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Mysterious Naga sadhus congregate in Junagadh
Anil Nair in Junagadh | March 11, 2004 16:36 IST
They are feared due to their matted hair and their unusual appearance. And their role in the spiritual world is always shrouded in mystery.
The Naga baba (naked warrior mendicant) belongs to a sect that has no material bonding, lives a rigorous life and performs rituals to appease Lord Shiva -- the divine destroyer.
They are mostly smeared with ash, carry traditional weapons like the trident, smoke cannabis or hashish and can perform incredible feats and yoga asanas.
These sadhus every year flock from various parts of the country to the foot of the Girnar mountain at Junagadh district in Gujarat to celebrate Mahashivratri and take the much awaited dip at the famous Mrigi Kund (pond) at the Lord Shiva temple.
Legend has it that three sadhus out of many who take a dip at the Mrigi Kund vanish into the waters.
Unfazed by the changing times, however, the Naga sadhus believe in the spiritual powers of the kund. According to a legend Lord Shiva himself had taken bath here and the water, which has sulphur, is a sign of his divine presence.
Gopalgiri, a Naga sadhu from Himachal who has been visiting Junagadh for past 20 years, says the mystery surrounding the kund is one of the most known ones. "Legend also has it that there is a secret tunnel under water from where they go to another place," Gopalgiri said.
"No ordinary man can try to unearth this secret route by trying to take a dip. Only a true sadhu can detect it and go past it if his calling has arrived," he added with caution.
Unperturbed by changing times the Naga sadhus maintain that it is due to their extreme penance under harsh conditions that they are able to ward off many evils in the world.
Nagas like Acharya Lalchadi Giri from Uttaranchal say they are drawn to the Mahashivratri celebrations by the mystical power of Lord Shiva.
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