This photo was taken in Nepal where I met this Sadhu.
Sadhu is a religious ascetic, mendicant or any holy person in Hinduism and Jainism who has renounced the worldly life. They are sometimes alternatively referred to as yogi or sannyasi. The only goal they are aiming for is the ultimate liberation. Some of this people have had just normal lifes with family, jobs and wealth before they decided to get rid of everything and walked out the door. Just going, without knowing whether they will come back or not. Mainly they start a life as pilgrims heading towards the Himalalayas or wherever their way would take them. This people have reached the 4th phase in their life referred as Sanyasa. The four phases in hinduism are briefly defined as following:
Brahmacharya is the first stage of life. It is the student stage of life, preparing for success in later stages of life.
Grihastha is the second stage. Known as the “householder” stage, it follows what most people do naturally after leaving school: Maintaining a home, having a family.
Vanaprashta is the third stage. It begins after individuals fulfill their obligations to their families. In ancient times, once reaching this stage people would start detaching themselves from family life and the pursuit of material ends by moving to the forest time to devote more of their time to spiritual practice, living among other seekers of solace, knowledge, peace, and freedom.
The fourth stage is Sannyasa, renunciation. There are two traditional entry points into this stage of life. Those few Hindus who from an early age have a calling or want to live an entire life immersed in scriptural study and a monastic lifestyle under the direction of a guru, exclusively pursuing the goal of moksha, enter into this stage at a young age.
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