I am living in a shmashan for almost 16 years and doing my sadhana. And you can call it Shmashan-sadhana. There are many good types of practice. So many tantrics, black magicians do it from one angle, but yogis live in shmashans for different purpose.

* * *

I did research about what people are doing in shmashan — so many stories, so much literature: pure sattvic worshipping in shmashan is almost impossible, I have never heard any one else doing it, most of the Aghoris which claim to be in shmashan are drinking, smoking and they are eating so much flesh of different animals, even human flesh. I have never smoked in my life, I never drank, I’m a pure vegetarian and I’m living in shmashan and that is considered as the most difficult thing to do, no one can remain sattvik when he is inside a shmashan.

Q: Are those people really Aghoris?

Sh: We don’t know, I mean the impression has come that they are aghoris.

* * *

For most it is impossible to live in a smashan. Something always happens. Either some spirit will possess you or some accident will happen.

Q: Those tantrics come only for some practice.

Sh: And most of them – half of them – go mad. Something goes wrong. Well, they come and they go.

* * *

And it is a very interesting observation that I am qualified to be an Aghori, an Aghori is permanently living in a cremation area. And also ‘Aghora’ means a good look, and I am not a bad looking man.

And if I am called an Aghori, then I will be the only one of my kind, because I never drink, I never smoke and I am a pure vegetarian. And I am worshipping Shiva exactly on a cremation spot, on the top of it.

* * *

Q: But you don’t do the same as Aghori.

Sh: No. In fact nobody knows what they do and I will tell you there might be hardly five or six true Aghoris in India. And they are very hard to find. Most of the people who are coated as Aghori are black magicians, not true Aghoris.

Aghora is the name of one of Shiva’s faces, the most beautiful who lives in a cremation area and the Aghori is the person who is a devotee of Shiva and to be near him he also lives in a cremation area and worships Shiva. So this I am doing. So technically I can pass as an Aghori. But I don’t follow that cult. Shiva has five heads, five faces. The fifth one is Aghora who lives in a cremation area, the most beautiful, handsome. I am the fifth guru in my lineage and I am also living in a cremation area. So the similarity is there.

* * *

Q: Do Aghori practice sitting on dead bodies?

Sh: There are certain tantras. They describe that while sitting in а certain way on a dead body of а girl or a male with certain signs, if you recite а certain mantra some goddess or some visual power will appear and will grant you some boon or some favor.

Q: Are you talking now about Aghoris?

Sh: I am talking about tantrics, black magicians. I have very rarely seen a true Aghori, most of the black magicians are called Aghoris. They are after spirit, they want to catch a spirit so they can influence others. True Aghoris are extremely rare to find.

Q: Are all Tantrics black?

Sh: They come from pre-vedic era. Very old. Actually they are neither black nor white. It is just a simple technique, which anyone can use if you want.

* * *

Q: Why Aghoris use drugs?

Sh: I think there is a misunderstanding about Aghoris. So many black magicians act as Aghoris, and they say they go to cremation areas, Shmashans, to control certain spirits by using certain rituals, using alcohol and meat because a spirit is attracted with it. And they drink it so the spirit will contact them directly in the cremation area. But the real Aghoris — even if I say there are six in the whole of the world — it will be a very optimistic number. The real Aghoris live in Shmashan to be near Shiva and Shakti because Shmashan is supposed to be the home of Shiva and Shakti. And Aghora means pure beauty. If you find a very dirty man claiming he’s an Aghori, never believe him. Pure Aghoris will worship Shiva and Shakti and live a very clean way of life. That means he was not a real Aghori. Because again, Vimalananda was saying he’s an Aghori, but he was not living in a Shmashan permanently. If he were an Aghori, then he would not come out of the Shmashan. That simply tells me he was after certain siddhis which he got this way or that way. And he was using them to influence people outside of the Shmashan, that’s it!

Girl: And intoxication of body doesn’t help developing?

Guruji: Yoga, you can say, is the prelude to being an Aghori, and it is forbidden in yoga to take anything which will directly affect your mind. Because if you drink, your mind will be affected and your power for taking decisions and understanding things will disappear. The only benefit he’s got is some experience about what happens after drinking, that’s it. Otherwise nothing will happen and it will take some time for his body and his mind to recover from the impact of that. He will go through many-many difficult things just for recovering from that habit. So, ultimately they are not good for you, especially not good for the mind. And if you are after knowledge and if you are after Shiva and Shakti to receive that grace, you have to have an extremely developed and clear mind. When you drink, your mind will not remain. And you know, highly professional people never drink or smoke. But I’m talking about sea commanders or those who are into martial arts – they never drink or smoke.

I would say their mind is hyperactive and they had no stimulation for their mind so they have to quiet it by drinking. But it is a very different case. I can only talk for myself – I am living in a Shmashan for 16 years almost and I’ve never took alcohol.

A hyperactive mind needs something to do. There was nothing to do so he is drinking to relax.

* * *

Shakti is hunger in you. Hunger! Shakti is sex in you. Shakti is forgiveness in you. All these things are the play of Shakti. It is hunger. She herself is hunger. Pure Shakti is pure consciousness. For that we are trying to practice so we will experience pure consciousness.

Q: Shakti is a power. Hunger is not power …

Sh: Hunger itself is a power. I am swallowing food – it is because of Shakti inside me. She’s everywhere. She is digesting, she is doing everything. So instead of eating or instead of going out to sex we are expressing it in a different way. That’s why a man with a full stomach never works creatively. There should be some sort of hunger inside you, only then you will strive to do something. Yes, we call it ‘hungry’. Hungry for money, hungry for food, hungry for girls. If somebody says that he’s drinking and he’s an Aghori, never believe him!

Q: But soma – is it a kind of drugs?

Sh: No! Soma is eating meet, symbolically, after Khechari. When something is coming from your mind when your tongue is inside, that is spirit. This is also called soma. When you are connecting your Prana and Apana that is sex, and when you are sitting in the pool, this is Mudra. All these five senses which Aghoris use externally are symbolically internally. Moon is also called Soma.

* * *

Even doing khechary mudra is described as eating flesh of a cow. So many symbolic things are there. I can give you a six hours long lecture on those symbols, but what is the use.

* * *

Then, if the spirit was so important for Aghori then every drunkard will become an Aghori.

Q: They control this alcohol. They control affection of drugs. They’re not under influence of drugs and alcohol, they can control it?

Sh: Impossible! Most of the persons are drinking, eating meat, having sex –and talking about spirits and god. What does it mean? Everybody is an Aghori? Everybody is saying that he’s in control. Everybody claims that. It’s a hypothetical thing! They don’t control exactly. How will you feel if a person is putting shit all over his body, eating it, then coming near you and saying “I’m the cleanest person in the world!” and “This is beautiful!”? You will simply take him for being mad! I don’t think so! Only mad people like shit!

If God had meant to eat shit, we would have asses instead of our mouths. And mouths – there! He knows better than Aghoris, do you agree on that? God had made mouth for eating, and that – for …!

Q: But what do you think – God is only in beautiful things, not in ugly things?

Sh: Then tell me: God created Satan, the devil, don’t you think God is in Satan also? Why God does not like Satan? God created all these different things, to teach us the difference, so we can learn, we can differentiate we can analyze that’s why we see contrast in life.

Shit and urine are the best of fertilizers! When you treat shit and urine to a certain level, then you put it where you are farming, the crop grows very good. So God created that to use it in different way, not to eat it directly. We have to use our mind and consciousness, that’s right, but you don’t have to eat it directly. Everybody is eating this. But Aghoris know how to make it beautiful. I can say I’m eating shit – no problem – but after transforming it into a more beautiful thing! And the person who will lack intelligence, mind, will start eating it directly.

Shiva is very strict. And if somebody is trying to live in a Shmashan whom Shiva does not like, he put him under the influence of some very bad spirits, and the person begins to eat shit and drink urine, and he is not purified enough and he becomes mad. That means he’s going away from Shiva, Shiva does not like him, that’s why he’s putting him through this – eating this, eating that.

* * *

Ql: After reading Svoboda’s books, some people said that it leads to Samadhi much faster than just practicing, that aghora is more powerful practice.

Sh: If you find a real aghori, and if he accepts your request to teach you. But you have to go through yoga, no matter what practice you are doing. If a yogi becomes an aghori he is the most powerful aghori in the world. And to be able to live in a cremation area and remain pure, without eating meat or without eating corpse or so many things, I think is an extremely powerful practice. It is almost impossible to be able to live in a cremation area. It is more impossible to remain pure while you are living in cremation area. Those whom Shiva rejects – they begin to eat corpse, shit and so many things. And aghoris are actually suggested to live in a cremation area so they can be near Shiva and Shakti because it is supposed to be their home. I can guess I am lucky that way: I am a yogi, I am not even an Aghori but I am living in a cremation area. Maybe because Shiva allowed it. And you have to be very pure when you are trying to please Shiva. Only he allows anyone to remain pure in a cremation area. So I am glad for that. I have never smoked ganja in my life, I have never tasted liquor. I am pure vegetarian, that’s it. And I am living in a cremation area. And that is a very powerful cremation area where no ordinary person has ever been cremated.

And if you observe how many aghoris may be in India or all over the world I think if I will even say five or six, it will be an optimistic number. They are very rare to find. Real aghoris I mean. They are very powerful beings and very pure. And I am sure all of them are good looking.

I have seen only one so far.

He was a friend of my guru. In 1985 I was visiting my guru. It was either the last week of November or the first week of December. And he told me: “One of my friends, who went very high in the path of aghora has sat down in his final meditation”.

He was very old, nearly 90 at that time. But he was fair in colour, clean shaven and good looking. There was no ugliness around him. He was sitting on the roof of one house facing the Ganges. A boy was sent with me so he would show me the way. And because I mentioned my guru’s name, I was allowed to go there. Otherwise nobody was allowed to be near because he was in his final meditation.

So I went there, offered my pranam. I was young then. Already a guru – but still not experienced. And waited, as my guru has told me: “Wait. Don’t say anything to disturb him”. For half an hour which appeared to be like eternity I was sitting with a man who is not just somewhere else. He had unblinking eyes, looking towards the Ganges. So half an hour later he asked: “Who are you?“ Immediately I told my guru’s name. “I am his disciple, I am following the same yogic paths. So please give me your blessing and if you feel right please tell me some things to inspire me”. Then again he left into silence. Maybe 15-20 minutes passed. Then he gave me one story that he was living in a cremation area somewhere and the desire to see Parashurama face to face rose in him. Parashurama is also considered as a guru among aghories. So he asked his guru; he gave him a certain mantra which I know also and for 40 days a certain ritual was to be done in a cremation area. And he simply said: “On the 40th day he appeared in front of me. And when he disappeared there was a Shree yantra automatically drawn on the ground in red”. For the first time I heard the name Shree yantra. Then he again was silent. And it appeared to be a very long time and I was thinking “Now he will say nothing” and I was just thinking of leaving. And suddenly he said out of blue: “You will see: one day Soviet Union will be no more. And after some time United States will also not remain United. Now go”. These statements were so out of the blue – I was not concerned about Soviet Union. I was not interested what would happen with United States. He just told me this out of the blue. I came back surprised. Next day he was found dead sitting in the same position, looking towards the Ganges, then he was given a burial. Water burial in Ganges.

And these were his last words. Nobody went near him and he didn’t talk to anyone else. So maybe I received his blessing because then I began to read about Shree yantra and all these things came to me. I became more interested in Parashurama’s life, in Dattatreya and so many things. I mean I started a research. In 1985 it was beyond imagination for anybody that Soviet Union would simply disappear. And after five-six years I saw that. So half of his prophecy or whatever he said came true. So I am sure after some time United States will also just topple like that. But still the mystery remains – why he told me that. Aghories can see future. They are very powerful and knowledgeable beings.

That was the only aghori I saw – for maybe one hour only. And his vibrations were extraordinarily powerful. I was thinking that I would see a horrible looking ugly man, but he was very sophisticated looking. Clean shaven, fair in colour, handsome old man. And he was dressed also: a woollen cap, a shawl was around him and he was wearing socks also.

Q: And you were the last visitor?

Sh: I think so, yes. Because I inquired later: he talked only to me. Later some of his followers went to offer their pranam but he remained silent. But maybe these were his last statements. When I asked my guru about what he said, he laughed and said: You will know in future.

I refuse to believe persons who are eating shit and corpse are real aghories. I have my doubts. Only persons possessed by certain Pishacha – a type of evil spirits – begin to eat these things. I have never eaten anything stronger than onions.

Later I made inquiries and discovered that Parashurama is actually the guru of my clan, of my family line. Maybe that’s why he told me the story of Parashurama, otherwise there was no connection at all.

Living in a cremation area, attending Shiva puja every day – we are actually observing some of the things which aghories do.

* * *

Vimalananda was visiting cremation areas from time to time. And I am living here permanently.

Q: I am sure you would have many things to discuss.

Sh: With Vimalananda? Maybe. Depending on the date or the mood. Or maybe we will just sit quietly together without discussing anything.

And maybe there was a special point in him mixing up with Iranians, Parsis.

Q: But he wasn’t described as a part of this community.

Sh: No, but he was mixing up with them very frequently. And I am sure there was some Aghora thing involved there because of the last rituals of the Parsi. And that’s why his family abandoned him – because he was mixing up with them so much. But he must be having some reasons connected with Aghora. See what happened with Tibet – and most of the Parsis are almost extinct now. He was in fact using them for certain Aghora rituals.

Q: Like learning something from them?

Sh: Not learning exactly, using them for achieving something on his own.

And it is my conclusion that you have to be very careful when you are dealing with tantrics and aghories. They are only after their own achievement. They will pretend as if they are helping you but in fact they are only helping themselves. And they may use you. They have very little affection. You cannot live without fire. It is life-sustaining but if it goes out of control it can kill, destroy. The same thing is with water. You cannot exist without water but if it goes out of control, it can destroy so much. The same with a king. If he is in a good mood – okay. But if his mood is bad – bad end. The same with yogis because many kingdoms in India have been known to extinct by the curse of a yogi. But having little affection is a very different thing than using persons.