Skip to main content


- 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.


Post a Comment

I always like to hear back :)
However, irrelevant comments and irrelevant links will not be published. Needless to say, same goes for abusive comment and spam. Leaving back links related to the topic is encouraged. I know it can be tempting but try not to leave your email ids, phone nos and CVs in the comment.

Popular posts from this blog

Famous Old Faces of Doordarshan

Some people recall the faces and some people recall the names. Here are images of some of the famous readers and presenters of Doordarshan down the years. If you recognize any of them, leave a comment. [ Update 1 : Most of the faces now have names thanks to helpful comments by olio-gallimaufry ] [ Update 2 : Included image of one of the earliest presenters, Gopal Kaul. Send in generously from personal collection by son, Ashutosh Kaul. Sept, 2010.] [ Major Update 3: Got a tip-off about a documentary about the famous faces of Doordarshan from the makers   of     “The Golden Trail , DD@50 :Special feature on Golden Jubilee of Doordarshan ” from which these caps were taken. I managed to catch the incredible documentary and am adding some more faces/name and part of the docu here. New ones can be found after the image of  Narotam Puri. 30th Oct, 2010]  Pratima Puri. Believed to be the first Doordarshan reader.

Indian Cigarette Vintage Ads

He put a cigarette in his mouth and, as a matter of silent routine, offered one to Gwyn, who said ‘No thanks.”Richard looked at him.”I packed it in.”"You what?”"I stopped. Three days ago. Cold. That’s it. You just make the life choice.” Richard looked up and inhaled needfully. He gazed at his cigarette. He didn’t really want to smoke it. He wanted to eat it. Almost the only thing that he still liked about Gwyn was that he still smoked…Paradoxically, he no longer wanted to give up smoking: what he wanted to do was take up smoking. Not so much to fill the little gaps between cigarettes with cigarettes (there wouldn’t be time, anyway) or to smoke two cigarettes at once. It was more that he felt the desire to smoke a cigarette even when he was smoking a cigarette. The need was and wasn’t being met… While it would always be true and fair to say that Richard felt like a cigarette, it would now be doubly true and fair to say it. He felt like a cigarette. And he felt like a cig

Operation Topaz

In around 1983, General Zia ul-Haq was thinking about "a thousand cuts", "Blood"  and "India". In around 1989, Operation Topaz to destabilize India was set in motion even as Zia had everyone trust  the merits of cricket diplomacy. Zia could well have been thinking of a shaving blade when he thought up that name - Operation Topaz. Image courtesy: . 75 year old C.K Devassy has been collecting blades for last 55 years and his awsome collection  includes more than 60 blade brands from around 10 countries incuding India, USA, England and even China. -0- Topaz presents T.M. Bihari's Professor Pyarelal Image courtesy: Eatern Eye Zeenat Aman is looking for the 1 rupee coin that fell from her hand while Dharmendra was driving crazy to keep the bad guys at bay.