Is it ok to take some alcohol occasionally?


No I gave up alcohol only about five years ago. After I became a Dhamma teacher I felt it is not appropriate to teach dhamma while still consuming alcohol. I am normaly mor alert (that is what I thought) when i was drunk. But I know the draw back of drinking very well.

Perhapas , he will have the sex with the goat and kill the prostitute.

It is zero tollarance for learner and P platers. That is the proof.

:anjal: But you must be able to say “I did not drink at all”


I think the difference between having silabbataparamasa and not having it, is that you know when to not be too attached to one’s precepts (as well as not considering it the one viable route to Nibbana), but to keep it the rest of the time. Bhikkhus in EBTs show this nicely when they know when it is appropriate to relax a vinaya rule, as and when required.

with metta


Why must I? I might have had a tablespoon in 2 years. Then I would be lying. A tablespoon would not dull the mind as much as having hay fever, which plagues me regularly. Maybe I should live in a bubble.


I know this from experience in Sri Lanka.
It is hard to find a man who is not drinking Alcohol.
The country is going to the dog.
Monks and lay people are both happy to detour from Buddha’s teaching and they have enough excuses to support it.


Well, how this can be done when we all are happy to defend consumption of alcohol.
It is worse when Buddhist monks are there to support it.


I don’t think any monastic is say people should get intoxicated, or drink regularly. I think all monastics encourage a clear mind and actions which lead to a clear mind.
Sometimes people need to take it step by step. As you did. I assume you were a Buddhist before you became a teacher (I won’t ask how many goats you killed :stuck_out_tongue: )




What is the meaning of this?
Once a week every Sunday when we go to the church?
When a monk tells you " one little drink every now and then is not a big deal " or "occasional drink is not a big deal? how will a young person understand this?


So what you are saying is Sotapanna have an occasional drink?
ie: Break the five precepts.


I was wondering if there is anything in the texts that address the differences in people on this subject. For example, I am (genetically & by place of birth) Indian. Indians in general have much lower tolerances for alcohol than say, many Northern Europeans.

Also is there anything with regard to climate and alcohol in the texts, as in a cold climate alcohol is used much differently.


No. They won’t drink 99.99% of the time. But they might take a sip of champagne to celebrate their best friend’s wedding. That is to stay they are not attached or clinging to the sila- it is voluntary and based on the principle that it is good for oneself and others. The difference between them and others is that they have clearly seen this, while others are still breaking it as craving, ignorance and other defilements are clouding their moral judgement.

The Ratavinita sutta says sila is only one chariot/method we use to get close to Nibbana, but that it cannot take us all the way. We make maximum use of it and no more.

With metta


Hello everyone! My first post in this forum. :blush:
Let me try to input abit regarding this topic… i’ll try my best, apologies if i’m not good with words :flushed:

IMO the idea to occasionally take abit of alcohol is contradicting the very purpose of the precept. Or rather, doing something “for abit” is kind of against the very purpose by itself.

It is akin to smoking, how do we determine if someone is a smoker or not?

When i am puffing with the stick in my mouth or holding in my hand, i’m a smoker?
When i have just finished the stick and laid down the cigarette butt, i’m no longer a smoker? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Someone asked: Are you a smoker?
Me: Nope! Not smoking now! I did 5mins ago thou.

Someone asked: I heard you stopped smoking! It’s nice to hear!
Me: Yup! Stopped 5mins ago. The moment when i laid down my last cigarette butt 5mins ago, technically i’m not a smoker the next second already?

In the context of this question, how can one considered to be keeping the fifth precepts if he or she drinks occasionally? Is there any time-line that says how long has it been the last time we took the last drop of alcohol consider us as keeping the fifth precept? Nope!

IMO, like when we undertook the 5 precepts, we take it voluntarily, from inside us to strive towards’ the Buddha’s teaching, to self-cultivate ourselves. It matters most importantly only to us, ourselves only. It is only us that need to know if we are exploiting the loopholes, believing what we want to believe, to occasionally drink or understanding from the Buddha’s point of view why he taught us to refrain from intoxicants and not to do it.

From a more personal note, for myself, i see it being a break of precept if i clearly knew what i am doing and crossed the precept due to my lack of mindfulness or my giving in to the temptation. For example, if my group of friends are drinking and invites me to drink with them, giving in to peer pressure and temptation to get drunk and party - i gave in, i will consider it as a break of my precept.

On the issue of having a “little drink”, to my own experience and observation of others who drank (whether alittle or alot), alcohol seemed to have every effect even if in a small dose. I, or the persons i observed might still be mindful and straight but (maybe) due to the dilation of the blood vessels (and seemingly relaxed us) there is a slight change of inhibition however one would protest that he or she is not affected! Hence i believe that even a small amount of alcohol will inhibit us.

That’s why desire of the senses and sensuality can be so intoxicating that all it takes it just one try, one cup to the second to the third and to the oblivion :sob: It is so much easier to not take the first stick of cigarette, the one little cup of alcohol than to trying to quit / sober one up after it.

Metta for everyone :slightly_smiling_face:


Apparently so. Just ask a soldier at the front line, a sniper who needs to maintain 100% focus on his telescopic sight. To him, a small sip of liquor makes all the difference between a walking man versus a headless corpse; or to a tankman, a healthy body versus barbecue meat. Funny that one’d only follow the 5th precept to the letter only when death comes staring straight at his face.


I agree with you - better not to drink (or do drugs or whatever) at all, and better never to have begun - but also if you do drink, better to drink as little as possible, and if you already started, better to stop. The point is, obviously not everyone is a teetotaler at present, but they still might be interested in Buddhism, and that is a good thing. The Buddha is the Anutarro Purisa Dhamma Sarathi so once people get the message from him (through the Dhamma) they mend their ways. However, when they get the message from someone who is a bit rigid and uptight, they might get freaked out and turned off!

I don’t think anyone here is encouraging people to use alcohol.


You don’t have to take a sip of champagne. You can use any liquid such as water perhaps without liquid.

Agree but without first chariot, you can’t go to the second.


Yes, that is right.
When Angulimala became an Arahant he stopped killing.
But he did not kill occasionally after became an Arahant.
There is no self-committing a crime.


Ven Dhammajiva once said the dhamma is one of those rare things that broadens the range of things one is able to do (without conflict, that is), not restrict it. The practitioner abstains from breaking a precept out of choice, seeing the drawbacks of breaking it.

With metta


I think it is the crux of this matter.
If people contemplate on death all the time they will take bit more care of themselves and others.
A soldier going back to his quarter may start drinking again as there is no fear of death at that particular time.
I think we have to see death is something more than physical.


My guess is he may have stepped on a bug though after that. Does that count?


Unless you are a Jain, that does not count.

The analysis of Pj#3 gives us a good reference point for framing what precedes a transgression:

Sañciccāti jānanto sañjānanto cecca abhivitaritvā vītikkamo.

Intentionally: knowing, perceiving, having intended, having decided, he transgresses.

The same thing is found in the analysis of Pc61. :slightly_smiling_face:

“The system of penalties the Buddha worked out for the rules is based on two principles.
The first is that the training aims primarily at the development of the mind.
Thus the factors of intention and perception often determine whether or not a particular action is an infringement of a rule.
For instance, killing an animal accidentally is, in terms of the mind of the agent, very different from killing it purposefully, and does not count as an infringement of the rule against killing.”
Introduction to the Patimokkha Rules, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu