Saturday, July 18, 2009

50 year chastity?

Kathia baba's and lohalangari baba's
Celibacy is no doubt the most important austerity practiced by sadhus. According to Yoga-metaphysics, sexual energy, the fire of passion, is the main potential source of spiritual energy.

But as an aid to mental control of sexuality, physical restraint must sometimes be employed and one method is the continuous wearing of 'chastity belts'.
It is a rather 'recent' austerity, not more than 300 years old, and it is only done by Vaishnavas of the Nimbarki Sampradaya.
This austerity, like most, is usually undertaken for a minimum of twelve years.

A dhoti usually, modestly, covers this wooden underwear, but as these Baba's are about to take a bath, they have a valid reason for taking it off.

Kathia baba
This wooden arbandh with its wooden langoti attached, may quite rightly be called a 'chastity-belt'; only this one is self-imposed.
The langoti can be unhooked for cleaning, but the arbandh of course stays on all the time.
Jaganath Das has worn the belt for thirteen years and has vowed to remain doing so for life.

Lohalangari baba
Kailas Das has worn this steel chastity-belt for fifty years.
He is also known as Mauni Baba, for he did not speak for twelve years.

(stolen word for word from

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