A sadhu (IAST: sādhu (male), sādhvī or sādhvīne (female)), also spelled saddhu, is a religious ascetic, mendicant (monk) or any holy person in Hinduism and Jainism who has renounced the worldly life. They are sometimes alternatively referred to as jogi, sannyasi or vairagi.
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- Two miles to his west lay Gokul, the seat of the pontiff of the rich Vallabhacharya sect. The Abdali’s policy of frightfulness had defeated his cupidity: dead men could not be held to ransom. The invader’s unsatisfied need of money was pressing him; he sought the help of Imad’s local knowledge as to the most promising sources of booty. A detachment from his camp was sent to plunder Gokul. But here the monks were martial Naga sannyasis of upper India and Rajputana. Four thousand of these naked ash-smeared warriors stood outside Gokul and fought the Afghans, till half of their own number was killed after slaying an equal force of the enemy. Then at the entreaty of the Bengal subahdar’s envoy (Jugalkishor) and his assurance that a hermitage of faqirs could not contain any money, the Abdali recalled the detachment. ‘All the vairagis perished but Gokulnath [the deity of the city] was saved’, as a Marathi newsletter puts it.”
- [Rajwade, i. 63.]. About Ahmed Shah Durrani. Jadunath Sarkar, Fall of the Mughal Empire, Volume II, Fourth Edition, New Delhi, 1991, p.70-71
- The Hindu Bethlehem now lay utterly prostrate before the invaders. Early at dawn on 1st March the Afghan cavalry burst into the unwalled and unsuspecting city of Mathura, and neither by their master's orders nor from the severe handling they received in yesterday's fight, were they in a mood to show mercy.... A Muslim eyewitness thus describes the scene in the ruined city a fortnight later. 'Everywhere in the lanes and bazaars lay the headless trunks of the slain and the whole city was burning. Many buildings had been knocked down. The water of the Jamuna flowing past was of a yellowish color, as if polluted by blood. The man [a Muslim jeweller of the city, robbed of his all and fasting for several days] said that for seven days following the general slaughter the water had turned yellow. At the edge of the stream I saw a number of huts of vairagis and sannyasis [i.e., Hindu ascetic], in each of which lay a severed head with the head of a dead cow applied to its mouth and tied to it with a rope round its neck.'
- Jadunath Sarkar, Fall of the Mughal Empire, Volume II, Fourth Edition, New Delhi, 1991, p.70-71
- Encyclopedic article on Sadhu at Wikipedia