Is smoking weed allowed in Hinduism ?

Discussion in 'Ask Questions' started by Hindu, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. Hindu

    Hindu Member Staff Member

    Please try answering the question.
  2. deafAncient

    deafAncient New Member

    My view point is, no. Weed is used in the contemporary setting because users do not know how to reach the "spiritual" state without using drugs. I had read a couple of books called, "The Archaic Revival," and "Your brain is God" by a couple of well-known psychedelic authors, at the insistence of a former heavy drug user (who still uses weed from time to time).

    My response was the following:

    I’ve been reading some of your books. First, the Brain book. The more I read this and the Archaic Revival book, the more I realize that I am not on the path of the straight-jacketed experience of conventional religion and yet not on the psychedelic path, either. It is almost like I’m in a meadow, with conventional religion on one side, a rocky escarpment, and psychedelics on the other side in a thick, dense forest. My path runs right along down the meadow, with no resistance. Most people, on the other hand, are either picking their way through the slippery escarpment of Religion or the forest of psychedelics running along the meadow instead of the meadow that lets you run at full speed. I say that because it is known by people like Terence McKenna that while such drugs can show you the door, it doesn’t open it for you. You have to be willing to let go of your ego, step up to it, and go through it. In the Archaic book, on pg. 38, “Being Monkeys, when we encounter a transliguistic object, a kind of cognitive dissonance is set up in our hindbrain. We try to pour language over it and it sheds it like water off a duck’s back. We try again and fail again, and this cognitive dissonance, this “wow” or “flutter” that is building off this object causes, wonder, astonishment, and awe at the brink of terror…” This is similar to what I have experienced for decades trying to explain with language what it is that I experience. The way I fail is that, “I’m unable to explain it because all this started happening while I still didn’t have language, and I can still remember what it was like, clearly. There are no words to explain it.” And leave it at that; just being able to experience it in its own way. Just wanted to put that out there.

    Anyway, I have some misgivings here, because of a number of things. There’s stuff going on on both sides, the straight-laced side and the psychedelic side. I dug up some stuff on Timothy Leary. He had a bit of a checkered life, having been fired from Harvard for the work he did (though it was done ethically, under a very controlled environment) and having been arrested as a political prisoner for the involvement with drugs. So you can see at the same time the thumbing of his nose at authority and the baggage of the establishment that caused them to be fearful and arresting him instead of listening to what he had to say.

    We need to keep in mind that later in life, he got away from Eastern religion and philosophy BEFORE his Brain book was written. “[He] transitioned from Eastern philosophy and Aleister Crowley to a belief that outer space was a medium for spiritual transcendence as his principal frame of reference. Neurologic also added the idea of "time dilation/contraction" available to the activated brain through the cellular, DNA, or atomic level of reality. Terra II is his first detailed proposal for space colonization." I got this from wikipedia. I have huge issues with this, especially when you consider in the Brain book, on pg. 94 under Akin to Hinduism, he states clearly that, “Our philosophy about the meaning of LSD comes closer to Hinduism than to any other religion. Hinduism is a pagan philosophy that recognizes the divinity of all manifestations of life, allowing for a wide scope of sub-sects. To a Hindu, Catholicism is a form of Hinduism.” I don’t know about the connection of LSD with Hinduism, I just don’t because I have no experience with it. However, some things have to be corrected. First of all, we are getting away from the word Hinduism. That is a geographic word applied to such people by Persians because they lived by a river, the Sindhu. The correct name is Sanaatana Dharma (SD), which means the Eternal Way. What was always there, what is now, and what will always be. Secondly, SD is NOT a pagan philosophy (unless you want to speak from a Christian standpoint[!] because anything not Christian is pagan or heathen). To quote an article:

    "Hinduism at first blush appears to conform to paganism. It seems to worship many gods and seems to do so by worshipping different images. It thus comes across as polytheistic and idolatrous and therefore pagan. This perception fuels the missionary zeal of the Abrahamic religions to destroy such paganism.

    "There is only one problem with this scenario. It is based on a false presumption. It is true that there are many gods in Hinduism and that it abounds in image worship, but while these various gods are considered different gods in paganism as traditionally represented, in Hinduism they represent the various forms of the one and same God. Thus a plurality of gods does not denote polytheism in Hinduism but rather the plurality of the forms in which the same one God might appear. A new word such as polyformism may have to be coined, or an older word polymorphism may have to be invoked, to be set beside polytheism, to provide the corrective. The Hindu situation is characterized not by polytheism but what might be called at best "apparent polytheism," because the reality underlying all the different gods is the reality of one God. Hence, ironically, the situation could also in a sense be described as one of "apparent monotheism," in the sense that the one God appears in various forms.”

    Now, about outer space… When I was a kid, in my naivete, I was drawn to UFOs, space travel, Star Trek, technology. As I saw the effects of technology over the last 30 years on myself as well as other people, I began to realize that this was a mistake, a BIG mistake because of how fast it has moved. We have even trounced a logarithm plot of technology development! There are many problems. One, we don’t know the effects something would have on human relations, two, we don’t know how it affects the environment, and three, lack of knowledge materials science ends up getting people killed (impure casting of the hull sheets of the Titanic, o-rings in cold temperatures in the Challenger disaster, etc.). To me, this is a mistake, and it is why I wanted to leave the modern world via the rennie world. Again, the extremes of Science on the one hand and Straight-jacketed Religion on the other hand, and cutting a path right in the middle. I feel that I have a more balanced view of needing some technology to make life easier and remaining grounded in nature so as to not forget who we are.

    (Keep in mind that I wrote the above paragraph before I came to the realization that it wasn’t modern civilization, period, that I wanted to escape from, but WESTERN modern civilization because of its extreme materialist technological development at the expense of Inner Science. It excels with destructive technology, but largely without the mind to control the damage it does to the environment and itself. I have since then realized, six months later, that really, I would be much more comfortable in a society that was dharmic to start with.)

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2015
  3. deafAncient

    deafAncient New Member

    Additional phrases like this give me pause, because I don’t know how suitable SD (Sanātana Dharma or Hinduism) is as a replacement for drugs in a society as cultureless as America:

    "A force inner strength and spiritual guidance for the world is unlikely to come from the countries of the West. The West is too immature, too distorted by the mass media and its culture of self-indulgence. Its spirituality is mixed with a seeking of new sensations and personal achievement, trapped in the body and intellect, and generally far short of any real renunciation or realization." "... Yet Hindus abroad generally appreciate their own traditional culture better than Westernized Hindus residing in India.

    "The reason for this is that Hindus abroad, living apart from their cultural base, have developed a nostalgia for it. They have also seen the limitations of Western culture-its crime, drugs, promiscuity, greed and almost total lack of spiritual values-which is demonstrated to them daily, particularly through the mass media....

    "... I saw that the great intellectuals and artists of the West, the geniuses who were regarded as the highest human types, were still plagued with doubt, depression and uncertainty, often took drugs, or even went insane, or committed suicide. They obviously had not found any lasting peace or ultimate truth."

    One other thing… Time. It doesn’t exist. It is nothing more than the observation of movement, whether it be the apparent movement of the sun across the sky, the shadow of the sun dial across its face, the movement of the second hand on a clock, or even the electrons and vibration of a quarts crystal, if you could see it that fast. Even the act of electricity moving across your synapses is movement. Without movement, there is no life. Because it is movement, it is happening right now, what already was is gone, and what will come isn’t here yet; in essence there is only now.

    (Again, reflecting back on this six months later, I have to agree with his initial assessment of the situation in western society, though I disagree with turning America onto drugs to solve our problems, even though he didn’t say to turn “everyone” on, but those likely to succeed in positions of power, money, decision-making, and technical know-how. I don’t know how one would backtrack an entire civilization out of this present point in the progression along this path back to a place where it would be easier to fork onto the dharmic road of development instead. What the author advocates is a dead-end, in my opinion.)

    Very important - last two paragraphs:

    Lastly, I think that drugs are a reaction to the civilizing effects and are a means for SOME people to find their way back to the place I have told you about. A place where I can simply be. Where I don’t have to wear a straight-jacket or be stuffed inside a mold that is clearly not for me. That’s why I lose interest in things and many activities because it only colors my experiences, my memories, and my knowledge, but it does not affect me. I guess this started to happen once I had realized on my own the SD model of the Self, which is, there is the outside world, there is your body, there are your memories, knowledge, and experiences that you use to control your body to navigate the outside world, and then there’s you. When your body dies, the outside world goes away, as possibly does your memories, knowledge, and experiences, leaving only you to start over. What may remain attached is your [samskāra, or mental impressions of life in general] that may determine what you are predisposed to do in future lives (I’d have to research this more in SD). It may be because we are connected to one another mentally, and we draw the information from out there, information that in my case tells me that something doesn’t add up in Egyptology, for instance. I have this feeling that, “Ah no… That’s not what happened back then.” Or, it may be that we are connected to information through genetic memories passed down from our parents. I’m inclined to think it’s both.

    This path I have for myself, I must run down this path to see where it takes me, because this is a unique experience, one that is rarely, if ever experienced in modern humanity, and I want to take advantage of it. Remember what we’ve talked about in the past couple of months. Remember that I mentioned how drugs seems to loosen the “caging” mechanisms of civilization, and how I hinted at their temporary ability to unlock and pry open the memory dampeners that normally operate in our brains to hide our spiritual knowledge, past, and true nature ex-mortal (in our natural state outside of this physical world you and I are in right now). However, I want to add to this that because natural drugs were created, and do have an effect on living beings, I’m led to believe that because this was expected or known by the ex-mortal creators of this world, that there had to be a limit as to how far the drugs can pry open the memory dampeners, otherwise to open them up entirely would allow one to transcend hir body entirely and disappear from this world, leaving behind the dead body. (hmmm, what if that’s what deadly poisons do in sufficient doses; put you in a state where when your body starts dying, the dampeners fail for lack of sufficient life-force integrity, and you learn how to leave your body behind in that instant?) I’m going through a gradual reawakening of who I am as a person, but at the same time, I’m marking time in this world, experiencing things in a way I never have before. The feeling I have is, we are all “gods” who participated in the creation of this world we live in, and we created within our brains memory dampeners to hide knowledge from ourselves so that we could experience all over again the wonder of discovery, the joy of doing something fun, and the emotions of loving someone; some things we had lost in our eternal state. It is a way to keep us occupied, busy as it were.

    For some reason, I sent my friend the last paragraph from one of the books:

    A paragraph says on page 69, “Reality is truly a creature of language and of linguistic structures that you carry, unbeknown to yourself, in your mind, and that under the influence… these begin to dissolve and allow you to perceive beyond the speakable. The contours of the unspeakable begin to emerge into your perception, and though you can’t say much about the unspeakable, it has power to color everything you do. You live with it; it is the invoking of the Other. The Other can become the Self, and many forms of estrangement can be healed. This is why the term “alien” has these many connotations.”

    However, we have to keep in mind that we are unable to see beyond the material world with our five senses, and I'm of the position that weed or drugs is not an appropriate tool for a "sixth sense" that has to be brought to us from the outside, a mirror. See, the eyes are classified as extrovert mechanisms. The eyes can never see themselves. "Therefore I require the assistance of an external mirror. With the help of the mirror I can see my own eyes. Similarly all the Paurusheya Pramānāni are inadequate to give me self-knowledge unless I introduce a sixth Pramānam or sixth factor that will serve as a mirror for gaining self-knowledge. I have to accept the necessity of a sixth Pramānam which is not in my hands and this must come from outside. That sixth Pramānam is called Shāstra Pramānam – the scriptural teaching." - Swami Paramarthananda, Introduction to Vedānta (tattvabodha).

    The reason for the use of drugs is because western civilization and its religions are wholely inadequate (and in fact heads in the opposite direction) for the spiritual development that is possible within SD. If somehow European civilizations had managed to make a connection to India thousands of years ago in a humbled, respectable, and learning-scholar manner, then drugs might be a non-issue in white society in that alternate world.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2015
  4. Ignorant

    Ignorant New Member

    I dono about Hinduism but I have seen many baba's smoking hash even i have tried hash many times,
    I loved smoking hash ,it looks as if i have attained divinity when i fag hash.
    Boom Shankar
  5. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member Staff Member

    I agree with DA.

    Besides all that, the western press has made a big stink about it, and overblown the use. At a kumbh mela, there will be 1 sadhus in a hundred smoking it
    , and all the western camersas point at him. It's sensationalism.

    Smoky brain, smoky mind, smoky soul. It's totally unnecessary. Having said that, the entire meaning if 'rules' in Hinduism is different than in Abrahamism. In Abrahamism it's hard and fast rules considered 'sin' and punishable by hell. In Hinduism rules are just wise guidelines. You're free to break them, but it shows your anava.
  6. Aum

    Aum New Member

    Personally I think there is misconception among Hindus that lord shiva used to have weed or marijuana but fact are very different.
    It is said that during meditation lord shiva used to go to trance and would dance in trance and people started saying that he is in effect of weed but the fact was that he never smoked any type of weed or marijuana .
  7. darkstar

    darkstar New Member

    There is a verse in the yoga sutras where Patanjali says that it's OK as a spiritual aid for a limited degree, but then you have to continue without it.

    Sikhs (yes, this is a little off topic, but Hindu and Sikh are closely related) generally consider it prohibited, because of a line in writings of one of the Gurus, however the text is ambiguous and some consider cannabis OK

    Indian law, according to something I read, prohibits ganja, defined as the buds/flowers, and hash, but the leaves are allowed in some places

    My wife read a book called "Aghora / Left hand path" which describes someone's spiritual quest which somehow involved smoking a lot of the stuff, though it seems the person was quite unorthodox

    My own view is that it's fine in moderation but like alot of things, should not be overdone. Still it would be interesting to know whether there are any relevant scriptures (older than Patanjali who was about 4-5cent. CE)
  8. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member Staff Member

    If you look long enough and hard enough, you'll find something that is either a real reference, or close enough to fake it. My aunt, a closet alcoholic, had a couple of verses about wine memorized from the Christian Bible, and often cited them to support her habit. She died young.
  9. darkstar

    darkstar New Member

    Good point. Also should be mentioned here, the consensus of modern science is that cannabis is pretty innocuous - non harmless but much less harmful than alcohol or tobbacco. And much less harmful than a lot of medical drugs, tho the medical industry doesn't acknowledge that so much. And therapeutic for various conditions.
  10. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member Staff Member

    I agree on all your points. It's a very useful drug for a lot of stuff, as are all the related plants like industrial hemp are as well, for things like paper and fabric. It's history is very political, very economics based. But all that has no relation to Hinduism.

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