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Mahaprabhu Aghoreshwar Baba Bhagwan Ram: The Book of Aghor Wisdom

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Mahaprabhu Aghoreshwar Baba Bhagwan Ram: The Book of Aghor Wisdom
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Item Code: IDI653
Author: Akinchan Ram
Publisher: Indica Books, Varanasi
Language: English
Edition: 2012
ISBN: 8186569669
Pages: 410 (Black & White Illus: 3)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.3"X 5.3
weight of the book is: 516

Back of the Book

This book is a translation of the words of Aghoreshwar Mahaprabhu Baba Bhagwan Ram, as presented in the book Aghor Vachan Shastra. Baba would communicate in either Hindi or a dialect of Hindi called Bhojpuri, depending upon with whom he spoke. He would use language in its most cogent and pithy manner. To Baba, language was not just a means of communication, to make the other person understand in the simplest, clearest, most lucid term the deep import of even the most complex concepts and ideas, but also to express love and other emotions. However, in translating those ideas from Hindi into English, the simplicity of the presentation or the lucidity of expression is sometimes lost. I apologize for that. Also, oftentimes in translating complex ideas it requires an interpretation of the idea by the translator, and the translator thereby becomes the eye, as it were, through which the reader sees the text. That is inevitable, but I have tried to stick as close to the original meaning of Baba's words as possible.

Spoken language was only one of the means of communication used by Baba. There lived in his a much greater communication system, one based entirely on a person's being 'in tune' with him. Baba had a very subtle and refined language of proximity, of body language, of unsaid words and gestures rather than the spoken ones, a language that always spoke to a greater or lesser degree, depending upon how 'in tune' the other person was with Baba at the moment of communication. The raising of an eye, or taking o a step, the placing of his palm on his cheek, an inquisitive look, a word mumbled in passing, a turn while walking, the raising of a random; all these may have seemed as so many eccentricities of an enlightened person to many, but to those who knew, they spoke more volumes than spoken words every could. That language added subtle meanings to all that Baba said overtly, and it made his communication both very contextual and personal. There were numerous occasions when Baba would speak to a large gathering of people, yet his choice of words and narrative examples, together with his gestures, would be such that a single person within that large crowd could properly understanding the various levels of meaning being imparted in a single sentence, whether the spoken message was exclusively for him or not. Unfortunately, in a translated text, that complex structure of meaning is possible only with great difficulty.

The limitations of this text are purely the shortcomings of my ability of translation. It is seldom easy to transpose ideas absolutely from one language into another. Also, languages lend them-selves more easily to descriptions of certain kinds o concepts than others, with subtleties most easily understandable only within a other, with subtleties most easily understandable only within a cultural context. In translating what Baba had to say, some of the flavour of how he said things is lost, and some words or concepts can, at best. Be translated only tangentially. But I have made an honest attempt here to present accurately what Baba brought up from the churnings of the depths of his inner ocean of wisdom.

In the process of giving a final shape to the book, several people have looked over my translation and have provided helpful suggestions as well as editing help with the manuscript. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all of them, especially to Jan Haag at the Sri Sarveshwari Samooh ashram, Sonoma, California. Jan's undaunted perseverance turned the sometimes obscure wording of complex concepts in my translation into lucid English understandable to all. I am also indebted to Baba Harihar Ram of the Sonoma ashram, as well as Lisa Wilcox of the Center for South-east Asian Studies at Northern Illinois university, for looking over the manuscript and giving me very helpful suggestion.

Back of the Book

The Aghoris believe that their tradition was started by Shiva Himself, and was propounded further by Jagadguru Dattatreya. Baba Kinaram (1563-1714), a very renowned saint in Banaras, revived the tradition.

The followers of the Aghora path try to cultivate a state of mind and social practice totally non-discriminatory. Seeing the Divine in everything and everybody, they transcend all category distinctions, all prescriptions and proscriptions of the 'normal' social structure such as high and low, purity and pollution, pure and impure, or male and female.

In the 20th century, Aghoreshwar Mahaprabhu Baba Bhagwan Ram (1937-1992) was the greatest avadhut in the Aghora tradition. He had an overwhelming spiritual quest ever since his infancy, and attained enlightenment at the age of fourteen or fifteen. He thus became an Aghoreshwar, the highest of all spiritually realized saints in the Aghora tradition, a walking, talking deity, Shiva incarnate. People felt that Baba truly loved everyone who went to his. His life was no longer for his own self; he lived for those who came to him. Hundreds of thousands of devotees, simple villagers, spiritual seekers and high dignitaries would flock around him.

In the holy city of Banaras Baba laid the foundation of Shri Sarveshwari Samooh in 1961, an organization to fight social evils like leprosy, dowry and illiteracy. To fulfil these goals, Baba started an ashram and a leprosy hospital by the name of Awadhut Bhagwan Ram Kusht Sewa Ashram (The Awadhut Bhagwan Ram Leprosy Service Ashram) at Parao, Varanasi.

Baba's teachings were imparted more through everyday conversations rather than through sermons. On his advice, his words were compiled into a book that will have the essence of all his messages. Thus was written Aghor Vachan Shastra in Hindi and the present book, its English translation.

Baba Bhagwan Ran is credited to have changed the place that Aughar ascetics occupy in society. While earlier they were regarded as being, literally, on the social fringe, inhabiting cremation grounds, today they have become a part of the mainstream of religious life in Banaras and elsewhere, using the powers of their spiritual practices for social benefit.

 

Preface

This book is a translation of the words of Aghoreshwar Mahaprabhu Baba Bhagwan Ram, as presented in the book Aghor Vachan Shastra. Baba would communicate in either Hindi or a dialect of Hindi called Bhojpuri, depending upon with whom he spoke. He would use language in its most cogent and pithy manner. To Baba, language was not just a means of communication, to make the other person understand in the simplest, clearest, most lucid terms the deep import of even the most complex concepts and ideas, but also to express love and other emotions. However, in translating those ideas from Hindi into English, the simplicity of the presentation or the lucidity of expression is sometimes lost. I apologize for that. Also, oftentimes in translating complex ideas it requires an interpretation of the idea by the translator, and the translator thereby becomes the eye, as it were, through which the reader sees the text. That is inevitable, but I have tried to stick as close to the original meaning of Baba's words as possible.

Spoken language was only one of the means of communication used by Baba. There lived in him a much greater communication system, one based entirely on a person's being 'in tune' with him. Baba had a very subtle and refined language of proximity, of body language, of unsaid words and gestures rather than the spoken ones, a language that always spoke to a greater or lesser degree, depending upon how 'in tune' the other person was with Baba at the moment of communication. The raising of an eye, or taking of a step, the placing of his palm on his cheek, an inquisitive look, a word mumbled in passing, a turn while walking, the raising of a hand, the rejection or acceptance of foods and gifts apparently at random; all these may have seemed as so many eccentricities of an enlightened person to many, but to those who knew, they spoke more volumes than spoken words ever could. That language added subtle meanings to all that Baba said overtly, and it made his communication both very contextual and personal. There were numerous occasions when Baba would speak to a large gathering of people, yet his choice of words and narrative examples, together with his gestures, would be such that a single person within that large crowd could properly understand the various levels of meaning being imparted in a single sentence, whether the spoken message was exclusively for him or not. Unfortunately, in a translated text, that complex structure of meaning is possible only with great difficulty.

The limitations of this text are purely the shortcomings of my ability of translation. It is seldom easy to transpose ideas absolutely from one language into another. Also, languages lend themselves more easily to descriptions of certain kinds of concepts than others, with subtleties most easily understandable only within a cultural context. In translating what Baba had to say, some of the flavour of how he said things is lost, and some words or concepts can, at best, be translated only tangentially. But I have made an honest attempt here to present accurately what Baba brought up from the churnings of the depths of his inner ocean of wisdom.

 

Contents
Preface 7
Aghoreshwar Mahaprabhu Baba Bhagwan Ram:  
A Brief Biography 9
Aghora: A Brief History 33
The Mother 59
The Practices 76
The Truth 93
Conduct 104
The State of Being 118
Aghoreshwar 135
Character 153
Sentiment 168
Ritual Action 181
Human Beings 207
Inspiration 228
Culture 245
Attachment 263
Guru 280
God 293
The Living Being 310
Kapaleshwar 323
The Body 326
Mental States 333
Mantra 346
Women 356
Nature 365
The Life-force 377
Worship 383
Time 394
Glossary 397

Sample Pages

















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