INDIA CROSSING THE RIVER GANGES Varanasi sadhu. In Hinduism; sadhu; or shadhu is a common term for a mystic; an ascetic; practitioner of yoga (yogi) and/or wandering monks. The sadhu is solely dedicated to achieving the fourth and final Hindu goal of life; moksha (liberation); through meditation and contemplation of Brahman. Sadhus often wear ochre-colored clothing; symbolizing renunciation. Sadhus are sanyasi; or renunciates; who have left behind all material and sexual attachments and live in caves; forests and temples all over India and Nepal. A Sadhu is usually referred to as Baba by common people. The word 'baba' also means father; grandfather; or uncle in many Indian languages. Sometimes the respectful suffix 'ji' may also be added after baba; to give greater respect to the renunciate. There are 4 or 5 million sadhus in India today and they are widely respected: revered for their holiness; 4; sometimes feared for their curses. 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. However; reverence of sadhus is by no means universal in India. Historically and contemporarily; sadhus have often been viewed with a certain degree of suspicion; particularly amongst the urban populations of India. Today; especially in popular pilgrimage cities; posing as a 'sadhu' can be a means of acquiring income for non-devout beggars.