An avadhuta is a type of SADHU or wandering men-dicant. The term refers to different populations in different parts of India. In Bengal the BAULS are referred to as avadhutas. In the NAT H sect founded by GORAKHNATH, the avadhuta is someone who has reached the highest state of spiritual development. In Maharashtra and in Gujarat the Avadhuta is the single Guru-God DATTATREYA.
   Further reading: G. S. Ghurye with L. N. Chapekar, Indian Sadhus (Bombay: Popular Prakashan, 1964); Dolf Hartuiker, Sadhus: India’s Mystic Holy Men (Lon-don: Thames & Hudson, 1993).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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