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These writings on Avadhuta were taken directly from sources found on the net, Wikipedia etc.

Avadhuta is a Sanskrit term from some Indian religions referring to a type of mystic or saint who is beyond egoic-consciousness, duality and common worldly concerns and acts without consideration for standard social etiquette. Such personalities "roam free like a child upon the face of the Earth". An avadhuta does not identify with their mind or body or 'names and forms'. Such a person is held to be pure 'consciousness' in human form.

Avadhuts play a significant role in the history, origins and rejuvenations of a number of Dharmic Traditions such as Yoga, Vedanta, Buddhadharma and Bhakti 'lineage' even as they are released from standard observances. Avadhuts are the voice of the avadhuti, the channel that resolves the dichotomy of the left hand path (Sanskrit: Vamamarga) and right hand path (Sanskrit: Dakshinamarga) traditions and left and right channels (otherwise known as the outer channels) of the energetic body, though an Avadhut may or may not continue such dichotomous rites for they are free from ritual observance and affiliation.

"The appellation "avadhuta," more than any other, came to be associated with the apparently crazy modes of behaviour of some paramahamsas, who dramatize the reversal of social norms, a behaviour characteristic of their spontaneous lifestyle. Their frequent nakedness is perhaps the most symbolic expression of this reversal.

Bhad-avadhuta Upanisad, a text oriented to the Vaishnava tradition, thus:

"The Avadhuta is so called because he is immortal ; he is the greatest ; he has discarded worldly ties ; and he is indicated in the meaning of the sentence "Thou art That,"

The book of Brahmanirvantantra describes how to identify the avadhuts of the following types:

1.Bramhavadhuta : An avadhut from birth, who appears in any class of society. Completely indifferent to the world or worldly matters.

2.Shaivavadhuta : Avadhuts who have taken to the renounced order of life (sannyas), often with unkempt long hair (jata), or who dress in the manner of Shaivites and spend almost all of their time in trance (samadhi), or meditation.

3.Viravadhuta : This person looks like a sadhu who has put red colored sandal paste on his body and wears saffron clothes. His hair are very well grown and are normally furling in the wind. They wear in their neck a Rudraksha mala or a string with bones. They hold a wooden stick (danda) in their hand and additionally they always have an axe (parashu) or a damaru (small drum) with them.

4.Kulavadhuta : These people are supposed to have taken initiation from the Kaul sampradaya. It is very difficult to recognize these people as they do not wear any signs outside which can identify them from others. The speciality of these people is that they remain and live like usual people do. They can show themselves in the form of Kings or a family man.
  There is no religion for yogis. Every yogi is a religion by himself, since he is a universe in himself. Aghori has a world within him. Avadhutas have their own realm of wonders in which they exists and what we see is an outer play.

From the little known, let us try to understand what avaduthas mean from mathematical sense. Avadhuthas are defined as naked Sadhus, which is quite a big mistake. The digambaratha better be understood in spiritual sense. It refers to wearing sky as clothing. Dik + Ambara means directions, clothing. It means omnipresence. Spreading out into universe as cosmic consciousness. The soul will become unbounded by three dimensions.

A person who is a point in three dimensional plane gets into same axis as divine and gets sa + akshath kara = same axis and sees divine. Then his coordinates will vanish and he becomes X, Y and Z axis spread in Diks. That is in x,x1,y,y1,z,z1 directions. So how many directions truely? There are 6 directions. That is called Shanmukha. Hexa directional. Natural snow flakes are hexagonal. The yogi who gets out of coordinates and becomes these axes is transforming into Avadhootha/guru/spiritual master any of these names refer same. The process of becoming so is parivrajaka yoga. Now there is a higher state than this, becoming a Maha Yogi or Buddha. That is instead of becoming axes, become the Origin. When one gets to origin (0,0,0) there are no lines of journey anymore. One is stable and lives in a bindu. Bindu is point Zero where journey is finite yet concentrated to a point, dimensionless state. The true Zero is around Adi Deva, Shiva. That is called Adi Binduvu in Maths. There is no more journey. All axes are concurrent at Zero. One lives in Samadhi. Samadhi is that equilibrium where no more in or outward energy takes place

Shri Sadashiva said (mahanirvana tantra):-

By action men enjoy happiness, and by action again they suffer pain. They are born, they live, and they die the slaves of action There are two kands of action, good and evil; the effect of evil action is that men suffer acute pain .

And, O Devi! those who do good acts with minds intent on the fruits thereof go to the next world, and come back again to this, chained by their action . Therefore men will not attain final liberation even at the end of a hundred kalpas so long as action, whether good or evil, is not destroyed

So long as a man has not real knowledge, he does not attain final liberation, even though he be in the constant practice of religious acts and a hundred austerities.

The knowledge of the wise from whom the darkness of ignorance is removed, and whose souls are pure, arises from the performance of duty without expectation of fruit or reward, and by constant meditation on the Brahman .

He who knows that all which is in this universe from Brahma to a blade of grass is but the result of Maya, and that the Brahman is the one and supreme Truth, has this.

That man is released from the bonds of action who, renouncing name and form, has attained to complete knowledge of the essence of the eternal and immutable Brahman . .

Liberation does not come frOm japa, homa, or a hundred fasts; man becomes liberated by the knowledge that he himself is Brahman.

Final liberation is attained by the knowledge that the Atma (Soul) is the witness, is the Truth, is omnipresent, is one, free from all illuding distractions of self and not-self, the supreme, and, though abiding in the body, is not in the body.

All imagination of name-form and the like are but the play of a child. He who put away all this sets himself in firm attachment to the Brahman, is, without doubt, liberated.

Yoga is the union of the embodied soul and the Supreme Soul," Puja is the union of the worshipper and the worshipped; but he who realizes that all things are Brahman for him there is neither Yoga nor Puja .

For him who possesses the knowledge of Brahman, the supreme knowledge, of what use are japa, yajna," tapas, niyama, and vrata? .

He who sees the Brahman, Who is Truth, Knowledge, Bliss, and the One, is by his very nature one with the Brahman. Of what use to him are puja, dhyana, and dharana? . For him who knows that all is Brahman there is neither sin nor virtue, neither heaven nor future birth. There is none to meditate upon, nor one who meditates.

The soul which is detached from all things is ever liberated; what can bind it? From what do fools desire to be liberated?

He abides in this Universe, the creation of His powers of illusion, which even the Devas cannot pierce. He is seemingly in the Universe, but not in it.

The Spirit, the eternal witness, is in its own nature like the void which exists both outside and inside all things, and which has neither birth nor childhood, nor youth nor old age, but is the eternal intelligence which is ever the same, knowing no change or decay The knowledge of the Spirit, O Devi! is the one means of attaining final liberation; and he who possesses it is verily, yea, verily, liberated in this world, even yet whilst living, there is no doubt of that.

Neither by acts, nor by begetting offspring, nor by wealth is man liberated; it is by the knowledge of the Spirit, by the Spirit that man is liberated.

A man who always exists in super conscious state and is a perfect and complete renunciate can be called an avadhoota.

He has no interest in any worldly emotions, achievements, name, fame or possessions. He usually possesses all the siddhis (spiritual powers) that happen automatically with spiritual evolution, but, does not express them unless extreme necessity happens. He usually has no transactions or give and take with the world and exists on earth only to guide people to liberation. The world of an avadhoota is perfect because He usually exists in His inner world, basking in the glory of supreme consciousness. An avadhoota never gives lectures nor writes books. His life itself is His teaching. The consciousness level of an Avadhoota can be compared only to that of the supreme almighty. We cannot fathom it or explain it. If I may borrow the lines of Adi Shankaraacharya, we could possibly get a glimpse of the awareness level of an Avadhoota. Mind you, the following lines are not expressions based on intellectual understanding from the mind of an Avadhoota, but His living reality.

Great Master Shankaraachaarya

Mano budhya ahankara chithaa ninaham,
Na cha srothra jihwe na cha graana nethrer,
Na cha vyoma bhoomir na thejo na vayu,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham

Neither am I the mind, nor intelligence ,
Nor ego, nor thought,
Nor am I ears or the tongue or the nose or the eyes,
Nor am I earth or sky or air or the light,
But I am Shiva, the all pervading happiness,
Yes, I am definitely Shiva.

Na cha praana samgno na vai pancha vaayur,
Na vaa saptha dhathur na va pancha kosa,
Na vaak pani padam na chopa stha payu,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham

Neither am I the movement due to life,
Nor am I the five airs, nor am I the seven elements,
Nor am I the five internal organs,
Nor am I voice or hands or feet or other organs,
But I am Shiva the all pervading happiness,
Yes, I am definitely Shiva

Na me dwesha raghou na me lobha mohou,
Madho naiva me naiva matsarya bhava,
Na dharmo na cha artha na kamo na moksha,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham

I never do have enmity or friendship,
Neither do I have vigour nor feeling of competition,
Neither do I have assets, or money or passion or salvation,
But I am Shiva the all pervading happiness,
Yes, I am definitely Shiva

Na punyam na paapam na soukhyam na dukham,
Na manthro na theertham na veda na yagna,
Aham bhojanam naiva bhojyam na bhoktha,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham

Never do I have good deeds or sins or pleasure or sorrow,
Neither do I have holy chants or holy water or holy books or fire sacrifice,
I am neither food or the consumer who consumes food,
As I am Shiva the all pervading happiness,
Yes, I am definitely Shiva

Na mruthyur na sankha na me jathi bhedha,
Pitha naiva me naiva matha na janma,
Na bhandhur na mithram gurur naiva sishya,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham

I do not have death or doubts or distinction of caste,
I do not have either father or mother or even birth,
And I do not have relations or friends or teacher or students,
As I am Shiva the all pervading happiness,
Yes, I am definitely Shiva

Aham nirvi kalpi nirakara roopi,
Vibhuthwascha sarvathra sarvendriyanaam,
Na cha sangatham naiva mukthir na meya
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham

I am one without doubts , I am without form,
Due to knowledge I do not have any relation with my organs,
And I am always redeemed,
And I am Shiva the all pervading happiness,
Yes, I am definitely Shiva
One Soul - We are SHIVA - Shivoham

If we can digest this properly and live it fully, we attain the awareness level of an avadhoota. We attain Shiva. This is the essence of all Upanishads and all scriptures. Deepest and humblest Pranaams to the Great teacher Shankaraacharya for this garland of precious jewels.

The ultimate title of Avadhoota is an achievement of many life-times of spiritual progress. Only a few rare souls merit such an exalted title. In any one epoch, only a handful of Avadhootas grace this Earth. So what is an Avadhoota? Let us consider this question by looking at the meaning of the name itself and seeing what are the essential characteristics of an Avadhoota.

"A": He who has achieved complete liberation from the bonds of desires. He who is absolutely pure and is ever absorbed in total, inner, bliss.

"VA": He who has eliminated all His desires and is infallible to the three kinds of problems, namely, (a) diseases of the body, (b) illness caused by poisons of such creatures as scorpion, snakes etc, (c) adverse effects of natural disasters, such as floods, earthquakes etc. An Avadhoota always lives in the present, forever happy in what this moment has to give.

"DHOO": Through an Avadhoota's body may be smeared with dust or ashes, His mind is cleansed of all impurities. Having reached His goal, such an Avadhoota is beyond mere disciplines of concentration (Dharana) and meditation (Dhyana).

"TA": He is ever eternally engrossed in the contemplation of the Absolute Truth. To this end, He has abandoned all worldly activities and even its thoughts. Such a soul has erased His ego, merging completely with the universal spirit.

Main characteristic of an Avadhoota are:

He who is a sinless philosopher and has cast off the shackles of ignorance (ajnana).

He who lives in the stateless state and enjoys its experience all the time. He revels in this blissful state, unperturbed by the material world.

In this unique state, the Avadhoota is neither waking nor in deep sleep, there is neither any sign of life nor any death, It is a state defying all description. It is the state of infinite bliss, which the finite language is incapable of describing. It can only be intuited purely by our intellect.

A state which is neither truth or non-truth, neither existence nor non-existence. He who has realized his identity with the imperishable, who possesses incomparable excellence; who has shaken off the bonds of Samsara and never swerves from His goal. That thou Art (TATVAMASI), and other Upanishadic declarations, are ever present in the mind of such an enlightened soul. That sage who is rooted in the plenary experience of "Verily, I am Brahman (Aham Brahmaasmi)", "All this is Brahman (Sarvam Chilvidam Brahman)", and that "...there is no plurality, Me and God are one and the same..."etc. Supported by personal experience of such Vedic statements, He moves freely in a state of total bliss. Such a person is a renunciate, liberated, Avadhoota, Yogi, Praramhamsa, Brahmana.

Avadhoota Upanishad

Avadhoota Upanishad is a small Upanishad consisting of around 32 mantras. It falls under the category of Sanyasa Upanishads and is a part of Krishna Yajurveda. Avadhoota Upanishad takes the form of a dialog between Dattatreya and Rishi Samkriti and explains the nature of an Avadhoota. Avadhoota is an advanced stage of Sanyasa tradition.

Avadhootas are known for their extreme detachment and constant oneness with the supreme reality.

One day Rishi Samkriti asks Dattatreya the following questions:

¦Who is an Avadhoota?
¦What is his state?
¦What are the signs of Avadhoota?
¦How does he lives?

The part that follows is the answers given by compassionate Dattatreya.

Who is an Avadhoota?
Avadhoota is called so because he is beyond any decay, he lives freely as per his will, he destroys the bondage of worldly desires and his only goal is Tat Twam Asi i.e. you are that.

Avadhoota goes far beyond all the casts (such as bramhin, vaishya, kshtriya and sudra) and ashramas (such as bramhacharya, grihastha, vanaprasta and sanyasa). He is the higest Yogi who establishes himself in the constant state of self-realization.

What is his state?
An Avadhoota always enjoys the supreme bliss. The divine joy represents his head, happiness is his right wing, ecstasy represents his left wing and bliss is his very nature. A life of an Avadhoota shows extreme detachment.

What are the signs of Avadhoota? How does he lives?
An Avadhoota lives as per his own will. He may wear cloths or he may live naked. There is no difference between Dharma or Adharma, sacrifice or non sacrifice for him because he is beyond these aspects. He performs inner sacrifice and that forms their Ashvamedha Yagna. He is a great Yogi who remains unaffected even when he engages in worldly objects. He remains pure.

Ocean accepts water from all the rivers but still remains unchanged. Similarly, an Avadhoota is unaffected by worldly objects. He is always at peace and (like the ocean) all the desires are absorbed in this supreme peace.

For an Avadhoota there is no birth or death, bondage or liberation. He might have performed various actions for the sake of liberation but they become history once he becomes an Avadhoota. He is ever satisfied. Others wander with the intention of fulfilling their desires. But an Avadhoota being already satisfied doesn't run after any desire. Others do various rituals for the sake of heaven but an Avadhoota is already established in the omnipresent state and hence needs no rituals.

Other qualified teachers spend time in teaching scriptures (Vedas) but Avadhoota goes beyond any such activities for he is actionless. He doesn't have any desire for sleep, begging (bhiksha), bathing or cleaning.

An Avadhoota is ever free from doubts and since he is always in union with the supreme reality he need not even meditate. Meditation is for the people who are not yet one with God but an Avadhoota is always in the state of union and hence needs no meditation.

Those who are behind Karmas (actions) get plastered with Vasanas. These Vasanas haunt them even when they finish their Prarabdha Karma. Ordinary men meditate because they wish to fulfill their desires. However, an Avadhoota always stays away from such trap. His mind is beyond mental destructions and Samadhi. Mental destructions as well as Samadhi are possibly modifications of the mind. Avadhoota is already eternal and hence there is nothing to be achieved for him.

Following worldly duties is like an arrow released from a bow i.e. they can not be stopped from giving good or bad fruits causing a cycle of action-reaction. However, an Avadhoota is non doer at all levels and is not involved in any action.

Having attained such a stage of detachment an Avadhoota remains unaffected even if he follows a way of life as prescribed by scriptures. Even if he engages in actions such as worshipping God, bathing, begging etc. he remains unattached from them. He lives like a witness and hence doesn't perform any action. An Avadhoota can clearly see Brahman in front of his eyes. He is free from ignorance or Maya. He has no actions left to be performed and nothing to be achieved further. He is totally contented and there is no one else with whom he can be compared. (At the holy feet of Lord Shiva, Bipin Joshi)

Vedic Astrology |Jyotish