(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 6 July 2021, Goloka Dhama, Germany, Srimad Bhagavatam 6.1.18)
In spiritual life, liquor is not really glorified like one of the material pleasures in life. It is rather condemned. It is placed in the same category as poison. Well, it is true that it is not nourishing the cells in the body. Each time you take some liquor, you are burning some brain cells and you begin to see it in the regular drinkers at the bars. Their faces are a bit puffed up. Some have red veins showing and their hands also are a bit swollen and reddish. And their brain is dull and not like it used to be. And it can actually be measured in so many dead brain cells. So there you go.
It is not only liquor but also other substances that can kill the brain. It is very interesting. So intoxications have consequences, and one has to be aware of that, however, someone of little intelligence may have some reservations. The intelligent know that it is not required when one is peaceful within. Such things are required when there is a need to overcome internal barriers or internal sufferings. Like some people, they can more easily open up socially after a few drinks. Then it is easier to talk and that becomes psychological dependence. Or some people feel less anxiety when they smoke or whatever. So really these are means to overcome internal shortcomings. There are other ways to rise above one’s shortcomings – natural ways and that is preferred. Not only are the natural ways of bhakti relieving us from all kinds of problems – mental issues and so on, of which we all carry a few. Not only can it liberate us from that, but it can also connect us to a higher level of happiness. So then, we become free from the previous entanglement.