Q: I heard that if somebody consumes alcohol or intoxicants in the vicinity of certain sacred places like Mount Kailash, it can have some unpredictable effects. Is it so?
Sadhguru: It is not about Kailash as such. Even without your knowledge or willingness, there are some spaces where you are on divine. When you are in divine and you put wine, they don’t get along well. He doesn’t like any competition, unless you know how to be. If you know how to be, you can use it as a tool, as certain traditions of tantrics do. They are in a space within themselves where in a certain awareness, they make that into something else. But otherwise, if you are just consuming alcohol for pleasure, you will find it just won’t go together. The more intense these energies are, the more the impact will be.
For example, suppose a person is progressing intensely on the spiritual path. If he as much as enters a bar room where other people are drinking, he can fall sick, though he himself did not touch a drop. If one has crossed certain boundaries he can go anywhere, but otherwise, any number of people fall sick like this.
Once you are on the spiritual path, the whole energy is towards awareness, towards raising your perception to the highest limit. But alcohol and other intoxicants are about unawareness. Drugs are something that get you on a high for some time, and then dump you in such a bad way – and in the process of doing this, they just ruin you completely. So when your whole energy is trying to move in one direction, if you put a chemical that works against the system and wants to take it in another direction, a conflict arises.
The same holds true for stimulants like tobacco to some degree, but not in the same sense. Stimulants aggravate the movement of energy. With spiritual practices like kriya or pranayam for example, you are aggravating the energy but with a set direction. Tobacco, coffee, tea and any stimulant aggravates energy without direction. So in that sense it is negative, but alcohol and drugs are something that work in a totally reverse direction.