Question: In your opinion, can one realise the Highest or get closer to God through the use of certain drugs?

Sri Chinmoy: If somebody feels that by taking drugs he will get inner experiences or high experiences, then it 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 continued to do without drugs. They are surely in a position to judge, since they have had experiences of both kinds.

All those who wish to be my disciples must give up drugs, alcohol and smoking. Taking drugs is very bad in the spiritual life, drinking is very bad in the spiritual life and smoking is very bad in the spiritual life. All these things damage the subtle spiritual nerves. I will not tolerate anybody who is still addicted to drugs and alcohol; I will not be involved in his life of aspiration. He is throwing poison into the sea of nectar. Either one should feel the total necessity of the spiritual life, or he should not come to me. I am not meant for the animal consciousness; I am meant for the aspiring consciousness.

So those who are thinking of becoming my disciples, please make it a point to go deep within and see if this path suits you. You are under no obligation to come here, but if you want to, then there are some rules that are obligatory. There are spiritual Masters who accept drug users, but I am not commissioned by the Supreme to do so. My path is the path chosen for me by the Supreme, and it is His Will that I deal only with those who are willing to abide by the decisions I make regarding my path.

If you want to realise God in this life, fulfil God in this life, if you want to be my disciple, you must be seated firmly in my boat-the boat that will carry you soulfully, devotedly and proudly to your destined Goal, the Goal of the Beyond. Let there be no more wrong movements in your life. At every moment you must cherish the divine inner urge. But you should not waste your precious time brooding on the kind of life you lived in the past. You should not feel sorry about what you did, for your sorrow will weaken your aspiration. I do not ask anybody to repent. It is true that repentance purifies the soul. But at the same time, if you are constantly repenting your past, you will have no time to aspire, to look forward towards the Light of the future. I wish all of you to turn your gaze toward the Light and not toward the darkness in which you lived in the past. The past is dust. It is the future that counts, and the future is now, in the immediacy of today. Forget the past. Only then can the golden future possess you and claim you.