Question: There were a number of spiritual Masters who used to smoke and drink. How did they realise God?

Sri Chinmoy: It was because of their aspiration. Spiritual Masters used to drink, dance, eat meat and do all kinds of things without losing their height. For them the world was like a garden, and they were divine children playing there unaffected by anything they said or did.

But you have to know that there is a little difference between their aspiration and yours. It is like the difference between you and a tree. A tree does no harm to anyone; it is pure and innocent. But you will realise God long before the tree does. When it is a matter of inner cry, of aspiration, an ordinary person cannot compare himself with the great spiritual Masters. Once they started meditating, they could go on for hours and become lost in their meditation.

Many Indian spiritual Masters take arsenic, and sometimes when they take large quantities people think they are going to commit suicide. But it does not harm them. Some of the tantric Yogis lead such a life of vital pleasure that anyone would think they would fall immediately. But their meditation surpasses their vital life. When they are on the verge of realisation, all the time their consciousness is in a very high world and they do not remain in the physical at all, so they realise God in spite of their vital life. Similarly, some occultists meditate for nine or ten hours daily, and the rest of the time they lead a very bad life. But the intensity of their aspiration brings them realisation anyway.