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Naga Sadhus take vow to quit smoking on Ramdev's urge

Ramdev said he was glad to get a positive response from many Naga sadhus and holy men for a ‘Nashamukt Bharat’ (addiction-free India). “Several sadhus also took a pledge to quit the chillum when I asked them if they had ever seen or read in any scripture or holy book that Hindu deities indulged in any of these unhealthy habits,” he said.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima SiddiquiBy Saima Siddiqui

Published on 1 Feb 2019 9:44 AM GMT

Naga Sadhus take vow to quit smoking on Ramdevs urge
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Naga Sadhus take vow to quit smoking on Ramdev's urge
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Prayagraj: Many Naga sadhus at the Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj have decided to quit smoking on the humble request of Yog Guru Ramdev.

After Baba Ramdev's plead, they have in fact taken a pledge to quit chillums (clay pipes use for smoking) which is considered to be an essential part of their lives.

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The austere group took the decision after Ramdev gave the example of many Hindu deities who stayed away from all vices, including smoking the chillum, when they took the human form on earth. This piece of advice went well with the Nagas who readily agreed to denounce chillums and other forms of addiction.

The recluse group of sadhus smoke to keep themselves warm in the spine chilling cold in the mela area. Sitting around the holy fire called ‘dhuni’, the Naga Sadhus sometimes stay awake all night smoking chillums. This has become a sort of addiction in them which leads to semi consciousness.

Ramdev, who’s also conducting yoga classes at the Kumbh Mela, met these sadhus and asked aspiring Naga sadhus for their chillums as ‘Guru Dakshina’.

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They were attending the ordination ceremony of Shree Panchayati Akhada Niranjani in the presence of Swami Narendragiri, secretary of Niranjani Akhada and president of Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad (ABAP).

Ramdev said he was glad to get a positive response from many Naga sadhus and holy men for a ‘Nashamukt Bharat’ (addiction-free India). “Several sadhus also took a pledge to quit the chillum when I asked them if they had ever seen or read in any scripture or holy book that Hindu deities indulged in any of these unhealthy habits,” he said.

“They were very amused but also tried to understand what I was telling them. They also understood the fact that smoking chillum was harming their health immensely,” he added.

Shreemahant Rajendradas Ji Maharaj of Nirmohi Akhada was among the first few sadhus who decided to hand over their chillums to Ramdev.

“The yoga guru said the sadhus sacrificed their materialistic life to attain salvation. Yet, they were hooked on to the habit of smoking chillum, which is not good. It’s also a kind of weakness. We also realised the fact and took the pledge to stop smoking,” Rajendradas Ji Maharaj said.

Meanwhile this move is seen as a positive change in the living habits of Naga Sadhus who are otherwise leading a degraded life.

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Saima Siddiqui

Saima Siddiqui

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