The Gruesome Flesh-Eating Monks of Varanasi

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Image: Cristiano Ostinelli

Indeed, the Aghori sadhus wander the country unrestricted and unencumbered, minus any communication with their relatives. They live among India’s cremation sites – where Lord Shiva and goddess Kali Ma are said to dwell – and feed on what others throw away.

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Image: Cristiano Ostinelli

Interestingly, the Aghori also believe that flesh and blood are transitory and that the body is ultimately inconsequential. Indeed, they emphasize this notion through their habit of dwelling in cemeteries and by surrounding themselves with death and decay.

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Image: Trupal Pandya

Further, the sadhus shun material belongings and often walk around unclothed. This encourages detachment from what they see as earthly delusions, or “maya,” and better signifies the human body in its purest form.

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