Materialistic-minded men, who have no information of the kingdom of God, are always mad after material acquisition of wealth, fame and adoration. Such men are interested in the progressive weal of their particular family unit for their own self-satisfaction and so are also interested in the progress of social and national welfare. These men attain their desired objects by material activities. They are mechanically engaged in the ritualistic discharge of prescribed duties and are consequently inclined to satisfy the Pitās, or bygone forefathers, and controlling demigods by performance of sacrifices as prescribed by the revealed scriptures. Addicted to such acts of sacrifices and ceremonial observances, such souls enter into the moon after death. When one is thus promoted to the moon, he receives the capacity to enjoy the drinking of soma-rasa, a celestial beverage. The moon is a place where the demigod Candra is the predominating deity. The atmosphere and amenities of life there are far more comfortable and advantageous than those here on earth. After reaching the moon, if a soul does not utilize the opportunity for promotion to better planets, he is degraded and forced to return to earth or a similar planet. However, materialistic persons, although they may attain to the topmost planetary system, are certainly annihilated at the time of the cosmic manifestation's dissolution.
- 1 Bhagavad-gita As It Is
- 2 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 3 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 4 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
- 5 Lectures
- 6 Conversations and Morning Walks
- 7 Correspondence
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 1 - 6
In the karma-kāṇḍa section of the Vedas it is said, apāma somam amṛtā abhūma and akṣayyaṁ ha vai cāturmāsya-yājinaḥ sukṛtaṁ bhavati. In other words, those who perform the four-month penances become eligible to drink the soma-rasa beverages to become immortal and happy forever. Even on this earth some are very eager to have soma-rasa to become strong and fit to enjoy sense gratifications. Such persons have no faith in liberation from material bondage, and they are very much attached to the pompous ceremonies of Vedic sacrifices. They are generally sensual, and they do not want anything other than the heavenly pleasures of life. It is understood that there are gardens called Nandana-kānana in which there is good opportunity for association with angelic, beautiful women and having a profuse supply of soma-rasa wine. Such bodily happiness is certainly sensual; therefore there are those who are purely attached to such material, temporary happiness, as lords of the material world.
SB Canto 1
After the mission was fulfilled, the demigods, by the will of the Lord, relinquished their corporeal bodies by fighting amongst themselves in the madness of intoxication. The demigods are accustomed to drinking the soma-rasa beverage, and therefore the drinking of wine and intoxication are not unknown to them. Sometimes they were put into trouble for indulging in intoxication. Once the sons of Kuvera fell in the wrath of Nārada for being intoxicated, but afterwards they regained their original forms by the grace of the Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. We shall find this story in the Tenth Canto. For the Supreme Lord, both the asuras and the demigods are equal, but the demigods are obedient to the Lord, whereas the asuras are not. Therefore, the example of picking out a thorn by another thorn is quite befitting. One thorn, which causes pinpricks on the leg of the Lord, is certainly disturbing to the Lord, and the other thorn, which takes out the disturbing elements, certainly gives service to the Lord.
SB Canto 4
Everyone has to perform yajña according to the Vedic hymns. As stated in the Upaniṣads, fire, the altar, the auspicious full moon, the period of four months called cāturmāsya, the sacrificial animal, and the beverage called soma are necessary requisites, as are the specific hymns mentioned in the Vedas and composed of four letters. One hymn is as follows: āśrāvayeti catur-akṣaraṁ astu śrauṣaḍ iti catur-akṣaraṁ yajeti dvābhyāṁ ye yajāmahaḥ. These mantras, chanted according to the śruti and smṛti literatures, are only to please Lord Viṣṇu. For the deliverance of those who are materially conditioned and attached to material enjoyment, performing yajña and following the rules and regulations of the four divisions of society and of spiritual life are recommended. It is said in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa that by offering sacrifice to Viṣṇu one can gradually be liberated. The whole target of life, therefore, is to please Lord Viṣṇu.
All the demigods made Indra, the King of heaven, into a calf, and from the earth they milked the beverage soma, which is nectar. Thus they became very powerful in mental speculation and bodily and sensual strength.
In this verse the word soma means "nectar." Soma is a kind of beverage made in the heavenly planets from the moon to the kingdoms of the demigods in the various higher planetary systems. By drinking this soma beverage the demigods become more powerful mentally and increase their sensual power and bodily strength. The words hiraṇmayena pātreṇa indicate that this soma beverage is not an ordinary intoxicating liquor.
By drinking this soma beverage the demigods become more powerful mentally and increase their sensual power and bodily strength. The words hiraṇmayena pātreṇa indicate that this soma beverage is not an ordinary intoxicating liquor. The demigods would not touch any kind of liquor. Nor is soma a kind of drug. It is a different kind of beverage, available in the heavenly planets. Soma is far different from the liquors made for demoniac people, as explained in the next verse.
The demons also have their own types of beverages in the form of liquors and beers, just as the demigods use soma-rasa for their drinking purposes. The demons born of Diti take great pleasure in drinking wine and beer. Even today people of demoniac nature are very much addicted to liquor and beer. The name of Prahlāda Mahārāja is very significant in this connection. Because Prahlāda Mahārāja was born in a family of demons, as the son of Hiraṇyakaśipu, by his mercy the demons were and still are able to have their drinks in the form of wine and beer. The word ayaḥ (iron) is very significant. Whereas the nectarean soma was put in a golden pot, the liquors and beers were put in an iron pot. Because the liquor and beer are inferior, they are placed in an iron pot, and because soma-rasa is superior, it is placed in a golden pot.
Then the Yakṣas, Rākṣasas, ghosts and witches, who are habituated to eating flesh, transformed Lord Śiva's incarnation Rudra (Bhūtanātha) into a calf and milked out beverages made of blood and put them in a pot made of skulls.
My dear Lord, I therefore do not wish to have the benediction of merging into Your existence, a benediction in which there is no existence of the nectarean beverage of Your lotus feet. I want the benediction of at least one million ears, for thus I may be able to hear about the glories of Your lotus feet from the mouths of Your pure devotees.
SB Canto 5
With great faith King Bharata performed various kinds of sacrifice. He performed the sacrifices known as agni-hotra, darśa, pūrṇamāsa, cāturmāsya, paśu-yajña (wherein a horse is sacrificed) and soma-yajña (wherein a kind of beverage is offered). Sometimes these sacrifices were performed completely and sometimes partially. In any case, in all the sacrifices the regulations of cāturhotra were strictly followed. In this way Bharata Mahārāja worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
For persons with impure vision, the Supreme Lord's eyes appear like those of someone who indiscriminately drinks intoxicating beverages. Thus bewildered, such unintelligent persons become angry at the Supreme Lord, and due to their angry mood the Lord Himself appears angry and very fearful. However, this is an illusion. When the wives of the serpent demon were agitated by the touch of the Lord's lotus feet, due to shyness they could proceed no further in their worship of Him. Yet the Lord remained unagitated by their touch, for He is equipoised in all circumstances. Therefore who will not worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead ?
My dear King, now I shall describe to you the lower planetary systems, one by one, beginning from Atala. In Atala there is a demon, the son of Maya Dānava named Bala, who created ninety-six kinds of mystic power. Some so-called yogīs and svāmīs take advantage of this mystic power to cheat people even today. Simply by yawning, the demon Bala created three kinds of women, known as svairiṇī, kāmiṇī and puṁścalī. The svairiṇīs like to marry men from their own group, the kāmiṇīs marry men from any group, and the puṁścalīs change husbands one after another. If a man enters the planet of Atala, these women immediately capture him and induce him to drink an intoxicating beverage made with a drug known as hāṭaka (cannabis indica). This intoxicant endows the man with great sexual prowess, of which the women take advantage for enjoyment. A woman will enchant him with attractive glances, intimate words, smiles of love and then embraces. In this way she induces him to enjoy sex with her to her full satisfaction. Because of his increased sexual power, the man thinks himself stronger than ten thousand elephants and considers himself most perfect. Indeed, illusioned and intoxicated by false pride, he thinks himself God, ignoring impending death.
SB Canto 6
Accompanied by the stringed instrument, the singing seems like a shower of nectar, and all the devotees dance in ecstasy to the fullest extent of their satisfaction. While dancing, they appear madly intoxicated with ecstasy, as if drinking the beverage called mādhurī-pūra. Some of them cry, some of them dance, and some of them, although unable to dance publicly, dance within their hearts. Lord Śiva embraces Nārada Muni and begins talking in an ecstatic voice, and seeing Lord Śiva dancing with Nārada, Lord Brahmā also joins, saying, "All of you kindly chant 'Hari bol! Hari bol!' " The King of heaven, Indra, also gradually joins with great satisfaction and begins dancing and chanting "Hari bol! Hari bol!" In this way, by the influence of the transcendental vibration of the holy name of God, the whole universe becomes ecstatic. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says, "When the universe becomes ecstatic, my desire is satisfied. I therefore pray unto the lotus feet of Rūpa Gosvāmī that this chanting of harer nāma (CC Adi 17.21) may go on nicely like this."
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: Viśvarūpa, who was engaged as the priest of the demigods, had three heads. He used one to drink the beverage soma-rasa, another to drink wine and the third to eat food. O King Parīkṣit, thus I have heard from authorities.
SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13
The mothers of the boys, upon hearing the sounds of the flutes and bugles being played by their sons, immediately rose from their household tasks, lifted their boys onto their laps, embraced them with both arms and began to feed them with their breast milk, which flowed forth because of extreme love specifically for Kṛṣṇa. Actually Kṛṣṇa is everything, but at that time, expressing extreme love and affection, they took special pleasure in feeding Kṛṣṇa, the Para-brahman, and Kṛṣṇa drank the milk from His respective mothers as if it were a nectarean beverage.
Although all the elderly gopīs knew that Kṛṣṇa was the son of mother Yaśodā, they still desired, "If Kṛṣṇa had become my son, I would also have taken care of Him like mother Yaśodā. "This was their inner ambition. Now, in order to please them, Kṛṣṇa personally took the role of their sons and fulfilled their desire. They enhanced their special love for Kṛṣṇa by embracing Him and feeding Him, and Kṛṣṇa tasted their breast milk to be just like a nectarean beverage. While thus bewildering Brahmā, He enjoyed the special transcendental pleasure created by yogamāyā between all the other mothers and Himself.
SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)
Yet even though the extent of the good fortune of these residents of Vṛndāvana is inconceivable, we eleven presiding deities of the various senses, headed by Lord Śiva, are also most fortunate, because the senses of these devotees of Vṛndāvana are the cups through which we repeatedly drink the nectarean, intoxicating beverage of the honey of Your lotus feet.
Ūṣā worshiped Aniruddha with faithful service, offering Him priceless garments, along with garlands, fragrances, incense, lamps, sitting places and so on. She also offered Him beverages, all types of food, and sweet words. As He thus remained hidden in the young ladies' quarters, Aniruddha did not notice the passing of the days, for His senses were captivated by Ūṣā, whose affection for Him ever increased.
O my dear Kṛṣṇa, Your pastimes are supremely auspicious for mankind and are an intoxicating beverage for the ears. Tasting such pastimes, people forget their desires for other things.
Then, their intelligence covered by Providence, they liberally indulged in drinking the sweet maireya beverage, which can completely intoxicate the mind.
He took His plow, wanting to dig a canal so that the Yamunā would be obliged to come there. Since Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the original form of Baladeva, in His ecstasy He asked everyone to bring honey. In this way, all the devotees standing there saw the yamunākarṣaṇa-līlā. In this līlā, Baladeva was accompanied by His girlfriends. After drinking a honey beverage called Vāruṇī, He wanted to jump into the Yamunā and swim with the girls. It is stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.65.25–30, 33) that Lord Baladeva asked the Yamunā to come near, and when the river disobeyed the order of the Lord, He became angry and thus wanted to snatch her near to Him with His plow. The Yamunā, however, very much afraid of Lord Balarāma's anger, immediately came and surrendered unto Him, praying to the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and admitting her fault. She was then excused. This is the sum and substance of the yamunākarṣaṇa-līlā. The incident is also described in the prayer of Jayadeva Gosvāmī concerning the ten incarnations:
When the Lord, in His ecstasy of Baladeva, was moving as if intoxicated by the beverage, Advaita Ācārya, the chief of the ācāryas (ācārya śekhara), saw Him in the form of Balarāma.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Easy Journey to Other Planets
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
They also learned the art of performing magical feats. Within the magical field there is an art called bahu-rūpī, by which a person dresses himself in such a way that when he approaches a friend he cannot be recognized. Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma also learned how to make various syrups and beverages required at various times, having various tastes and intoxicating effects. They also learned different types of sewing and embroidery work, as well as how to manipulate thin threads for dancing puppets. This art includes how to string wires on musical instruments, such as the vīṇā, sitar, esarāja and tamboura, to produce melodious sounds. Then They learned how to make and solve riddles. They learned the art of how even a dull student can very quickly learn the alphabet and read books. Then They learned how to rehearse and act out a drama. They also studied the art of solving crossword puzzles, filling up the missing spaces and making complete words.
The demigod known as Varuṇa sent his daughter Vāruṇī in the form of liquid honey oozing from the hollows of the trees. Because of this honey the whole forest became aromatic, and the sweet aroma of the liquid honey, Vāruṇī, captivated Balarāmajī. Balarāmajī and all the gopīs became very much attracted by the taste of the Vāruṇī, and all of them drank it together. While drinking this natural beverage, all the gopīs chanted the glories of Lord Balarāma, and Lord Balarāma felt very happy, as if He had become intoxicated by drinking that Vāruṇī beverage. His eyes rolled in a pleasing attitude. He was decorated with long garlands of forest flowers, and the whole situation appeared to be a great function of happiness because of this transcendental bliss. Lord Balarāma smiled beautifully, and the drops of perspiration decorating His face appeared like soothing morning dew.
Dvivida became captivated by the beauty of Lord Balarāma's body, whose every feature was very beautiful, decorated as He was with a garland of lotus flowers. Similarly, all the young girls present, dressed and garlanded with flowers, exhibited much beauty. Lord Balarāma seemed fully intoxicated from drinking the vāruṇī beverage, and His eyes appeared to be rolling in a drunken state. Lord Balarāma appeared just like the king of the elephants in the midst of many she-elephants.
This gorilla by the name Dvivida could climb up into the trees and jump from one branch to another. Sometimes he would jerk the branches, creating a particular type of sound—kilakilā—so that Lord Balarāma was greatly distracted from the pleasing atmosphere. Sometimes Dvivida would come before the women and exhibit different types of caricatures. By nature young women are apt to enjoy everything with laughter and joking, and when the gorilla came before them they did not take him seriously but simply laughed at him.
According to the Vedic system, whenever there is an arrangement for sacrifice, the members participating are offered the juice of the soma plant, which is a kind of life-giving beverage. On the day for extracting the soma juice, King Yudhiṣṭhira very respectfully received the special priest who had been engaged to detect any mistake in the formalities of the sacrificial procedure. The idea is that the Vedic mantras must be enunciated perfectly and chanted with the proper accent; if the priests who are engaged in this business commit any mistake, the checker, or referee priest, immediately corrects the procedure, and thus the ritualistic performances are perfectly executed. Unless perfectly executed, a sacrifice cannot yield the desired result. In this Age of Kali there is no such learned brāhmaṇa or priest available; therefore, all such sacrifices are forbidden. The only sacrifice recommended in the śāstras is the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.
Light of the Bhagavata
Persons who are too materialistic always engage in sense enjoyment. Such persons worship the material demigods and goddesses to fulfill their material desires. They are fond of performing many yajñas to propitiate the various demigods and the forefathers in heaven. Such persons are automatically promoted to the moon, where they enjoy soma, a celestial beverage.
The moon is too cold for the inhabitants of this earth, and therefore ordinary persons who want to go there with earthly bodies are attempting to do so in vain. Merely seeing the moon from a distance cannot enable one to understand the real situation of the moon. One has to cross Mānasa Lake and then Sumeru Mountain, and only then can one trace out the orbit of the moon. Besides that, no ordinary man is allowed to enter that planet. Even those admitted there after death must have performed the prescribed duties to satisfy the pitās and devas. Yet even they are sent back to earth after a fixed duration of life—on the moon.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
They are trying to go to the moon planet by some airplane or sputnik. Similarly, in the Vedic literature the travel to moon planet is also stated, that if you act in this way, then you get promotion to get your life in the moon planet. There you shall live for ten thousands of years, and you will have soma-rasa beverages, and you'll... So many promises. But Kṛṣṇa says that "Don't be allured." They are fact. They are not false statement. Actually they are facts, that if you act in such and such way, you can enter in higher planetary system and you have higher standard of life. But this Bhagavad-gītā proposition is that don't try to live within this material world anywhere. Anywhere.
There is Vedic instruction also. Tamaso mā jyotir gamaya. Don't remain within this darkness. This material world is darkness. Therefore there is need of sunlight, need of moonlight. Just like just now, night. What is this night? Night means this is the real appearance of this material world. It is dark. And when the sunlight will be visible, we shall think that it is daytime.
And they are searching after whether in the moon planet there is life or not, there is living condition or not. But you open Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, you'll find the description of the moon planet, how they are living, what is the constitution of the living creatures there. The soma-rasa, you have heard this word. The soma-rasa is beverage in the moon planet. So everything is there. And who can go there, and how one can go there. So this is perfect knowledge, to hear from the authorities. Otherwise...
So even for material things we have to hear from authority. Just like this moon planet or sun planet or any planet, you can understand. The Brahmaloka also. Brahmaloka, that is also described in the Bhagavad... Brahmaloka means the topmost planet within this universe. You'll find in this Bhagavad-gītā that sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ (BG 8.17). Brahmaṇo viduḥ. Ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino 'rjuna (BG 8.16). Yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama (BG 15.6). These things are there.
They are also human beings, but they are highly intellectual, and their duration of life is very long, and their standard of living is very high, most costly. We cannot imagine even.
So they are soma-pāḥ. Soma is a kind of beverage. Just like in this material world we have got different kinds of liquors. It is not intoxicating, but there is mention. Here in the Bhagavad-gītā is also mentioned, soma-pāḥ, soma-rasa. And in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam we get information that in the moon planet they also drink this soma-rasa. But the soma-rasa is not an intoxicant. It is a different thing. Here it is said, soma-pāḥ pūta-pāpāḥ. One who will drink the soma-rasa, he will be freed from sinful reaction. Just the opposite. Here, just like when we become intoxicated, we become addicted to so many sinful actions, it is soma-pāḥ. When we drink soma-rasa, it is just the opposite. We become freed from all sinful reaction. That soma-pāḥ is recommended here also. So either they try to go to other planets, or they manufacture here soma-pāḥ, soma-rasa.
Pradyumna: "He therefore called for some of the confidential demigods to appear in the Yadu family and serve Him in His great mission. After the mission was fulfilled, the demigods, by the will of the Lord, relinquished their corporeal bodies by fighting amongst themselves in the madness of intoxication. The demigods are accustomed to drinking soma-rasa beverage, and therefore the drinking of wine..."
Prabhupāda: Now, we can take one lesson that intoxication is so bad that it had a bad effect in the family of God, Yadu dynasty. And what to speak of others? Intoxication is so bad. Go on.
Pradyumna: "Therefore the drinking of wine and intoxication are not unknown to them. Sometimes they were put into trouble for indulging in intoxication. Once the sons of Kuvera fell in the wrath of Nārada for being intoxicated, but afterwards they regained their original forms by the grace of the Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa."
Why Candraloka is so condemned that there is no living entities, no trees, no plants, and only some dust? And these people go and bring some dust, take all credit. It cannot be.
According to our Vedic instruction, living entity is called sarva-ga. Sarva-ga. The living entity can go anywhere, anywhere. Why not in Candraloka? You are going. And why previous to you nobody was there? So it is very doubtful. What do you think? From reasoning point of view. And we get information from the śāstra that it is one of the heavenly planets. People live there for ten thousands of years. They drink soma-rasa. These are statement in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. It is not yet published. We have explained this. It is cold. And that is also admitted by scientists here. It is 200 degrees below zero. Therefore they require some heating beverage. That is called soma-rasa. The Bhagavad-gītā also it is stated. And how we can believe that there is no living entity. One side is dark, and one side is full of dust. These are our doubts. What is your version? You think it is all right?
The materialistic civilization means how to keep this body very comfortably. Not only in this life. From their thinking also they accept works of piety, just like charity, religion. How? So next life they may be elevated to the heavenly planets and they can enjoy very long duration of life, association of very beautiful girls, and drink so many beverages. Their only aim is like that, how to provide this material body with all comforts. They are called dehambhara-vārtikeṣu. Deha means this body, and bhara, just to maintain this body.
So a mahātmā, a gṛhastha, a householder who is interested to reestablish his lost relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is not interested with the association of such persons who are simply, I mean to say, interested in bodily comforts. Dehambhara-vārtikeṣu. And then what about his own family? He says gṛheṣu. Gṛheṣu means at his home. Jāyā. Jāyā means wife. Ātmaja means children. Jāyātmaja... Rāti means wealth or money. Na prīti-yuktāḥ.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1974 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: We don't find there is sanction by God to drink. But under certain circumstances, beverages, different types of beverages allowed, not for intoxication but for keeping health. That is different thing. Just like in the moon planet, it is mentioned they drink soma-rasa. Soma-rasa is a kind of beverage made from extract of herbs. So because it is very cold there, so they drink that, but not for intoxication. People drink for intoxication. Just like in medicine, so many drugs are used. Even opium is used. Yes. Morphia is used. But they are not used ordinarily. For a specific purpose. Even snake poison is used, but that does not mean snake poison should be used perpetually. So for benefit of the body under particular circumstances something may be recommended, but that is not for general use or for intoxication. That is condemned. Just like animal killing is sometimes prescribed in the yajña.
1977 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Hm? What?
Bhakti-caru: Complan, Śrīla Prabhupāda. It's a drink, beverage, like Horlicks. I gave it to you last night.
Bhavānanda: Is there some bad effect to it that you feel, Śrīla Prabhupāda, when you take that?
Prabhupāda: Not yet, but when it becomes mucus.
Bhakti-caru: That's not milk, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Hari-śauri: Complan is milk-mixed. At least there doesn't seem to be any mucus this morning, and this is a full day now since you took that chānā.
Prabhupāda: The chānā was nothing. So? What do you want to do now?
1. Illicit sexual connection (unmarried sex indulgence).
2. Non vegetarian diet (the eating of meat, fish eggs, and all animal foods strictly forbidden).
3. Intoxication of all sorts (including smoking, drinking of alcoholic beverages, drinking tea, coffee, drugs, etc.) are strictly forbidden.
Michael E. Morrissey (Madhudvisa Das Brahmacari) attends daily religious classes both in the morning and in the evening, and worships the Deity under my personal instruction. This course of training continues for seven years from the date of initiation in order to befit him as an Ordained Minister of Religion.
As such, my students are classified under 4-D, Ministerial Status.
I am very much anxious to know about Jaya Govinda. I have not heard anything from him since about a month. Please let me know immediately whether he has reached Hamburg by this time. Regarding your need for a warm beverage to drink while you are working, milk is the best. Take hot milk with little sugar, stir it very nicely, and drink it when it is warm sufficiently, tolerable by you, and with bubbles on the surface. That is the best hot beverage available in the world. You can also prepare some halevah. That is also very nice for a cold country. Add to it some raisins, almonds, etc.