Some people have asked me why Lord Shiva drinks Bhang or smokes Ganja? Why do all the shaiv sadhus smoke Ganja all the time? Isn't it a drug? Do our Hindu religious leaders take drugs? Or worse, does one of our Trinity, Lord Shiva Himself, promote drugs? In this article, I'll answer these questions.
Now western scientists are discovering that Bhang is one of the most effective natural medicines available to man - This is something that Hindus scientists had already discovered at least 3000 years back!
Since western doctors are realizing the truth, today they use Bhang/Ganja/Cannabis/Marijuana for treating ancer, Aids/HIV, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), chronic pains and depression patients and they're discovering its new applications every day! But our own Ayurveda mentioned the medicinal properties of Bhang/Ganja so long ago! In fact, Marijuana is mentioned in Rig Veda, Atharva Veda, Ayurveda and many other ancient Hindu texts! Some of the uses of Bhang that ancient Hindu scientists discovered thousands of years ago are - Dyspepsia, Nervous disorders, Severe pain, Insomania, Dysentery, Gonorrhoea, Loss of appetite because of illness and even poisoning. It's AMAZING that our ancient Hindu doctors were able to learn so much that western scientists are still catching up!
Before closing, I'd like to mention one more thing - Alcohol has already been considered bad in Hindu society but Bhang isn't (at least not until Indian government started following western governments).
A Brief History of Bhang Bhang was first used as an intoxicant in India around 1000 BC and soon became an integral part of Hindu culture. In the ancient textArtharvaveda, Bhang is described as a beneficial herb that "releases anxiety". Bhang preparations were sacred to Gods, particularly Shiva. One of Shiva's epithets was "Lord of Bhang" as he is said to have discovered the transcendental properties of the mixture.
In imitation of Shiva, many sadhus use Bhang to boost meditation and achieve transcendental states. Besides, Bhang or cannabis is also believed to be popular amongst Sufis as an aid to spiritual ecstasy since a long time.
Bond with the Bhang Ancient as it is, bhang has become a inseparable part of Indian tradition. So much so that it has become symbolic for a lot of things. They might be, or rather they are, pure superstitious believes. But if one understands the inherent sentimental and emotional nature of Indians, one can very easily feel the emotional bond people have with bhang.