How Bhikshu Svagata drinks (too much) alcohol

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Aemilius
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How Bhikshu Svagata drinks (too much) alcohol

Post by Aemilius »

It seems evident that the Mahāsāṃghika Vinaya is the earlier version and likely better reflects the original narrative concerning the incident which led to The Buddha prohibiting Alcohol consumption. The Mahāsāṃghika account of the incident is as follows:

The Buddha was residing in the country of Kauśāmbī teaching as was mentioned above. At that time in the realm of Kauśāmbī there was an Evil Nāga named Āmra who had caused a drought where the rain did not fall and the crops were not harvested. The people were starving and there were various calamities like this. It was then that the bhikṣu Venerable Svāgata went to placate the Evil Nāga. As it is explained in the Svāgata Bhikṣu Sūtra, after placating the Evil Nāga the country celebrated and the people felt Gratitude, aware of the Kindness bestowed upon them and wanting to repay it. It was on Svāgata's behalf that five hundred great families each offered up hanging banners and setup seats, inviting the Monks for offerings. They made a special invitation to Bhikṣu Svāgata. The households which made [the offerings) provided various kinds of delicious foods. It was then that after one household had offered Food that due to his thirst they offered Alcohol which appeared as water whereupon he drank it. He returned to the Monastery where the World Honored One [the Buddha) was teaching the Dharma in a great assembly at the time. The influence of the Alcohol was all too much as he became unwell and fell onto the ground. It was in front of the World Honored One that he stretched out his legs and passed out.
The Buddha was aware of this and thus said, “Which bhikṣu is it here that has stretched out his legs and passed out in front of the Tathāgata?”
The bhikṣus replied, “Bhikṣu Svāgata drank much Alcohol and thus has become inebriated and passed out.”
The Buddha asked the bhikṣus, “Has Bhikṣu Svāgata here ever slept during the day?”
“No, World Honored One.”
He again asked, “Has Bhikṣu Svāgata prior to being inebriated ever stretched out his legs and passed out in front of The Buddha before?”
“No, World Honored One.”
He again asked, “The bhikṣu having drank too much Alcohol, if he wanted to make himself un-inebriated, would it be possible to do this?”
“No, World Honored One.”
as become inebriated and passed out.”
The Buddha asked the bhikṣus, “Has Bhikṣu Svāgata here ever slept during the day?”
“No, World Honored One.”
He again asked, “Has Bhikṣu Svāgata prior to being inebriated ever stretched out his legs and passed out in front of The Buddha before?”
“No, World Honored One.”
He again asked, “The bhikṣu having drank too much Alcohol, if he wanted to make himself un-inebriated, would it be possible to do this?”
“No, World Honored One.”
He again asked the bhikṣus, “Suppose Bhikṣu Svāgata at a time when he had not drank Alcohol heard an exposition on the excellent and immortal Dharma – would he want to lose this benefit and not listen to it?”
“No, World Honored One.”
The Buddha said to the bhikṣus, “This Bhikṣu Svāgata was originally able to placate an Evil Nāga. Now, could he placate a toad?”
They replied, “He could not.”
The Buddha said, “Suppose Āmra the Nāga heard this – it would provoke his displeasure. From today onward it is not permitted to drink Alcohol.”

Curiously, the accounts of this incident in other Vinaya texts differ in the details of what transpired.

The Dharmagupta Vinaya 四分律 is a much longer account of the event and the substance consumed is a “black liquor” which the Monks were aware was Alcohol. It also states Svāgata not only fell over at the road side, but vomited which caused the birds to be disturbed. The Buddha then tells Ānanda the ten faults of consuming Alcohol.

The Mahīśāsaka Vinaya 五分律 reports the Nāga was causing torrential rains and hail which destroyed the fields, in contrast to the account in the Mahāsāṃghika Vinaya which states it was a drought. Svāgata is also seen in a non-violent battle of magical powers with the Nāga where the latter loses and is scooped up into the former's bowl and taken to The Buddha who gives him permission to release it. The grateful laity come to the assembly of Monks and ask Svāgata if he needs anything. He replies that when he was layperson he enjoyed meat and Alcohol. The laity then provided him with both meat and Alcohol which resulted in him becoming drunk, vomiting all over robe and bowl, and passing out. The Buddha saw this with his clairvoyant eye from afar and went with Ānanda to tend to Svāgata and clean him up with water from the well. They placed him on a rope-bed and in a drunken haze Svāgata kicked The Buddha. It was then that The Buddha summoned the assembly of Monks and spoke to them of the faults of Alcohol. He then prohibited the consumption of it.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
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Bristollad
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Re: How Bhikshu Svagata drinks (too much) alcohol

Post by Bristollad »

Aemilius wrote: Sun Aug 01, 2021 4:54 pm It seems evident that the Mahāsāṃghika Vinaya is the earlier version and likely better reflects the original narrative concerning the incident which led to The Buddha prohibiting Alcohol consumption.
What is the evidence that the "Mahāsāṃghika Vinaya is the earlier version..."?
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Re: How Bhikshu Svagata drinks (too much) alcohol

Post by Malcolm »

Aemilius wrote: Sun Aug 01, 2021 4:54 pm It seems evident that the Mahāsāṃghika Vinaya is the earlier version...
https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/wh ... inaya/7458
To sum up, the sources that Prebish invokes to prove the earliness of the Mahāsaṅghika Vinaya either are weak (Bareau and Pachow), mistaken (Hofiger), sectarian (Fa-xiang), or in fact prove the very opposite of what Prebish wants (Frauwallner, Roth, Cousins). Worryingly, Prebish has repeatedly misrepresented his sources.
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Aemilius
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Re: How Bhikshu Svagata drinks (too much) alcohol

Post by Aemilius »

Bristollad wrote: Sun Aug 01, 2021 8:41 pm
Aemilius wrote: Sun Aug 01, 2021 4:54 pm It seems evident that the Mahāsāṃghika Vinaya is the earlier version and likely better reflects the original narrative concerning the incident which led to The Buddha prohibiting Alcohol consumption.
What is the evidence that the "Mahāsāṃghika Vinaya is the earlier version..."?
If you read the Theravada version of this story, it seems kind of altered. I have no strong personal opinion on that, but the story itself is interesting in many ways.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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Aemilius
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Re: How Bhikshu Svagata drinks (too much) alcohol

Post by Aemilius »

Further to the same exploits done by Svāgata, the grateful people offer their hospitality for seven days to the Buddha and all his company. One of them knew Svāgata's father. For fear of the naga demon, this snake charmer fled under another name to the city of Sravasti [1]. There the king Prasenajit gave him the direction of his stables of elephants. Rid of the naga, he expressed his joy and gratitude. Obliged to Svāgata, he invites him to eat and drink. At first reluctant, Svāgata agree to receive alms from him, the day of his departure with the Buddha :

« Svāgata went to the dwelling place of that brahman, who prepared excellent and wonderful foods and who offered them most sincerely to Svāgata with the request that he eat until he was satisfied. Because that brahman wished to hasten the digestive process within Svāgata, he placed a small amount of elephant's liquor in his broth. Svāgata in his ignorance drank this broth. After having finished, he chewed a toothstick, bathed himself, rinsed his mouth, and left. Midway home, he was overcome by the heat of the sun and fell prostrate with intoxication on the ground. » (Ch'en 1947, 242)[2]

This "liquor (for) elephant" is not anything else that fermented residues from beer of rice-millet. The instructions of the Arthashastra, a document from the Mauryan empire (320 ~ 185 BCE), mentions the possibility to intoxicate war elephants with these dregs from brewing (Trade of beer ferments and resale of brewer's spent grain). As the "pigeon liquor", the "liquor (for) elephant" denotes both a beer or one of its byproducts. Svāgata's host has learned this recipe at the court of King Prasenajit. The Sanskrit and Tibetan versions say « the host accidentally dipped a finger into the liquor elephant before mixing the (rice) broth », which would trigger the fermentation (Ch'en 1947, n. 183)[2]. Technically plausible.


The Chinese version differs in another important point. Svāgata drinks (or eats) beer here unknowingly. His host has itself the best of intentions. He wants to ease Svāgata's digestion who must leave the city immediately after the meal and walk all day in company of Buddha. This is an opportunity for the Buddha to analyze exactly what is meant by the prohibition of alcohol for monks, from a practical point of view.

What is the perception of the object ? True and false alcoholic beverages, ingredients related to the brewery, color, smell, and taste.
What for (intention) ? Quench his thirst, wanting to get drunk, to heal.
What action ? To drink, smell, eat, do not swallow.
The result ? Drunkenness, thirst quenched, healing, comforted suffering.


This casuistry reflects the debates between Buddhist schools about the meaning and scope of the rules of life laid down for monks. The practical details confirm that the common fermented beverages in the time of Buddha are beers :

« If the monk also drinks intoxicating liquor, it is an offense of pācittiya. Intoxicating liquor means liquor made from ferment cakes composed of grains, or spirits made from a mixture of roots, stalks, bark, leaves, flowers, and fruits. Such liquor when drunk would cause a person to become intoxicated.» (Ch'en 1947, 243-244).

A liquor made with ferment-cakes from grains, it is exactly a beer. The Buddhist texts traditionally make a distinction between surā (beer) and meraya (wine and mead). Other versions of the Vinaya are specifying that :

« Surā means: if it is fermented liquor from flour, fermented liquor from cakes (ferments), fermented liquor from cooked rice, if it is worked up yeast, if it is mixed with ingredients. Spirits means: if it is an extract from flowers, an extract from fruits, an extract from honey, an extract from sugar, if it is mixed with ingredients.» (Vinaya in Pāli, Horner, 2.385,, quoted in Ch'en 1947, n. 210)[3].

One cannot imagine a more precise technical definition to separate beer and wine. More than 2000 years ago in India, the demarcation between beer and wine was both clear and widespread enough among the population to serve as a basis for the rules of life of Buddhist monks.

« Drinking means to swallow». Indeed, the alcoholic beverage which is not ingested produces no effect. Smelling alcohol is not forbidden. Pursuant to what we know about the "liquor (for) elephant", this is a semi-solid beverage, a fermented broth. So drinking for Buddhists, in a broad meaning "ingest some alcoholic matter", is not limited to liquid forms but also include fermented broth or brewing residues, and all kind of by-products from brewing.

« The penalty (pācittiya) is to be defined as before. In the instance of drinking liquor, what is the nature of the various transgressions involved? If a monk drinks liquor that causes one to become intoxicated, it is an offense of pācittiya. If the liquor is not intoxicating and a person drinks it, it is an offense wrong-doing. If a monk sees that the liquor has the color, smell, and taste of spirits and is intoxicating, it is an offense of pācittiya if he drinks it. If the liquor is not intoxicating, then he is penalized with three wrong-doings. If a monk drinks liquor that has the color and smell of spirits, and is intoxicating, it is an offense of pācittiya; but if the liquor is not intoxicating, then he is penalized with two wrong-doings. If a monk drinks liquor that has only the color of spirits and is intoxicating, it is an offense of pācittiya; but if it is not intoxicating, then it is an offense of wrong-doing. If the monk eats the grains from the brewery and becomes intoxicated, it is an offense of pācittiya; but if the grains are not intoxicating, then it is an offense of wrong-doing. If a monk eats the ferment cakes, it is an offense of wrong-doing. If a monk eats roots, stalks, leaves, flowers, or fruits, which are intoxicating, they are all offenses of wrong- doing. » (Ch'en 1947, 243-244)

The great subtlety of Buddhist logic is revealed here. Color, odor, and taste characterize the object "alcoholic food-drink". But one can be deceived as Svāgata was. The offense does not change if the object, the beverage is really intoxicating. If it is not, it is the human intention that characterizes a wrongdoing and makes the penalties varying.

The version of the Vinaya written in Pāli expresses the offenses differently :

« If he thinks that it is strong drink when it is strong drink, (and) drinks it, there is an offense of expiation. If he is in doubt as to whether it is strong drink .... If he thinks that it is not strong drink when it is strong drink, (and) drinks it, there is an offense of expiation. If he thinks that it is strong drink when it is not strong drink, there is an offense of wrong-doing. If he is in doubt as to whether it is not strong drink, there is an offense of wrong-doing. If he thinks that it is not strong drink when it is not strong drink, there is no offense.» (Horner 2.385-86, quoted by Ch'en n. 219).

A beautiful exercise in logic. Algebra, logic, and algorithmics are three Indian inventions transmitted to the West by the Arab-Persian science.


« If the monk eats the grains from the brewery and becomes intoxicated, it is an offense of pācittiya; but if the grains are not intoxicating, then it is an offense of wrong-doing. »

The sentence quoted above (Ch'en 1947, 244) is a new confirmation that the fermented beverages referred to by the Vinaya are in most cases beers brewed with grains. Otherwise, what the "intoxicating grains" could have designate ? These grains from the brewery are the brewing residues, the grains still impregnated with alcohol because the indian brewing method involves that saccharification and fermentation are 2 simultaneous processes. In contrast to the Western method, which separates the liquid and sweetened wort by saccharification on the one hand and the spent grains (brewery dregs) on the other hand, a splitting that takes place before the alcoholic fermentation. The Asian brewing method implies an alcoholic fermentation of the saccharified mass of the grains. The beer residues, after dilution and filtering of the fermented mass, are therefore still alcoholic. The grains are not intoxicating early in the process. They become intoxicating after a day or two. Nevertheless, the intention of the monk and his desire for alcohol are sufficient to characterize his fault according to the Dhamma. It is therefore the Asian method of brewing, very different from the Western method, which explains all the subtleness of the reasoning developed by the Buddhist texts and the many practical cases analysed.


The Tibetan versions have translated "brewer's grains" by sbeń, corrected by Ch'en to sbań which means malt in tibetan (Ch'en 1947, n. 216). But nobody can become intoxicated with sprouted grains. And the Tibetan text continues : « If one eats the residue left over after the beer has been brewed, it is a wrong-doing » (Ch'en 1947, n. 217. It is not necessary to assume a distillation as Ch'en does to explain the existence of alcoholic grain residues. So Wine is amended into beer, distilled into brewed in the quotation of Chen's excerpt). This text tells about nothing less than grains as leftovers after the alcoholic fermentation during a beer brewing process.

« If a monk eats the ferment cakes, it is an offense of wrong-doing »

Again, these cakes-ferments exist only in the brewing process in India. They are of no use if the text was speaking about wine or mead. These brewing ferments, dried in pellets or small cakes, are not alcoholic. But there is one intention, in the desire of the monk, that they could be alcoholic.

Another analysed case this time concerns the ingredients used to make wines.

« If a monk eats roots, stalks, leaves, flowers, or fruits, which are intoxicating, they are all offenses of wrong-doing »

However, note here the roots as sources of intoxication cited by the Pāli version of the Vinaya. These roots are in most cases starchy. We have here a clue of the brewing of beer made from taro or yam in antiquity on the Indian subcontinent, as it is a text of Indian origin written in Pāli.

Then come the case of vinegars made from alcohol and that of alcoholic beverages evaporated by cooking or cooked intoxicating grains that have lost their alcohol:

« The Buddha said to the monk : "If you consider me as your teacher, no intoxicating liquor is to be drunk by yourselves or to be given to others, not even to the extent of dripping it into the mouth with the tip of a reed." If a monk purposely violates the rule, it is an offense of transgressing the law. There is no offense however, if a monk drinks vinegar which has the color of liquor. Likewise there is no offense if the liquor is cooked [as in cooked food]. If a physician prescribes that liquor be held in the mouth or smeared on the body, there is no offense. Also there is no offense in a wrong-doer for the first time [var. in one afflicted with madness or disturbance of the mind, or one tortured by pain]. » (Ch'en 1947, 244)

Vinegar comes from the conversion of the alcohol. We shall see, other religions having banned alcohol will ask the same question. Cooking liquor in the kitchen causes evaporation. In its time, Buddhism has a perfect knowledge of the technical processes of this world. Vinegar contains no alcohol.


The last case is the medical use of fermented beverages, especially Indian beer, which has a high percentage of alcohol (see brewing method):

« If a physician prescribes that liquor be held in the mouth or smeared on the body, there is no offense. »

After the injunction of the Buddha, Svāgata does not drink a single drop of beer. His previous addiction makes however ill to risk death. The Buddha suggests to allow Svāgata to smell a jar of beer. Remember, smelling the alcohol is not swallowing it, a wrong doing but not a serious offense. That is done, without any change for Svāgata's health. The Buddha then allowed to give his disciples a little beer impregnated into porridge or soup. No improvement. The Buddha, or a doctor, finally allows his disciple to put some beer in his mouth. Svāgata recovers and can get rid of his drinking habits gradually (Ch’en 1947, 297)[2]. This event forces the Bouddha to temper the alcohol ban, at least for exceptional and derogatory circumstances.

« Also there is no offense in a wrong-doer for the first time [var. in one afflicted with madness or disturbance of the mind, or one tortured by pain]. »[4]

The Buddhists do not ignore the temporary oblivion offered by the fermented beverages, or their analgesic benefactor effect. Especially since the beers brewed with the method of the amylolytic ferments are more alcoholic than beers made from malted grains.


[1] Capital of the kingdom of Kosala, one of the largest Indian cities at the time of Buddha who preached and lived there a long time. Buddhaghosa told that 5.7 million households lived in the city and its surroundings.

[2] Ch'en Kenneth 1947, A Study of The Svagata Story in The Divyavadana in Its Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, and Chinese Versions, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 9, 207-314.

[3] Horner I. B. 1940, Book of the Discipline 2.382-386.

[4] Mo-ho-sêng-ch'i Lü, Vinaya of the Mahāsang-hikas, Taishō.


Christian Berger https://beer-studies.com/en/world-histo ... -casuistry
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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nyonchung
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Re: How Bhikshu Svagata drinks (too much) alcohol

Post by nyonchung »

One cannot imagine a more precise technical definition to separate beer and wine
Not so sure

For skt., check Monier-Williams for surā, p. 1234, c. 2
(ifc. also sura) n. - prob. fr. √su , "to distil", and not connected with sura "a god "') spirituous liquor, wine (in ancient times " a kind of beer")


So-called "beer" is in common use in Tibet (chang, usually from barley), In Nepal among various ethnic groups (jar, from barley, millet, rice)

Wine from grape is known in sanskrit literature under various names and has a tib. translation (rgun chang), also a fermented product, as hyromel but "wine" here seems obviouly to refer also to distilled products - in Tibet, arag is the same preparation asf for chang (here the fermented grain "ferment cake" is then mixed with water and drunk, in Sikkim, millet "tumba" is used with hot water" ) then distilled in a special earthen alambic (the same is done in Nepal, rakshi)
Next ubiquitous among tribals and in South India is mowah = the flower of madhuka (Bassia Latifolia Roxb.) that can be simply fermented but also distilled (ands is well known in skt. literature as is rum, a distilled product, under different names)
Absent is wine-palm (toddy) prevalent in Easteran, Southern India and Sri Lanka (not to mention Indonesia)
It can be also distilled (usually prohibited nowadays in most Indian States)
Hydromel , fermented honey is also documented in skt. literature (and secondarily in tib. literature through skt. / tib. lexicons
Woul be intersing to check with the Tibetan Vinaya literature

So the distinction is possibly more between fermented drinks and distilled products
or is it a ritual / social distinction between grain (specially rice) that carry special alimentary taboos in the Indian world and the fermented and distilled prouct of any other fruit, flower etc ..? possibly carrying less risks of ritual pollution?
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Re: How Bhikshu Svagata drinks (too much) alcohol

Post by FiveSkandhas »

Generally today it seems the consensus that all forms of mind-altering substances are forbidden in Buddhism. Yet the textd you have quoted seem quite tightly focused around alcohol. I am curious if there is a clear doctrinal basis for extending such prohibitions to encompass every type of substance abuse.
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Aemilius
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Re: How Bhikshu Svagata drinks (too much) alcohol

Post by Aemilius »

These passages seem to include other substances: "If a monk eats roots, stalks, leaves, flowers, or fruits, which are intoxicating, they are all offenses of wrong-doing. "
and
"If a monk eats the ferment cakes, it is an offense of wrong-doing."
Buddha could not explicitly mention intoxicating substances used by some brahmanical sects, because it would have spread their use and the knowledge of them into a wider area. Because the human nature is what it is.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
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nyonchung
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Re: How Bhikshu Svagata drinks (too much) alcohol

Post by nyonchung »

Aemilius wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:03 am These passages seem to include other substances: "If a monk eats roots, stalks, leaves, flowers, or fruits, which are intoxicating, they are all offenses of wrong-doing. "
and
"If a monk eats the ferment cakes, it is an offense of wrong-doing."
Buddha could not explicitly mention intoxicating substances used by some brahmanical sects, because it would have spread their use and the knowledge of them into a wider area. Because the human nature is what it is.
The quote seems valid for intoxicants.

If by "intoxicating substances used by some brahmanical sects" you mean "soma" in vedic literature, your explanation is strange - anyway these texts were unknown outside brahmanic circles, and possibly already irrelevant at Buddha's time in Magadha.
But some (much) later shaïva literature is abounding in intoxicants ... and the use of intoxicants certainly predate the Kapalika traditions ...
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Re: How Bhikshu Svagata drinks (too much) alcohol

Post by Aemilius »

Leaving aside the question of "what is Soma?", it seems certain that for example cannabis has been known for thousands of years in different areas of the world. Not everything is mentioned or discussed in the sutras and commentaries, things exist that are left outside of written records.

"Hemp is possibly one of the earliest plants to be cultivated.Cannabis has been cultivated in Japan since the pre-Neolithic period for its fibres and as a food source and possibly as a psychoactive material. An archeological site in the Oki Islands near Japan contained cannabis achenes from about 8000 BC, probably signifying use of the plant. Hemp use archaeologically dates back to the Neolithic Age in China, with hemp fiber imprints found on Yangshao culture pottery dating from the 5th millennium BC. The Chinese later used hemp to make clothes, shoes, ropes, and an early form of paper.

Cannabis was an important crop in ancient Korea, with samples of hempen fabric discovered dating back as early as 3000 BC.

Hemp is called ganja ( गञ्जा, gañjā) in Sanskrit and other modern Indo-Aryan languages. Some scholars suggest that the ancient drug soma, mentioned in the Vedas, was cannabis, although this theory is disputed. Bhanga is mentioned in several Indian texts dated before 1000 AD. However, there is philological debate among Sanskrit scholars as to whether this bhanga can be identified with modern bhang or cannabis.

Cannabis was also known to the ancient Assyrians, who potentially utilized it as an aromatic. They called it qunabu and qunubu (which could signify "a way to produce smoke"), a potential origin of the modern word "cannabis". Cannabis was introduced as well to the Scythians, Thracians and Dacians, whose shamans (the kapnobatai—"those who walk on smoke/clouds") burned cannabis flowers to induce trance. The classical Greek historian Herodotus (ca. 480 BC) reported that the inhabitants of Scythia would often inhale the vapors of hemp-seed smoke, both as ritual and for their own pleasurable recreation.

Cannabis residues have been found on two altars in Tel Arad, dated to the Kingdom of Judah in the 8th century BC. Its discoverers believe that the evidence points to the use of cannabis for ritualistic psychoactive use in Judah.

Cannabis has an ancient history of ritual use and is found in pharmacological cults around the world. Hemp seeds discovered by archaeologists at Pazyryk suggest early ceremonial practices like eating by the Scythians occurred during the 5th to 2nd century BC confirming previous historical reports by Herodotus. In China, the psychoactive uses of cannabis is described in the Shennong Bencaojing, written around the 3rd century AD. Daoists mixed cannabis with other ingredients, then placed them in incense burners and inhaled the smoke."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_cannabis
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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