Guru Granth Sahib on alcohol

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Alcohol Health risks

What is the Sikh stance on alcohol?

It is well known that alcohol is a drug. In Sikh philosophy, it is not allowed to consume or drink alcohol. It has an almost immediate effect on the brain and will alter ones mood. Drinking alcohol makes people feel relaxed, happy and even euphoric, but in reality alcohol is a depressant. Depressants are psychoactive drugs which temporarily diminish the function or activity of a specific part of the body or mind. Due to their effects typically having a "down" quality to them, depressants are also occasionally referred to as "downers".

Alcohol switches off the part of the brain that controls judgement, leading to loss of inhibitions. Drinking even small amounts of alcohol can affect physical coordination and stability. Prolonged and heavy alcohol use poses serious health risks. Alcohol is one of the major causes of liver cirrhosis (irreversible scarring of the liver). This happens because healthy liver cells die and the dead cells are replaced by fibrous tissue.

Other health risks of alcohol are: Stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal complications, fertility problems, weight gain, depletion of certain vitamins and minerals, high blood pressure, increased risk of a heart attack, increased risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, colon (especially in men) and breast, etc.

What does the Guru tell us:

The Guru Granth Sahib forbids us from drinking alcohol. The Guru says:

"Drinking wine, his intelligence departs, and madness enters his mind;"
"He cannot distinguish between his own and others,"
"He is struck down by his Lord and Master" (SGGS p554)

and also:

"Those who are deluded by sensual pleasures, are tempted by sexual delights
and enjoy wine are corrupt." (SGGS p335)

The Guru's message is clear and pointed; there are no ifs and buts. It is a straight and direct: NO! - JUST DON'T DRINK IT.

The following is a summary of what the global message presented by the Guru regarding alcohol. The Guru tells us:

  • 1. By drinking wine, one gets much misery.
  • 2. By getting drunk, one cannot distinguish between friend and foe.
  • 3. Being intoxicated with liquor, one commits many a sin.
  • 4. The drinking of wine leads one to wicked deeds.
  • 5. Avoid it with all your determination. Better to be intoxicated with the nectar of HIS remembrance.

Gurbani

The actual lines of Gurbani below give the words of the Guru with their English translation:

Even if it is made from pure sacred water...

In this line of the Gurbani, the Guru tells us that even if wine is made from the most sacred or pure ingredients, you should NOT DRINK IT. The water of Ganges is consider by the Hindus as the most sacred in the world; however that Guru says that even wine made from such sacred water should not be consumed. So the message of the Guru is very clear in this regards, if you wish to attain spiritual elevation and tread on the path of Sikhi, then do not consume wine or alcohol.

ਸ੝ਰਸਰੀ ਸਲਲ ਕ੝ਰਿਤ ਬਾਰ੝ਨੀ ਰੇ ਸੰਤ ਜਨ ਕਰਤ ਨਹੀ ਪਾਨੰ ॥
Sursarī salal kiraṯ bĝrunī re sanṯ jan karaṯ nahī pĝnaʼn.
Even if wine is made from the water of the Ganges, O Saints, do not drink it.


Those tempted by wine are corrupt

ਸ੝ਆਦ ਲ੝ਭਤ ਇੰਦ੝ਰੀ ਰਸ ਪ੝ਰੇਰਿਓ ਮਦ ਰਸ ਲੈਤ ਬਿਕਾਰਿਓ ਰੇ ॥ ਕਰਮ ਭਾਗ ਸੰਤਨ ਸੰਗਾਨੇ ਕਾਸਟ ਲੋਹ ਉਧਾਰਿਓ ਰੇ ॥੩॥
Su▫ĝḝ lubẖaṯ inḝrī ras pareri▫o maḝ ras laiṯ bikĝri▫o re. Karam bẖĝg sanṯan sangĝne kĝsat loh uḝẖĝri▫o re. (3)
Those who are deluded by sensual pleasures, who are tempted by sexual delights and enjoy wine are corrupt.

But those who, through destiny and good karma, join the Society of the Saints, float over the ocean, like iron attached to wood.(3)

Drinking wine madness enters his mind;

ਸਲੋਕ ਮਃ ੩ ॥

ਮਾਣਸ੝ ਭਰਿਆ ਆਣਿਆ ਮਾਣਸ੝ ਭਰਿਆ ਆਇ ॥

ਜਿਤ੝ ਪੀਤੈ ਮਤਿ ਦੂਰਿ ਹੋਇ ਬਰਲ੝ ਪਵੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਆਇ ॥ ਆਪਣਾ ਪਰਾਇਆ ਨ ਪਛਾਣਈ ਖਸਮਹ੝ ਧਕੇ ਖਾਇ ॥

ਜਿਤ੝ ਪੀਤੈ ਖਸਮ੝ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਦਰਗਹ ਮਿਲੈ ਸਜਾਇ ॥ ਝੂਠਾ ਮਦ੝ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਪੀਚਈ ਜੇ ਕਾ ਪਾਰਿ ਵਸਾਇ ॥

ਨਾਨਕ ਨਦਰੀ ਸਚ੝ ਮਦ੝ ਪਾਈਝ ਸਤਿਗ੝ਰ੝ ਮਿਲੈ ਜਿਸ੝ ਆਇ ॥ ਸਦਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਕੈ ਰੰਗਿ ਰਹੈ ਮਹਲੀ ਪਾਵੈ ਥਾਉ ॥੧॥

salok ma 3.

maanas bhariaa aaniaa maanas bhariaa aae.

jith peethai math dhoor hoe baral pavai vich aae. aapanaa paraaeiaa n pashhaanee khasamahu dhhakae khaae.

jith peethai khasam visarai dharageh milai sajaae. jhoot(h)aa madh mool n peechee jae kaa paar vasaae.

naanak nadharee sach madh paaeeai sathigur milai jis aae. sadhaa saahib kai ra(n)g rehai mehalee paavai thhaao.(1)


Salok, Third Mehla:

One person brings a full bottle, and another fills his cup. Drinking wine, his intelligence departs, and madness enters his mind; he cannot distinguish between his own and others, and he is struck down by his Lord and Master. Drinking it, he forgets his Lord and Master, and he is punished in the Court of the Lord. Do not drink the false wine at all, if it is in your power. O Nanak, the True Guru comes and meets the mortal; by His Grace, one obtains the True Wine. He shall dwell forever in the Love of the Lord Master, and obtain a seat in the Mansion of His Presence. (1)


Shabad connected with marijuana, fish and wine

ਕਬੀਰ ਭਾਂਗ ਮਾਛ੝ਲੀ ਸ੝ਰਾ ਪਾਨਿ ਜੋ ਜੋ ਪ੝ਰਾਨੀ ਖਾਂਹਿ ॥ ਤੀਰਥ ਬਰਤ ਨੇਮ ਕੀਝ ਤੇ ਸਭੈ ਰਸਾਤਲਿ ਜਾਂਹਿ ॥੨੩੩॥>
kabeer bhaaNg maachhulee suraa paan jo jo paraanee khaaNhi. tirath barat naym kee-ay tay sabhai rasaatal jaaNhi. ॥233॥
Kabeer, those mortals who consume marijuana, fish and wine

- no matter what pilgrimages, fasts and rituals they follow, they will all go to hell. ॥233॥


In their midst sits the noseless one

ਇਕਤ੝ ਪਤਰਿ ਭਰਿ ਉਰਕਟ ਕ੝ਰਕਟ ਇਕਤ੝ ਪਤਰਿ ਭਰਿ ਪਾਨੀ ॥ ਆਸਿ ਪਾਸਿ ਪੰਚ ਜੋਗੀਆ ਬੈਠੇ ਬੀਚਿ ਨਕਟ ਦੇ ਰਾਨੀ ॥੧॥

ਨਕਟੀ ਕੋ ਠਨਗਨ੝ ਬਾਡਾ ਡੂੰ ॥ ਕਿਨਹਿ ਬਿਬੇਕੀ ਕਾਟੀ ਤੂੰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

Ikaṯ paṯar bẖar urkat kurkat ikaṯ paṯar bẖar pĝnī. Ās pĝs pancẖ jogī▫ĝ baiṯẖe bīcẖ nakat ḝe rĝnī. (1)

Naktī ko ṯẖangan bĝdĝ dūʼn. Kinėh bibekī kĝtī ṯūʼn. (1)rahĝ▫o.

In one pot, they put a boiled chicken, and in the other pot, they put wine.

The five Yogis of the Tantric ritual sit there, and in their midst sits the noseless one, the shameless queen. (1)
The bell of the shameless queen, Maya, rings in both worlds. Some rare person of discriminating wisdom has cut off your nose. (1)(Pause)

See also

External links