Shiva Is a God Who Likes Cannabis — And So Do Numerous Of His Followers

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Enlarge this imageA Hindu holy guy in Kathmandu smokes a chillum, a standard clay pipe, on March six, the eve of the competition honoring the god Shiva.Prkash Mathema /AFP/Getty Imageshide captiontoggle captionPrkash Mathema /AFP/Getty ImagesA Hindu holy man in Kathmandu smokes a chillum, a conventional clay pipe, on March six, the eve of the festival honoring the god Shiva.Prkash Mathema /AFP/Getty ImagesShiva is just one chill deity. He is amongst the three important gods from the Hindu faith. And he includes a penchant for pot. “Shiva loves cannabis. So we arrive to share Shiva’s prasad [offerings] with everybody else,” points out a 60-year-old holy gentleman who gives his identify as Radhe Baba. It is the eve in the festival of Shiva Ratri, or “The Night time of Shiva” March 7 this 12 months. The celebration marks the day Shiva saved the universe from darkne s and married the godde s Parvati. Teams of dreadlocked Hindu ascetics sit close to compact smoky fires puffing on clay pipes at Pashupati, one among Nepal’s holiest Hindu temples, in the money metropolis of Kathmandu. Many holy adult males (and several females) have traveled from all-around Nepal and India to the competition. They expend the days before the holiday alternately praying and lounging to organize to commune with Shiva. They usually also smoke hashish. Cannabis smoke mingles with the bonfires. The two are symbols of religious devotion. Shiva, it can be believed, utilized marijuana the two to take it easy also to focus much better for meditation.It is scenes similar to this that made Kathmandu famous among the hippies. Indeed a couple of days right before Shiva Ratri, Pashupati had the vibe of the relaxed tunes pageant. It’s a minimal much more like Bonnaroo by the time Vince Dunn Jersey above one million devotees have arrived with the large working day. “That [smoking marijuana] helps make us fail to remember every little thing and we communicate with Shiva,” 50-year-old Madhan Lal Baba says, sitting close to Radhe. The two have traveled that has a team of holy adult males from Benares, India, and mentioned the Indian government even gave them some money to make the journey. As ascetics, they’ve renounced po se sions and survive off stipends from your temples and alms from devotees. The marijuana helps stave off worldly needs, they say. Sharing the “prasad” in this situation, the weed — reveals their really like for Shiva, Madhan Lal describes. “Baba, does one have prasad?” a visitor asks a seated holy person. “Sit, smoke, loosen up,” the holy guy responds, gesturing for the stone temple methods close to him and packing a conical clay pipe, identified as a chillum, with hashish. The holy guy smears ashes over the visitor’s forehead together with his thumb for a ble sing and provides a puff about the pipe, for which the person hands him some rupees. Though the temple authorities insist they are cracking down about the drug use, cannabis consumption is considered acceptable within the working day from the holiday. “The law enforcement will not say anything simply because it can be Shiva Ratri, and we are offering [marijuana] to Shiva followers,” Madhan Lal suggests. Although not all people indulges. Several of your pilgrims just check out the temple for making choices and pray. Devotees also light bonfires to heat Shiva and signify the top of wintertime. Hearth is holy in Hinduism. But touching the fireplace with unclean matters is believed to pollute it. Therefore the holy males cup their hands round the base of their pipes and suck the smoke as a result of. This helps prevent their lips from polluting it. “Fire represents God,” Ram Das Bairagi points out. “We do [bonfires] for Shiva, to get in touch with him. Probably he’ll begin to see the fireplace.” Bairagi, an ascetic who life at Pashupati temple year-round, has wrapped his very long dreadlocks in the leopard print scarf, representing the animal skin Shiva wears. His human body is white from ashes, taken in the cremation sites in the temple. “These are ashes of cremated bodies. They symbolize homele s people today, animals, mentally disabled people today,” suggests another guy who’d distribute ashes on his human body. He offers his identify as Dandi Baba. Carrying the ashes makes it po sible for these diverse entities to show up at the marriage of Shiva and Parvati, he points out. As outlined by legend, Shiva Ratri would be the evening when Shiva married his bride and expert the beauty of love and satisfaction of intercourse with the initially time. Although Shiva is affiliated with intercourse and generation, quite a few of his most devout followers remain celibate. “My lifestyle is absolutely dedicated to Shiva. I have no wife, no family. The 1st detail I realized was Shiva,” suggests 72-year-old Dandi Baba. “God is these types of a mysterious thing, however , you need to adhere to it for the reason that it can be within you,” he adds. “We you should not comply with cash or day-to-day i sues. They’re not e sential; you don’t have to have these i sues. The one thing humans have to have should be to share like with each other and share our society.” Then he pa ses the pipe.