The Aghoris are members of a Hindu sect who worship Shiva, whom they see as the supreme god. Because they believe that Shiva created everything – they consider nothing to be bad. For this reason they engage in a variety of sexual practices, they drink alcohol, take drugs, and eat meat. Nothing is considered taboo. But the thing that makes their ancient traditions bizarre is that they are also practicing cannibals and their temples are cremation grounds. An aghori lives in the cremation ground and is able to support himself there – his clothing comes from the dead, his firewood comes from the funeral pyres, and food from the river. When a person is cremated, an aghori will coat himself in the ashes of the body and meditate on the dead.
The most shocking aspect of the Aghori life is their cannibalism. Dead bodies that are found floating in the river are gathered up and meditated on. The limbs are then removed by the Aghori and eaten raw.
The corpses, which may be either pulled from a river (including the Ganges) or obtained from cremation grounds, are consumed both raw and cooked on open flame, as the Aghoris believe that what others consider a “dead man” is, in fact, nothing but a natural matter devoid of the life force it once contained. Therefore while for ordinary folks cannibalism may be seen as primitive, barbaric as well as unclean, for aghori’s it’s being both resourceful and subverting the common stereotypes placed on such taboos into a spiritual ascertainment that indeed nothing is profane nor separate from God, who is hailed to be all and in all. In fact, the Aghoris see it as a scientific approach in trying to discover how matter converts from one form to another.