Why Do Aghoris Consume Marijuana at Some Holy Shrines?
Last Updated on February 1, 2023
There are a lot of folks who are full of weird beliefs about topics about which they have no knowledge. But beyond the realm of the physical, life does not present itself in the way that we would like it to from the sterile viewpoints we hold.
A lot of people find Aghoris to be an oxymoron. But why?
Because Aghoris live naked, drink water from human skulls, and perform sadhanas with human bones and blood. However, recently, people from different parts of the world have been curious to know why Aghoris use marijuana.
Obviously, nobody really understands the lifestyle of the most feared yet most respected spiritual sages, the Aghoris. But why do Aghoris use marijuana, is it for pleasure or something which even science is unaware of?
Aghoris And Their Relation With Marijuana (Bhang)
Aghoris smoke marijuana all year round, making it a vital part of their culture. Marijuana (bhang) was given to mankind as a gift by Shiva, and it is thought that using it to open one’s third eye will bring one closer to the divine. However, you should not begin ingesting it for this reason alone, as it contains a concept that is incomprehensible to most people.
So what is the real purpose behind the use of marijuana by Aghoris?
To understand it, I did some research and found an article in which the author shared his conversation when he inquired the Aghori about consuming marijuana and other stuff considered bizarre.
The Aghori replied (and I paraphrase), “Look, you’re too young to know the difference. All you see is us eating meat, smoking weed, and doing other things that you consider to be “creepy.” But what you don’t see is how things are linked in mysterious and subtle ways. In our rituals, we use human skulls, blood, and bones as they remind us of our own bodies. How often do you think about the fact that you might die anytime soon? Normal human beings think of themselves as immortals, so words like “death” and “bones” scare them when reality hits them. Is there no difference between an Aghori smoking weed and a young guy taking drugs in a nightclub? You don’t see a difference because you care about “things” (alcohol, drugs). But there is a difference between us Aghoris consuming weed and a normal boy consuming it unconsciously as our intentions and our goals arent’ similar. I don’t smoke marijuana for fun. I don’t wear clothes, I don’t have any money, and I don’t have any friends in the world. I’ve given up almost everything. What’s the point? To get pleasure from smoking weed(marijuana)? Pleasure doesn’t mean anything to me. People who live in the “real” world don’t care about pleasure. My senses no longer look for pleasure. I smoke weed because it helps me focus my mind and do difficult yogic practices that would be hard for me to do otherwise.”
This brings us to a subtle understanding that though they smoke marijuana, though they sometimes eat human flesh, their intentions are beyond our logic.
So, let’s come back to our question, why do Aghoris consume marijuana?
As Aghoris are monks who want to break out of the cycle of reincarnation, called samsara, and find moksha, they believe that all opposites are the same and that the usual differences between purity and impurity are not real. So, Aghoris’ beliefs are rooted in two main ideas: one God is a synonym for perfection, and two, Gods are responsible for everything.
Hence, they believe that everything that exists must be perfect, and to say that something isn’t perfect would be to say that the gods don’t exist. Because of this, Aghoris are renowned to prove their faith by challenging the popular notions of society.
Do Aghoris Use Other Drugs Other than Marijuana?
Some people believe that bhang or marijuana, is just another intoxicating substance, but for Aghoris, it’s much more than that. While other drugs may be used by Aghoris to achieve the same kind of clarity or high (not be confused with pleasure) as marijuana, none have such a strong connection with them.
Marijuana is typically smoked in a cigar and not ingested orally, which means the drug enters your system quickly and can cause an intense high very quickly.
The feeling that this gives you is what makes marijuana so useful in helping you reach enlightenment or oneness with Shiva (God).
This feeling of unity helps them make sense of their life experiences and see how they’re all connected at a deeper level than most people realize exists within themselves.