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

69 Responses to “Marijuana and Nihangs”

  1. Palvin says:

    Nicely said…

  2. palo singh says:

    thanks  i didnt knew that      but of course the truth   and i hope that no body will be affected   but as we all knew the truth hurts and is not by all accepted

  3. yogatraveldreams says:

    Thank you Gurumustuk Singh ji for sharing this. As the Guru’s Raj comes of age, Truth stands out as the first priority, the foundation of rock rather than sands of falsehood. A lie is something we want to swallow without tasting. Truth doesn’t always taste so good but it is so good for us. It feeds our humanity and it nourishes our soul. Who can tell us with certainty that the Nihang’s recipe will never be used for it’s original intended purpose again? Peace…

  4. manveer singh says:

     do u have to take bang if it is offered to you by a nihang ?

  5. Ran says:

     As far as I understand, in centuries past bang in the Indian subcontinent was commonly drank like tea. Bang was drank during the day to cool the body down from the heat, just like in England we drink lemonade on a hot day. It wasn’t used to get high. Tea was drank in the evening to warm the body up when the outside temperature started to drop. So bang was used as a practical drink, similar to Lucozade. I know from experience if I drink too much Red Bull, my head goes all weird. The same applies to bang, to much and it will definitely have negative affect.  I have no idea how much bang Nihang’s generally use. The way I see it, too much would be like having a with a tonne of salt in it (not nice and will make you sick). Bang the same as salt should be used (as I understand) in moderate quantities for the optimum desired effect. (respectfully) The optimum desired effect for a Nihang is not to use bang to get “off his face”, but to be in the position to defend any being to the maximum of his effect. In its true sense the Nihang use of marijuana is definitely not comparable to how my peers use it in the west. If some or (hopefully not) most Nihang’s are having problems with addiction (which it may be) we should see it as our job to recognise them as our brothers and help them out. When I asked my mother what Nihang’s are, I got a very negative answer. I believe we shouldn’t shroud Nihang’s in a negative light. As I understand there’s is a life of true sacrifice and a true spiritual path. @ Manveer Singh – I have never taken bang, so as to its effects (from my personal experience) I can not confirm what it does. I might be wrong, but I heard elsewhere that bang is sometimes offered as prasaad. In that case I personally would be willing to accept it and accept the logic for its use. The way I see it sometimes we need to do (or at least not call lies) that which we don’t really understand. For example, some people don’t understand or believe how yoga can be used as a tool for progression spiritually, and then as such disregard it as something totally alien to ones spiritual journey (which is what I call Sikhi). But that in itself does not mean it isn’t, does it?

  6. palo singh says:

    hello   ran      i am surprised     what are trying to say its ok   to take  drugs  we all knew that   that is what it is     i am not a religious sikh with amrit and all that   but i believe in  god   and  and what you are saying is let it go on    what is wrong is wrong so why hide the truth   of course we all knew that in the end it is up to the person them selves to decide what they consume, so i would say too all out never except so what as prasaad !!!!!!!!!! thats not what it is    too all kids out there never touch drugs   they are not worth it !!!!!!!!

  7. Amrita Kaur says:

    This is so interesting… I heard some kids at school talking about a type of Sikhs who smoke "weed" but I did not pay much attention to it.. I had no idea that Nihung Sikhs did … or that it was given to help soldiers in battle my Guru Gobind Singh Ji.Thank You for posting this~

  8. Mr Singh says:

    I completely agree with the video by chardikala jatha. It should not be abused, then it becomes addiction. But remember they said NO DOUBT it was a recipe of Guru Gobind Singh and again I completely agree. Marijuana has more benefits than tobacco, why do you think bob marley sang so many songs about it. We are told marijuana is illegal because it will make you aggressive and damage your internal organs, BS! There has been no authentic scientific proof that marijuana has negative impacts on the body, it could well be a secret humans will only experience when we shed our negative interpretations of it. One more thing, do you know if Marijuana was not illegal, India could become one of the world’s largest exporters? Its a political thing aswell, dont be fooled people. We are bought up in a society where we see everything in a systematic ideol and it has got us thinking like that aswell. Illegal and legal, right and wrong is all judged by your own mind.So what happens? When we see Nihangs consuming an ‘illegal’ drug, we knock it and instantly throw it to the side as anti-sikh anti-gurmat etc. In the same way we have neglected the bani of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. I never used to think like this, its only my own search which has led me to see what we see as negative is not actually negative. Sorry if I have offended anyone. Just for the fact, I have never tried bang either.

  9. Gurinder "G" says:

    There one great statement made by Shanti kaur ji of espanola that we as human beings show measure ourselves in the level of spirituality, and if we want to do something that was okayed in the past then we have to evaluate the reasons of those actions.For example, People who have tried marijuana or other drugs in their mind they will find an excuse to indulge themselves, similarly as Nihangs of these days. To abuse a system is very easy thing to do. Ask yourself a question?  Am I surrounded by an enemy by thousands? Am I at the spiritual level of those sikh warriors or not?  Am I going to sacrifice myself for the betterment of human beings?  If the answer is yes then still I would meditate on naam and will find an answer from my Spiritual MIND, Not from polluted, sick, weak mind.If we fall into the temptations of our weak mind and then try to explain our actions pointing the finger towards the history then we are really lost ourselves, because our intentions in the beginning were what we are doing right now.

  10. manvir singh says:

    Within the human body there is something that medical science has termed as the ‘pain gate’. This system of nerves, neuropeptides, hormones, and chemicals is directly related to how people experience pain. A part of this system is the Opioid system, which is what in relevant terms is effected when Doctors prescribe Pain Relieving drugs such as morphine. To say that these drugs are ‘good’ for you is blasphemous. The chemicals in these concoctions of drugs, such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol are potent psychoactive ingredients. These are the drugs that have been used during the Rwandan genocide, being fed to the murderers with machetes so that their minds could become slave to the temperament of those who wanted all the 1 million Tutsi’s rid of.Smoking tobacco triggers lung cancer and promotes cardiovascular disease. These are the first and second leading causes of death in the U.S. However, a recent study from the British Lung Foundation has shown that smoking cannabis (marijuana) has a worse effect on the lungs than tobacco. The researchers found that smoking just three “joints” a day caused more lung damage than smoking 20 cigarettes. Additionally, the results were even worse in people that smoked both cigarettes and cannabis. This information is important, surveys have shown that at least 80% of young adults mistakenly assume that smoking cannabis is a safer choice than tobacco.I am a physiotherapist, I know the severity of diseases such as COPD, emphysema, bronchitis, when a person suffers the later years of their lives.The bottom line is, yes opiods are used successfully for medical reasons, and there is no reason that soldiers on the front line of war should not be able to use these when their limbs are being cut apart. However, to suggest that marijuana is safe, is just purely blasphemous, and any amount of use is damage to your lungs, your brain, and no doubt ultimately upon your spirit. Get your facts straight.

  11. Baljeet says:

    Nihangs are pure traditionalist sikhs. If there is any  one group of sikhs who have kept the primitive sikh life style to its entirety its the Nihangs. During war times, Bhang was used as an anesthetic, to relieve the wounded sikhs of pain. Back then they didnt have synthetic drugs so Marijuana was there best bet. So in a way Bhang was part of their warrior culture as it was used for pure medicinal purposes, and not for its euphoric effects.  Though it may look like the nihangs are at a stage of full bliss or in chardi kala when they drink marijuana juice, the happy stage is only a temporary one. Chronic marijuana users are victims of depression, anxiety, and personality disturbances.  Meet those same Nihangs when they aren’t high, then you will see how irritated these guys are. So Bhang used by these guys today are not part of sikh maryada. Its wrong!. They are clearly abusing the system. Just because they wear the bana, keep the 5k’s intact doest not give them the right to do as they please.  Though we dont disaband them from our Kaum, thats because of the flexibility given by our religion, but there is always a right and wrong.  Nihangs drinking marijuana juice mocking their ancestors, putting them to shame, and the entire kaum is Wrong not right.

  12. Ran says:

    Hi there Palo Singh. As to the history stuff I was just passing on information that has been told to me. As to the affects of marijuana I am unaware. Looking over my previous post it may seem as though I was trying to make bang comparable to tea. That was not my intention. Its safe to say bang has alot more negative affects than tea.

    I totally agree with Palo Singh in respect to kids and everyone else should stay away from drugs. Drugs most probably would ruin a persons life.

    I suppose what I am trying to find is a balance. The reason why I am looking for a balance is because I am sure there are Nihang’s out there that are infinitely wiser and spiritual than myself, that take bang themselves. For that reason I can not say there bang use is totally wrong. But that doesn’t mean it is a excuse for me or anyone else to start taking it. I am not a Nihang, I am not on a battlefield and as such I have no need for it. But I personally feel that I can’t say the Nihang’s use of bang is bad. I can say though some Nihang’s use of bang may be misguided.

    I have never met a Nihang (from India), but I have heard about the immense seva they do. Watching that video, it was a revelation to me that many are alcoholics. At the moment I am not sure what the true state of Nihangs really is.

  13. Manvir Singh, I don’t think that nihangs smoke marajuana. From what little I know it is made into a paste and is mixed with sweet water to make a “juice”. If any Nihang read this post maybe he can add some more history and details to this topic…

  14. Manvir Singh says:

    My response was directed towards this statement:"There has been no authentic scientific proof that marijuana has negative impacts on the body,"There is authentic proof that it is in fact dangerous to health, and a social example was also used.I am of course willing to post legitimate research articles. What I am trying to say is that we are all willing to make statements without backing them up with research.As for the Nihangs, I was not directing my remarks towards them, but I can understand how opiods are used during battle as pain relievers equivalent to Morphine, or anaesthetics used. Regards.

  15. U Kaur says:

    Thanks Jugat Guru Singh and Sadasat Simran Singh for this informative video.I had always wondered how can a drug be approved by sikh principles. Thanks Manvir Singh for making it clear to every body the negative effects of marijuana. It must have been used as an Analgesic during the wars and probably was abused later. Its our duty to tell every one to stay away from it. I feel one should not  accept it even if its offered as Prasaad.  

  16. Harjinder Singh Khalsa says:

    Firstly the comments made by Jugat Guru and Sada Sat Simran Singh Khalsa were accurate and the comment made by Baljeet "During war times, Bhang was used as an anesthetic, to relieve the wounded sikhs of pain. Back then they didnt have synthetic drugs so Marijuana was there best bet. So in a way Bhang was part of their warrior culture as it was used for pure medicinal purposes, and not for its euphoric effects" is completely true.
    However, one of the comments made within the video about Sikhs consuming alcohol excessively in Punjab (which is true for some) and that the Nihangs "had to one it up so they not only drink bhang they add alcohol and opium to it" is completely false.  I have never known a Nihang to add alcohol in Shaheedi Degh, as consuming alcohol in Buddha Dal and Tarna Dal Maryada is prohibited.  I personally know Nihangs from Buddha Dal and Tarna Dal and this has never been the case!

  17. Singhhh says:

    i can see the use of bhang while on the battle field for practical reasons, but the fact remains, what external "jang" or "war" are they fighting today or even the last 60 years, the answer is none.  There is no need for them to be drinking it.  If the maryada is for use on the battle field then so be it but they don’t need to be drinking in day in day out and just say it’s maryada.  We as a community are to blame for this for allowing this to go unnoticed and look at the bhana and say WOW…

  18. Sarbjit Kaur says:

    I totally agree with the above comment made by Harjinder Singh Khalsa about alcohol not being used in making Shaheedi Degh in Buddha Dal and Tarna Dal.  Even within the Nihang Maryada, as Harjinder Singh Khalsa has pointed out that it is against the Maryada to consume alcohol! This is a completely outrageous comment, which has caused many of my Nihang brothers much offense, where Nihangs are accused of using and consuming alcohol.  I agree that the use of Bhang has been abused by some Nihangs, however this cannot be generalised to a population.  The question I would like to ask is, where is the link between drunken Punjabis and Nihangs?   

  19. Sarbjit Kaur, I don’t think in the video they are saying that most nihangs consume alcohol and take other drugs. They are just saying that there are some that do…and this is not the way of the Nihangs and is abuse. Just as many so called Sikhs drink alcohol…and do all kinds of crazy things. The point is that in any group of people…..there are always those few that stray from the path. The point of the video is not to put down Nihangs…but to say that “yes” some Nihangs do abuse things and that is NOT the true lifestyle.

  20. i’ve heard a saaakhi, which states otherwise, but i’m not too sure about the accuracy of this…the saakhi goes that one day a Singh had asked Guru Gobind Singh Ji maharaj that can we use marijuana?  Then Guru Ji prepares two or three batas of Shardahi, which had marijuana, (The nihang power drink) perse. then he told his Singhs to take a gulp but not to swallow, and then spit it out…  He did the same as well. so he put some of the shardhai in his mouth but did not swallow it. He immediately spit it out.  right away.Then Guru Gobind Singh Ji asked his Singhs, did you all feel anything, was there any affect at all? They all said No, and he even stated neither did I.   Then He told his Singhs that Look if you want the ultimate Raas and "elixir" to cure your pain and get you in bliss. Jap Naam.  Recite God’s Name remember you Divinity.I personally am still having a hard time believing that Guru Gobind Singh Ji actually made shardhai out of marijuana, but that’s my own thought. but i thought i’d share this saakhi 

  21. Gurinder "G" says:

    Gurvinderpal singhji,I have never heard that story and even in the Saaki (story) books written on Guru Gobind singh ji.  Lot of stuff is made up.Why is it made up?  I think some people want to undermine the Amrit made by Guruji.  If from one tiny sip a feared bird can become fearless before the hawak then why not human beings since it was prepared for humans. There are no written historical evidence of these kinds of stories, maybe written early to late 1900’s.  If marijuana was used to alleviate pain then its a possible, But again there is no historic writings by either great scholars of those times, remember that Guru Gobind singh ji had lot of scholars in his courts.  If this was true or happening it would have been written or mentioned somewhere.  I came to know about the inaccuracies of these kind of stories after doing lot of research.  These inaccuracies were and are being created by sold scholars. All of sudden these scholars (sold ones) come up with these kind of stories…If the use of Marijuana was very common practice then it should have been used by other Moghul warriors too! However, I am willing to agree that it may have been used to relieve pain in some injured warriors.  Always people need some kind of excuse to use drugs and then they end up abusing it.

  22. since we are on the top of controversy and suchGurmusktu ji, do you have a video whereSada Sat and Jagat speak about Nihaangsand Meat?i’d like to hear more  about that controversy topic =)thank you

  23. No…I don’t have any video on this topic.

    I’m not trying to put Chardikala Jatha forward as the “Experts” on Nihangs. They were merely just sharing their experience and understanding during an open Q&A session. I’m sure there are many perspectives on all these topics and this video was just one small slice of it all.

  24. oh ok thanks….. i thought i’d ask.  thanks =)

  25. Oh I’m sorry about this but like you know i was just thinking… and something to think but see i find it odd because if these nihaangs needed an external element to fix their pains that doesn’t make sense.  from what i can see that well what about those "stories/saakhis" about Singhs like Bhai Mati Das who was saw alive vertically, yet still he was able to hold his grace and go internally and still not feel anything.  Wouldn’t the sings of that time be able to go internally and just fight from that spot and not feel the pains?  what about shaheeds that even when they were stabbed and bleeding to death would still be able to fight.  I feel as if these singhs were at such a high state of consciousness that they were past the level of feeling pains on the physical level.Also looking at the bani of Bhagat Kabirs in the shabd of karavath bhalaa n karavatt thaeree ||and states that physical pains of the body are nothing, i would indure all of that suffering , rather than to have my Guru Turn my back on me…sorry about this.. i know it sounds like i’m beating  a dead horse….

  26. Gurinder "G" says:

    You’ve got it right.  How about those sikh women whose children were flipped in the air and pierced with daggers,  how about sikhs burnt alive wrapped in cotton, boiled and cut into pieces in New Delhi with Ninth guruji.  Do people think that the enemies of those time would let sikhs to take pain killers or have provided it them? All of these tortures were taken before public eye, not behind doors.So, when Nihangs claim that marijuana was used for pain or other purposes it does not sounds right.  Just an excuse used to explain their actions to the public. Even their leader will say that marijuana was used otherwise he would not become the leader of that sub-population.

  27. Jugat Guru Singh Khalsa says:

    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 labeled 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.

  28. Satnam Singh says:

    Stop being so ignorant, all you have to do is pick a book on your rich history, and its documented there.  Observers who wrote some of these books did not know why some practices took place, but they have been documented in their published works.  Whether you agree with it or not, like it or not some practices took place and still to this day take place.We are always told not to look at your history and only read Gurbani, have you ever thort why? Just because history doesn’t correspond with ‘todays sikhi’ we should forget our history and not bother with it!We shouldn’t be scared of something we know nothing about!!

  29. shanu says:

    We must remember that some time during the 19th century the Nihungs were banished out of Punjab because the Rulers of the time were afraid of their growing strength. They travelled south and so some of their traditions and beliefs were influenced by Hindu traditions and beliefs.
    Bhang in India has been used for thousands of years. Hindu’s still drink bhang on special occassions especially Holi – Hola Mohalla is when Nihungs coincidently are seen making and drinking the substance. Also, marsially, if you read Hindu epics carefully the use of an intoxicant similar to Marijuana is stipulated; it’s just an Indian tradition – NOT a Sikh one. I do not believe that any of the Guru’s would have promoted Bhang simply because Naam is the greatest intoxicant; so what is the NEED for marijuana?
    I met some Nihungs and I saw how much seva they do. Because Punjabi’s feel that they aren’t REAL sikhs or something, they do not help them. The gurudwaras they tend to remain empty all the time. There are little amounts donated. The young boys feel like they are being punished and they cry for their animals which they can’t feed properly. Because their fellow brothers and sisters don’t help them, they turn to drugs.
    It’s as simple as that. It’s an addiction and we have to help them to realise and counter it.

  30. Gurdeep Singh says:

    "Human interpretation" can be wrong.Traditions can develop and lead in the wrong direction.People have weaknesses.BUT Guru Granth Sahib Ji is PERFECT and NEVER WRONG.What does Guru Say about Bhang??????

    ਕਬੀਰ ਭਾਂਗ ਮਾਛੁਲੀ ਸੁਰਾ ਪਾਨਿ ਜੋ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਖਾਂਹਿ ॥
    ਤੀਰਥ ਬਰਤ ਨੇਮ ਕੀਏ ਤੇ ਸਭੈ ਰਸਾਤਲਿ ਜਾਂਹਿ ॥233॥
    “O Kabeer! If people after ’speaking with the Holy’, go on pilgrimages, perform fasts and practice rituals etc, being intoxicated by sharaab (alcohol), also consuming marijuana and fish, performing immoral deeds, those persons’ pilgrimages, fasts and rituals are totally useless and they shall go to hell. ||233||”
    (Ang 1377, SGGS)

  31. manvir singh says:

    Whenever we judge someone, we judge as the person who assumes Superiority, and the other is the one who is deemed Inferior. Thus, by our judgment we utilize the rather low energies of the universe and as such our thoughts perpetuate negativity into the world which is compounded by more of the negative behavior that we seek out to alleviate. IF on the other hand we see those that we observe or when we examine other’s practices as manifestations of the Divine Light, then in that way we can send them Light, or spiritual vibrations through our prayers that if they are not in a place where we deem Lofty, that they will be guided there through the manifest miracles of the unseen divine energy. That whatever is deemed as missing or unnecessary will come to fade not because we judged it, but because we have asked for something better, something that is Good (-o = God) in Nature. And then and only then will Truth be revealed to the Seer, and those who are being Seen. Regards

  32. Gurinder "G" says:

    Good points by shanu….

  33. U Kaur says:

    Thanks all of you for so much information!
    I have learnt so many things…

  34. roop kaur says:

    vaheguru ji ka khalsa, vaheguru ji ki fateh jio
    manvir singh ji
    thankyou for that :D
    I agree totally

    live and let live
    judge yourself before judging another
    then your own evils will be dispelled, only when you become pure, can you lead others to the same path of purity
    then shall the world become pure

  35. Harjinder Singh Khalsa says:

    You know what Sadh Sangat Ji, the best thing that we can all do is live in the Khalsa Roop that Dhan Akaali Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj has blessed us with and to learn from the aspects discussed that some GurSikhs are abusing.  We need to centralise ourselves on upkeeping Rehat, for Maharaj has said: "Rehat pyaree mujh ko Sikh pyara nahi".  Its not about claiming that you are a Nihang or whatever "Jatha" you represent, but what you practice as a Sikh of the Guru.  Lets look at the teachings of Guru Ramdas Ji:  
    "Gur Satgur ka jo Sikh akae so bhalke utt har naam dhiaveh" (Mahaala:4).  Guru Ramdas Ji says that those who calls themself a Sikh of the Guru, The True Guru, shall rise in the early morning hours and meditate upon the Lord’s Name…in addition Guru Ji talks about arising early, cleansing oneself and following the instructions of the Guru, he is to chant the Name of the Lord, Har Har.  This is True REHAT!   
    Nihangs have a deep and beautiful history, but its through living with Nihangs and practicing the "uslee rehat", as we say in Punjabi, of the Nihangs that one can really experience what it is to be a Nihang or Khalsa.   But remember this, Baani comes first then the Baana. 
    Chalo, if Nihangs do have a bad rep in India, it’s up to us to put that right…i just think the stereotype that people generally have of Nihangs as a whole is "o Nihang maas khandhe te bhang peendhe ya", which is true in some parts of India but not all Nihangs are like that :) 
    Gur Bar Akaal. Akaal Hee Akaal. Degh Tegh Fateh!!

  36. Nihang Singh Khalsa says:

    This is off topic, but Jugat Guru Singh Ji, you stated that you consider yourself a Nihang and a Khalsa.

    If so then where in Sikh/Nihang Maryada is it written to substitute :   SatNaam for "Waheguru Jee Kee Fateh" ?  SatNaam is not a Sikh salutation.

  37. So Called “Nihang Singh Khalsa”, this is the very type of anonymous posting I was referring to in my latest blog post (dust to dust) about people who criticize others under the veil of anonymity. At least have the courage to take responsibility for your words and represent who you are by posting your actual name.

    Your criticism shows how narrow your thinking is. I don’t know why I even posted your comment which is totally irrelevant to the topic and just seeking to put people down.

    “Sat Nam” is a greeting….and much better than “Hi”. It is a reminder to those that you meet that truth is his name and to remember that truth in each other. When yogiji came to America most were not Sikhs and so he taught that rather than saying “hi/hello” to say “sat nam” to each other in greeting. This greeting is used by many who are not necessarily Sikhs but are walking towards a spiritual path. It isn’t likely for people of western origin knowing nothing of the sikh background to start saying “Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe GUru Ji Ki Fateh”. Sat Nam is a univeral greeting that anyone could say whether they are a Sikh or not. This greeting has since stuck, and people continue to use this. Those that become Amritdhari use the full greeting of “Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh”.

    A better approach would have been to email me with a simple question saying… why do “western sikhs” say “satnam” instead of “gurfateh”? There was no need for the judgment overtone. There is a lot that Sikhs of Punjabi origin have to understand and learn about the history of Sikhs in the west. Please do so with an open heart…and not start from a place of pre-judgement about something because you feel it is different or “wrong”.

  38. vsingh says:

    I think Ibuprofen can serve pain killing functions now.

  39. palo singh says:

    i  have been following this subject from the start     i am really shocked at how people are giving  reasons on why people are using misusing this drug  

    i too have been trying too find out about nihangs, i have been told about how much seva these people do and the wonderful back ground and how they stay together
    waking early doing seva all day long feeding others and staying hunger themselves for day and helping others     i totally respect these people but cannot understand this misuse and why its still going on to this very day ???????????

  40. "If you torture the data it will tell you anything you want" One can find studies that suggest marijuana has many times the carcinogens of tobacco smoke (probably due to benzopyrenes which are produced when you burn any vegetable matter), and you can find studies published recently, that suggest there are no long term effects like lung cancer. Yawn…whatever… here’s a bottom line:Part of Delta 9 THC resembles the endogenous neurotransmitter discovered in the early 90’s and dubbed anandamide…the bliss molecule…Anandamide is a multipurpose chemical that like its cousin endorphin (morphine within) mediates the emotional response to pain, sensory information, memory formation, coordination, and a number of other things. I’ve been told by colleagues (I’m an addictions counselor) that the marijuana genome has been used to synthesize a drug (Suboxone / buphenorphine) now used in opiate addiction treatment as a very effective alternative to methadone. This drug, without being itself an opiate, but slotting into opiate like receptors, relieves withdrawal, and the Naloxone component, prevents addicts from getting high from opiates, in case they use them…a persistent problem. A subsidiary of Bayer, has grown pharmaceutical grade cannabis, and synthesized an inhaler delivered form (Sativex), now approved for treating MS, in England and Canada. Marijuana was in the U.S. Pharmacopeia as a medicinal and was not made illegal because of a public health problem, but because of association of its use with ethnic minorities. This is a quote of Congressional testimony of the top drug cop of the time: Harry Jacob Anslinger "Coloreds lure white women into sexual liasons using jazz music and marijuana". This lead to the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act in ’38, which simply taxed the dozens of pharmaceuticals made with cannabis, not made them illegal. Hardly replicable or reputable science. Everyday…legal drugs (Tobacco, Alcohol, Pharmaceuticals) kill more Americans than died at 9/11. In that same time about 38 people will die from either Heroin, Meth, or Cocaine. I’m sure marijuana is an addictive drug. I’m not sure how many deaths it will cause or contribute to. Addictive behavior is goal oriented…when I used marijuana as a drug of choice, it was to self-medicate anger. The anger was completely justifiable… actually it still is… however I find even 7 minutes of Morning Call more efficient than a bowl of the dankest herb…without the side effects of memory impairment, cloudy head…etc.I can remember precisely what injustice made me angry, and see how to balance it out… consciously. To be clearer, ya’ll can argue moral, traditional, etc…I have to ask myself and put it to this test: "How does it play in South Central?"If there is a powerful substance in use by humankind for the better part of easily 10,000 years in Africa, China, and here on Turtle Island (North, Central, and South America)…once the drug technology left the hands of the healers, mystics, and artists..and entered into the hands of the drug dealers, on both sides of the law… guess what…they gonna make they money. If you gotta better way, best to be showin’ folk…quicklike…tha’ ‘quarian clock is tickin’… namsayin’. As we useta say backin’ the day…boogaloo with the Wha GuruI’m Out!

  41. saran kaur says:

    wjkk wjkf sangat jio!
    A friend of mine sent me this a while ago…. no offence to anyone i hope

    ..drink wat is called shaheedi degh  -almonds, black pepper, sugar, water, milk, rose petals, cardamoms, 5 leaves of cannabis
    smoking is forbidden….
    nasha also forbidden amongst shastardhari nihangs – nasha means ur weak minded and addictive personality.  There is a time and place for nasha, but on a battlefield, even then, under certain circumstances
    shaheedi degh is seen as a protein milkshake…5 leaves of cannabis wont give u nasha…unless u have 10-15 glasses…and ur throat will burn up b4 then (cus of the black pepper). 
    however….nowadays nihangs (the wannabes over here in UK and the ones in india) abuse this maryada and add more sugar and cannabis and reduce the black pepper – then they get intoxicated and abuse it.
    Guru Gobind Singh ji had shaheedi degh (all historical txts mention this) and the times he had it are still the same times when Shaheedi Degh is served at Hazur Sahib daily…
    Cannabis is given a bad image cus people who take it tend to smoke it – smoking it will obviously give u nasha cus it becomes a different compound which hits the brain…..and u cant control the effects. 
    Old Nihang Babas used to beat the shit out of people who took cannabis and got nasha….nowadays the old babas are less…and the new ones are themselves lazy.
    If u have shahdeedi degh, u have to use it as well – ie, martial training…otherwise no point…
    Amongst Nihangs, anyone who abuses maryada, gives wrong impressions, get respect they dont deserve, get recognised for no reason, etc, is a hipocrit is called a "nang" – naked…

  42. manvir singh says:

    I really don’t understand this last post. Are you attempting to criticize the research that suggests that tobacco and elicit drugs are harmful for health? Drugs of any kind are over prescribed, and overused in modern north america and britain. There is a beginning shift towards preventative care that can potentially cure or alleviate all ills. If you wish to read the book "Left to Tell – How I discovered God amidst the Rwandan Holocaust" you would hear a first hand account of how the minions of machete wielders were drugged up with Marijuana to murder close to 1 million Tutsi’s. Add that to your statistics, torture the data I don’t think so.

  43. Jaskooner Singh says:

    Hi everyone,I do not understand why everyone is getting hot under the collar. Opium and Bhang can be taken fro medicinal purposes. There is a big difference in getting high for enjoyment or taking a medicine to get better.Bhang is taken before the battle when someone is overtaken with fear and cannot function (It is similar to modern armies giving a whiskey or brandy to steady the nerves of a soldier). Also in battle when someone suffers an injury it also serves as a good painkiller. Obviously if you give someone an inch they will take a mile so you will get addicts or weaker people wanting to get high.Opium is commonly taken by soldiers when they have to fight days on end to give them energy. This is a necessity and it similar to the medicines given to modern soldiers today.

  44. manvir singh says:

    If we use that line of thinking described, then we should be providing steroids readily and freely to make Juiced up armies, give them all the psyco-active drugs and have minions of mindless war dogs laying waste to the world. There is a purpose in criticizing any practice that we know through common sense as well as research is used to sway peoples thinking, affect peoples health, and significantly sway the role of power in those who know how to manipulate, lie, and cheat.Please see another blog post here, search "Zeitgeist", and watch until you find the postulated method of the American army recruiting 1 million soldiers after Pearl Harbour. These issues are naturally bigger than we realise, critical thought is absolutely necessary, evidence is absolutely prudent to make decisions that will help us move forward.

  45. Sandeep Kaur says:

    Hiya. The same question in the video came to my mind when I went to Sikh Student Camp 2007 in the UK. I asked at the camp about Nihungs and Cannabis or bhung. I was told similar to what the Charhdikala Jatha said in the video. The maryada is of putting five leaves of cannabis into milk with other things. I was told that this was like a pain killer. At the camp I was told the reason that it’s acceptable to drink bhung or cannabis now (even though there’s no wars) is for the fact that if you take bhung as one off it will get to your head. On the other hand if you take small amount of bhung everyday for leisure use or Maryada purpose then you get immune to the negative effects of bhung. So that means there tolerance gets higher and they are not harmed when they have to take more for health purposes. I struggle to write. Hope you get what I mean.

  46. Amrit Kaur says:

    Hello. I disagree with the comment that you get immune to the negative effects of marijuana if you take it on a daily basis. Firstly, if you’re going to get immune to the effects of a drug then you will do so to all it’s effects. Our bodies are not going to differentiate between the positive and negative effects of a drug. Secondly, regular marijuana use often has a cumulative effect on the brain. It impairs our cognition leading to poor memory and unclear thought processes. The smallest doses can make us feel paranoid and will induce schizophrenia in susceptible individuals. It’s a dangerous drug and it’s devastating effects are unfortunately under-reported. This debate has been informative, thank you.

  47. Gurinder "G" says:

    Disagree with  sandeep kaur.

  48. palo singh says:

    hello again     i like the way people are saying why ever one is making a big thing about all this      the point is that again its confusing us all ,  we are told that drugs  drinking  smoking and all meat fish eggs are all not allowed and on the other hand we are hearing and seeing that nihang sikhs are missusing this so called medicine drug and that is allowed     so what is right    are we allowed to use these things in small amounts as medicine purpose    or did i misunderstand somewhere  it is things and subjects that really not clear and are so ununderstandable

  49. Jaskooner Singh says:

    Dear Manvir Singh,You have see the difference between the medicinal use and abuse of the substance. Medicinal use is only on the battlefield, no where else, when you have serious injuries and they may have to operate on you for example. Right now you can be prescribed codeine for example, or be given morphine for cancer which can you make you intoxicated if abused. You can be prescribed sedatives or antidepressants if you experience an anxiety disorder and this is quite a different idea from giving drugs to your men to make them super soldiers.If you go to any farm in India and Pakistan when there are refining the sugar cane "raas" to make "goor’ which is a non stop endurance feat of maybe 3 or 4 days the men will be given some opium or an opium type drink to keep them awake so they do not fall in the huge cooking fires. Now please understand that if someone is NOT taking for medicinal purposes then it is drug abuse. All drugs are originaly there to be used in medicine and people use them to get high. Getting high is a side effect of many medicines.

  50. One intent of my post…sikh or not…human beings use substances to alter their consciousness in sickness or in health…I'm an addictions counselor ethnically representative of peoples who've had their non-addictive drug technologies stolen from them, and used against them as weapons…Whether the assassins, hashishin', using cannabis products to induce states conducive to killing human beings, the Rwandan genocide, as manvir pointed, out… using cannabis products to commit acts of genocide…or shall we think of the gentle ways of the Berserkers mixing mead or amanita muscaria mushrooms to induce hallucinative battle frenzy…or the use of methamphetamine by the Germans, Japanese, present day American military in battle…as well as a prescription drug for kids…(wish I was making that up)…I stopped playing good drug, bad drug head games a long time ago when as a practitioner I noticed this salient fact… Every year Legal drugs (Alcohol and Tobacco) were killing more black people in the United States (50,000), than A. The Ku Klux Klan lynched in its entire history (conservatively 10,000), and B. Heroin, Cocaine, and Meth, and other illegal drugs combined. (That's using the Surgeon General Death Stats from the year 2000) That's where the 9/11 comparison came from. Legal drugs killing more people every 24 hours than died at 9/11. In the same period 38 people dying from illegal drugs (mostly heroin, cocaine, and meth)..that stat by doubling the DAWN Drug Abuse Warning Network, Emergency room mentions of fatalities. I doubled the stat because not all people die in ER's, and not all ER's are in DAWN.All this to say… among other things the promotion of addictions, not just licit and illicit substances is a major part of the U.S. Gross National Product…therefore protected, encouraged…there is a saying among my people "Addiction is Slavery". You know how much African-American's love slavery…I don't think its an improvement to get people off of street drugs, and make them diabetic / gambling / shopping / internet / television violence loving couch potatoes and calling that healthy …buy more stuff or the terrorists win.I don't believe that giving teenagers or others anti-depressant drugs that make them suicidal as a side effect, is an improvement…nor that giving ADHD kids amphetamines including prescription methamphetamine is a best practice…despite its legality and widespread acceptance…Are you feeling me on this yet?I am returning to sadhana after a long hiatus and estrangement from 3HO, though to be clear…I was never estranged personally from Yogiji…just the organization. All my first teachers, were his first students in L.A. I was a teacher in the 70's… I'm in the middle of Level I, after 35 years at my age…in that time I've been doing addictions related work and community activism. Some of us are still in battle…we still are at war…with an enemy that allows our communities to be flooded with drugs, guns, alcohol…miseducates our kids…and drugs them…and then think's we're strange when we try to bring yoga into the schools, or to the places where kids are incarcerated…My first yoga class, taught by Baba Singh, I took stoned on hash… I was dealing with some degree of American racism on a daily basis…not the least of which was my white history teacher saying the day after Martin was killed…"I'm glad, he had it coming, Martin Luther King was a troublemaker". I'm not excusing the behavior, but setting a context… you hurt people, you say hurtful things, you don't give them support or skill to deal with the hurtful things…there are predictable outcomes. Not that I expect the abusers, to heal the abused…but I expect people who know better…to do better than the abusers…I'm not excusing peoples' "weaknesses" or "biases", they believe what they believe, based on their experiences and education…From ajna chakra point of view…I suppose its best that I had those experiences…I haven't totally cooked out the seeds of anger in my particular karmic stew…but that anger comes from real hurt…and one way of dealing with it as part of satyagraha sadhana is to speak on it…btw (When I lived at Hargobind Sadan in Northern California, or Nanak Dwara in Phoenix, I also encountered a degree of American style racism coming from white people wearing turbans, directed at me, that was not ever addressed, and to this day I have not really seen effectively addressed, but then again…the yoga showed me to stop seeking external solutions to such problems)… when I finished that class…not only was I no longer stoned…but I was even higher than the drug had ever taken me…I was impressed. Eventually I became a teacher…but I left the practice, because despite Yogiji's question "Where are my Black Masters"… weren't seeing too many, and the one's I was seeing weren't particularly being respected…some even dissed…openly without being supported…case in point Masters Touch chapter 8… ("You can't be a yogi, you're a Negro") Cute. Real cute. Our communities are being flooded with drugs, guns, with the full knowledge and cooperation of the intelligence community, our communities are being flooded with liquor stores…illegally…by city government…Kundalini Yoga is a viable alternative to gangs, drugs and alcohol, and to people who are without hope, because they are without hope, they turn to gangs, drugs, alcohol…and you say they are weak…I know some people who are working to make them strong…maybe that's not a concern for you…but it is one for me and I don't have the option of turning a blind third eye away from it…The central lesson that learned from yogic practice that I still teach "Pills are Not Skills"…you want to change your consciousness…change your breath, use your focused attention, sound, sound current…use words from a primal language other than English…that connects you to Source…To the degree that yoga is a science and a skill, it should be used in place of pharmaceuticals, or external drugs… unfortunately I am not aware of any kriyas that are protease inhibitors or retrovirals…by Guru's grace…I am not HIV+ or drug addicted (except to oral diabetic meds…but I'm working on that). Manvirji et al…there are many uses for drug substances…Medicine: Herbal forms of drugs  Sacrament: To induce 'Sacred Mind'  Recreation:   "Source" of Artistic Inspiration  "Opiate of the Masses"  Source of Wealth  Experimental tool  Political tool: to change the course of elections or excercise power…  Weapon: To kill, or gain a military advantage, or control a addicted population, is a controlled population.  Certainly it is optimal not to use them at all… but it is predictable that some will. It is useless, except to a self-righteous ego to condone someone's weakness, who has never been taught to be strong. Teach them to be strong, if you have a way to be strong. Show them by example. Or not…by Guru's grace someone will.Mostly what this thread has shown me is that despite what people in a particular community may say…others in that community will do what they please…Not all Rastafarians smoke herb…some are downright against it…like the poet Mutaburuka…still that is not the impression most have about Rasta's Bob Marley notwithstanding…Sat Siri Akal

    • G.Singh says:

      But every original yogi is a negro. And, use of the word white and people next to each other is scientifically in-correct. It is 'specimen' as we have not found a suitable word yet besides devil or dhent (teetdh). No white specimen can wear a turban anyway, the physical form is an illusion because the soul, and your actions are what matters.

      Wear a turban on the outside craccer, you will never be a king. Black Power.

      Another thing, guruji is supposed to be pure. He condoned it obviously at battle, not for regular. It is sad we have gotten to that state but the tradition stands.