The is an ancient practice amongst the Hindus of offering a meal to God before partaking of it. Shankaran was not in the habit of offering every meal to God, but whenever a tasty sweetmeat was prepared, he would fold his hands and offer a silent prayer to God, to eat it and bless it too.
Shankaran was also in the habit of drinking. His wife and daughter had tried various ways to get him out of it, but had not succeeded. One day the family visited their Guru. Surprisingly Shankaran told Guruji, “Oh revered one! I want to give up alcohol. I have tried hard but it cannot overcome the urge, when my friends are drinking, I lose control over myself. Please help me out.” Shankaran’s wife and daughter were quite taken aback at this. They never knew that the thought of quitting alcohol had ever crossed Shankaran’s mind.
The learned Guru said, “My child, do you offer your food to God, before eating it?” Shankaran said, “Well, I do sometimes.” Then Guruji said, “Everytime you pour yourself a drink, offer it to me, before consuming it.” Shankaran was taken aback. He said, “Guruji, how can I offer a drink to you? That would be a terrible sir. Please do not embarrass me. I need you help, not your ridicule.” But the wise Guru continued, “Do as I say. Just offer the drink to me. There is no sin in that.”
So that evening, before sipping his drink, Shankaran prayerfully offered it to the Guru and asked him to drink it and bless it. Thereafter, he had it himself. But whilst he was sipping it, he felt guilty about doing it. The drink too seemed to taste insipid.
Every day, Shankaran offered his glass of alcohol to the Guru. Slowly he started hating what he was doing, but he did not want to disobey the Guru. The tussle of emotions in his head and heart, finally lead to a strong, resolve of not taking alcohol ever!