Sadhu at Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu, Nepal
Usually draped in hues of saffron, their hardened faces marked with sacred ash, sadhus are considered the holiest beings in the Hindu faith, ascetics who’ve successfully let go of all attachments to society – material, familial, sexual – in pursuit of total liberation from ignorance and desires.
They are deeply revered and looked up to for guidance and blessings. Yet, having neither means of income, nor any possessions including a place to stay, they live in absolute poverty and depend entirely on the kindness and donations of strangers to get by.
And a lot of cannabis.
The Hindu god Shiva is said to have enjoyed smoking cannabis, and because of that sadhus see their use of the drug as receiving a blessing from him. While cannabis is technically illegal in Nepal, the police seem to ignore any sadhus partaking in the drug providing they do not sell it on.