snan’. It is only after them that the other religious sadhus and saints take a dip, followed by the general public.

Come, witness the grand Shahi Snan of the Naga Sadhus this year. You can stay at TUTC’s luxurious Sangam Nivas located at the highest point of the Kumbh Mela, Prayagraj.

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We set up luxury camping tents in Nagaland from November 29 to December 12, to coincide with the dates of the Hornbill festival. We are also even operational in Ladakh from the May 15 to October 10, so book yourself a glamping experience in the Himalayan mountains. Or delve into the hidden secrets of the wild, in the forest reserves of Dudhwa at The Jaagir Lodge from 19 December 2017 to 15 June 2018  call +91 801 090 2222 or write to us at info@tutc.com.

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