Narayan Nand Giri Maharaj, 55, is surrounded by devotees who seek his blessings. Nand Giri Maharaj weighs 18 kilograms and is not able to stand up or even walk.
He is looked after by his disciple, Umesh. “People seek his blessings and they feel very nice…they click selfies with him, offer prayers,” Umesh was quoted as saying to Reuters.
Many of the ‘sadhus’ belong to monastic orders called Akharas and live in remote caves, stepping out for the Kumbh Mela, generally held once every three years. Most of these Nagas enter the lifecycle of a ‘sadhu’ in their early teens, leaving their families behind and worldly possessions to answer the call of Shiva, and follow in his footsteps – devoting their lives in his prayers.
It takes six years of celibate life, 12 years of rigorous prayers to Lord Shiva before the revered title of a Naga is conferred. They immerse themselves in deep meditations, rigorous yoga, learning religious rituals and scriptures and seeking the highest form of spirituality.