Monday, January 02, 2012
Naked in Ashes: the ways of the Yogi
Naked in Ashes is a documentary film about the practice and philosophy of being a Sadhu, a renunciate of one of a variety of Hindu sub-sects, who renounces family, name, job, wealth, property and ultimately human identity in the pursuit of the divine.
The Sadhu, Baba, or Yogi takes vows under a guru and follows a strict regime defined by poverty, selflessness and spiritual observance. The teachings of the various schools of Sadhus stretch back to the age of the Vedas, to at least 5000 BC.
Yoga lies at the center of all the Baba does. 'Yoga' is etymologically related to the word 'yoke', as in to yoke the animal to the plough. To join with the essence of existence is the goal of the Yogi.
This film provides an insight in the closed world of the Babas by following several over a period of months. I would like to say that I spent some months myself with Babas in India and in their world little appears as it seems. There are truly righteous, pious and devoted Babas. Meeting them is another matter. The Babas of this film range from the stars to the ordinary, but all seem to be pure followers. Baba Shiv Raj Giri Ji is one of the subjects in the film who comes across as a genuine Yogi. Here is more of Baba Shiv Raj Giri Ji:
While you are in the right frame of mind after receiving the teachings of Baba Ji you may want to meditate further of the Ram Bhajan I recorded while among Sadhus in 1996
Recorded at a Durga Temple near Nagwa Ghat in Varanasi India in August 1996. A group of about 30 devotees sing the Rama Sita Bhajan accompanied by a dholak. One of the devotees told me they were all very "fond of God".