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To the Hindu the hemp plant is holy.

 
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Ferre
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Cannabis Sacrament Minister.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 11:04 am    Post subject: To the Hindu the hemp plant is holy. Reply with quote

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In: Report of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, 1893-1894, Bombay


To the Hindu the hemp plant is holy. A guardian lives in the bhang leaf. As the wife of Vishnu, the preserver, lives in the hysteria-curing tulsi, or Holy Basil, and as Shiva dwells in the dysentery-scaring bel, Æg1e marmelos, so the properties of the bhang plant, its power to suppress the appetites, its virtue as a febrifuge, and its thought-bracing qualities show that the bhang leaf is the home of the great Yogi or brooding ascetic Mahadev.

So holy a plant should have special rearing. Shiva explains to his wife, Parvati, how, in sowing hemp seed, you should keep repeating the spell 'Bhangi,' 'Bhangi,' apparently that the sound of that guardian name may scare the evil tare-sowing influences. Again, when the seedlings are planted the same holy name must be repeated, and also at the watering which, for the space of a year, the young plants must daily receive. When the flowers appear the flowers and leaves should be stripped from the plant and kept for a day in warm water. Next day, with one hundred repetitions of the holy name Bhangi, the leaves and flowers should be washed in a river and dried in an open shed. When they are dry some of the leaves should be burnt with due repeating of the holy name as a jap or muttered charm. Then, bearing in mind Vagdevata, or the goddess of speech, and offering a prayer, the dried leaves should be laid in a pure and sanctified place. Bhang so prepared, especially if prayers are said over it, will gratify the wishes and desires of its owner. Taken in the early morning such bhang cleanses the user from sin, frees him from the punishment of crores [sic, scores] of sins, and entitles him to reap the fruits of a thousand horse-sacrifices. Such sanctified bhang taken at day break or noon destroys disease. Before the religious user of bhang stand the Ashtadevata or Eight Guardians with clasped hands ready to obey him and perform his orders. The wish of him who with pure mind pours bhang with due reverence over the Ling of Mahadev will be fulfilled.

Such holiness and such evil-scaring powers must give bhang a high place among lucky objects. That a day may be fortunate the careful man should on waking look into liquid bhang. So any nightmares or evil spirits that may have entered into him during the ghost-haunted hours of night will flee from him at the sight of the bhang and free him from their blinding influences during the day. So too when a journey has to be begun or a fresh duty or business undertaken it is well to look at bhang. To meet some one carrying bhang is a sure omen of success. To see in a dream the leaves, plant, or water of bhang is lucky; it brings the goddess of wealth into the dreamer's power. To see his parents worship the bhang-plant and pour bhang over Shiva's Ling will cure the dreamer of fever. A longing for bhang foretells happiness: to see bhang drunk increases riches. No good thing can come to the man who treads under foot the holy bhang leaf.

So evil-scaring and therefore luck-bringing a plant must play an important part in the rites required to clear away evil influences. Daring the great spirit time of marriage in Bombay among almost all the higher classes of Gujarat Hindus, of the Jam as well as of the Brahmanic sects, the supplies sent by the family of the bride to the bridegroom's party during their seven days' sojourn includes a supply of bhang. The name of the father who neglects to send bhang is held in contempt. Again, after the wedding, when the bridegroom and his friends are entertained at the house of the bride, richly-spiced bhang is drunk. by the guests. The Gujarat Musalman bride before and after marriage drinks a preparation of bhang. Among the Pardeshi or North Indian Hindus of Bombay bhang is given not only at weddings, but the Pardeshi who fails to give his visitor bhang is despised by his caste as mean and miserly. Another great spirit time during which bhang plays an important part is the time of war. Before the outbreak of a war and during its progress the Ling of Mahadev should be bathed with bhang. Its power of driving panic influences from near the god has gained for bhang the name of Vijaya, the unbeaten. So a drink of bhang drives from the fighting Hindu the haunting spirits of fear and weariness, so the beleagured Rajput, when nothing is left but to die, after loosing his hair that the bhang spirit may have free entrance, drinks the sacramental bhang and rushing on the enemy completes his juhár or self-sacrifice. It is this quality of panic-scaring that makes bhang, the Vijaya or Victorious, specially dear to Mahadev in his character of Tripur, the slayer of the demon Tripurasur. As Shiva is fond of bel leaves, as Vishnu is fond of tulsi leaves, so is Tripuresvar fond of bhang leaves. He who wishes to obtain his desires must constantly offer bhang to Tripuresvar.

Bhang the cooler is a febrifuge. Bhang acts on the fever not directly or physically as an ordinary medicine, but indirectly or spiritually by soothing the angry influences to whom the heats of fever are due. According to one account in the Ayurveda, fever is possession by the hot angry breath of the great gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. According to another passage in the Ayurveda, Shankar or Shiva, enraged by a slight from his father-in-law Daksha, breathed from his nostrils the eight fevers that wither mankind. If the fever-stricken performs the Vijaya abhishek, or bhang-pouring on the Ling of Shankar, the god is pleased, his breath cools, and the portion of his breath in the body of the fever-stricken ceases to inflame. The Kashikhanda Purana tells how at Benares, a Brahman, sore-smitten with fever, dreamed that he had poured bhang over the self-sprung Ling and was well. On waking he went to the Ling, worshipped, poured bhang and recovered. The fame of this care brings to Benares sufferers from fever which no ordinary medicine can cure. The sufferers are laid in the temple and pour bhang over the Ling whose virtue has gained it the name Jvareshwar, the Fever-Lord. In Bombay many people sick of fever vow on recovery to pour bhang over a Ling. Besides as a cure for fever bhang has many medicinal virtues. It cools the heated blood, soothes the over-wakeful to sleep, gives beauty, and secures length of days. It cures dysentery and sunstroke, clears phlegm, quickens digestion, sharpens appetite, makes the tongue of the lisper plain, freshens the intellect, and gives alertness to the body and gaiety to the mind. Such are the useful and needful ends for which in his goodness the Almighty made bhang. In this praise of the hemp the Makhzan or great Greek-Arab work on drugs joins. Ganja in excess causes abscess, even madness. In moderation bhang is the best of gifts. Bhang is a cordial, a bile absorber, an appetiser, a prolonger of life. Bhang quickens fancy, deepens thought, and braces Judgment.

As on other guardian-possessed objects, the cow, the Vedas, or the leaf of the bel tree, oaths are taken on the bhang leaf. Even to a truthful witness an oath on the bhang leaf is dreaded. To one who foreswears himself the bhang oath is death.

So holy a plant must play a leading part in temple rites. Shiva on fire with the poison churned from the ocean was cooled by bhang. At another time enraged with family worries the god withdrew to the fields. The cool shade of a plant soothed him. He crushed and ate of the leaves, and the bhang refreshed him. For these two benefits bhang is Shankarpriya, the beloved of Mahadev. So the right user of bhang or of ganja, before beginning to drink or to smoke, offers the drug to Mahadev saying, lena Shankar, lena Babulnath: be pleased to take it Shanker, take it Babulnath. According to the Shiva Purana, from the dark fourteenth of Magh (January-February) to the light fourteenth of Ashadh (June-July), that is, during the three months of the hot weather, bhang should be daily poured over the Ling of Shiva. If not every day, bhang should be poured at least during the first and last days of this period. According to the Meru Tantra on any Monday, especially on Shravan (July-August) Mondays, on all twelfths or pradoshs, and on all dark fourteenths or shivratris, still more on the Mahashivratri or Shiva's Great Night on the dark fourteenth of Magh (January-February), and at all eclipses of the sun or moon, persons wistful either for this world or for the world to come should offer bhang to Shiva and pour it over the Ling. Not every devotee of Shiva makes offerings of bhang. Such rites in Bomhay are seldom performed except in the Bhuleswar and Babulnath temples and there only on special occasions. The bhang offered to Mahadev is without pepper or other spice. It is mixed with water, water and milk, or milk and sugar. It is poured over the Ling. According to some authorities the offerer should not touch the offered bhang. Temple ministrants Atits, Tapodhans, Bhojaks, Bhopis, Bharadis, Guravas alone should drink it. If there are no ministrants the remains of the offering should be poured into a well or given to cows to drink. Other authorities encourage the offerer to sip the bhang, since by sipping the bhang reaches and soothes the Shiva-Shakti or Shiva-spirit in the sipper. On certain special occasions during failures of rain, during eclipses, and also in times of war libations of bhang are poured over the Ling.

More :
http://www.samorini.net/doc/alt_aut/ad/campbell2.htm


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