Whenever Lord Shiva is remembered, the first picture that comes to our head is of Lord Shiva holding the chillum, smoking the pot with his dreadlocked hair. Cannabis, Marijuana, weed, ganja, hash, pot has been used for millennia now. A plant that can take one to a different dimension is served as Lord Shiva’s remedy and holds an unclear status of legality.
On the occasion of Maha Shivratri, the holy day which marks the grand celebration of Lord Shiva marrying the goddess Parvati, but apart from all of it, the cannabis takes the spotlight as devotees travel to Pashupati, Nepal’s holy place which lies in the capital city of Kathmandu. The devotees grab their chillums, roll their cannabis, dreadlocked sadhus make their way to station their belongings and share this prasad.
The reason why Lord Shiva is associated with weed:
According to Atharva Veda, Cannabis is considered as one of the five most sacred plants, in the Samudra Manthan, Lord Shiva discovered it. Legends say that in the Samudra Manthan, gods and monsters shook the ocean to obtain the Amrita, which was known as the drink to immortality, but due to the constant churning Halahala, a lethal poison was released that created fear for everyone.
To protect them, Lord Shiva drank the lethal poison and due to that, he got the name of Neelkanth (blue throat). In order to soothe the pain, he was offered cannabis that helped him.