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  • This article definitely needs cleanup for better phrasing as well as accuracy of content.
(I'm not the above anonymous poster.) I went thru and worked on the tone. I don't know what "Naga" and "Jata" mean, which are thrown around in the article. I linked Naga to some snake mythology, but that could be wrong.
Oh, and I don't know what "baba" means either. Also, I think Aghora is misspelled as Agora in one place, but I don't know if maybe that was intentional. Don't know anything about the subject, just thought I could fix the tone issues. Hope I didn't make a mess of anything. NickelShoe 19:01, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
Also, I removed this paragraph:
While many dispute whether a Westerner may become a Hindu, he may become a sadhu provided he finds a guru that will accept him.
Both the disputation and the acceptance could use a reference, plus it seems kind of irrelevant. If somebody has a reference and can fit it into the article, by all means, stick it back in.
I might remove the tone tag in a few weeks if nobody has any further concerns, but if I didn't do enough, I won't be offended at somebody wanting to keep it. NickelShoe 18:50, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

external links[edit]

Question: Should the Sadhu Photo Gallery be kept as a relevant external link in the Sadhu article?


  • My Photo Gallery - containing more than 500 sadhu photos (thus the largest organized collection available on the web up to date) - has been removed twice by Ism schism and marked as spam as can be seen it in the History:
15:42, 17 September 2008 Ism schism (Talk | contribs) (13,050 bytes) (→External links: rm spam) (undo) 
11:15, 14 August 2008 Ism schism (Talk | contribs) (12,972 bytes) (restore deleted section) (undo) 

The Sadhu Photo Gallery is definitely NOT SPAM, but THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF SADHU PHOTOS AVAILABLE ON THE NET. I want to know WHY it is not accepted as an External Link !!!??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cyberguru (talkcontribs) 11:49, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Reply Because, it is SPAM. Thanks. Ism schism (talk) 01:59, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Reply You have not studied the Dispute Resolution (See:WP:DR) and thus I will not accept this as an appropriate answer. A Photo Collection of the given subject is not SPAM. You should study the Wikipedia Spam (WP:LINKSPAM) and External Links (WP:LINKS) definitions. The Sadhu Photo Gallery falls under "Links to be considered" no.1. cited: "For albums, movies, books, and other creative works, links to professional reviews." (See: WP:ELMAYBE) If you insist on deletion we should request for comments. (See:WP:RFC) I think you should be a bit more precise and cooperative. Thank you! Cyberguru (talk) 03:00, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Comment CyberGuru, Kindly see Wikipedia:EL#AVOID, — "Links to blogs and personal web pages, except those written by a recognized authority (this exception is meant to be very limited; as a minimum standard, recognized authorities always meet Wikipedia's notability criteria for biographies)." The link is a personal website, why dont you consider uploading the images to wikimedia under a suitable license, it will be a great addition. Thanks. -- vineeth (talk) 17:51, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually, it doesn't look like that would work, as it appears CyberGuru is not the photographer but instead has collected photos from sites all over the web, most likely violating others copyrights in the process. Bob (QaBob) 19:09, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Do not include link - not only is it personal-site spam, the images have been collected from multiple websites in apparent violation of copyright. This is a strict bar to linking to this site, see WP:ELNEVER #1. Bob (QaBob) 20:54, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Reply I see Bob has already taken action and deleted the external link the third time. I shall not place the link again, but let me point out three major points people creating wikipedia should consider:
1. "written by a recognized authority" gives me the creeps! I AM an authority on this subject matter, for heaven's sake! I am a cultural anthropologist specializing in the study of sadhu culture. I have a number of academic qualifications in cultural anthropology, philosophy of religion, literature and linguistics and more. I am a university lecturer of the subject matter as well as other buddhist and hindu subjects. Please study my academic background if you must. Even better if you read the English summary of my two studies on sadhu culture: The followers and practices of Hindu Tantra and The Cult of Siva
2. "Personal-site spam" gives me the creeps! Would you consider such personal collections such as Sadhus, Holy Men of India by Dolf Hartsuiker or Shiva Shakti Mandalam by Mike Magee as personal site spam!? I sure hope not! There is absolutely nothing personal in the Sadhu Photo Gallery
3. "Apparent violation of copyright" gives me the creeps! The Sadhu Photo Gallery is compiled in the most accurate way possible to cite the sources and authors of the photographs. Original sites are always listed and linked, and each individual photo is entiteled with the original name and author, wherever possible! No author has ever complained about copyright violation, because there is none.
My Sadhu Photo Gallery is not a personal or commercial site, but the largest collection of sadhu photographs on the net available to date. Which is apparently holds no interest for Wikipedia authors. Just when you think Scholasticism was gone... Keep deleting relevant information! Cyberguru (talk) 17:08, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
No author has ever complained about copyright violation, because there is none. Wrong. You must have explicit permission to republish any work, in writing, from the copyright holder. Usually the photographer but perhaps the copyright holder may be another individual if the photographer has transferred the rights. Lack of complaint may simply mean lack of awareness of your violation. Simply crediting the source is not enough, you must have permission. Bob (QaBob) 15:16, 3 October 2008 (UTC)


There are a few sadhu sects like the Aghora sect who have a morbid practice of eating human flesh.

Can this be documented? Contentious claims should be documented, and this surely counts. --goethean 14:34, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Well, there are 2 documents that show this as a fact. First is the Ripley's Believe It or Not TV show that telecast these sadhus eating human corpses thrown into the Ganges. In that specific episode these sadhus were taped (with their permission) eating human flesh after roasting it over flames with alcoholic drinks (they said they prefer whiskey or brandy). This is backed up by this newsstory that shows that cannibalism still exists. The reason for their eating lies in the fact that they are all shaivites and worship Kali. Also I quote from Encyclopedia Britannica 2005 "Binderwurs of central India ate their sick and aged in the belief that the act was pleasing to their goddess, Kali. Cannibalism may also have been common among followers of the Shaktism cults in India." Hope that helps.--Idleguy 17:56, July 22, 2005 (UTC)
Neither Ripley's Believe It Or Not nor the linked article are reliable sources. On the contrary, both are sensationalistic and have a clear agenda which does not coincide with accuracy. And as for the Encyclopedia Britannica article, what is a Binderwur, and what does it have to do with a sadhu? Google doesn't know. You have failed to document your claim. I am deleting the cannibalism material from this article. --goethean 18:50, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
Firstly nowhere in the reliable sources does it say that Ripley's is an unreliable source. It is infact a Primary source. The issue that it presents its material in a sensationalist way in no way reduces the factual accuracy of this or a similar source the Guinness World Records (which also uses sensationalism to show extreme human endeavour). The newsstory might have been published in a Pakistan paper, but that does not reflect that they have a bias since it was syndicated from a press source and was published in a couple of other international newspapers mostly in the west. Sensationalist? YES Truthful? YES.
Also funny you should object when the article includes "Agora babas who may keep company with ghosts in their holy path" Have you wondered how they keep company? The Britannica article was just to draw parallel between shaktivism and this sadhu cult. Google knows if you use the right words. Please don't dispute the sources. In a TV telecast in BBC (BBC One If I remember correctly) which was later telecast on the Discovery Channel they showed the agora sect eating only in the human skull. There's no smoke without fire and no skulls without having gouged out the inside of the skull. (which is again just to draw a parallel to the proof that they indulge in cannibalism) --Idleguy 04:28, July 23, 2005 (UTC)

"keep company with ghosts" As for how Aghora babas keep company with ghosts... some of them do rituals to contact spirits, some do rituals to allow themselves to be possessed, some actually LIVE in smashtans (hindu cemetaries), and cover themselves with the ashes of the burnt.

"no skulls without..."

You are welcome to claim this, and if eating the brains out of a skull was the ONLY way for skull to to emptied, you would be correct.

Tibetan Buddhists use skulls in ceremonies and they are not into cannabalism.

You have provided a single unreliable article from PakTribune, a newspaper with an anti-Hindu agenda, to document your claims. Accordingly, I have deleted them. --goethean 16:47, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
Like i said in my previous reply "it was syndicated from a press source and was published in a couple of other international newspapers mostly in the west" PakTribune was NOT THE ONLY PAPER that published this news item. True, they have an anti-hindu agenda but they didn't do the original research so don't shoot the messenger.
Also what's wrong with Ripleys? They do a lot of exhaustive work to ensure that the extreme and bizzare human feats are indeed true. Just like Guiness records extreme feats are sometimes recorded on tape. also see this site just in case u have any doubt if it was telecast Ripley's past shows. Thanx. Idleguy 05:05, July 26, 2005 (UTC)
I agree with User:Goethean -- Dangerous-Boy

The Aghoris are a small sect of Saddhus who do some (even for a saddhu) FAR out things (see Robert Svabodas Aghori books, volume 1 or 2 will have more info then #3 or Eliade's Yoga and the Quest for Immortality).

To say that all Sadhus are aghoris is akin to saying all Christians are monks. To say that all aghoris are cannibals is akin to saying that all monks are... Orthodox Franciscans.

A few sadhus are aghoris. Many aghoris will do some far out stuff. A few will devote their lives to these left of left, left hand practices.

As for non aghori sadhus 90% of saddhus would never do any of the above mentioend stuff. It is all considered "left hand practices" and many people, even renuniciates are very averse to the left-hand path. A few might do a few of the above mentioned, and a very rare few devote their lives to this kind of lifestyle/practice.

   What is "keep company with ghosts"   supposed to mean? That whole sentence is copy-and-pasted from roadjunky travel guides.


Large parts of this article are copied verbatim, or nearly so, from one of the external links listed on the page. [1]

For example.

From the article:

"Becoming a sadhu is a path followed by few. It is supposed to be the fourth phase of a Hindu’s life, after studies, being a father and a pilgrim, but for most it’s not a practical option. There are some who fake holy status to gain respect but they are often discovered by true sadhus."

From [2]:

"Becoming a sadhu is not for everyone. It is supposed to be the fourth phase of a Hindu’s life, after studies, being a father and a pilgrim but for most it’s not a practical option. There are some who fake holy status to gain respect but they are soon found out by any real baba."

These either need to be mark and cited as quotations or the article rewritten.

) I nominate.... YOU!

Thanks for pointing it out, feel free to work on it... and if you don't maybe I will. Sethie 04:53, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

  Anybody else notice that this whole article is copy-and-pasted from the link at the bottom(roadjunky)? Not very "encyclopedic" in tone.

Wild Claims[edit]

There are some wild, highly questionable claims in this allegedly NPOV article, including "[some Sadhus] walk around with one hand in the air for decades until the fingers withdraw into a stump." Interestingly enough, these particularly questionable claims are all plagarized from an external link in the article [3]. In summary, this article needs fire, and lots of it. Bobak 21:55, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Some Sadhus do walk around with one hand in the air till it becomes a stump. I met a sadhu who never sat or lied down. His back was screwed up big time!

The article may need work, it may be partially plagarized, and some sadhus do some pretty extreme things. Sethie 03:19, 10 February 2006 (UTC)


I'm fairly sure that "aghora" refers to the sect, and "aghori" to a follower of that sect. The "aghora" disambiguation page is actually pretty ambiguous. I'm trying to piece together the facts so I can straighten out these articles (i.e. aghora, aghori, and related info in this article). Sadly, I can't find any mention of the aghora sect in any of the encyclopedias I own. I think we need to find an expert on this subject. Fuzzform 19:24, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Help with Dhuni Article[edit]

Hello, I tried by myself to create a dhuni stub, but don't know much about it. I am not sure if it is Zoroastrian or Hindu as it appears to be practiced throughout India in many faiths. Would someone knowledgable on this subject please help to expand that stub and make needed corrections? Thank you. Chris 02:57, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

What is the proper plural?[edit]

The article should be made consistent. (talk) 23:06, 11 February 2008 (UTC)


In Theravada Buddhism, the term is used from the ancient Pali root language to denote agreement with something which was said, or after a discourse of the Buddha was recited. It is repeated two or three times — "Sādhu! Sādhu! Sādhu!" — with the intended effect of "Well said, well put, we agree".[1]

As far as my high school level Sanskrit is concerned, "Sadhu!" as an exclamation mark for something that is sadhu is used in Sanskrit. Pali has Sanskrit roots, it is but natural to have a similar use.

The point is, this whole paragraph doesn't make any sense, so I am removing it.--Jahilia (talk) 01:14, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Cannibal sadhus[edit]

The Aghori distinguish themselves from other Hindu sects and priests in India by their alcoholic and cannibalistic rituals.[4] The corpses afloat on the river Ganges are pulled out and consumed raw as the Aghoris believe it gives them immortality and supernatural powers. Why is this statement being contantly removed from the article despite link to a documentary?Anwar (talk) 11:31, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Are there no bald headed sadhus?[edit]

All the pictures show the sadhus with full head of thick hair. Is it a prerequisit? Are there no sadhus with male pattern baldness? I'm just curious --KpoT (talk) 14:07, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Um, you may also be aware of Sikhs who wear a turban because they never cut their hair too. I think there may be bald sadhus but the hair behind is so long that it still looks long overall. It is an interesting question though! They are also spiritual Hindu teachers (not really sadhus, mostly gurus) that completely shave their heads, kind of like the Buddhist monks. GizzaDiscuss © 14:22, 5 August 2008 (UTC)


why is this featured when it STILL has data copied and pasted from the roadjunky website, and still has the unclear passage about "keeping company with ghosts" article clearly hasn't been touched in years, except for new pics.

Please sign your posts using four ~ characters (tildes). The article isn't featured; one of the images is featured, and the image blurb links here because this article uses the image prominently. (talk) 17:42, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Female Sadhus?[edit]

Okay, this article needs a subsection on female Sadhus, or sādhvī... or a new article on female sādhvīs in general. There is hardly any information about female sādhvīs/sannyasis to be found, and I'd be very interested in finding out more about them. And I suppose other Wikipedians would be interested in sādhvīs as well. Jai Ma, ॐ --Snowgrouse (talk) 21:43, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree; I clicked the Talk page to ask the very same question (i.e. are there female sadhus? What are they called? Why are there no pictures of them or even mention of whether or not they're allowed by Hindu culture/religion?). Dbutler1986 (talk) 03:32, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

cutting down reference to the four goals of life[edit]

Previously the lead was written in a way which suggested that sadhus are people who have achieved the first three goals of life and are now trying to achieve the fourth goal (moksha). I have removed the reference to the first three goals of life because it is not at all necessary for sadhus to have achieved or even tasted the first three goals of life. Achievement of the first three goals is irrelevant to becoming a sadhu. It may also be noted that the correct order of the four Hindu goals of life is like this- 1) Dharma, 2) Artha, 3) Kama and 4) Moksha. Kama is the third goal of life. Mentioning Kama first appears to carry the POV that Kama (sensual pleasure)is the primary goal of life for a Hindu. This is not correct, and creates the impression that the article is deliberately and unnecessarily trying to bring disrepute to Hindus.Civilizededucation (talk) 17:33, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Image galleries[edit]

Image galleries are a minor annoyment for the loading time of random images. If the images are accompanied with text, they provide some information, and are therefore justifiable. Galleries following a significant sequence, such as a straight time-line are justifiable in that way. I propose the current gallery of random sadhus is kept and stepwise enhanced with accompanying text so that the different denominations are accompanied with descriptions of

  • clothing, painting,
  • ways of worship and religious services provided to the community, and
  • life styles, degree of ascetism, vagantry, nearness to a monastery and such factids.

Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 09:58, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

I have a very good image of sadhu from 1910, please use the image on top of page[edit]

[1] (talk) 00:55, 14 February 2014 (UTC)Veda

Asking on talk page for a change.[edit]

This word monk is not what sadhus like to be called, sadhus like to be called by the name "rishi" which comes from the Sanskrit "Sri" as proposed by the oxford dictionary, the word MONK comes from the greeks, why should a sadhu be named by greeks when they have their own sanskrit titles?

The word Monk comes From Old English "munuc", it is based on Greek monakhos 'solitary', from monos 'alone'!

The word Rishi comes from the sanskrit word Śrī which means 'beauty, fortune', used as an honorific title.

Sadhus Bring good fortune and luck, fortune Could also mean "Fortune in knowledge" as they are noted as god men with sacred wisdom

We would accept (hindu sage) or (Hindu rishim) Both have connections to the sacred linguistics of Sanskrit, Sanskrit is like the hebrew writing to the Torah so monk has no purpose over the historical Sanskrit terms, if buddhist want to use monks thats fine but not hindu sadhus.

Good reasoning, although sadhus can also be members of "orders" of sadhus, can't they? Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 10:05, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
Well its nice to see that on Wikipedia not even the famous proclaimed oxford dictionary is accepted by Joshua Jonathan,
Pretty sure that sadhus do not have a Order of a "monk", so at least we can be clear that up :) (talk) 00:53, 14 February 2014 (UTC)Veda
I'm sorry, but your source does not call a "sadhu" a "ridhi". Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 13:29, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
[Lloyd I Rudolp (2006), Gandhi in the Mind of America. In: Richard L. Johnson, "Gandhi's Experiments with Truth: Essential Writings by and about Mahatma Gandhi". Publisher: Lexington Books]], p.290, note 45:
"sadhu is a person who practices asceticism [...] rishi is a sage or seer who expounds or comments on the vedas"
And yes, sadgus may belong to an order:
"Sadhus may live together in monasteries (mathas) that usually belong to a particular order."[5]
Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 14:19, 7 February 2014 (UTC)