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Smokin' Sadhus

 
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Ferre
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2004 2:28 am    Post subject: Smokin' Sadhus Reply with quote

Tim Leffel wrote:
India's wandering holy men make puffing hash their sacred ritual

by Tim Leffel
Posted 1/28/03


The half-naked man pushes back his orange turban and getsdown to work. He breaks off chunks of hash and mixes them with tobacco in his bony fingers, then dumps the contents into a chillum (conical clay pipe). The flaming wooden match lights up the painted lines on his forehead as he shouts, "Bom Shiva!" and starts puffing away, his head disappearing behind a cloud of smoke. After two massive lungfulls, he passes the pipe on to his brethren, more thin men dressed in a minimum of cloth, with long beards, matted hair, and a happily glazed look in their eyes.

They are sadhus, India's wandering holy men. They have renounced their worldly life, said goodbye to both their possessions and their families, and now lead a life of celibacy, ascetic yoga, and a search for enlightenment. Most make pilgrimages across the subcontinent and spread ashes on their body, while the most radical test themselves by holding one arm in the air for years on end or spending twenty-four hours a day standing up. A far more pleasant and widespread characteristic, however, is the tendency to get stoned out of their minds on a regular basis.

Out of their minds

In fact "out of their minds" is a good goal to shoot for, as rational thought then gives way to a less earthly purpose. Like tribal North Americans drinking peyote mixtures or Rastafarians lighting up a big spliff, the purpose is a journey to a higher plane.

While sadhus can be divided into a zillion different sects, most follow either the god Vishnu (the preserver) or Shiva (the destroyer, and thus, the rejuvenator). While many followers of Vishnu manage to find reasons to smoke charrus (hash) for enlightenment, it's the latter group that really has a ready excuse. Shiva is generally pictured meditating alone in the Himalayas, his eyes half closed from the effects of his hash habit. As Dolf Hartsuiker puts it in his authoritative book Sadhus, the Holy Men of India, "Mythologically, charas is intimately connected with Shiva: he smokes it, he is perpetually intoxicated by it, he is The Lord of Charas." Or as one young sadhu less eloquently put it, "Shiva is a cooool god!"

This perception goes a long way in explaining the Indian government's lax attitude toward marijuana and hash. Thousands of backpackers descend on India each year, some of them lured by easily available cannabis and hash. While the police have cracked down in Goa, where only foreign tourists are partaking, they stay out of the way elsewhere, especially in pilgrimage areas. Dry up the supply of hash and they'll have some very unhappy sadhus to deal with. And since the sadhus are thought to be representatives of the gods…well, no Hindu cop wants to be on the God of Destruction's s**t list.

So by becoming social outcasts and smoking ganja or charas, the sadhus can claim that they are only trying to emulate Shiva. If even the most devout Hindu man were to sit down to talk with a group of sadhus, he would have no choice but to join in if the chillum came his way. To refuse the pipe would be to pass up the chance, the obligation really, to share a holy experience with the ascetics.

Full article:
http://www.gonomad.com/features/0301/smokin.html


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meek_mike
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2004 3:49 am    Post subject: Great Article Reply with quote

I love what it said at the end:

To refuse the pipe would be to pass up the chance, the obligation really, to share a holy experience with the ascetics.

That was a great atricle it almost makes me want to leave my family and go on a cross country cannabis excurtion. Bringing nothing with me except a pound of the sweetest cheba and my Bible. Set out on a mission to smoke with every person that I come across and chat spirituality with them. See what insights they have and tell them some of the insights I've come across. In fact that would make a great movie. If only Hollywood can see the potential of a cannabis/religious movie. It would be bigger than Half Baked bigger than Home Grown. It would make the Passion look like..... well alot different. Pass the pipe I'm missing my chance.

Rev. Michael T
Solider for Christ and Cannabis
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Damrak_lost_wanderer
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadhus are really fascinating. I was in India in 1997 and its a place where you can really be inspired by the people and the holy men who have turn off and are protecting their inner light and nothing else matters.
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Rev.DeGray2
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 11:36 pm    Post subject: Great Post; Reply with quote

Excellent article brother Ferre.


Thanks,



Much Love and Respect to you and all.
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stokes
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A fine group of people ... those Sadhus.

Thanks, Ferre.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Shiva is generally pictured meditating alone in the Himalayas, his eyes half closed from the effects of his hash habit.





Bliss,
Ben
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Rev.DeGray2
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 2:08 am    Post subject: Re; Reply with quote

WOW! That's really cool.




Thanks.

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