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In Mouneshwara temple at Tinthini in Karnataka’s Yadgir district, an annual fair is held in January where devotees are handed out small packets of ganja (marijuana) as prasadam, which they smoke after praying to Lord Manappa, the news is from India Time.

With the sandalwood drug racket bust in Karnataka, the state administration and police have been cracking down on drug peddlers across towns and cities. The search for peddlers has brought to fore the fact that marijuana — a psychoactive drug derived from the Cannabis plant – is served as prasad (offering) at several temples in Karnataka.

Ganja, as it is referred to in common parlance, is considered sacred in certain temples of North Karnataka, where it is served as prasad to help devotees achieve enlightenment, reported the Times of India. The devotes of Sharana, Shaptha, Aruda, and Avadhuta traditions also consume ganja or marijuana in various forms.

In Mouneshwara temple at Tinthini in Karnataka’s Yadgir district, an annual fair is held in January where devotees are handed out small packets of ganja as prasadam, which they smoke after praying to Lord Manappa.

Many seers and devotees as such believe this “sacred grass” can help them gain deep knowledge of spirituality and thereby achieve enlightenment.

Gangadhar Nayak, a member of the Manappa temple committee, confirmed weed is widely consumed at the temple. He added: “During the fair, anybody can come here and smoke weed. While some consume the ganja after boiling it, others consume it like tobacco powder.

However, the temple officials do not believe this weed or marijuana is distributed to be consumed as a drug for recreational purposes.

Siddarameshwara Shivayogi, a saint from Siddavata Dama Shivayogi Ashram, Yadgir district, who consumes ganja once a day calls the drug “sacred” and believes it to be an “agent that assists meditation”.Usage of Marijuana for recreational purposes is banned in India and has been a hot topic of discussion since deceased actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik were found sourcing “bud” for parties. The bud, however, is different from ganja and is far more potent and expensive.

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