What is a Sadhu? Someone who drops acid then paints their face while tripping?
A sadhu (sādhu (male), sādhvī (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 sannyasi or vairagi.
It literally means one who practises a ″sadhana″ or keenly follows a path of spiritual discipline. Although the vast majority of sādhus are yogīs, not all yogīs are sādhus. The sādhu is solely dedicated to achieving mokṣa (liberation), the fourth and final aśrama (stage of life), through meditation and contemplation of Brahman. Sādhus often wear simple clothing, such saffron-coloured clothing in Hinduism, white or nothing in Jainism, symbolising their sannyāsa (renunciation of worldly possessions). A female mendicant in Hinduism and Jainism is often called a sadhvi, or in some texts as aryika.
There are 4 to 5 million sadhus in India today and they are widely respected for their holiness. It is also thought that the austere practices of the sadhus help to burn off their karma and that of the community at large. Thus seen as benefiting society, sadhus are supported by donations from many people.
Becoming a sadhu is a path followed by millions. It is supposed to be the fourth phase in a Hindu's life, after studies, being a father and a pilgrim, but for most it is not a practical option. For a person to become sadhu needs vairagya. Vairagya means desire to achieve something by leaving the world (cutting familial, societal and earthly attachments)