The Aghoris
By Keith Allen

In Association with

The Aghoris
29 October, 2008

Having long been a student of India's tantric traditions, I was overjoyed to discover that at least one documentary, albeit a short one, has been made about the Aghoris, a lineage of ascetics that is still to be found in India and that preserves a number of the practices that were advocated by the adherents of medieval tantric sects. Although many of the Aghoris' beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors are modern, it is not difficult to see in them the Kapalikas of India's middle ages, those great antinomian worshippers of Kali who covered themselves with ash from cremated human corpses, adorned themselves with human bones, drank liquor from human skulls, and, by means of terrifying, bloody orgiastic rites, sought union with, or rather possession by, their goddess. While the Kapalikas have, sadly, vanished from this world, it is good to know that there are those who have kept alive at least some part of their tradition.

Here, then, is Aghori: Living with the Dead. Below it, I have also included a brief National Geographic film presenting the Aghoris.

Aghori: Living with the Dead

Aghori, Part 1

Aghori, Part 2

Aghori, Part 3

Aghori, Part 4

Aghori, Part 5

Aghori, Part 6

National Geographic Short about the Aghoris

I hope, dear reader, that you have enjoyed these videos as much as I have.

By Keith Allen

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