A few more words on tea and coffee

Question: What kind of food should we eat to achieve purity?

Sri Chinmoy: Please try to avoid meat and fish; and, of course, liquor and tobacco are out of the question. All fruits and vegetables, as well as dairy products, are fine. Processed foods may also be eaten as long as they do not interfere with good health. Also, coffee and tea are not good, except for herbal teas. To me, coffee and tea are slow poisons. They just take a little longer time to kill you! Of course, each person has some power of resistance, so if it is a very slow poison, if we fight we can win the battle. But we must not squander our power by using it to fight against these slow poisons.

A disciple of mine used to drink tea six times a day, so I asked him to drink it five times. Then, after a month, I told him to reduce it to four times. Eventually he stopped completely. Serious things must be done gradually. If he had stopped all at once, he might have suffered from some serious disease. If the body is not strong, any sudden change in its habits can cause a serious attack upon one’s health.

There are spiritual methods that can come to your rescue when you are tired. You can do alternate nostril breathing exercises for five minutes. But do not do them mechanically. Concentrate while you are breathing and you are bound to feel that you are breathing in divine energy. Coffee gives you energy; tea gives you energy. But divine energy, which you are breathing in constantly, has infinitely more power than coffee and tea.

You say that sometimes you feel drowsy and you feel it is perilous to drive in that condition. Why should only coffee and tea come to the rescue in your life? I always say that coffee and tea are slow poisons. There are other ways to awaken yourself, spiritual ways.

Spiritual progress is not like instant coffee. It is a slow and steady progress. Slowly, steadily and unerringly we have to walk along Eternity’s Road in order to reach Infinity’s Goal.