Sura (alcoholic beverage)
Surāh (Sanskrit and Pāli; Devanāgarī: सुरा) is a strong distilled alcoholic beverage. It is referred to as an anaesthetic by Suśruta (a surgeon in India around 4 BCE) before the advent of surgical operation. Other ancient medical authorities also mention it; Charaka referred to making a woman with a miscarriage senseless to pain by administering alcoholic drinks like surā, sīdhu, ariṣṭa, madhu, madirā or āsava.
In Buddhist texts surāh is mentioned as one of intoxicating drinks, along with (Pali) meraya (Sanskrit maireya, a drink made with sugar cane and several spices) and majja (maybe equivalent of Sanskrit madhu, mead or hydromel), and renunciation of its usage constitutes the 5th of the Buddhist precepts (pañca-sīlāni): "I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented drinks which cause heedlessness" (Surāmerayamajjapamādaṭṭhānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi).
- Shri C. DWARAKANATH (1965) Use of opium and cannabis in the traditional systems of medicine in India. UNODC Bulletin on Narcotics. Issue 1, No. 003. http://www.unodc.org/unodc/bulletin/bulletin_1965-01-01_1_page004.html
- Marianne S. Oort (2002) Sura in the Paippalada Samhita of the Atharvaveda J. Am. Orient. Soc. Vol. 122, No. 2. JSTOR 3087630.
- Arthashastra http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00litlinks/kautilya/book02.htm
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