We all grew up listening to legends of Lord Shiva – the destroyer. While we may know why he beheaded his son or why he tied the snake around his snake, we have never stopped for a moment to reason why he is known as Lord of Bhang? What is the connection between him and bhang?
Now we all know the story about when gods and demons were churning the ocean to attain the elixir of life aka somras or amrit. Due to immense agitating of the cosmic ocean, it produced an abundance of lethal poison called Halahala which had to be drunk. That is when our Bholenath stepped in. He consumed the venom and to make sure it doesn’t slide down his throat and kill him, he tied a snake around his neck. That is why his neck is blue and he has a snake tied around his throat. The story actually does not end here. What happened was while drinking the halala, few drops of the poison fell on earth and a plant grew (now known as marijuana). To resuscitate himself from the heat of the sun, he ate the leaves of the marijuana plant. Mythology has it that Shiva arrogated the plant as his favorite. Hence, the Lord of Bhang!
Bhang is a very powerful plant and if used correctly can be used for medicinal purposes. While now it is used for wrong reasons, back then it was used only for spiritual purposes. In the biting cold of the Himalayas and the severe austerities to be performed by the Lord, it helped in taking him to a state of trance.
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