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- Buddhists are meant to refrain from any quantity of fermented or distilled beverages
- The goal of Jainism is to escape the cycle of reincarnation
- Ayahuasca is used by South American tribes as part of a powerful religious experience
August 12, 2017: Throughout the history, Religion and Drug use have been seen as intertwined but the nature of this relationship has changed over time, from one place to another, one religion to another and with changing times. It’s true that Alcohol and other drugs have played some crucial part in the religious rituals of numerous groups. Some religions have specific laws, others have interpretations from religious texts, while some religions have no official message about the use of narcotics. In this article, we will explore the relationship between religion and drug use as per different religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism and many others.
Buddhism is not in favor of drug use. Though it offers suggestions on how one should try to lead their life. Buddhism make a valid point that alcohol and drugs should be avoided.
According to the fifth precept of the Pancasila, Buddhists are meant to refrain from any quantity of “fermented or distilled beverages” which would prevent mindfulness or cause heedlessness. The Pali Tipitaka (Buddhist scriptures) says, “I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness.”
The Dalai Lama has stated, “drug use hurts the mind’s ability to be introspective, which leads to unintended and unguided consequences”.
Followers of Jainism are instructed to abstain from anything intoxicating, unless for a medical purpose. The pollution of the mind should be avoided so as to avoid disrupting the state of the Supreme Being called Jina (Conqueror).
Jainism has a strict diet that is vegetarian and also excludes some vegetables like onions, potatoes, carrot, and radish, basically all root vegetables. Unlike some other religions, Jainism does not allow alcohol use as the process of alcohol formation involves fermentation, which includes microorganisms, thus it is not considered vegetarian. This is because they follow the principle of non-violence. The goal of Jainism is to escape the cycle of reincarnation. The spiritual effect, or Karma, of violent actions, stop them from attaining this. Mahavira, also known as Vardhamana, was the twenty-fourth and last Tirthankara (who achieved salvation) of Jainism, said, “Kill not, cause no pain. Nonviolence is the greatest religion.”
Hinduism has one of the most intertwined connections with narcotics use in its origin. Arthashaastra of Kautilya (an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy, written in Sanskrit) states, ‘The mind of a drunken person becomes confused, then the confused mind commits sins…a wise person should never even try wine and other intoxicants.’
While there are some Hindus who still use marijuana or psychedelics most of the Hindus dissuade their use. Soma, a drink with psychedelic properties, is directly mentioned in the Vedas (the first Hindu texts). Some images of the god Shiva depict him with a marijuana pipe. While there is no direct religious text denying them, leaders declare it hurts the ability to achieve spiritual harmony. Again, the goals of spiritual harmony and drug use are seen as contradictory. Laws of Manu an ancient Hindu text states that ‘He must not get willfully addicted to any… substances of self-gratification; he must try to overcome such dependence through will power.’
Islam is one religion which has a strong stance against the use of any substance, with direct quotations in the Quran about it. “Satan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer.” Therefore, many Muslims are taught to be completely substance free. Under Islam, it is considered to be haram (unlawful). Quran states, ‘concerning wine and gambling…as per them is a great sin…the sin is greater than the profit.’ Though some Muslims argue the Quran only bans alcohol and if the Quran does not explicitly deny something, it is permissible.
Interestingly some extremist Islamic groups like ISIS give their fighters amphetamines and justify it by saying that it is being used for a higher authority and has medicinal purposes.
Sikh doctrine is one of the few religions to specifically mention drug use. It is not vague about the prohibition of drugs, Bhagat Kabir said, “Those mortals who consume marijuana, fish, and wine – no matter what pilgrimages, fasts, and rituals they follow, they will all go to hell.”
As per Sikhism use of alcohol, wine and other recreational drugs used with the intention of creating or enhancing recreational or religious experience are condemned by the Sikh Gurus. Recreational drugs like LSD, PCP, tobacco, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy as well as inhalants like shoe glue, gases, aerosols, shoe glue, solvents etc are abhorred in Sikh religion.
The reason given is that the intoxicants affect your ability to focus on God all the time. Gurbani talks in the Guru Granth Sahib that “Those who do not use intoxicants are true; they dwell in the Court of the Lord.” There is an exception though, the Nihang of Punjab, a Sikh military order, used marijuana in meditation. But, this was banned in 2001 by the ruling body of Sikh clergy. The leader of the Nihang at the time refused to follow the ruling and was excommunicated. Its use for meditation is still continued by some Nihang.
There is no official doctrine on drugs in Catholicism. The Bible does not directly state not to smoke marijuana. Though, the Catholic Church has strongly been against the use of drugs and also for the nonprescription use of it. Pope Francis, the current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, said, “Every addicted person brings with them a distinct personal history, which should be listened to, understood, loved, and, where possible, cured and purified. We cannot fall into the injustice of classifying them as if they were objects or broken junk.”
Pope Francis has called drugs “evil” and does not support their legalization. His approach, matching his more liberal style, has been to focus on saying “yes” to spirituality.
There are several lines of Scripture recommending a sober mindset in general. New American Bible states, “Do not conform yourselves to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” Though it’s confusing, how can the Catholic Church say no to drugs while allowing alcohol in their ceremonies? The answer is moderation. The Catholic Church argues consumption of alcohol can be moderated, while most narcotics cannot, which is the reason they allow the use of alcohol versus other substances. This does not mean it is encouraged. As most priests encourage sobriety.
Christianity has the same view as that of Catholicism: No substance use, although alcohol is okay in moderation. However, there are Bible passages indicating total non-use of it: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith.”
The variation between different belief systems means there are different variations on the use of drugs according to different religions. Some religious practices directly involve the use of psychotropic drugs. The Native American Church uses Peyote (small, spineless cactus with psychoactive alkaloids) to have spiritual visions and as a part of their religious ceremonies. They are legally allowed to use drugs this as its part of their religion. Other groups appreciate the influence of alcohol as a part of the natural world.
Ayahuasca (one of the most powerful hallucinogens on the planet) is used by South American tribes as part of a powerful religious experience. This has gained them popularity globally, with thousands of tourists venturing to partake in the drug and the unique ritual.
Shinto has an intimate connection with alcohol; it’s an ethnic religion of Japan. There is no mention of narcotics in the religious texts, so it’s left to their personal choice. Sake- the liquor of the gods is consumed at special occasions such as births or weddings. There is even holy sake called Omiki and practitioners drink this when visiting a shrine.
Given the high alcoholism rate in Japan and few seeking treatment, it is unclear if this practice should continue or not. It may be linked to cultural practices that go way beyond the religion. There is some historical evidence that marijuana was used for religious ceremonies, but it was not consumed. There are no moral absolutes in Shinto. The main ethical code is to follow Kami (spirits/deities). But even the Kami makes mistakes and are contradictory at times.
Shinto does try to eliminate impurities. This is called Tsumi and stands for pollution or sin. While there is no specific mentioning of narcotics, it can be argued they are Tsumi. This would require a cleansing ceremony, potentially using alcohol. But, it’s uncertain how many Shinto followers abstain from drug use.
In Judaism, the body belongs to God; therefore, the body must be treated with respect and dignity. While alcohol can be consumed at festivals and ceremonies, like the Sabbath, it must be done in moderation. All other substances are banned in this religion.
The Baha’i Faith explicitly prohibits drug use, Kitáb-i-Aqdas or Aqdas (central book of the Baha’i Faith) states, “Beware of using any substance that induceth sluggishness and torpor in the human temple and inflicteth harm upon the body. We, verily, desire for you naught save what shall profit you.”
Alcohol is also prohibited. Baha’i scholars state this comes from purity of the soul. They believe the spiritual effect on an individual is far graver than the legal consequences or health effects of drug abuse. The sale and trafficking of such substances is also forbidden
Other religions like Rastafarianism (Africa-centered religion) which allow the use of marijuana for worship and as a part of religious rituals, Wicca (contemporary Pagan new religious movement) there is no official rule condoning or denying drugs and Taoism (Chinese religion) doesn’t condone drug use.
– prepared by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08
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The 'Millennial Mood Index 2021' (MMI) was released by CASHe, India's AI-driven financial wellness platform with a mission to make financial inclusion possible for all. According to the survey, more than 84 per cent of millennials across the country have increased their wealth-management strategy to prepare for future contingencies while also looking for opportunities for stronger and more sustainable growth in the post-pandemic world. The pan-India survey, conducted among more than 30k customers on CASHe's platform, aimed to capture the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and how it has altered millennials' everyday behaviour across a variety of topics such as health, travel, shopping, savings & credit appetite, and so on.
While the majority of millennials have become more cautious about their finances as a result of the pandemic, the report also highlighted the cohort's progress in saving and insurance awareness. While 52 per cent of respondents said they have increased their savings, 35 per cent have purchased comprehensive health and life insurance plans, and the remaining 13 per cent have committed to more extensive investment programmes.
The pan-India survey was conducted by CASHe among more than 30k customers. | Pixabay
The pandemic, combined with the 'work from home' culture, has also raised health awareness among Indian millennials. According to the MMI report, more than 71 per cent of millennials have become more health conscious as a result of the pandemic. In their quest for a healthier life, a sizable portion of the cohort has adopted new lifestyle changes. 54 percent of respondents said they now prefer eating home-cooked healthy food, and 28 percent have adapted to daily walks or some form of exercise. 11 per cent of respondents said they had started practicing yoga and meditation, while the remaining 7 per cent had signed up for a nearby gym.
When asked if they eat out at restaurants, more than 52 per cent said that even if they eat outside, they would prefer restaurants that adhere to health, safety, and social distancing norms. 22 per cent have become accustomed to ordering food online and prefer doing so because they can do so from the comfort of their own home while adhering to the necessary safety standards. Whereas 26 per cent of respondents remain cautious and avoid eating outside at all costs.
Following nearly two years of uncertainty and a travel ban, the report revealed a huge pent-up demand among millennials for a getaway vacation. More than 56 percent of those polled said they intend to take a vacation early this year, once the current surge in Covid-19 cases subsides. In terms of travel destination preferences, 71 per cent said they were going somewhere domestic, 9 per cent said they were going somewhere international, and 20 percent said they hadn't decided yet.
28 percent have adapted to daily walks or some form of exercise. | Unsplash
The report stated that 38 per cent of respondents have permanently shifted to shopping online as they now prefer it, demonstrating a clear shift in millennial shopping behavior altered by the pandemic. While 17 per cent preferred physical shopping, 45 per cent preferred a combination of the two depending on what they wanted to buy.
When asked about returning to work in the post-pandemic order, 68 per cent of respondents said they are eager to return to the physical world and work from their offices. While 15 percent preferred to continue working from home (WFH), the remaining 17 per cent preferred a hybrid model of functioning that included visiting the office once or twice a week.
V Raman Kumar, Founder Chairman, CASHe said, "The Covid-19 pandemic has radically altered our everyday behavior, perhaps forever. However despite the challenges and economic upheavals witnessed in the last two years, millennials have proven themselves as the most resilient generation. Millennials who also represent the country's largest workforce have showcased the grit and resolve to bounce back and kick-start the economy. Their unwavering "can do" spirit is what has put them at the global centre stage while showcasing India as the largest millennial market to lure in brands across the globe. They are not just aspirational, but are a very responsible cohort seeking to reimagine old orders. Millennials have the potential to redefine India's investment & consumption story, which will play a critical role in shaping our country's economy in the post-pandemic era."
Millennials will play a critical role in shaping our country's economy in the post-pandemic era. | Unsplash
The pan-India survey was conducted by CASHe among more than 30k customers. More than 65 per cent of the responses were received from the metro markets of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune and Chennai while the rest 35% were received from other tier-II and III towns. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : millennial, mood, index, survey, country, India, finance, pandemic, investment, health, lifestyle, vacation, challenges, resilient, generation, customers.)
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A renowned Harvard Business School professor delivers a persuasive reconsideration and defence of purpose as a management ethos, demonstrating the enormous performance advantages and societal benefits that can be realised when businesses get their purpose right.
Too many businesses use purpose, or a reason for existing, as a marketing tool to make themselves feel good and appear good to the public.
Some people have only hazy notions of what purpose is, conflating it with strategy and other concepts like as "goal," "vision," and "values." Even the most well-intentioned leaders are unaware of the full power of purpose and interact with it only half-heartedly and superficially. Outsiders see this and become sceptical about businesses and the capitalist enterprise as a whole.
Ranjay Gulati shows the catastrophic blunders leaders unintentionally make while seeking to create a purpose for being, based on significant field study. Furthermore, he demonstrates how businesses might further incorporate purpose than they now do, resulting in tremendous performance gains for consumers, suppliers, workers, shareholders, and communities alike.
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Organizations are being updated to create more autonomy and cooperation, allowing individual employees to work more meaningfully.
* Creating a community of inspired and committed stakeholders by employing strong narrative to express a purpose for being, arouse emotions, and develop a community of inspired and committed stakeholders; and
* Creating cultures that not only promote purpose, but also allow people to connect the company's mission to their own personal motivations.
As Gulati says, a stronger connection to purpose is the key not only to individual firms' success, but also to humanity's destiny. Purpose may serve as a completely new operating system for the organisation, boosting performance while also bringing real benefits to society, especially in light of capitalism's undermining and low levels of confidence in business.
(keywords: hi-performance companies, catastrophic blunders, "goal," "vision," and "values)
In India, on January 26, 2022, thousands of youngsters set fire to empty train carriages. They disrupted rail traffic in order to protest what they claim are irregularities in recruiting by the railway department, which is one of the world's major employers. (VOA/ MBI)
(Keywords: India, recruitment, bihar, train, burnt, job, employers, railway)