Question: Many young people are interested in expanding their consciousness with drugs. What do you think of consciousness under drugs, like LSD?

Sri Chinmoy: First of all, I am not an expert, an authority on LSD, so I can only speak from the experience of some of my students. I have not taken any drugs and will never take them in my life, so it is only from the experience offered by my disciples that I can speak. I am not able to help drug addicts, hippies and people with alcoholic problems, serious perverted emotional problems and similar conditions. Now, of course, there are spiritual Masters who have them in their families, among their students, but I am not competent to have them in my family. Just to give you an experience — I have a Centre in San Juan, Puerto Rico. One day, about twenty drug addicts came in during the meeting. They started arguing with me and saying that they had wonderful experiences, high, elevating experiences with drugs. I said, "Wonderful. You stay with your experiences. Then what do you want from me?" They said, "We want to have spiritual experiences from you." I said, "If you want to have spiritual experiences from me, then you have to give up your drugs. I am not going to your place to have the experiences you have had through drugs, but you want to have the experiences that I can offer. If you want my experiences, spiritual experiences, then you have to give up your drugs here and now. Otherwise, tomorrow I will not allow any of you to come to my Centre. This is my place. I am not giving a talk in a public hall where I have no authority. Here I have a right to exercise my authority. This is my Centre, and I will not allow any of you to come to my Centre unless you come tomorrow with the idea that you are going to give up drugs." The following day, nineteen out of twenty came up, and they stood in front of me and said, "We want to have the experiences that you want to offer, so we are giving up drugs." I said, "Then you meditate here for a month or so. But, during this month you have to be sincere to me and sincere to yourselves. If you do not get any experiences during the month you can leave me and you can go back to your old life." From that time, they started coming regularly to the Centre. They were having true spiritual experiences. They told me the difference between the experiences they had with drugs and the experiences they were getting from inner aspiration, from the spiritual life. One of them said to me, "Drugs gave us the message of self-deception. Spirituality has given us the message of self-perfection." Now they have become true jewels of my Puerto Rican Centre.