Many cultures have myths explaining the origins of alcohol, often including the notion that it was a gift from the gods. It has also had a close relationship with religion too. The Egyptians, Greeks and the Romans all had gods of wine (Bacchus, Dionysus, etc). In Christianity alcohol is associated with Jesus’ blood and one of Jesus’ most amazing miracles was to turn some water into wine. The Jataka tells a story to explain how alcohol came into the world which is less laudatory than many of the myths but far more plausible. Long ago in a certain forest there was a fruit tree which had a large forked trunk with a depression in it. Rain water collected in the depression, fruit fell into it and warmed by the sun it fermented. In the summer, thirsty birds drank from the depression, became intoxicated, fell to the ground and after sleeping for a while, flew away. A hunter observed this and curious as to its cause, he too drank some of the liquid and became intoxicated. Later, he introduced it to his friends and so it was that alcohol became known. According to the Jataka, this discovery became the cause of innumerable social ills (Ja.V,12-20).