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Why is marijuana sacred among some Hindus such as Naga Sadhu?

Shiva plays a role in this but does marijuana aid in obtaining moksha or does it have any spiritual benefits?

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    Drugs don't have any spiritual benefits. Pot was never sacred. It is used as a crutch to achieve "mano nasana stithi" which is the step to moksha. Since it is not easy to attain this state through tapas, some people resort to external aids such as drugs. Shiva does not have a role in perpetrating the use/abuse of drugs. – user1195 Dec 22 '14 at 2:07
  • @moonstar2001, indeed I agree. I also think it depends on the prcticioner, for instance what do you think would happen perchance if a spiritualy enlightened one just so happened to smoke marijuana? one could say that his experience would differ from one who is not spiritualy enlightened, would you disagree? – eliyah Dec 23 '14 at 2:36
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    A spiritually enlightened person's experience is never the benchmark.Story goes-Sankaracharya, while traveling thru a village,got thirsty.He saw a pot full of country liquor and quenched his thirst with it.Retinue saw this and thought they too were allowed to consume liquor since Guruji had it.Guruji sensed this and in the next village stopped at a blacksmith's, picked up burning,molten metal & drank it. Retinue immediately realized their folly and learned their lesson. So smoke pot if you are of Sankaracharya's stature. The rest of us, we follow rules not exceptions. – user1195 Dec 23 '14 at 5:11
  • @moonstar2001, I agree ,wisely spoken – eliyah Dec 23 '14 at 22:06
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Marijuana or any other drug is not considered sacred by Hindus. There might be some exceptions where people justify it. The usual argument these people give in favour of drugs is a misleading argument that Shiva consumed Bhaang. Hence, it is okay for them to do so too. This argument has no base in it:

Q. Gurudev, we sing devotional songs in praise of Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna. But back home, the people there consume Bhaang (a type of Indian narcotic incorrectly thought to please Lord Shiva) while they sing praises of Lord Shiva. How should one understand all this?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, if Lord Shiva consumed Bhaang, then he also consumed the poison that came from churning the cosmic ocean. So should we also drink poison first, and then see if we stay alive to drink Bhaang? Do not misunderstand all these things. Lord Shiva never consumed Bhaang. The essential point to understand is that the Shiva Tattva (the most fundamental all-pervading element in creation) resides in each and every one. An intoxicant like Bhaang too cannot do anything to Lord Shiva’s bliss, because he is above and beyond all such trivial influences. But chanting his name can have a positive influence on us and elevate us.

Excerpts from a Q&A: http://celebrating-silence-of-life.blogspot.in/2015/08/why-good-people-suffer.html

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Patanjali's Yoga Aphorisms (IV. 1.) says: "The Siddhis (powers) are attained by birth, chemical means, power of words, mortification, or concentration."

Ganja (and some other drugs) can open up - temporarily - some chakras in some people. But when you do, it is only temporary and results in a fall just as dramatic. The best way to open these chakras and control it is through meditation and concentration - not through drugs.

When opened temporarily, a person can sometimes access certain powers temporarily. Accessing these Siddhis, however, is a diversion from Self-Realization and can easily put you back farther.

Nagas will smoke it for several reasons, one for the reason above, another as it can put off the feeling of hunger when you are starving, and third, they are just not that sincere as sadhus and enjoy being drugged.

  • SwamiVishwananda - Why quote Patanjali as approving drug use when clearly you state that it is not useful in the long run? Is the explanation also to be attributed to Patanjali? – user1195 Dec 23 '14 at 13:01
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    @moonstar2001 Patanjali is not approving drug use. He is only laying out the different means that Siddhis can be attained, just as a doctor would tell you of the good and bad effects of some new therapy. If you read all his aphorisms then you will know that the attainment of Siddhis - by any means - only diverts a soul away from the attainment of God. – Swami Vishwananda Dec 24 '14 at 13:24

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