Smoking Pot, a Part of Indian Culture

Sadhu smokes ganja in chilum, as holy offering to Lord Shiva
Marijuana has been an essential part of Indian culture, in fact there is a long and varied history of its use in religious ceremonies, dating back to 1500 BC. Some of the sacred text of Hindus, Rig Veda, describes the use of Soma, an intoxicating drink, believed to be marijuana.

I wanted to highlight that how marijuana is so heavily ingrained in the Indian culture that its impossible to ignore its use.

Besides, that it grows in the wild in various parts of the country. Lord Shiva’s association with cannabis is well known, its believed to be his favorite. His devotees, long-bearded sadhus, ascetics engage in pot to attain the spiritual oneness with Shiva. Cannabis holds an important place in Tantric Yoga, as you will find out in the latter half of the post.

As I mentioned before, that marijuana is illegal in India, but during Mahashivratri (Night of Shiva or Great Night of Shiva), mortals are allowed to consume cannabis in the form of ‘Bhang,’ because Shiva use to take Bhang. Its made out of cannabis leaves with a mixture of almonds, spices, cold milk and sugar. Worshipers offer ganja to god and also consume it to attain a blissful state. Many Sadhus might not drink alcohol but are allowed ganja and bhang. Parvati offering Bhang to Shiva Villagers in Rajsamand district, Rajasthan consume bhang instead of their morning tea. They don’t consider bhang as an intoxicant, but as prasad (offering) of Lord Shiva.

While writing this post, I stumbled upon an interesting piece of information. Cannabis is also an important part of Tantric Yoga sex acts consecrated to the consort of Lord Shiva, Goddess Kali, who is generally associated with death and destruction.

Devotional ceremonies involve cannabis ingestion and ritual sex, which aims at raising the Kundalini energy from the base of the spine up into the higher centers of the brain.

The use of marijuana for religious and spiritual purpose in India is quite deep-rooted, and no one can deny that connection!

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Multidimensional spiritual being and founder of Fractal Enlightenment having a human experience and trying to improve it. One of the main purpose of why we started FractalEnlightenment, im a torch bearer, trying to shine the light in dark places. Thank you for gracing me with your presence, In Lak'ech Ala K'in! (I am another you)
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  1. Anonymous - February 5, 2010, 11:06 am Reply

    @anonymous – u need to check the old paintings of Shiva he does not hold a so called 'DAMRU' in his hand its a 'CHILAM'and later on to cover it up ,the so called good people started altering the 'CHILAM' and now it is a 'DAMRU'.Who knows 100 years from now Shiva might be holding an electric guitar because of people like u who cant face the truth :).


  2. Eve - May 5, 2010, 8:23 pm Reply

    I know this is an old thread, but I thought some of you might be interested in The Crazy Wisdom of Ganesh Baba: Psychedelic Sadhana, just released by Inner Traditions.

  3. Anonymous - May 20, 2010, 10:14 am Reply


    no intoxicantion

    hindusium / Sanatam Dharma / Vedas

    Hinduism Beliefs They are forbidden any forms of intoxication

    no illicit sex, no intoxication, no meat eating, and no gambling
    Sirmad Bhagavatam (Vedas)

    no Intoxicant

    no intoxication

    Those mortals who consume marijuana, flesh and wine – no matter what pilgrimages, fasts and rituals they follow, they will all go to hell.
    ~ Guru Granth Sahib

    Christian Bible
    No intoxication

    those yogis who take cannabis,
    they may achieve some mystic power but that not permanent , and thus become entangled in sinful activities

    them people have put tradition,cultures,religion all together without truely understanding

    Hari Bol !

    • Delling - August 29, 2010, 9:22 pm Reply

      It is an offering to shiva As to the chilam? I believe that the drum is very instrumental to Shiva as is the chilam. He is all and can do all and we as devotees take on his aspects when it suits us for we too are Shiva. Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti Aum

    • poofie - January 7, 2014, 8:58 pm Reply

      Just a correction. . . Christian Bible includes the consumption of wine which is intoxicating

    • Mahakal / מהכאל - January 9, 2014, 10:45 am Reply

      Cannabis is 100% non-toxic and therefore does not intoxicate. When used with proper respect, it raises the consciousness higher toward God. Unlike poisons which dull the senses, such as alcohol.

  4. Fractal Enlightenment » Peyotism and Native American Spirituality - July 26, 2010, 4:20 pm Reply

    […] we had spoken how marijuana has been used in India and is still used across the country during festivals like Holi in the form of bhang. The Rig-Veda […]

  5. Real - May 19, 2012, 1:36 pm Reply

    Its funny cuz the “light” of god is litterally a light u c its the north star the brightest of the universe. And aum om on or whatever u wanna call it is the sound you hear from generaters and big lights a subtle mmmmmmm sound or humming. Its silly what people argue over. Miserable people hate on how others live thier lives because they are miserable following their little religions. Therefore they diss the ones that are free from the illusions of the matterial world and act like they are some how better than the free because that is what they are told by the aryans who make up these silly rules there is no truth only reality of tha soul the soul speaks for the one conciousness aka god aka the sun the father(shiva the light) and maha the mother the holy spirit. Learn sanskrit sach means real not true u can b real and lie. Being real is bieng true to yourself what your soul says weather your wrong(left) mind thinks it to b true or not this prasaud which i know to be the real gur prasaud taught me to open my seventh gate and talk to god through the lamb which sits on his right side ( in the right brain ) aka right mind. When they say stay in your right mind which is actually your right brain to the right of your third i which really means third brain which is the throne of god where he sits. Realize that tension is the embodyment of evol (ego) so if ypu shoulders are getting tight reading this its not the real u that is reading its your ego ganges are the river of tension and gangika is the realeaver of tension(emboduyment of ego aka evol. When your whole body and mind is relaxed and inspiration is coming from your right mind and you just let your hands do what they wanna, not what your wrong(left) mind thinks you should, and you have a big open mouth smile on your face u r douing the work of god. Real is from the seventh sense and chakra i am singh hear me roar.

    • Jonathan - January 7, 2014, 8:10 pm Reply

      Om is actually the original sound audible on every radio telescope, an audio recording device. it is distinct in that it is the underlying sound behind all sounds. I also wish to address to the author that this article is highly misleading. IF the author had taken a moment to delve into the grand pantheon that is “INDIAN CULTURE” they would know that cannabis is not permitted, an though it is attributed to shiva, that shiva’s mindset on this was lesser evils are forgivable if the soul seeks eventual purity an refinement. Its not the type of thinking that says oh its ok, its an its ok for now but do try an cut down, an do try an experience bliss removed from artificial sources. Its also HIGHLY MISLEADING to post this under the context of heavily ingrained, ingrained it is but it is a very small minority. This article is however correct on the mindset, of ceremony, devotion, an using cannabis as an offering, but it does not condone the use of marijuana as a “recreational” or to use this article as a way to “lax” some quasi new agers desire to continue to smoke pot.

  6. Donald Meinshausen - June 29, 2012, 11:47 pm Reply

    Shiva is said to have blue throat as a way of explaining the bluish tinge on the stem of psychedelic mushrooms

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