Fiction

Aghoris

by Dr. Pragya Suman

Aghori Sadhus are dangerous creatures and why they should fear–they don’t have even an inch of reason, because they believe in a transcendental mood.

‘Only Aghoris physic live here and they swim like brown birds –look above they are in flocks.’ Mother pointed above by right index finger, rest fingers were wrapped in red wool. She was knitting a sweater for my younger brother as winter was at the door.

‘But they are flying–not swimming’–I objected–but soon I thought about the blue sea which is lingering in an infinite lap. Isn’t everything swims?

Perhaps Aghoris also stand on earth but they swim–not they but their abstract fabric which is called astral body in spiritual nomenclature.

‘They transcend the social taboo and they engage in post-mortem rituals. Charnel grounds are niche and they eat drinks in the human skulls. Skulls are white and winter is also white but I am thinking about the red wools and the brown birds –life plays tricks and how easy the physical world is in comparison to the astral world or call it the world of the mind.’

I discussed it with my elder cousin who is also interested in the metaphysical world, but matters with my mother are totally mundane.

Aghoris are followers of lord shiva in a weird way. My mother is also a daily worshiper and in her home temple, a lota ( a small rounded metal pot ) remains hanging above the Shivling for twenty-four hours. Water drips drop by drop on the Shivling. But she abhors Aghoris with a bit of respect also and why?

Mother had own reason about it which she told me–

‘One day nobody was at home. Your father was in office and all children went to school. It was about 11 am, I had completed my breakfast and was napping, sitting on a cane chair in the outer courtyard. The entrance gate was locked as most of the houses used to be vacant at this time. Suddenly I lost my sleep as a sharp but thickened sound thudded my bones. An Aghori was standing at the gate. He was giving a fearsome look, big bulging eyes sagging– neither up nor down– but horizontally seemed at once would perforate me merely in a glance. His whole body was ash smeared and long hairs were matted in knots, draped in a saffron shawl and loincloth. Dreadlocks descending down the skull were wavering like a cobra.’

‘One should not return Sadhus’ empty hands so I gave rice and lentils in a bowl to him, but he seemed uninterested.’

‘Give me some money, not foodings as I have had enough meals, Aghori demanded in a straight tone!

Just a few coins!

‘He was demanding and I don’t know what happened to me that I at once forbade him and made excuses–I don’t have khudara money. So sorry, please don’t get angry and take this foodings’.

I requested. For a while, he prodded the soil with his wooden staff, left the rice and lentils, and went ahead, perhaps to the next neighbour!

‘I was relieved –he has gone and soon I engaged in household work, banishing Aghori in my misty mood after some time.

In late noon, I was in urgent need of khudra coins and so I lifted up the corners of my bed mattress. I had kept coins there in the early morning. But to my amazement –nothing was there, what happened to coins?

Nobody was in the house except me.

Dead sure!

About the Author:

Dr. Pragya Suman is a doctor by profession and an award-winning author from India. Recently she won the Gideon poetry award for the poem in her debut book Lost Mother. Her second book Photonic Postcard which is a collection of prose poems is published by Ukiyoto Publishing, Canada.

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