By – Sathyakāmā Jabala

Wine in Heaven

Atharva Veda 4.34.6 Full lakes of butter with their banks of honey, flowing with wine, and milk and curds and water Abundant with their overflow of sweetness, these streams shall reach thee in the world of Svarga, whole lakes with lotus blossom shall approach thee.

Chandogya Upanishad, Prapathak 8, Khanda 5, Mantra 3 “.Ara and Nya are two lakes in the world of Brahman, in the third heaven from; hence, and there is the lake Airam madiya…”

Adi Shankaracharya wrote on this verse, “There is also the lake Airam madiya, ‘Aira‘ is guel, ‘ira” being grain and that which is full of this gruel, and serves to intoxicate or exhilarate those that partake of it.”

Brahmanda Purana, Lalita-Mahatmya 33.43-46 “Those people of earthly world who had attained mastery over Lalita’s Mantra attain the chamber of sapphire on giving up their bodies and stay there. They enjoy divine objects in the company of their womenfolk. They drink sweet wine and dance with great devotion.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri

Linga Purana, Section I.48.9-14 “In the eastern side of this mountain is Amaravati (the city of Indra). It is full of mansions of different kinds. It is thronged by different groups of Devas. It is surrounded by clusters of jewels. It has many ornamental gateways of different shapes bedecked in gold and jewels. The arches at the gateways are rendered wonderful with gold, with jewels set in. Thousands of women throng the roadways. They are clever in conversation and elocution. They are bedecked in all ornaments. They stoop down due to the weight of their heavy breasts and their eyes roll to and fro due to intoxication…The Apsaras (water nymphs) move about all round…” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri

Wine as Medicine

Wine was also used as medicine,

Agni Purana 279.30-34 “…A similar diet should be observed by a patient suffering from piles, and washings of whey should be substituted for his ordinary drink. The patient should take decoction of Musta every day…while Mandas containing mild wines may be given as drink… Fried paddy, powdered barley, honey, meat roasted on a stick, bringel, gourd, Shikhi, and wine are anti-phlegmatic in their effect, and are good medicines for an attack of simple cold…” Tr. M.N. Dutt

Charaka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthaanam 8/163 “A person of magnanimous heart who eats meat along with a wine named as ‘Maadhveek’, is quickly relieved of tuberculosis.

Charaka Samhita, Chikitsa Sathaanam 8/165 “While consuming the above mentioned kinds of meat, one may have a dose of whichever wine is appropriate such as ‘Prasanna’, ‘Vaarooni’, ‘seedhu’, ‘arisht’, ‘aasava’ and ‘madhu’.”

Offering Alcohol to Gods, Goddesses & Ancestors & also using it in Sacrifices

Brahma Purana 72.52 “Lord Hari said to her: Worshipped by means of wine, meat and other presents and various items of foodstuffs you will become delighted and fulfil all desires of men.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri

Satapatha Brahmana 4:2:1:27. He offers with,’This is the first consecration, assuring all boons: he is the first, Varuna, Mitra, Agni;–he is the first, Brihaspati, the wise: to that Indra offer ye the liquor, Hail!’

Satapatha Brahmana 5:5:4:20-21 Now on the day before, he mixes the spirituous liquor (while muttering, Vâg. S. X, 30, ‘Get done for the Asvins! get done for Sarasvatî! get done for Indra, the good protector!’ When that liquor is (done) he proceeds with that (offering). They take up two fires; on the northern altar 2 (they lay down) the northern (fire), and on a raised (mound) the southern one, thinking, ‘Lest we should offer together the Soma-libations, and the Surâ (liquor) -libations:’ therefore they take up two fires, and on the northern altar (they lay down) the northern (fire), and on a raised (mound) the southern one. And when he proceeds with the omenta, then he proceeds with that spirituous liquor.

Narada Purana III.90.28 “The devotee with the previously mentioned form should worship the deities of the above mentioned forms. He should worship them in the proper sequence with the offering of wine, fish and meat duly consecrated.” Tr. G.V. Tagare

Agni Purana 156.15-31 “…O Rama, twelve oblations should be offered to the god Soma (Moon-god), Vanhi (the god of fire), and Yama (the god of death), and the lighted lamps on the cakes of obsequies should be separately put out as before. The vessels should be filled in with wine, meat and curd, and if there be any Adhimasa in the year, a separate vesselful of oblation should be decked out for that…” Tr. M.N. Dutt

Narada Purana III.87.31 “For the achievement of siddhis one should offer her at night spirituous liquor, etc. The application is to be kept seccret, yet it is being mentioned. It yields all siddhis.” Tr. G.V. Tagare

Vishnu Purana 5.1.82-86 “They who address the morning and afternoon with reverence and praise, and call thee Áryá, Durgá, Vedagarbhá, Ambiká, Bhadrá, Bhadrakálí, Kshemí, or Kshemankarí, shall receive from my bounty whatever they desire. Propitiated with offerings of wine and flesh and various viands, thou shalt bestow upon mankind all their prayers…” Tr. H.H. Wilson

Skanda Purana has Arghya Mantra in praise of Durga which reads as,

Skanda Purana VII.I.83.48- “O goddess Durga, O destroyer of intracctable distresses, O goddess destroying all evil ends (disasters), save me in all difficult situations. O Durga, I have sought refuge in you…After keeping awake that night, when the day has dawned, at the rise of Aruna, buffaloes and sheep should be beheaded in front. The animals may number a hundred, half of it (fifty) or half of half (twenty-five) as the devotee pleases. With potful of Sura and Asava (liquor) the great goddess should be propitiated. The meat thereof should be given to Kapalikas as well as to servants and maid servants. In the afternoon of the navami day…” Tr. G.V. Tagare

Thank you for reading, stay tuned for more in the series!