This is a unique collection of items that were owned by a sadhu
or wandering mendicant. Sadhus are a sort of Hindu monk, they
shun secular life for a life of austerity and focus on
liberation from cyclic existence by cultivating divine
consciousness. They often have a very striking appearance with
extremely long matted hair (they were doing dread locks
literally thousands of years before anyone had ever heard of
Rastafarians), and they often cover themselves with ashes from
funeral pyres signifying that they are "dead" to worldly
concerns. They typically go door to door for alms and use the
kamandal - here the brass pot, for containing offerings or rice
or money that people donate, or carrying water, etc. The long
scoop shaped object is used to ritually pour water as an
oblation. There are prayers that accompany such activities, and
while they can take place anywhere... often it will be while
standing waist deep in a sacred river such as the Ganges. Water
will be taken up into the copper scoop and then ritually offered
in a pouring motion along with mantras. The general shape of the
water offering vessel is associated with the shape of the "yoni"
or female genitalia... and there is an obvious correlation
between water and fertility.
Wooden "chappels" or clogs. Traditionally sadhus would either be
bear foot or wear wooden shoes like these. There is also a long
standing tradition of offering ritual worship to the shoes of
The chillum: this is a funnel shaped smoking pipe.
The Rudraksha Mala: The seeds of the rudraksha tree are sacred
to followers of Lord Shiva. The rudraksha seeds are believed to
have a vast array of beneficial properties - both mystical and
mundane. This is a mala or necklace of 54 brass capped rudraksha
There is a small trisul (or trident) of the sort sadhus will
either plant on the edge of their "dhuni" or sacred fire, or
they will carry it on pilgirimage often leaving it at the
pilgrimage spot where there are typically vast quantities of
other trisuls that have been offered by devotees.
kit: Brass Kamandal (pot), trisul (trident), chillum
(pipe), water oblation vessel, rudraksha mala (prayer
beads), wooden chapal (shoes).
Wood, brass, copper, iron and rudraksha seeds
|early 20th C.
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