They are highly respected.
Sadhus – Indian ascetics, hermits and yogis. Sadhus flee from the world and fully dedicate ourselves to liberation from the cycle of birth and death, following the path of knowing God. About 5 million sadhus wandering through India or live in seclusion in forests and caves, surviving only by begging. Ordinary people are often called sadhus “Baba”. In India, the word ‘Baba’ means father or uncle. Sometimes “Baba” added the respectful suffix JI – Babaji.
Hindus revere the sadhus for their Holiness, because it is believed that sadhu for his ascetic feats (for example, standing your entire life on one leg or the vow of silence) clear the karma not only for themselves but for everyone around.
A sadhu vary depending on what gods they worship. The drawings on the forehead (which is called Tilak) Indians can easily distinguish between what the sadhu in front of them. Those who devote their lives to Shiva are called saivites and applied on the forehead with ashes three horizontal lines. Fans of Vishnu and his avatars (incarnations) of Krishna and Rama are called vaiṣṇavas, they can be found on made with clay from the sacred rivers of the U-shaped pattern on the forehead, sometimes the vaiṣṇavas added to this figure the red line in the middle, symbolizing the goddess Lakshmi – consort of Vishnu. Fans of the Mother Goddess (Shakti or Devi) draw on his forehead, a red vertical line or a point.
During Kumbh Mela (festival of the pitcher) millions of sadhus and pilgrims going to Holy places of Hinduism. In 2007 in the Indian city of Allahabad within 45 days of this celebration was attended by 70 million people, which was the largest meeting in the history of mankind.
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