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Saints and Great Masters

Sombari Maharaj - A Great Saint

A saint that is not that well-known in the western world was a man named Sombari Baba. A big reason for this is that he passed away back in 1919 and at that time there were very few westerners who ever had the opportunity to meet him. This was also a time when it was difficult to spread information so even in India he is still quite unknown. However, he has begun to have a greater spread in the West in recent years. Especially because of the book Deva Bhumi recently released. In the book, the author Krishna Kumar (K.K.) Sah presents a series of stories about this amazing saint. The word Sombari means Monday and Sombari Baba got his name because he always gave food to those who visited him during the Mondays. No one knows for sure when he was born but many claim that he was born sometime between 1815-1825 in a small town called Pind Dadankhan.

The Sadhus Devotees of Shiva

Apart from their participation in the Kumbh Mela, Sadhus usually live rather solitary lives, renouncing society and leading a monk-like existence, with basic food provisions and few possessions. Most Sadhus wear distinctly coloured clothes, to set them apart from the civilian population, while a number of Sadhus decline to wear clothes altogether, as they all used to do traditionally. Their distinct clothing, or nakedness, symbolises their renunciation of the mortal world and their dedication to a new spiritual existence. In a similar vein, on becoming a Sadhu, the holy man renounces his old name and receives a new one, indicative of his affiliation. Most often, however, they are referred to by the term Baba, which means, old wise man. The Sadhus spend their time in devotion to their chosen deity, the most popular of which is Lord Shiva, the Destroyer (Shaivite devotees). Vishnu, the Preserver, or rather his incarnations (Avatars) like Rama or Krishna, are the other most followed deities (Vaishnavite devotees).