Another popular form of cannabis, known as “charas,” plays an important cultural role in India. In the Hindu religion, the god Shiva is popular for his love of cannabis, and cannabis is widely use during the Hindu festival of Holi. Shaivs, a sect of Hinduism devoted to worship of the Lord Shiva, smoke charas freely as part of their religious practice.
In modern practice, young professionals and sadhus, or religious ascetics. Continue to use charas regularly, usually by smoking it out of a small clay pipe called a chillum. Before lighting the pipe, they will often chant the many names of Shiva. The Shiva sahasranama is a “list of a thousand names” exalting Shiva in his many forms.