Bhubaneswar: Taking necessary measures to stop use of ganja in religious places, Odisha Government issued a ban order at all Shaivite temples across the state.
In a letter dated May 10, 2023, Odia Language, Literature & Culture Department directed collectors of all the districts to take necessary steps for prohibition of ganja use at the temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.
“Like the practice of animal sacrifice was banned at Bhagabati Temple in Banapur and it was banned in most of the temples subsequently, restriction will be imposed on use of ganja in all Shaivite temples in Odisha,” informed Minister Ashwini Patra today.
This came close on the heels of a letter written by religious preacher Balia Baba, the head of Ananta Balia Trust, on April 13 urging the Excise Department of the state for ban on use of ganja at the famous Baba Akhandalmani Shiva temple.
“Hundreds of devotees from across the state visit the Shiva shrine every day. However, an excessive use of ganja in the name of Lord Shiva is polluting the religious spirit of the place,” the religious leader wrote in the letter.
“Lord Shiva never uses ganja. In the course of time, many misconceptions about Hindu religion and its Gods have entered our society. Instead of ganja, many good things can be offered to the Lord,” the letter read urging the Government to restrict people from using ganja in all Shaivite temples in the state.