Often the sadhus and saints in India are mocked and taken for granted. They are even taunted as worthless people who got used to free food and shunned responsibilities for a few’s misdeeds.
One of India’s most arrogant and peculiar-looking sadhus is the Naga. They are frequently recognized as individuals who have ash on their faces. The Naga sadhus engage in an extreme form of yoga practice to achieve moksha or salvation. The Kumbh Mela, which takes place once every 12 years, is the only time the Nagas can be seen. They withdraw into dense forests and the upper Himalayas after the Kumbh is over for the subsequent 12 years.
Adi Shankaracharya founded the Naga Sadhu clan in the eighth century AD because he predicted that attacks on our temples, its wealth, and their culture would multiply dramatically over the following 1000–150 years. A military and wild wing of Sadhus were needed to fight them. Thus, this opened the door for the development of Naga Sadhus. Even the Aghoris, who we can simply refer to as the cousins of the Nagas, emerged over time.
The Battle of Gokul, 1757, where 4000 Naga Sadhus defeated a 30000-strong Afghan Army led by Ahmed Shah Abdali, is where the prowess of the Aghoris and Nagas was first documented in the annals of history.