There are many reasons why the need for intoxication is going up in the society. One basic thing is, people are no longer fighting for survival. A large segment of the society has moved out of survival mode. When people move beyond survival, they must find other areas of interest and passionate involvement. If that does not happen, the need for pleasure and the need for intoxication will naturally go up in that given society. This is why it is very important that even if parents are affluent, their children should not know affluence until they come to a certain age.
In this culture (Indian Culture), even the kings sent their children to gurukulas (Indian tradition schools) where they studied with other children, and everybody lived with very basic needs. The necessary sense of discipline, involvement, and engagement with life has to happen before wealth comes into somebody’s life. Otherwise, wealth will become a burden that you carry on your head. That is what is happening to this generation.
Missing Activity and Attention
Another reason is that these days, largely, both parents are working. At an early age, the attention that the child needs is not being given. Naturally, various deviances are taken to. And there is not enough physical activity. When you do not enjoy the fitness of your body and the vibrance and vitality of your system, then the only other thing that you will enjoy is intoxication. And now, drugs are not only for intoxication; they also makes them feel vibrant for a few hours. So, massively, the generation is moving in that way.
One more significant reason why this generation is moving towards these drugs is that, in their minds, the heavens that were promised are collapsing. They may be still unable to articulate it very clearly. They do not have the clarity or the courage to say it. But for a long time, we have managed people by saying, “If you abstain from all these things, in heaven all of this will be available in huge quantities.” Now the heavens are collapsing, so they are trying to drink it up right here. Like this, there are many aspects. Fundamentally, there is no need for an individual human being to physically strive for his survival. That itself makes the need for intoxication greater.
Learning to Enjoy Other Pleasures
What are the solutions? It is very, very important for those of you who have growing children to involve them in sports and other intense activities which engage them with nature: trekking, mountain climbing, swimming, etc. They must become passionate about something like art or music. They must learn to know the pleasures of their intellect, their emotion, their consciousness.
When one begins to enjoy the pleasures of the mind, of the sharpness of one’s intellect, of emotion, and of consciousness, then indulging in the pleasures of the body will naturally come down dramatically. So it is very important that children should be passionately involved in a variety of activities. This will bring down the need for alcohol and drugs.