Do the scriptures mention anything about this? Can brahmins drink alcohol?

  • It is allowed for anyone not only brahmin if it is offered to Goddess shakti first as part of Tantra ritual.
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Mar 9, 2019 at 4:57

3 Answers 3


No, Brahmins cannot consume alcohol under normal circumstances.

The twelfth Chapter of the Parashara Smriti discuses the possible expiation of the sin a Brahmana accumulates after consuming alcohol:

A Brahman who has drunk wine must go to a river that falls into the sea; he must perform a Chandrayana, which being finished, he is to give a feast to the Brahmans, and by way of a fee, he is to give a cow and a bull to the Brahmans. (75) If a Brahman has drunk wine only once, he must drink flaming hot spirituous liquor; thereby he will purify himself, both as regards this world, and as regards the other world. (76)

  • What is liquor? Is all alcohol wine?
    – Strawberry
    Mar 9, 2019 at 12:57

According to the Smritis, not only Brahmins, none of the twice-borns are allowed to drink spirituous liquors.

Manu Smriti 9.235. The slayer of a Brahmana, (A twice-born man) who drinks (the spirituous liquor called) Sura, he who steals (the gold of a Brahmana), and he who violates a Guru’s bed, must each and all be considered as men who committed mortal sins (mahapataka)

Drinking liquor, in fact, is considered as one of the five great sins (mahapataka).

Usana Smriti says:

THE destroyer of a Brahmanas, one who drinks spirituous liquors, a thief, and the violator of the preceptor's bed, and the one who associates with them, are the great sinners.

Chapter 8, Verse 1

Same thing is repeated in Chandogya Upanishad 5.10.9:

Steno hiranyasya surAm pivamshacha gurostalpamAvasan brahmahA |
Chaite patanti chatvArah panchamashchAcharamstaih ||

One who steals gold, who drinks Sura, who cohabits with the Guru's wife and one who slays a Brahmin - these four and the the fifth, who associates with these four - all of these five become fallen.

  • what is the 5th sin of the pancha ? 4 plus associating with those 4, right ?
    – mar
    Mar 9, 2019 at 6:48
  • Yes, but that is not mentioned in manu, other Smritis mention it @ram
    – Rickross
    Mar 9, 2019 at 6:49
  • See this answer: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/19613/4732 @ram
    – Rickross
    Mar 9, 2019 at 6:51

I am adding the views of the Tantras.

The Varahi-Tantra says

A brahmin should never even think of drinking madya.

The Meru-Tantra and Srikrama-Tantra are of the same opinion.

On the otherhand, the Kamahya-Tantra advocates the use of madya by the brahmins in the Tantrik worship. The Niruttara-Tantra is of the same opinion.

The Bhavachudamoni-Tantra reconciles by saying

Madya with the other four tattvas should by used only by the fallen brahmins ie the brahmins who have deviated from the Vedic path.

(Sanstramulak Bharatiya Shaktisadhana, Upendrakumar Das, RMIC, vol 2 page 621-31.

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