View Full Version : Do all Vaishnava's Forbid Alcohol?

07 July 2011, 05:45 PM

I was wondering if all Vaishnava's forbid alcohol and tobacco as ISCKON does.

Simple question,


07 July 2011, 08:09 PM
Good questions all around, Tyler.

Can't say I know the answer to this one, tho.

08 July 2011, 07:16 AM
Shrimad Bhagavatam Canto 1 Chapter 17 - The earth in the form of Mother Cow cries, Dharma (Religion) in the form of a bull is standing on only one leg, all because of onset of Kali Yug.

SB 1.17.32: If the personality of Kali, irreligion, is allowed to act as a man-god or an executive head, certainly irreligious principles like greed, falsehood, robbery, incivility, treachery, misfortune, cheating, quarrel and vanity will abound.

SB 1.17.33: Therefore, O friend of irreligion, you do not deserve to remain in a place where experts perform sacrifices according to truth and religious principles for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

SB 1.17.34: In all sacrificial ceremonies, although sometimes a demigod is worshiped, the Supreme Lord Personality of Godhead is worshiped because He is the Supersoul of everyone, and exists both inside and outside like the air. Thus it is He only who awards all welfare to the worshiper.

SB 1.17.35: Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī said: The personality of Kali, thus being ordered by Mahārāja Parīkṣit, began to tremble in fear. Seeing the King before him like Yamarāja, ready to Kill him, Kali spoke to the King as follows.

SB 1.17.36: O Your Majesty, though I may live anywhere and everywhere under your order, I shall but see you with bow and arrows wherever I look.

SB 1.17.37: Therefore, O chief amongst the protectors of religion, please fix some place for me where I can live permanently under the protection of your government.

SB 1.17.38: Sūta Gosvāmī said: Mahārāja Parīkṣit, thus being petitioned by the personality of Kali, gave him permission to reside in places where gambling, drinking, prostitution and animal slaughter were performed.

SB 1.17.39: The personality of Kali asked for something more, and because of his begging, the King gave him permission to live where there is gold because wherever there is gold there is also falsity, intoxication, lust, envy and enmity.

SB 1.17.40: Thus the personality of Kali, by the directions of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, the son of Uttarā, was allowed to live in those five places.

SB 1.17.41: Therefore, whoever desires progressive well-being, especially kings, religionists, public leaders, brāhmaṇas and sannyāsīs, should never come in contact with the four above-mentioned irreligious principles.

SB 1.17.42: Thereafter the King reestablished the lost legs of the personality of religion (Dharma) [the bull], and by encouraging activities he sufficiently improved the condition of the earth.

om namo bhagavate vAsudevAya

17 July 2011, 10:57 AM

I wonder about the word 'forbid'. I have been attracted to this because it has been presented as a very respectful path, one that acknowledges God's mysterious hand in things. Intoxication does not suggest drinking alcohol, but but overwhelming your body with anything that would create a toxic environment. Too much dal, afterall, can intoxicate... and what's too much for one could have no effect on another. I'm a good example. I can't ingest any cow's milk at all. It doesn't make me buzzed; it makes me intoxicated, though.

It seems if you simply keep your eyes open and do not indulge your senses (and don't worry if you do; we all slip), you will be fine no matter what your path.

17 July 2011, 05:29 PM
Hare KrushNa

The whole idea is to walk away from the material and towards the spiritual, eventually towards Bhagvan. So, one basic thing considered is offer your food to Bhagvan, and eat that as prasAd. What does this do ? Purify the sAdhak (aspirant), slowly working towards eating for KrushNa's pleasure rather than your own. Away from the body, mind, senses, taste etc. Precisely the attachments that brought us in this material world or embodied state.

What does one offer to Bhagvan ?

- sattvic food , as sattvic as it can get (so, not only no alcohol/drugs/intoxicants, but no onion, garlic, mushrooms, fermented aged cheeses and of course anything containing meat fish eggs, stimulants like tea coffee chocolate) (BG 9.27 Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform — do that, O son of Kuntī, as an offering to Me.)

- KrushNa's favorite foods - that He likes (BG 9.26 If one offers Me leaf, fruit, flower, or even water with Love, I shall accept it.)

KrushNa uses the word "amedhyam" = untouchable for meat and alcohol :
BG 17.10: yāta-yāmaḿ gata-rasaḿ
pūti paryuṣitaḿ ca yat
ucchiṣṭam api cāmedhyaḿ
bhojanaḿ tāmasa-priyam
Food prepared more than three hours before being eaten, food that is tasteless, decomposed and putrid, and food consisting of remnants and untouchable things is dear to those in the mode of darkness.
The purpose of food is to increase the duration of life, purify the mind and aid bodily strength. This is its only purpose. In the past, great authorities selected those foods that best aid health and increase life's duration, such as milk products, sugar, rice, wheat, fruits and vegetables. These foods are very dear to those in the mode of goodness. Some other foods, such as baked corn and molasses, while not very palatable in themselves, can be made pleasant when mixed with milk or other foods. They are then in the mode of goodness. All these foods are pure by nature. They are quite distinct from untouchable things like meat and liquor...

BG 17.8: Foods dear to those in the mode of goodness increase the duration of life, purify one's existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such foods are juicy, fatty, wholesome, and pleasing to the heart.

BG 17.9: Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, hot, pungent, dry and burning are dear to those in the mode of passion. Such foods cause distress, misery and disease.


Certainly eating too much of anything is tamasic, including too much prasadam. (BG 6.16 This yoga is not possible, O Arjuna, for one who eats too much or who does not eat at all, who sleeps too much or too little. ).

It is not simply about intoxication. Slipping is a different story - as long as one acknowledges they have slipped and make efforts not to. However, who draws the line of "alcohol in moderation" ? There is no such thing. It is all relative. It is dangerous and not advisable to modify or dilute the set standards as that is what gives rise to Sunday-only rock-and-pop spirituality or religiosity.

om namo bhagavate vAsudevAya ~

Eastern Mind
17 July 2011, 06:19 PM
Vannakkam WTyler et al: Jai Ganesha! My prayers have been answered. I finally located a relevant old thread: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=235&page=2

Aum Namasivaya