Hinduism, Addiction, And Recovery
Hinduism does not offer a strict series of religious laws, or any specific dogma targeting substance abuse and addiction, but the religion views addiction as a form of mental corruption, and advocates multiple self-focused treatments that can fight addiction and lead to recovery.
Past And Present Views On Drugs
Hinduism is a religion with nontraditional views on certain drugs. Many Hindu sects actively use cannabis and similar drugs as a means of achieving a higher spiritual awareness.
In Hindu belief, Shiva (one of the primary gods) rested beneath a cannabis plant on a particularly hot day, and in gratitude gave the cannabis plant to humanity. For this reason, in many sects, cannabis is used in honor of Shiva. Older variations of Hinduism regarded hallucinatory or opioid drugs as a means of reaching a spiritual high, and becoming closer to oneness with the universe. As more modern views begin to popularize, most sects have abandoned this practice.
Aside from this, most Hindu sects disapprove of the use of any non-pharmaceutical drugs. There are some that still use cannabis as a spiritual experience enhancer, or for its medicinal purposes, but most practitioners discourage the use of such substances. None of Hinduism’s primary beliefs specifically address the abuse of illicit substances, but Hinduism’s beliefs in the purity of life and focus on uncorrupted living make addiction an undesired temptation.
Steps Toward Recovery
Hinduism offers several means of recovering from addiction, though most originated from the treatment of negative emotions and other temptations. Once you realize you have an addiction, the principles of Hinduism suggest that you recognize your mind’s corruption, and take the opportunity to control and eliminate it.
Hinduism does not suggest or recommend any pharmaceutical treatments to recover from addiction. Instead of outside influences, Hindu beliefs place the burden of recovery on the individual.
Meditation And Yoga
Meditation is considered a powerful and effective means of eliminating and recovering from addiction. Hinduism treats meditation as a peaceful and undisturbed contemplation on only the current moment, free from fleeting thought and focused on experience.
Hinduism may also combine meditation with types of yoga, some of which are associated with relaxing physical positions. The goal of yoga and meditation is to clear the body of negative thoughts, feelings and energy, and replace them with a positive flow of energy that betters the person’s spiritual connectivity and awareness.
Alternative Forms Of Treatment
Hinduism also employs a number of alternative forms of treatments. Acupuncture is sometimes used to align the body’s energies and cleanse it of impurities. Hindu clergy may recommend artistic forms of therapy, including practicing music. A connection with nature through working and praying outside is also strongly encouraged.
Even though Hinduism traditionally included some forms of illicit substances as a spiritual enhancement, its current views discourage the use of any non-medical drug. Addiction is seen as an impurity of the mind, and through meditation and a cleansing of negative energy in the body, Hindu beliefs indicate that internal focus can lead to a strong recovery.