Aghor - The Essence Of Aghor

Someone asked me the other day, “Babaji, what is the source of your teaching? Where does it come from?” Our lineage is Aghor. Aghor is really not a tradition, not a religion. Aghor is a state of mind, where there is no discrimination. There is no two. Seeing the divine in everything is our path, is our goal. Including yourself. Seeing that sacred presence within you, and the person next to you, and everything around you. Seeing that presence everywhere is the essence of Aghor.

This lineage starts from Adi Yogi, Lord Shiva, who is the father of all the yogis. Then came Baba Kinaram, a realized being who lived in the 16th century. Baba Kinaram was an enlightened master, an enlightened being. Miracles used to happen around him, wherever he went.  He was also a great social reformer. He was moved by the suffering of those around him and dedicated his life to helping those in need. The teachings that he gave were very simple, practical teachings, and always reminded people to pay attention to your own wholeness. You are whole. You are that that you are seeking, that you are worshiping. You’re not separate from that. Connecting with your fullness, and engaging in the world with a sense of service, serving those in need.

During Baba Kinaram’s lifetime, the situation in India was very difficult for most people. There were rulers who taxed those who did not convert to a specific religious doctrine. The priests, the brahmin society, was also very harsh on the people. Arduous penance was demanded for small mistakes. Baba Kinaram really emphasized that it’s not what you do or you don’t do, it’s the purity of heart that matters. As long as you are trying to be a good human being, your heart is clean, God is happy with you. It’s not whether you eat onion or garlic or this or that makes you impure. It’s the quality of your heart that makes you pure or impure.

In modern times, my Guru, Aghoreshwar Bhagwan Ram, is also known as a great Aghor master. He left his body in 1992. In his lifetime, he put lots of emphasis on social service and helping those in need. 

Some people have googled Aghor on the website, and then called me up, “Babaji, Aghoris do all these kinds of practices. Do you do those practices?” I say, “No. Principle is the same. Practice is different.” In olden days, Aghoris would go to the cremation grounds, and embrace things that were neglected or shunned or feared by others. Why? As long as there is a notion of pure and impure, even if you are afraid of something, there is duality. How do you remove that duality? By coming closer, by embracing it.

In the darkness, you see something, you see a rope, and that rope looks like a snake, and you begin to react as if there is a snake. You come a little closer, be careful, be a little, come a little closer. Then you see, if it’s a snake then be a little careful and move along, and if it’s a rope, it’s a rope. Lots of times, whatever we are afraid of, whatever we are making a judgment about, we really do not know much about it. We create images in our mind, and then we start reacting to them. Aghor is all about coming closer, seeing. So, we don’t go to the cremation ground to face our fear. We don’t imbibe things, disgusting things to face our disgust. The truth is, whenever our mind is in duality, as long as we are working on that, no matter where you are, you are doing the Aghor practice.

As I was saying earlier, you are not separate from the whole. That is the essence of Aghor. Whenever there is an us and them, you and me, there is duality. When you are really angry at someone, you invest so much energy in that emotion. If you are jealous of someone, look at how much energy you invest in that relationship. Aghor practice is to free yourself from that duality. So, you don’t need to go to the cremation ground to find that duality. Duality is right here in our day-to-day, everyday life. Once you become aware of these negative emotions, you can begin to try to free yourself from them. Once you free that emotion, there is plenty of energy available for you to do some other work. 

When we are angry at someone, it is within our control to change the situation. Our mind is used to seeing in one way, a certain way, and if we just keep seeing from the same lens, then it’s very hard to change. We have to look at the conflict from another angle.

How? Our mind has to be focused on something higher. Keep your vision high. Contemplating on why I was born, why I took this human birth. What is the purpose? What I really came here to do. As long as I stay in that remembrance, little things where we get caught up, there is a possibility of freeing ourself from that. Keeping our vision high.

The company we keep is very important. Aghor, is a guru-based tradition. First we establish the Guru Peeth somewhere. Then we start our spiritual journey. Guru Peeth means something that I look up to. From where I draw inspiration, and somewhere I am connected with, with my heart and with my mind. Having that inner connection keeps us from floating away.

In this day and age, there is so much information. There are so many different paths and approaches to spirituality. We take a little from here, a little from here, from here, and it all becomes something very different. If you want to walk straight, it’s better to walk on one path. All paths are good, but choose one. And wherever you have established your Guru Peeth, that is your path, and then you walk in a straight line.

My Guru used to say that teachings of a guru are very appropriate for the time and age. It can be very difficult to understand spiritual teachings that were written or spoken hundreds of years ago in a modern context. If we have a guru, if we have a teacher, this is the teacher’s job, to keep the teachings appropriate for the time, without losing the source. And that’s what I really try to do. And it’s a very sweet work, to keep connected with this ancient lineage, and those teachings, and try to translate that for this day and age.

If you ask me what, if I have to say what is Aghor, Aghor means freedom. Freedom. Freedom of your mind. There are no dos and don’ts in Aghor. There is freedom. But freedom doesn’t mean that I feel like, whatever I feel like doing, that’s what I do. Freedom requires lots of discipline. Aghor is our inborn nature. It’s simple, and it’s easy to walk on. This sounds very nice, but it requires discipline, inner discipline. That mind needs to first have discipline, then it sets us free.

How do we develop that discipline? By having somewhere, some love and respect in our heart and our mind. I remember, I was not disciplined in the beginning. I met my Guru and he gave me my mantra. He said, “Do this a little bit every day.” In the beginning, I didn’t want to do it for myself, but I wanted to do it to please my guru. I’m just telling you the truth. Even if I didn’t want to do it, I sat down and did it because of my love for my guru. Because next time I saw him, I wanted to be able to tell him, “Yes, I have practiced my mantra everyday because you told me to.”

So, it even starts happening, working on that level. But first one has to establish the Guru Peeth in some person or somewhere. The ingredients of establishing Guru Peeth are love and respect. Have somebody in your life that you can be, hold accountable. If you are the just the boss, then your mind will take you all over. The real guru is within you. Your own higher self. A guru in a person is just a symbol of that. In the beginning, we establish that seat in some person, but ultimately, we come closer to our own higher self that is within us. That’s the way it works.

Whenever a challenging time comes when I feel the need of some support, I will think of my guru. That Baba’s blessing is with me. Baba’s love and support is with me. Just holding that thought, I would engage, make an effort, and I would succeed. So, having that presence in our life, gives us access to that inner strength that we already have, to engage with in the world. Although I have the strength, but because of the doubt, because of the fear, I do not access it. But having my love and trust somewhere else, in someone that I admire, or have some relationship with, it helps that way. It always did too for me. Whenever there was a little hesitancy or a little doubt in my life, I will say “Baba’s blessing is with me.” I will think of my guru first, and imagine that his blessing is with me, and I will engage, and I will succeed. So, having that presence in our life is very meaningful.

Aghor is a guru-based tradition. It’s path of love. It’s not the path of mind. Mind cannot take us there. Mind is good to just keep your eyes open, that you don’t fall in a ditch, but it’s the path of love. When our heart opens, everything opens for us. If our heart is closed, if that could be right in front of us, and we’ll not see it.

In olden days, Aghoris were known to do miracles and they were healers. People were afraid of them, because they had freed all the energy that was trapped in fear, disgust, anger, lust, greed, jealousy. So, whenever they freed themselves from that, all that energy was accessible to them to redirect in whatever direction they wanted. Their blessings were very powerful, because they were pure being. And we all can be that. We all can give people blessing from a place of pure, purity. We don’t bless people to impress them, or win over them, or nothing. If you really want to bless someone, and want your blessing to work, you just have to come from a place of pure heart, and you truly, genuinely wish them well, and it happens that way. Bless people with no agenda. Bless people not because you are expected to do that. It becomes your second nature. You wish them well, and they become well.


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