Is a Little Wine OK?


Having alcohol is bad for one’s spiritual growth, but what if one has wine occasionally or maybe just to taste but doesn’t get addicted. Is it still bad?

—Ajay Diwanji, India


Dear Ajay,

Yogananda describes alcohol as one of the three main weapons of maya. That’s a strong statement. I would’t play with it, not even a little, if you are a serious devotee. Just leave the taste alone, there are many other lovely tastes around.

Swami Kriyananda was very strict concerning alcohol at Ananda. In his Guidelines for Living at Ananda he writes: “Strictly prohibited to Ananda members is the use, both on and off the property, of hallucinogenic drugs and alcoholic beverages. An exception to the proscription against alcoholic beverages may be allowed for medicinal needs.”

Once a member here asked about non-alcoholic beer, called “near-beer”. “Too near,” was Swami’s comment.

Yogananda too strictly prohibited alcohol for his disciples. Once a woman disciple thought that wine and beer are alright, and drank it to be sociable, without telling her Master. But Yogananda knew it anyway. Next time he saw her he looked at her penetratingly, saying, ‘I meant all alcoholic beverages!”

He would tell you the same, I am sure.

“Saints are full of no-power”.

Make it strong, Jayadev