Question: Could you please explain the difference between taking drugs and meditation? What is your opinion on using drugs?

Sri Chinmoy: If somebody feels that by taking drugs he will get inner experiences or high experiences, then that is his business. Perhaps he will say that I am not the judge or authority, since I have not taken drugs. But I have meditated, and I have realised the Highest. Since you are asking me my opinion, on the strength of my own highest realisation I wish to say that the use of drugs is not proper. Those who take drugs are damaging their inner spiritual faculties which are of paramount importance in order to enter God's Kingdom.

If you throw me into the sea, immerse me forcibly in the water, not allowing me to come to the surface, then what will happen? Just before I lose consciousness I will see all blank, all white. This is the kind of experience that those who have taken drugs get. They get an experience, but it is dangerous, unnatural, forced. But when one prays, when one meditates, when one contemplates, one enters into the living Consciousness of God. One knows the real Truth, feels the real Ecstasy, sees the real Light. This is the positive and natural way of entering into God. By taking drugs and using artificial means, people are unconsciously, if not deliberately, negating the real Truth.

I have a few hundred disciples in the United States and in other places. About thirty or forty of them, who are now my close disciples, used to take drugs and according to their own understanding and realisation at that time, they had very high, lofty experiences. But somehow they were not quite satisfied by these experiences. They came to me with the idea of seeing the difference between the experiences that they had had with drugs and the experiences they could get from meditation with me. After a while they began to get real spiritual experiences from their meditation. They say that the difference between drug experiences and meditation experiences is like the difference between sitting in a bathtub and swimming in the vast ocean. When you examine them properly, you see that one experience expands and liberates, while the other binds and limits. To my deepest joy and pride, all these disciples gladly continue to do without drugs. They are surely in a position to judge, since they have had experiences of both kinds.