Hemp and Indian Ancient Text

Hemp and Indian Ancient Text

There are very few plants that are discussed and appreciated as much as “Hemp” or “Bhang” in Indian Ancients texts. Hemp is not only part of all major classical texts of India, but it is also considered to be as holy as the god itself. It is said that “He who drinks bhang drinks Shiva”. Hemp was always and still is a major part of Indian festivals.

In fact, it is also mentioned that, To the Hindu the hemp plant is holy. A guardian lives in the bhang leaf. To meet someone carrying bhang is a sure omen of success.“ Well, this is so cool. Let’s try to deep dive and see what else is mentioned in Indian Ancient texts about the so-popular “bhang” and “ganja”.

According to Ayurveda and other ancient Indian mythological texts, “Ganja” or “Hemp”, like many other important medicinal plants originated from Samundra Manthan (primordial nectar which arose during the churning of oceans).

In the Atharva Veda, hemp is mentioned as one of the five most sacred plants.

In the “Yoga Sutra”, hemp is mentioned as a primary medicine that helps overcome worldly miseries while attaining spiritual perfection. The “Tantra Sastra” prescribes that certain drugs be consumed to regulate mental functions, hemp among them.

Disclaimer : There is no direct reference to smoked cannabis in ancient Ayurveda. Only Bhang and Ganja were consumed internally that too for only spiritual, religious, and medicinal purposes.

According to important Indian texts, hemp drugs are beneficial for a great variety of people. Its consumers have been divided into four broad categories :

  1. Priests, ascetics, fakirs, yogis, and sanyasis (to stimulate meditation and a spiritual mindset).
  2. Devotees of Shiva, Kali, Durga, Hanuman, and other gods (for ceremonies).
  3. People who perform hard physical labour, to relieve their pain and fatigue.
  4. Patients, to relieve their psychic, somatic, and psycho-somatic ailments.

While it seems like Bhang and Ganja do have an important part in Indian text and so does Indian household. But what makes hemp so popular among Indian Classical texts? It’s versatile. No other plant in the plant kingdom is as versatile and useful as hemp is. We should all be proud and appreciate its beauty like our ancestors did.

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