According to Bodhayana Dharma Sutra

  1. Now (the customs peculiar) to the north are, to deal in wool, to drink rum, to sell animals that have teeth in the upper and in the lower jaws, to follow the trade of arms, to go to sea.

And the footnote for that Sutra says:

The first two customs mentioned still prevail in the north, especially in Kasmîr, where Brâhmanas commonly deal in wool and woollen cloth. Spirituous liquor is not now drunk openly, but its use is sanctioned in the Kasmîrian Nîlamata-purâna. Many Brâhmanical families in the north, especially in the North-western Provinces, subsist by enlisting as soldiers in the British and native armies.

Where does the Kashmiri Nilamata Purana sanction consumption of alcohol?

Also, the footnote for Sutra 5:

A similar argument is given by the Kasmîrians for the lawfulness of the consumption of meat, which they justify by a desaguna or 'virtue of their country.'

1 Answer 1


Nilamata Purana describes some rituals for Hemantha and Sisira (November to February) Seasons for people of Kashmira. It says wine can be drunk by those who are given to drinking on days of snowfall (translated by Ved Kumari Ghai)

विशेषवच्च भोक्तव्यं भोजनं च यथेच्छकम् ।
नवो मद्यस्तु पातव्यो मद्यपैः पतिते हिमे ॥४८१॥

viśeṣavacca bhoktavyaṃ bhojanaṃ ca yathecchakam ।
navo madyastu pātavyo madyapaiḥ patite hime ॥481॥

481.On snow-fall, new wine should be drunk by those who are given to drinking. Special meals should be taken according to one's desire.

  • Thanks. Does this permit Brahmins to drink too, or just non-Brahmins?
    – Ikshvaku
    Jan 21, 2019 at 15:00
  • @Ikshvaku Previous verses and next verses just say "they" or "one" which refers to People of Kashmir.
    – The Destroyer
    Jan 21, 2019 at 15:01
  • Ok, and what's the Sanskrit word translated to wine?
    – Ikshvaku
    Jan 21, 2019 at 15:03
  • 1
    @Ikshvaku Madya. "navo madyastu pātavyo madyapaiḥ patite hime".. Nava = new ; madya = sprituous liquor ; astu = must be or should be (be it); Paatavya = drunk ; madyapaih = those who drink; patite = fallen; hime = snow. Monnier William Dictionary says madya is "any intoxicating drink, vinous or spiritous liquor, wine"
    – The Destroyer
    Jan 21, 2019 at 15:08
  • Wine consumption may have been recommended to counteract intense cold in Kashmir in winter months Nov to Feb. Shariramadyam khalu Dharmasadhanam
    – Narasimham
    Jan 21, 2019 at 16:45

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