Sadhvis (female sadhus) Kathmandu

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They may not be a common sight but yes, females can be sadhus too! These ones were spotted at Pashupathinath ghats in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Sadhus are the spiritual nomads of India. Affectionately known as ‘babas’, they have rejected normal life in return for a holy one in which they wander throughout India with few possessions other than a begging bowl and, if they have chosen to be a follower of Lord Shiva, a trident. They wear saffron coloured clothing or, in the case of Nagar Babas, they merely cover their naked skin in ash and adorn their bodies with yellow flowers. They may live in ashrams, akharas, in a tent or just under a tree. Wherever they reside they will impart their wisdom to others that want to stop and share a chillum (a pipe filled with marijuana) or just chat. They are much revered in India, but can be feared as well because of their spiritual powers. You don’t want to get on the wrong side of one of these men as they are incredibly powerful. You can choose this path at any stage in life but it is more common in your final years, after you have fulfilled your responsibilities to State and family, to give away all your worldly goods and live a life of poverty and spiritual contemplation until your death.

Hinduism is one religion where women are much respected and, although it isn’t common to see a sadhvi, they are welcome to become one if they so wish.

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