08 April 2011

Depicting Tamil Nadu's Sadhus

In Hinduism, a sādhu is a religious ascetic or holy person. Although the vast majority of sādhus are yogīs, not all yogīs are sādhus. The sādhu is solely dedicated to achieving liberation aka mokṣa, the fourth and final aśrama (stage of life), through meditation and contemplation of Brahman. Sādhus often wear saffron-coloured clothing, symbolising their renunciation aka sanyāsa.
Tamil Nadu (literally The Land of Tamils) is one of the 29 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai (formerly known as Madras). Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the South Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.Its official language is Tamil, which is one of the longest-existing classical languages in the world.
The state is home to the core schools of medieval and modern Hinduism as well as several non-mainstream Hindu movements. All Hindu deities in various forms and a large number of village deities are worshiped by Hindus in Tamil Nadu. Murugan is considered to be the God of Tamil people. Tamil Nadu dominates the list of largest Hindu Temples in the world. 
  
close up, street portrait, headshot, people, Tiruchendur, India, Tamil Nadu, sadhu, religious ascetic, holy man, temple, moksa, yoga, renunciation, Hinduism
close up, street portrait, headshot, people, India, Tamil Nadu, Tiruchendur, sadhu, religious ascetic, holy man, temple, moksa, yoga, renunciation, Hinduism


Shaivite sadhus follow Shaivism, one of the four most widely followed sects of Hinduism, which reveres the god Shiva as the Supreme Being. They believe that Shiva is all and in all, the creator, preserver, destroyer, revealer and concealer of all that is. Shaivists are more attracted to asceticism than adherents of other Hindu sects, and may be found wandering India with ashen faces performing self-purification rituals. They worship in the temples and practice yoga, striving to be one with Shiva within. Sacred ash came to be used as a sign of Shaivism. The devotees of Shiva wear it as a sectarian mark on their foreheads and other parts of their bodies with reverence.

close up, street portrait, headshot, people, India, Tamil Nadu, Tiruchendur, sadhu, religious ascetic, holy man, temple, moksa, yoga, renunciation, Hinduism
close up, street portrait, headshot, people, India, Tamil Nadu, Tiruchendur, sadhu, religious ascetic, holy man, temple, moksa, yoga, renunciation, Hinduism
close up, street portrait, headshot, people, India, Tamil Nadu, Tiruchendur, sadhu, religious ascetic, holy man, temple, moksa, yoga, renunciation, Hinduism
close up, street portrait, headshot, people, India, Tamil Nadu, Tiruchendur, sadhu, religious ascetic, holy man, temple, moksa, yoga, renunciation, Hinduism
close up, street portrait, headshot, people, India, Tamil Nadu, Tiruchendur, sadhu, religious ascetic, holy man, temple, moksa, yoga, renunciation, Hinduism
close up, street portrait, headshot, people, India, Tamil Nadu, Tiruchendur, sadhu, religious ascetic, holy man, temple, moksa, yoga, renunciation, Hinduism
close up, street portrait, headshot, people, India, Tamil Nadu, Tiruchendur, sadhu, religious ascetic, holy man, temple, moksa, yoga, renunciation, Hinduism
close up, street portrait, headshot, people, India, Tamil Nadu, Rameshwaram, sadhu, religious ascetic, holy man, temple, moksa, yoga, renunciation, Hinduism



Many Hindu sadhus wear malas around their necks, strings of prayer beads, usually made from 108 beads, and used for keeping count while reciting, chanting, or mentally repeating a mantra or the name of a deity. A wide variety of materials are used to make mala beads. Shaiva sadhus consider beads made from the seeds of the rudraksha tree as particularly sacred.


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