the Sacrament Ganja
“OM SHIVA SHANKARA HARI HARI GANJA” -THE HERB MANTRA
“Know in your heart, that God accepts the smoking of sacrament as worship…. the plant represent the Body, the burning is the fire of the mind, the smoke is the spirit. the high feeling is the Yoga(union).” – Addressed to all Ajah –
(for further reading check the Sadhana section under Ganja Ritual)
Ganja (from the Sanskritword Ganjika, used in ancient India), is a spiritual act, often accompanied by scriptural study; it is a sacrament that cleans the body and mind, heals the soul, facilitates peacefulness, brings pleasure, exalts the consciousness, and brings us closer to God, or one should say realize unity further. You should burn the herb when in need of insight from Ajah. The herb is the most sacred form of the mother (matter) when it is burned it and the solid matter transforms into smoke it symbolizes how though material birth we reach spiritual liberation. Personal consumption for religious purposes is a valid reason for partaking in the smoking of ganja. It is not being abused using it in this way, and to the Ajah is not seen as intoxicating but enlivening, as it is a gift from the mother-earth given to us to nurse the spirit.
Shiva is the oldest known godhead figure in the world. Devotees of Shiva sometimes meditate by drinking a milk and cannabis mixture prepared by priests (Bhang). Sadhus and other devotees endlessly walk around India searching for the spiritual oneness with Shiva. These Sadhus also smoke ‘Charas’ and ‘ganja’ from chillums.
It is widely accepted amongst Hindus that Shiva takes Bhang. What’s disputed is the consumption of it by ordinary mortals. Most Hindus do not know their ancestors used to take cannabis whenever they saw fit. Consumption of Bhang wasn’t always reserved for the Gods and holy days. In fact, not so long ago it was considered an insult to refuse Bhang. I believe this change occurred no earlier than 1900, after the Indian Hemp Commission’s report was released in the late 1800s.
Bhang is also considered a sister of the Mother Ganges (a holy river and a Goddess in India). There are many songs which start off: “Gang Bhang Dono Bhen Hai, Rehti Shivji Ki Sang. Charan Karne KI Gang Hai, Bhajan Karne Ki Bhang.” Roughly translated this means the Ganges and Bhang (cannabis) are sisters and both live in Shiva’s head. The water from the Ganges is poured over a Shivalingam (a form of Shiva in the guise of a phallus shaped black stone) at a Temple and Bhang is consumed by the devotee so they can mediate, be better able to sing hymns, achieve a blissful state and be like Shiva. Also throughout the Bible prophets of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. The smoking burning cloud of incense contained the spirit and was instrumental in bringing about the spiritual revelations of the prophets. In the ancient world marijuana was used to reveal the future. The virtues of marijuana include speech-giving and inspiration of mental powers. “Psychoactive” is defined as effecting the mind or behavior. the observer, This is the person’s spirit. We are all spiritual beings. It is just as important to keep the spiritual part of a person healthy as it is to keep the physical body healthy and in fact they are related. Hence marijuana and its relationship to spiritual food.
It also calls hemp one of the five kingdoms of herbs…which releases us from anxiety and refers to hemp as a “source of happiness”, “joy-giver” and “liberator”. Although the holy books, the Shastras, forbid the worship of the plant, it has been venerated and used as a sacrifice to the deities. Indian Tradition, writing, and belief is that the “Siddhartha” (the Buddha), used and ate nothing but hemp and its seeds for six years prior to announcing (discovering) his truths and becoming the Buddha.
Cannabis held a preeminent place in the Tantric religion to combat the demonic threat to the world, the people sought protection in plants such as cannabis which were set afire to overcome evil forces.
Hemp was used in Ancient Japan in ceremonial purification rites and for driving away evil spirits. In Japan, Shinto priests used a gohei, a short stick with undyed hemp fibers (for purity) attached to one end. According to Shinto beliefs, evil and purity cannot exist alongside one another, and so by waving the gohei (purity) above someone’s head the evil spirit inside him would be driven away. Clothes made of hemp were especially worn during formal and religious ceremonies because of hemp’s traditional association with purity.
In south central Africa, marijuana is held to be sacred and is connected with many religious and social customs. Marijuana is regarded by some sects as a magic plant possessing universal protection against all injury to life, and is symbolic of peace and friendship. Certain tribes consider hemp use a duty. The earliest evidence for cannabis smoking in Africa outside of Egypt comes from fourteenth century Ethiopia, where two ceramic smoking-pipe bowls containing traces of excavation. In many parts of East Africa, especially near Lake Victoria (the source for the Nile), hemp smoking and hashish snuffing cults still exist.
The use of marijuana is as old as the history of man and dates to the prehistoric period. Marijuana is closely connected with the history and development of some of the oldest nations on earth.
It has played a significant role in the religions and cultures of Africa, the Middle East, India, and China Richard E. Schultes, a prominent researcher in the field of psychoactive plants, said in an article he wrote entitled “Man and Marijuana”:
“…that early man experimented with all plant materials that he could chew and could not have avoided discovering the properties of cannabis (marijuana), for in his quest for seeds and oil, he certainly ate the sticky tops of the plant. Upon eating hemp the euphoric, ecstatic and hallucinatory aspects may have introduced man to an other-worldly plane from which emerged religious beliefs, perhaps even the concept of deity.
The plant became accepted as a special gift of the gods, a sacred medium for communion with the spiritual world and as such it has remained in some cultures to the present.”
The effects of marijuana was proof to the ancients that the spirit and power of the god(s) existed in this plant and that it was literally a messenger (angel) or actually the Flesh and Blood and/or Bread of the god(s) and was and continues to be a holy sacrament. Considered to be sacred, marijuana has been used in religious worship from before recorded history.
According to William A. Embolden in his book Ritual Use of Cannabis Sativa L, p. 235:
“Shamanistic traditions of great antiquity in Asia and the Near East has as one of their most important elements the attempt to find God without a vale of tears; that cannabis played a role in this, at least in some areas, is born out in the philology surrounding the ritualistic use of the plant. Whereas Western religious traditions generally stress sin, repentance, and mortification of the flesh, certain older non-Western religious cults seem to have employed Cannabis as a euphoriant, which allowed the participant a joyous path to the Ultimate; hence such appellations as “heavenly guide”.
According to “Licit and Illicit Drugs” by the Consumer Union, page 397-398:
however it is a trap to think you need it, it is a gift that comes and goes…The Ganja is a meditation aid, but it is not meditation by its self.