Higher Living, Aghora

Q: “There was a documentary on TV which showed a tāṁtrika eating human corpses!”

Guruji: “I’ve seen it. Eating dead bodies, their own feces, etc, all these dirty deeds are part of black magic. We read that piśācas eat dead bodies – there are many descriptions in purāṇas
that they drink blood and eat dead bodies. These are not human acts, they are demonic acts. And a human will only do them if he is under the influence of a piśāca. And they claim it’s higher living! It’s the lowest of low living, guaranteed to go straight to hell!”

Q: “They claim this the life of a aghori since aghora means no distinction between good or bad!”

Guruji: “I don’t think that’s the case. Aghora means “the most beautiful”. Also know for sure that aghora is not a sectarian belief. It’s a stage of development. That what I have realized now, only after toiling in śmaśāna for 10 years! It’s not a separate path.

“Only a person who is trying to catch a ghost would eat corpses and put excrements on himself and put cotton doused in his own urine in his ears so he could contact a karṇa piśācinī . There’s no purity in all that! Avadhut Rama who we were talking about used to sit arond on a garbage dump and drink 7-8 bottles of alcohol. These people lie around in śmaśāna and carry skulls around. They dont do any spiritual practice; just stay in śmaśāna and repeat mantras. Now their founders – Aghori Kinaram, for example – must have been accomplished beings because their supernatural acts are well known.

“Take the nine Nathas on the other hand; we’ve never heard that they were chewing a chicken leg or dragging a corpse or playing football with a human skull (laughs). Yoga is really an art of highest living.”

Q: “I think people look for shortcuts.”

Guruji: “People get influenced by small siddhis so they get into this business. And once you go into the business of ghouls, that’s the life that you lead. Higher living is really a tough thing. To reach that standard is really a big thing. Because for higher living, you should have high standard, and high mental capacities. Now imagine some laborer who’s earning Rs 1500 in a month, you give him 10 million rupees one day. What will happen to him?”

Q: “He’ll go insane.”

Guruji: “He’ll go insane and won’t even be able to spend that money in anxiety. Why? Because he doesn’t have that training, doesn’t have that capacity, doesn’t have the mental status or standards in life. He’s been thinking narrowly so can’t think of higher things in life.”

Q: “Is it just a matter of training or could be sanskaar (impressions) from past birth?”

Guruji: “It could be carryover from past birth. Intelligence is not accidental.

“Higher living could be to get a chance to live in Babaji’s group. Who knows. There’s always a chance. This business about Kriya tradition he started, may be is it to recruit a new member in his club every 1000 years or 500 years. it might be. it’s quite a possibility. How he lives, what he does, nobody knows.

“Remember Jonathan Livingston Seagull: when one school is over, another begins. One qualification is achieved, who knows what’ll come next.”


Kali, The Highest Love, Trailanga Swami, Sacrifices

Guruji: “[About Vimalananda] It’s rare to have such a combination: practice of aghora, intellectuality, as well as a sense of humor. Most so-called aghoris just sit around with a frustrated look on their faces. A touch of humor is rare. Or you can say that humor probably comes only after a certain level, after you are past the periods of frustration and toil. He can afford to laugh who has achieved something. Or rather than achievement, you can say someone who’s resolved all his questions. Then they don’t care what kind of image is being conveyed. Such a person would talk honestly, in forthright manner, and they can share a joke as well! Robert Svaboda should be considered lucky. Among all the books I’ve read, his experience is among the most interesting.

“One should also remember that Kali is basically the goddess of Tantra. She is the primary presiding deity for all black magic and other such rituals. Her universal form, etc, was later developed by philosophers. All forms of black magic rituals, hexes, death spells, human and animal sacrifices, etc, are sworn in the name of Kali. Isn’t Bengal’s black magic famous? And she is most worshiped there. Kali’s rituals prescribe eating rice and fish in the night before repeating her mantras, and you can see that rice and fish are totally inscribed in Bengali culture.”

Q: “Guruji, why do gods require sacrifices?”

Guruji: “It is directly related to the game of power. Whichever animal you are sacrificing, you gain control over its spirit. These are just means to become powerful in the astral world. Whether it’s the ashwamedha yagna, or human sacrifice, or lamb sacrifice, you are able to control their life-force, in a way. If you want to gain control over a spirit, why go through the trouble of looking for a spirit? Do a human sacrifice and catch the released spirit! Many tantrics and aghoris used to do that. Ultimately what’s the result? Nothing. Impress the world, get your petty things done, and gain a little feeling of power. But I’ve seen such tantrics meet very pathetic ends.”

Q: “So gods and goddesses don’t get appeased with sacrifices?”

Guruji: “Who will be appeased by a sacrifice? Their appeasement or provocation depends entirely on the intent and motivation of the person. Most sacrifices are offered to fulfill a desire or after it has been fulfilled. It’s purely a worldly matter.

“Why is there no sacrifices offered to Shiva? Sacrifices are never offered to Shiva. Only abhishek (sacred anointment, ablution). He doesn’t like sacrifices. The purest form of worship is only Shiva’s – even the priest needs to be completely vegetarian.”

Q: “Guruji, why is Shiva offered the pyre ash?”

Guruji: “Only in Ujjain Mahakala, nowhere else. The story is this: when Devi Sati immolated herself in Daksha yagna, Shiva took the ash from Her half-burned body and applied it on His body. Because he loved her so much, he carried her body on his shoulder throughout the world and rubbed her ash on himself and made a garland of her bones which he wore himself, and then removed himself into solitary meditation! That was, I think, the highest form of love expressed, ever!”

[about Trailanga Swami]

Q: “Read somewhere that Trailanga Swami worshiped Shiva-linga with his own excrements.”

Guruji: “Never heard of that, though I’ve read about him eating his own excrements. That was a famous incident: Once he got arrested due to ‘indecent exposure’. Some English memsahibs came for a stroll where he was sitting naked on the grass. Looking at him, they were shocked! ‘How horrible! Such a grotesque man is lying around naked! Arrest him.’ they cried. On their complaint, the collector put him behind bars. Now as he was walking in his prison cell, he casually ‘walked-out’ of his prison cell without getting ‘barred’ by the prison bars. It caused such a pandemonium! Sometimes he was seen strolling on the roof, sometimes outside the prison. They were not able to contain him.

“On the day of his hearing in front of the collector for ‘indecent exposure’, when the collector asked him about it, he simply said: ‘We are children of God. Children go about naked, so I’m naked. What’s the problem? Indecent or decent lies in the eye of the beholder.’
The collector asked him: ‘Do you consider everybody as equal?’.
He said: ‘Yes, everybody is equal’.
‘In that case, will you be able to eat what we eat?’ They ate beef, etc, so the collector thought that that would get the naked madman back on line.
He said: ‘Sure, if you can can eat what I eat, than I’ll eat what you eat’ . The collector thought he’s just a vegetarian Hindu, what’s the worse that could happen. So he said: ‘Yes, I’m ready’. Hearing this, Trailanga Swami shat,then and there in the courtroom, and ate it! (laughs). He was immediately released. Because even when they had imprisoned him, he was casually walking out of his cell. Nobody was able to restrain them.

“His siddhis were so powerful! Actually people’s devotion only start only with display of power; nobody cares for saintliness. Take the miracles out of Lahiri Mahasaya’s life, who would have gone to him then? Only when Trailanga Swami took him into his arms and said that ‘this man has accomplished everything without giving up anything, which I have sought by renouncing everything including my loin cloth!’ Only after his recognition Lahiri Mahasaya became famous in Banaras.

“But Trailanga Swami was a great man, there’s no doubt about that. He was one of the greatest aghoris of all time.”

Q: “It’s interesting that there were so many great people living around the same time.”

Guruji: “That’s true. There are a lot of famous people from around that time – Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Lahiri Mahasaya, Trailanga Swami, Bhaskarananda, Balananda, Totapuri, etc. But the thing is, how many contemporary people knew them? Only after people who came later read their stories that they became famous.”

[20090802-2] Recorded: July 2003

Kali Worship, Vimalananda, Ethereal Beings

Guruji: “I just finished reading “Kali’s Odiyya” yesterday. Most of it was good but some things were beyond comprehension. It appears to have a mix of fantasy as well, for example, when he cuts Sandhya’s body into pieces. I mean, people who are able to contact such super beings, and can go outside their body at will, have the shafe-shifting ability and can turn into a dog, why would they bother about trivial matters? And there’s the physical relationship of cousins – Sandhya and Shambhu, and their aunt Prema encouraging them, and despite having such powers she simply died of malaria! On one hand you are talking about supernatural powers and on the other hand you die such a trivial death. And eating her corpse as the last rites! That is quite strange.”

Q: “Is it only fantasy then?

Guruji: “It appears to have a blend of reality as well, especially the rituals about Kali’s worship and the description of ‘Odiyyas’ which are very similar to nature spirits. In this book, apparently his personal fantasies have gotten mixed as well. Even though you sometimes get to hear such cases, but they have gone too far in it. If you have left all inhibitions and not accepting social norms, why are you living in society at all? The point is, if we are not accepting the social structure, and have broken all social taboos, then after breaking all social taboos you should be away from society. You are breaking all the social rules and yet completely thriving on society, this is a hypocritical thing.

“Couple of things he has said in the book are really good. For example what he said about non-violence, it was a very good statement. Until there’s love in the heart, violence will never end. That is exactly the fact. Book is amusing though. It mostly talks about the black magic rituals in the villages of South India, which they have tried to connect to cosmic consciousness, etc.

“Another interesting thing is the reference to the book named Aghora Rahasya. I have heard about it from some South Indians. The author is some Nambudiri brahmin. The community of Nambudiri brahmins is known as masters of black magic in South India. In villages there, no one would dare bother any Nambudiri living in their village, because they know if he’s pissed, he could wreak havoc on their homes and the entire village. Adi Shankaracharya was also a Nambudiri brahmin. These people have a deep knowledge of tantra, through tradition only.

“I have discussed about aghoris with many people, and Aghora Rahasya is not about real aghoris, but it has a lot of information about going to smashan (cremation grounds) and catching ghosts, or to do black-magic rituals. The simplest method in that book is to find the skull of a freshly cremated corpse, one which is half-burned, and on the new moon night cook rice and lentils in it and eat! If you did this, the ghost or the spirit of that body will come in your control, and will start telling you things and get your work done. This is the first initiation – cooking and eating rice and dals in the skull of a corpse, flavored with its brain (laughs). There are many such methods described in that book, to contact ghosts and earthly spirits.

“And the other aghora tradition, of Dattatreya and Gorakhnath, that is of course a very high form of aghora. They have nothing to do with ghosts. Their objective is to live in smashan and gain contact with Shiva, who is known to live in smashan.”

Q: “Guruji, what do you think about about Vimalananda’s (Robert Svoboda’s) Aghora books?

Guruji: “They are very much near to the facts. Although there are some incidents that Vimalananda suggestively narrated, which Robert Svoboda has credited to Vimalananda himself, but those are stories of Aghori Kinaram. But otherwise that book is very good. It definitely adds to the general knowledge. These discussions are common among aghoris or yogis. It could have been me talking! About Dattatreya, Shiva-ji, Kundalini, yantras – these are some of the fundamental subjects. Vimalananda is real. I have read all the 3 parts. What he has said about Dattatreya, about Krishna, Shiva-ji, aghoris, Girnar, about Dhuni, etc, these things are possible and they do happen.”

Q: “It is mentioned in those books that Vimalananda had met Lord Dattatreya and Guru Gorakhnath.”

Guruji; “Some of it is exaggeration as well, for example, about Babaji. Gorakhnath was mentioned in the context of what he called avishkara – inviting a deity to enter somebody’s body. There’s no mention of a direct meeting.

“You’ll find a lot of people like Vimalananda in Maharashtra. “Navnath Charitra” (stories of the nine Naths) can be found in every home. Saint Gyaneshwara himself was a Nath yogi. I think it’s a fairly common knowledge there about Guru Dattatreya – he is called Datta Guru there – and about immortal Naths. In Gwalior, we used to think that Dattatreya was only a god of Maharashtrian folks, since only they used to go to Dattatreya’s temple. People in central area are not very familiar with Nath tradition. But that book is very factual. Of course, there’s always some elaboration, some dramatization. But even then, it is 95% fact.”

Q: “Guruji, the aghora mentioned in that book, is that practiced for power or for self-realization?

Guruji: “See, the system of Vimalananda was tantric system, which has ritualistic practices for a direct experience of the Goddess and to gain powers from Her, practices like Shava (corpse) Sadhana. It is fairly commonly known in central India that people do these things (Shava Sadhana), even though in reality it is very rare to find people who actually know such practices and have actually done them. Yet, there are people who do these practices and surely gain contact with a super spirit.

“What he has mentioned that the goddess first came in the form a white jackal, that is also a fact. White jackal has come here (academy campus) as well! Our watchman saw it – there were flames coming out of its mouth. It happened in 2000 winter, and after that, there was a complete change in scenario over here! It was in 1999 december of 2000 January. People call it ‘Siawoli’, and fire emanates from its mouth. It is considered a form of the goddess. In addition, the devotees of the goddess who are practicing the tantric system offer meat to the jackal as an offering to the goddess. If the jackal cries out after eating the sacrificial meat then it is considered that the goddess is appeased. In Bengal, women-folks produce ‘hulu’ sounds on certain occasions – weddings for example. That is also an imitation of jackal. It’s exactly the same sound, you should check that out. Since the goddess worshiping is an integral part of Bengali culture, they know this connection. And ‘shiva’, the name of the goddess, is an exact Sanskrit word for she-jackal. There are some really amazing tantras in India.

“This kind of knowledge is spread all over the place. Some of it is documented in texts, some are transmitted through traditions.”

Q: “It’s hard to distinguish what is true and what is bogus.”

Guruji: “Yes, only with experience you can tell what is possible and what is not. It’s a research work.

“There was a pundit in Mathura who had gained control over a yakshini (a powerful ethereal being). There are lots of ways described in tantras to gain control over different kinds of yakshinis.

“He could do miracles with the help of that Yakshini, like being able to tell anything about anybody, causing hail-storms, raining of stones, etc. But when he was about to die, he realized the terrible consequences he was going to suffer. So he called his sons and told them this ‘I’m sending her to a far-off place. Before she returns, tie my body to a heavy stone and drown me in Yamuna river, otherwise she’ll take me with her’. See that’s the point. If you enslave an astral being for material gains, you won’t be able to get away from it after death. They are powerful in that domain! You force them to be a slave against their will. If she had served him out of her own will, it would have been perfectly fine.

“So he sent her away and before she could come back, he drowned himself in the river. What happened afterward is just unimaginable! It rained blood in their house, his dead body when recovered was found filled with human feces in the mouth! It was unmentionable what all happened to them. That’s why the wise men have said ‘Beware! All such businesses have a terrible end.’ You get some publish adulation but ultimately suffer the consequences yourself.

Q: “Guruji, what do these ethereal being generally do?

Guruji: ‘Well, these ethereal beings have a totally different sense of time from us. What a lifetime is for us could be just a day or two for them. And they have very long lifespans – thousands and even millions of years long. They live very long!

Q: “If people know about these terrible consequences, why do they do these things – force ghosts, yakshinis, etc, to do their bidding?

Guruji: “For greed, for fame, public adulation, for earning money, doing business, impressing people, what else! Feeling of power is very intoxicating. Everybody wants credit for doing favors, everybody wants people to sit at their feet and worship them as gods. All these things lead people on these paths.”

Q: “Guruji, are there any tantric practices in our yoga tradition as well?

Guruji: “No, we don’t have a system to force anybody against their will. They can contact us on their own, and they do. That is a better option, if there’s friendship on an equal footing. Remember, friendship lasts only among equals. When you are able to raise your standards to their level, they’ll automatically contact you. Before that, it’ll be forced.

“Even this name you must have heard, X. He went mad in the end! He also developed rectum cancer. He was trying to gain control over a yakshini. That ritual failed and he went mad and died as if he was suffering in hell! He had a really terrible death.

“Think of it this way – you are blackmailing a very powerful person to do your bidding. The day you loose your hold, he’ll destroy you. And when you deal on equal terms and you yourself have become powerful, there might be a friendship. That has always been the difference and will always remain so. And self-progress can only happen through Yoga; there’s no other way. Self power can only increase through yoga. And the purpose of Yoga is always perfectly clear! Instead of catching some other spirit to gain knowledge about the spiritual world, why not control your own spirit and gain that knowledge – didn’t it also come from the spiritual domain? And you don’t blackmail yourself.

Q: “This is a very fascination subject. How can I develop a general understanding of the subject?

Guruji: “You’ll pick things up along the way. Buy a set of these books. You’ll gain a lot of knowledge about mantras and tantras. It’s not of any practical use though. There are a lot of tantric rituals and mantras described in that book, only for the fulfillment of material desires. And I’ve found that many mantras given in that book are incorrect. But it’ll help with the general knowledge of the subject.

Q: “Guruji, did you specifically study this subject to understand all this or did you gain the knowledge automatically?

Guruji: “You can say I understood it automatically (laughs). See, I’ve never studies mantras but when I hear one, I can tell if there’s a mistake in it and what that mistake is. It comes from inside whether this is wrong or right. Somebody gifted me these books few years back. When I looked at the rituals prescribed in the book, I was surprised. Based on that, miracles should have been an everyday occurrence, since there’s no dearth of people in India engaged in such tantric rituals. But when my attention went to the mantras, I realized that most of them were either incomplete or had incorrect pronunciation. There are many technical mistakes in the book, which either have been deliberately introduced or have somehow gotten in there. That’s why they don’t give any results.

“I’ve never studies any mantras. But with yoga practice, you acquire the ability to analyze everything, even including the ritualistic worship of any god. And ultimately these rituals are kamya karma, for fulfillment of material desires. No more than that. I have observed that if a person practices yoga – sincerely, consistently, regularly, their desires get fulfilled automatically. That is more preferable. The best thing is if Nature Itself starts taking care of you. And after reaching a certain state, whatever the man utters becomes a mantra!

“That’s why you’ve never seen me reading a mantra, in puja or otherwise. We play Damaru, which is more than enough. Memorizing the mantra and then showing-off in front of people by repeating them doesn’t make any sense to me. Simplicity is the biggest deal. And the simplicity of a person develops only when all his desires are near the state of fulfillment. He won’t care for anything! Why does a man crave money or power? To fulfill some desires. If your desires are already fulfilled, then why would you go after them? If the Nature starts favoring you then you won’t have to worry about anything.”

[20090802-2] Recorded: July 10, 2003