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.
Bhang or Ganja are extracts of a plant called Cannabis Sativa, also known as Marijuana or Cannabis or Weed or Pot in the western world. In their ignorance, Americans put it into the category of illegal substances or illegal drugs and subsequently, it has been made illegal in India as well and therefore many Hindus themselves have started thinking that it is bad for us. I've seen even some fake ayurvedic doctors (and websites) following western doctors and claiming that bhang is a harmful drug.
BUT 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). Both Bhang and Alcohol cause euphoria, pleasant feelings and more, so their effects seem very similar. BUT ancient Hindu scientists knew that alcohol is bad for human body but Bhang is a medicine. And now science has shown that Alcohol actually is bad for human body. Any type of alcohol causes hypertension, cancer and more. Bhang on the other hand cures all of these problems! There was no way for ancient Hindus to know all this but still somehow they knew! I'm always amazed at how our ancestors learned all that they did and I wish that we start paying more attention to our own Ayurveda and even guide western scientists with what our ancestors, the great Hindu scientists & doctors already taught us!