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Hinduism and Drug Abuse

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Introduction

HINDUISM AND DRUG ABUSE - RS2 "Hinduism' has many religious and cultural traditions which stem from the Vedas, the ancient Sanskrit writings of India. The tradition, therefore, has no clear beginning, and has no single founder or single belief, but there are a number of beliefs and practices which are widely accepted. Practically all Hindus believe in the idea of reincarnation, in which the eternal soul (ATMAN) moves through different species, from one body to another according to 'the law of Kama' ,the goodness or badness of their deeds in this life. The belief that every soul is trapped in a cycle of birth and then death and then rebirth is known as Samsara. The quality of a life that the soul is born into depends on the previous life. The aim of human life, for most Hindus, is to escape from the cycle of birth and death (Moksha), through union with the Supreme BRAHMAN who is present in everything. Behind Hindu practice is So Hinduism is about the sort of life a person should lead in order to be born into a better life next time and eventually become free from rebirth altogether. Every Hindu wants to escape from this cycle so Hindus aim to live in a way that will cause each of their lives to be better than the life before. ...read more.

Middle

(11:94) Since Brahmin priests are not allowed alcohol, most Hindus follow their example and do not have alcohol. Modern medicine uses drugs to fight disease and suffering. Used properly, drugs like aspirin, penicillin bring benefits whilst others can cause all sorts of harm. They can increase suffering and affect individuals and society. Drugs such as opium can relieve pain but have been exploited by western demand in the form of heroin, which is addictive and causes many problems. Experimentation for fun can be extremely dangerous and lead to self-degradation, crime and early death. These dangerous drugs are known as speed and grass also called pot, dope or hash, smack and acid. Hindu society in general does not tolerate these drugs. However, in saying this, modern medicine is not rejected because it does benefit the body, which is the guiding line for a Hindu, for a healthy body is needed to perform all religious duties and therefore medicines which restore the body's natural balance are acceptable. Hinduism is perhaps the only religious tradition to have had some experience of drugs at an early stage in its history. Hallucinogenic vegetation such as the soma plant, native to India, was used by certain groups to gain 'religious experience'. As a result, there are certain unclear lines within the Hindu tradition where the use of non-medical drugs are concerned, especially amongst different denominations of Hindus Most of the commonly used drugs in India are derived from the Hemp or cannabis plant. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore it is better to help them and not judge them ; to encourage them to lead a life that demonstrates respect for both religious duties and for their soul and for those of others. There is some control of drug use in the home as strong family structures are valued and smoking in the presence of elders is regarded as showing a lack of respect. Also, smoking in India, as in Britain is forbidden on public transport, in cinemas, theatres and temples. In the modern world drugs are avoided mainly for the emphasis on purity of body, but it is also against the Hindu tradition of still meditation which aims to bring the mind under control and then control of the body through the mind. In everyday life the mind is often led by desires and sense- pleasure of the body, but with meditation (YOGA) a person is encouraged to take disciplined control over their life according to the Hindu ideal of purity. Drugs, especially ones with hallucinogenic properties would totally reverse the meditation process since the mind would not be under strict control but left to follow its own course. However, any individual would be under an obligation, in the context of DHARMA , to ensure they could continue to pursue their life goals . So in for the Hindu, the use of drugs does not always appear to be considered inappropriate, but the question of limits comes in, and this, as is often the case in Hinduism, is a matter of individual judgement. ...read more.

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