It always perplexed me that Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding feast. His Mother asked him to do it. I don’t understand why she would ask Jesus to do it when alcohol is not recommended on the spiritual path. Paramahansa Yogananda said "No Alcohol or drugs".
—LIZ COBB, Canada
Dear Liz, Your question makes me smile, because I, as a small child, growing up in the Baptist religion in the USA, “Deep South” area, I would read or hear that specific story from the Judeo/Christian Bible. It made no sense to me, so I would ask my parents or Sunday School teachers why Jesus would turn water into wine when we were absolutely forbidden to drink alcohol of any type. I loved my mother’s answer. She said, “Wine wasn’t the same back then.”
As I contemplate her answer all these years later, I believe there may have been some wisdom in it. Fermentation of grape juice is a good way to preserve it for longer periods. I suspect it was vastly diluted most of the time—a principle is hinted at in that Bible story. Also wine was probably much safer to drink than water or other beverages—after all, alcohol does kill off bacteria fairly effectively. Safe drinking water may have been very difficult to obtain “back then.”
In any case, Yogananda explained that sincere truth-seekers need to have a clear and calm mind and an uplifted consciousness—as much as possible, at all times. Any intoxicant of any kind, which dulls or somehow effects the mind in a non-normal way, is detrimental to one’s spiritual progress.
He also went on to explain that excessive use of intoxicants “tears holes in your aura.” This will allow negativity or lower astral entities to come into your energic body/mind field—a challenging situation that we definitely want to avoid! These “holes” can be healed eventually, but it takes much time and energy to do it. Meanwhile, a person is left in a very vulnerable place—like having a large storm break over your home and you can’t close the windows.