Abstaining from Intoxication.

It is displeasing to have to announce that man in this age of Kali has fallen servant to alcohol and other intoxicants. Most youngsters today are taking to drink as a way of making themselves more socially acceptable. Many youngsters drink without their parents realising.

In the West there is a very strong pressure to act a certain way. There are pleasures of being in the right crowd. Pressures to go certain places and in order to enjoy these pleasures many are beginning to drink – these social circles outline a way to behave, a way to look, a way of being and ultimately it is a way out from parental pressures.

Alcohol is a drug. It is addictive and we must find a way of pulling our children from the clutches of these addictions and find another focus for them. This is a widespread problem that has hit society in general.

Alcohol is Unhealthy – health risk from alcohol consumption include damage to the liver and brain, stomach disorders, high blood pressures, strokes, cancer of the mouth and throat, breast cancer, pancreatitus and ulcers. Indeed the long-term problems are widespread with various health risks involved.
Alcohol and the Brain – there is a slowing down of certain brain functions. Since the Brain is very important it isn’t wise to subject the brain to such lapses. Changes in concentration and co-ordination are apparent which raise the chances of an accident especially when driving. It also affects speech, memory and judgement. As a result you may take risks or act in a way you might not have otherwise done.
Alcohol and your moods – alcohol sometimes makes you relaxed and happy but sometimes makes you feel miserable, argumentative, tired or low since alcohol is a depressant. Thus mental health problems include anxiety, tension, depression and paranoia.
Alcohol and your weight – alcohol can be high in calories leading to weight problems. Alcohol dependency leads to malnutrition as alcohol is substituted for food.
Alcohol and the family – this is by far the strongest argument. The effects of drinking alcohol have repercussions on others around you – especially your family. Financial problems are involved; arguments and relationships between people suffer as a result. It can make a person violent and uneasy, which family members have to endure. Thus this irrational behaviour affects all the people around you. It can leave a person staggering with double-vision, unbalanced and sometimes unconsciousness. The fact is that alcohol has great adverse effects on the system as a whole. It is an object that leaves the mind in tangles for such reason it doesn’t suit a person. A drunken person or a person who drinks has no place in society. He is undependable and untrustworthy. His conduct is poor.Only a person who is alert at all times is worthy of praise. He can only promise such behaviour if he never drinks.

All must realise that our ultimate aim is to reach the Heavens, where we will be able to find the true pleasure of serving the Lord. We will not be deriving pleasure through consumption of alcohol there and so we must focus our mind in finding pleasure in devotion upon this Earth, if we are ever going to secure a place in the Heavens. We must learn to leave these addictions of drugs and alcohol and become addicted to Bhakti – devotion.

It is very important that we reject those social circles which are based on drinking, going to pubs, night clubs, who eat and do what they please, disregarding true Vedic teachings. Even a drop of alcohol in the system affects the body adversely according to the teachings of our saints and Shastras and therefore to say that sensible drinking is acceptable is utterly wrong.

In peoples quest to become socially ‘with-it’ they lose sight of who they are, their heritage and their true purpose of life. We must counter act this propensity for people, to fall in this vortex of drink and other vices. Parents must wake up to themselves and be able to spot whether their child is on the right path or not. If not, they must have the necessary ability to pull back their children from ultimately the clutches of Hell.

It is even more saddening to have to say that girls are also taking to drink. Women are the very representation of Moksh or salvation. They are praised for their motherhood and they are depended upon for the very upbringing of society. For nine months they bear a child within such time they are asked to live such pure lives so that the child in the womb isn’t subject to impurities, which can ultimately affect the foetus.

Mothers who drink alcohol, whose womb is impure with alcohol, can never house such luminous, pure, great children. As a result, from such a mother are born disrespectful, wicked children. For this reason women must never fall servant to such bad vices for once in the blood it will surround the whole body and subject a child to such defective blood and hardship.

Drinking alcohol serves no advantage. It brings misery to those around you. It causes a person to lose control of their mind, body and speech resulting in foolish behaviour. It can be dangerous to you and to those around you.

There is a ‘feel-good’ factor associated with drinking but it is false and temporary.
Only devotion to God can bring happiness that is permanent. In the long run it does more harm than good.

For these reasons all must make a conscious decision to never drink, or to stop today if you do drink.

-Taken From Shikshapatri “The epistle of Precepts” (Download)

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