Smoking of chillum
The chillum is not really a sacred object, because too many people handle them.
Still some symbolism is attributed to the chillum:
- the clay pipe represents Shiva's body,
- the charas his "mind",
- the smoke his divine effluence,
- the "high" his prasad.
Smoking is considered an austerity in itself, demonstrating non-attachment
to the body; a common yet sacred ritual integrated in the ascetics daily routine.
Many sadhus today possess "luxury" items - judged by ascetic standards - like watches, sun-glasses, radios, tv's, cars, ... and they use modern conveniences like electricity,
mobile phones, laptops and public transport.
But basically their life-style has retained many archaic - stone and bronze-age - characteristics.
As a result, joining the brotherhood of Sadhus is like going back in time, being
reborn in a semi-nomadic "tribe" of the pre-agrarian age.
By choosing the path of "renouncing" they are leaving behind the miseries, passions
and complexities of the 21st-century, using it's tools but not being a part of it.
To access the full picture gallery (flash slide show) follow the link below and press
"Play slideshow" situated on the right hand side:
Maha Kumbh Mela, Allahabad & Varanasi, India 2013 - Sadhus 1
Shanti, shanti, ... come, sit down, relax, no tension.
Om Nama Shivaya