views updated

Aghorī (Skt., ‘non-terrific’). A Tantric Śaiva sect existing to the present day, renowned for antinomian practices which include consuming ordure and corpse-flesh. They venerate a tradition of gurus and worship Śiva as Aghora, or the goddess as Śītalā, Parnagīrī, or Kālī. Like their predecessors, the kāpālikas, they carry a skull which they use as a bowl, dwell in cremation grounds, and cover themselves in the ashes of corpses. Some take an intoxicating drink of bhanga. Aghorī gurus were not cremated but buried in an upright meditation posture.