Marijuana and Nihangs

Most Sikhs have heard of Nihangs and their usage of marijuana/sukha/bang/etc. But most don’t know why, and that in the pure tradition of the Nihangs this plant was a tool in the warrior tradition of the Sikhs. Many just hear about Nihangs using it and think that they are abusing this drug. During last years Jaap Sahib course we had Question and Answer sessions every day and participants would ask all kinds of questions. One of the questions was asked by a youth about how Nihangs justify their usage of marijuana. Jugat Guru Singh and Sadasat Simran Singh (Chardikala Jatha) give their opinion and understanding of this issue. Basically they share their experience, that while some Nihangs do abuse this tradition and use it as an intoxicant it is a real tool in the tradition of the Nihangs.

This was a very informal Q&A session and it is by no means the definitive answer or explanation of this issue. This is just one slice of the issue in relation to how any tradition can be abused….but that doesn’t make the practice wrong or bad.

Ps. I hope my Nihang brothers who watch this take it in and open way and hopefully don’t take any offense. I know how it is to be judged….but I don’t think this video is saying anything bad about Nihangs in general; just that there is abuse by some people. I had this video on youtube since Oct 2007, but didn’t make it public because I didn’t want it to be mis-understood and offend Nihangs. My apologies if this is the case….


March 11 – Message from Jugat Guru Singh (Chardikala Jatha) about the video 

"Since this is stirring so much I thought I would clarify a few things that we talked about in this video.
First of all…….Of course it is against the Maryada to not take alcohol or drugs etc…but you are sadly mistaken if you think this stops anyone. I have lived here in the Punjab for 20 years of my life now and consider myself a Khalsa and a Nihang as well. The whole purpose of this Q&A was obviously not to put Nihangs in a bad light but to put the practices that some are doing in the light as not being Nihang or even Khalsa Maryada. The fact is that Nihangs have a terrible reputation in the larger Sikh body here in India and it is because of practices such as these we are discussing. Not all Nihangs abuse drugs and alcohol in this way, but many do! Including making the Shaheedi Degh with alcohol!!!Believe it or not.
 What I would like to do is support and show the much more rich and positive side of the Nihang lifestyle and the many amazing traditions they hold from the times of Guru Gobind Singh, which are the traditions of the Khalsa. People need to understand and look past those that are abusing these things to see the real teachings and beauty of who the Nihangs are. They are usually quickly judged for those that are not really even living the Maryada and labelled as bad or dirty or drug addicts or whatever, because there are so many who have fallen to this. However looking past this you see those that maintain the lifestyle of the fauj of Guru Gobind Singh in Cherdi Kala, in the bana of the Khalsa and you will experience that power.
One last point….
Shaheedi Degh has its place in our Maryada. As Sada Sat Simran S pointed out in the video…it is supposed to be made with panj patay, or five leaves. Almost a homeopathic dose to have a specific effect on the digestive and nervous system in relation to the other herbs and spices given. When abused it can be taken to any level….but when kept in its purity it has its place according to the traditions of the Khalsa.
Sat Nam." – Jugat Guru SinghKhalsa