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- stole from my mother's Pooja Thali for tonight. Bham!


  1. Any idea how the Bhang culture- of Bhang consumption, started being associated with Shiva?
    We do not have that in Andhra. It is essentially fasting all day and all nite chanting the Rudram.
    Also was curious what you do with the Bhang leaf in your prayers - custom wise...thnx!

  2. A couple of years back, one Shivratri, my mother came back from the local neighborhood temple with a pitcher full of what she thought was Lassi distributed by generously people. She was a bit embarrassed and shocked when my father told her what she had in fact brought home. BHANG.

    Tonight the vendor outside the temple was selling all kind of Shivratri things, she got curious about this leaf and asked if it was Bhang. On confirmation, she bought some and decided to use it in her Pooja.

    I don't know how exactly hemp got associated with Shiva, there are all kind of stories like it was Bhang that cooled Shiva's throat after he drank the poison from Samudra Manthan.Cannabis Sativa is supposed to have sprouted out from earth where ever the Amrit from Samudra Mantha fell. According to Atharva Veda (1600 BC ) Bhanga was one of the five herbs used for "releasing us from anxiety". I don't know how it became popular but it's consumption must have always been popular enough for some major sects of the various era to go with 'Bhang okay policy'.

    We Kashmiri pandits, even though mostly Shiva people, haven't got any use of Bhang in our Shivratri rituals. Datura yes but not Bhang. Our saints smoke grass but still this leaf is not part of any ritual. In ancient times, there were certain sects of Shaivites in Kashmir who indulged in alcohol.

    "Alcohol in both hands, resolved, humbled by the loss of caste due to the talk of "Kaula" (about him), with a plate full of fish in his hand, the initiated Bhatta goes to the house of his (Saiva) teacher. Busy with gargling sounds, the Bhatta drinks, his throat full of "Bhairava" (recitation) [or: terrible (alcohol)]; in continuity [or: at a "pond"] (alcohol) is licked up; he rolls about, as he holds heavenly water, uneasily. Having spent a whole night (thus), drunken, he has vomited the liquor, his mouth licked by dogs; (but next morning,) completely cleansed, with respectful greetings, he (walks) a Bhatta among the other Bhattas."~ Ksemendra writing in Desopadesa. Quoting from the famous Micheal Witzel paper on 'Brahmans of Kashmir' [Extract and more at my Kashmir Blog]

  3. are you for real?
    What thoughtful Gods no? tension nahin lene ka! bhang piyo...
    that more than satisfies my curiosity, gracias!

  4. I am a phastclass peddler of casuistics.

  5. I think bhang is considered as a somras that shiv drinks...

  6. the last para reminds me of the god mutthapan in kerala.. who is found of fish and alcohol and its servered as a prasad in the temple..
    Also he had a dog and that dog is worshipped too..

  7. Really interesting. A mix of Shiva and Vishnu. Dog. Vedic god Revanta has a dog. And then Bharava has a dog. Interesting.

    We Kashmiri Pandits are traditionally supposed to offer our first morsel to dog.


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