Mr. George Riddell: There are many people in the United States who claim that with the use of certain drugs they are able to get closer to God. Of course the Chinese have been using opium for centuries and centuries. How do you feel about using stimulants, drugs, etc., to stimulate the mind in order to get closer to God?Sri Chinmoy: Let me start out by saying that there are two ways of approaching the Truth. One way is that by meditation and prayer, we know the real Truth, we feel the real ecstasy, we see the real Light, we experience Existence, Consciousness, Bliss. These last three go together and we can come into that state only through meditation and oneness with God. But those who are taking drugs are putting the cart before the horse. They are deceiving themselves into thinking that they already know the Truth. At the same time, they are not aware of the fact that by taking drugs, they are damaging their inner, spiritual faculties which are of paramount importance in order to enter into God's kingdom. Let me make it clear to you.
If you throw me into a sea and plunge me, immerse me forcibly in the water, not allowing me to come to the surface, then what shall I see? All blank, all white. And that is what actually happens to those who have taken to drugs. Through the effect of chemicals, a violent change of consciousness is effected. They get an experience … all white! Even if it is a higher experience, they cannot sustain it unless they take another dose of chemicals. But when I pray, when I concentrate, when I meditate, I enter into the Living Consciousness of God and I can learn to remain there. This is the positive and natural way of entering into God. God is natural and I am His son, you are His son; we have to follow the natural process. But by taking to drugs and using these artificial means, people are unconsciously, if not deliberately, negating the real Truth.
I have two or three students who used to take drugs. They have had first-hand "experiences." They tell me now that when they were taking drugs, it was nothing but self-delusion and self-annihilation. Now what they experience is self-acceptance and self-fulfilment. So this is the difference that they have now discovered. Needless to say that I am proud of their present spiritual achievements.
To come back to your question, no man can come closer to God by taking drugs or stimulants. He can come closer to God only by loving God and meditating on God.