Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Hinduism An ascetic holy man.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An ascetic or practitioner of yoga (yogi) who has given up pursuit of the first three Hindu goals of life: kama (enjoyment), artha (practical objectives) and even dharma (duty).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Hinduism) an ascetic holy man

Etymologies

From Sanskrit sādhu-, right, holy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Sanskrit साधु (sādhú, "good; good man, holy man"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • As the debate rages in the West about the ungodly behavior of godly men, a series of sex scandals involving India's assortment of god men -- called sadhu, baba or swami -- is making skeptics out of many Indians.

    Swami Sex Scandals Have India Questioning An Ancient Traditiong

  • The sadhu was a heavy man too, with long white hair tied up in a knot and many beads around his neck.

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  • A person undertaking such a practice is known as a sadhu or a sadhaka.

    Yahoo! Answers: Latest Questions

  • I took a carotid pulse and found that the sadhu was still alive.

    Mccoy Photo | SciFi, Fantasy & Horror Collectibles

  • The film also has its own spiritual touch: many images of flying birds, water shots of the director swimming lyrically with his girlfriend, even an inspiring Himalaya climb with a sadhu, with a gorgeous "heaven on earth" shot of a lake snuggled in icy mountains.

    Karin Badt: David Lynch and Transcendental Meditation: David Wants to Fly

  • In India, a holy man traditionally went through four stages: student, householder (good so far), forest-dweller (what??) and then sadhu -- a wandering beggar in search of moksha (liberation).

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  • I took the wrong street and found one sadhu right on the riverbanks, which they called the Ghat, and then I said, "Oh, yeah, the holy men are generally by the holy river of the Ganges," so I traversed back and forth from one end of the Ganges to the other when I should've gone back to my original starting point and taken a different road.

    Amazing Race's Ron and Christina: We Were Very Aware of Our Physical Limitations

  • "This Vaishnava sadhu has written sacred text, likely a mantra or hymn, across his face."

    Religious Experiences

  • "A sadhu's body is a display of his ascetic identity."

    Religious Experiences

  • "Renouncing his birth family for that of the Hindu gods, a young sadhu adopts as his new family Vishnu, Brahma, or Shiva as well as his guru and brother sadhus."

    Religious Experiences

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