I told my girlfriend that i would drink alcohol only during special occasion with her. I will not drink to "get wasted", but only drink to be part of her world (1 glass is enough). I love her and she often say that she explores my world, my values, and takes part in them but often feels that i am not doing the same for her. Which is why i am willing to compromise my value, my intent is to embrace a new value where me and her can both thrive, feel accepted, and loved. What is your perspective?

—An Nguyen, Australia


Since you are asking for my perspective I will share with you as one who is a devotee and who has based her life in the search for truth, freedom from the ego and helping others to grow spiritually.

Paramhansa Yogananda counseled against alcohol and drugs. He said that these alter one’s consciousness producing a counterfeit-samadhi, as opposed to meditation which yields a heightened state of awareness and self-expansion. He also spoke very strongly of the influence drugs and alcohol on the choice of one’s environment and friends. They involve us in a culture which does not support spiritual development. Lastly, they can reawaken hidden samskars or tendencies, sending us rapidly down the path of ages-old habits and addictions. This might all sound rather drastic — after all, you are only talking about a single drink now and then. However, I’d consider this seriously. Perhaps you could try non-alcoholic wine as an offering of support, thus avoiding any of the potential concerns given above. I have never seen drinking benefit people who are serious about the spiritual path, and in life in general. In relationships, we should honor values of nobility and discrimination in one another and support those actions that uplift the soul nature of ourselves and of our partner. This is not something to compromise on and something that, in the end, you will be respected and admired for.

Blessings, Nayaswami Maria