I bet a lot of you know about the Rastafari movement, but did you know that Hinduism—in particular the Shaivites (followers of Lord Shiva)— was a major influence on the island culture and spiritual consciousness of the island which later spread around the world?
From 1845 to 1921, over 36,000 East Indians, mainly of the Hindu faith, were brought to Jamaica. Close to two-thirds of them remained. Following the abolition of slavery in the1830s, after failed attempts to source much-needed labour through bountied European immigration, the Jamaican Government turned to India.
These laborers brought to Jamaica the Hindu practices of ganja consumption for spiritual and medicinal purposes, mystical religious practices, and a strict vegetarian/vegan diet. Their greatest contribution was not culinary but in the realm of spirituality. Indians had astronomical influence on the early tenets of Rastafari.
The Rasta diet known as “Ital” includes lots of herbs spices (especially curry) and whole fruits and veggies was directly influenced by the Hindu culture.
The use of ganja/marijuana for spiritual and medicinal purposes, growing of long dreadlocks and smoking smoking out of small clay pipes, influenced Rastafaris. Though Africans have been utilizing marijuana for ions, it was the Hindu laborers who first brought the herb to Jamaica.
Leonard Howell was leading founding father of Rastafari said “After learning about the Hindu God incarnates Shiva, Krishna and Buddha, I was convinced that every nation had their own God.” He found his African god in the crowning of Emperor Selassie of Ethiopia.
It wasn’t until the rastafari movement reach a young teenage boy by the name of Nesta Marley—better known as Bob Marley— that the movement and culture would spread to the four corners of the world.
A special thank you to Lord Shiva for all his blessing
🙏🏽 Om Namah Shivay 📿 #rasta #trance #india #vegan #jamaica #shaman #reggae #meditation #herbs #unity #cannabis #hindu #mystic #ital #om #plantbased #healing #africa #peace #jah #ganja #esoteric #shiva #love #haileselassie #boomshiva #krisna #bobmarley #420