But everyone can make a beginning. Things to do in the morning: 1) First, I remember that I’m going to die. This gives urgency to the way I will live that day. 2) Second, I spend 5 minutes in thanksgiving to Nature for being permitted to live, to have this chance to experience, to learn, and to achieve. And third, I resolve not to cheat my consciousness during the day. As long as I don’t cheat my consciousness nothing I do during the day can stain me; but if I do something wrong I know I am likely to end up like the boy whose guru swallowed the fish and then regurgitated them back up, alive.

And there is a practice which I follow every night before going to sleep. It is very simple, but it has helped me immensely and it can help anyone who uses it. It involves only three questions: Have I lived? Have I loved? Have I laughed?

Have I lived? Have I made the best use of the time provided me during that day to grow, to learn, to develop?

Have I loved? Have I reached out to everyone I met and made them aware of the love in my heart and eased their burdens of self-mistrust and self-doubt?

Have I laughed? Have I seen the humorous side of even the most painful incident?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then it is a matter for remorse. One more day has passed and I am another day closer to my death, and I have not exerted myself to my fullest potential. This is enough to make me work harder the next day and try to make amends, before Mahakala comes and catches me unawares. It is this intense desperation to live life to the fullest which is the hallmark, the stamp, of a true Aghori.

From final two pages of Robert Svoboda’s At The Left Hand of God.

I first heard about the Aghoris from Mihir (circa 2010), the eerie fascination lay dormant until April 2016 (when I finally bought, what is arguably, a most compelling tale of the life of an Aghor). It would take me ~ 4 more years before I finally picked it up and, in fits and bursts, finally read it in Feb 2020. The front and back covers aren’t for the faint of heart and #NSFW.

The Wikipedia page on Aghor Yoga is informative and, compared to the content of the Svoboda book, is quite sanitized. A partial extract from Wikipedia page below:

The word Aghor literally means “that which is not difficult or terrible”. Aghor is a simple and natural state of consciousness, in which there is no experience of fear, hatred, disgust or discrimination. According to Aghor Yoga, any time that humans experience a state of discrimination, we limit our wholeness and fall prey to disruptive emotions such as anger, fear, jealousy, greed, and lust.

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