22 Incredible Images Of A Hindu Festival Where Holy Men Smoke A Lot Of Pot

Holy smoke!

1. Mahashivratri is a Hindu festival celebrated by the devotees of Lord Shiva — the Hindu god of creation and destruction.

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3. Hindus mark the festival of Mahashivratri or the "Great Night of Lord Shiva" by offering prayers, fasting and meditating.

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5. This year the festival was celebrated in India and Nepal on Feb. 27.

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7. By some accounts, Mahashivratri marks the marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati — the Hindu goddess of love and devotion.

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9. By other accounts, Mahashivratri signifies the night Lord Shiva performed the "Tandava," the cosmic dance that symbolizes the creation, conservation, and destruction of the universe.

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11. Every year, hundreds of Hindu "sadhus" (holy men) travel to the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu, Nepal, to take part in Mahashivratri celebrations.

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14. The "sadhus" mark the festival by praying, meditating, smoking some form of cannabis, and smearing their bodies with ash.

15. So do some holy women.

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17. The holy men smoke cannabis which has mythological and spiritual associations with Lord Shiva.

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19. Although marijuana is illegal in Nepal, only the "sadhus" are legally permitted to smoke it for religious rituals inside the Pashupatinath temple.

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21. The holy men are not permitted to sell or distribute drugs to ordinary devotees and pilgrims.

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