Very serious talk to the Puerto Rican disciples1[In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the emergence of widespread drug use in the outer world was, unfortunately, reflected in some of our Centres, among the very new disciples. In this talk, the Master, with intense concern and vehemence, warns disciples about drugs.]
I have been extremely strict in all our Centres. Here in this Centre in Puerto Rico, I now have to become strict. Here, right now, I am telling those who have taken to drugs and the drug-life, that this Centre is not meant for you. You will receive a very serious letter very soon, asking you to leave our Path. Those who are in touch with M., please tell him on my behalf that I have told you this: I have authorised you to tell him that this place is not meant for him. He and his wife have created many serious problems for me, even in New York. And again, in this connection, I wish to say that if any disciple from another Centre happens to come to New York, on the one hand — the city of New York is not my possession; if you want to come to New York City without my permission, that is your right as a citizen. But nobody is allowed to come to our New York Centre without my express permission.
A few disciples, some new disciples from Puerto Rico here, who do not shave properly, whose clothing is very dirty and even filthy (when the New York disciples are so clean and tidy), come uninvited to the New York Centre. When I asked the Puerto Rican disciples to meditate with the New York disciples, the foul smell they offered, these drug-takers, was really shocking and deplorable. I have been constantly telling them about this, their habits and appearance, and yesterday I told one of the disciples that he must not come to the Centre if he does not shave and if he does not wear proper, clean clothing, etc. This situation with the visiting Puerto Rican disciples is really shocking and odious.
Until now I have always been bloated with pride when I see any disciple coming to New York from this Puerto Rican Centre, and I introduce the disciples from here with my deepest joy, satisfaction and often, even admiration. But some disciples who have recently visited us in New York were really a very poor reflection of our beloved Puerto Rican Centre. Of late, we have been pleased only with Priti (Isabel Murillo), who came bathed and properly dressed in her clean sari, with her hair properly washed and combed. She is among those two or three Puerto Rican disciples who deserve real appreciation. Others who are still in New York are really a black stain on the Puerto Rican Centre.
So here I wish to say: whoever wants to come to the New York Centre has to get our permission. If you are not in the habit of writing, then please inform Sudha. She will either write to us or call us and then immediately you will get the answer. Otherwise, if you come without our approval, you will not be allowed in the Centre. All this is very shocking. We discovered that some visiting disciples do not have any place to stay in New York. They are taking drugs and not taking baths; they have no work and are loitering like vagabonds on the streets and mixing with all kinds of street-fellows. Then they expect me to take care of them. When I ask some of my New York disciples to help these visitors, our people do come to their aid because their Guru has asked them to do so. Then afterwards the stories they narrate about these Puerto Rican disciples are simply shocking. So we have to discourage this kind of disciple from coming to New York at all.
In New York, seven or eight disciples at a time are asked by me to meditate together. They stand facing me or facing the disciples. But as soon as some of the Puerto Rican disciples stand up with the regular disciples, they really destroy the atmosphere of the Centre. The New York disciples respect my judgement and they won't say anything to the Puerto Ricans, but they feel miserable. It is only my compassion that allows these visitors to join the others. Sometimes they wear dirty, filthy clothes, and how do they dare to stand up in that condition and meditate alongside the respectable disciples?
So dearest ones, if ever you want to come to the New York Centre, only with previous permission you will come; otherwise you will not be allowed. And the things that are necessary to come to the New York Centre, I have already told you: you must be properly shaved, bathed and dressed in clean clothes, and have no connection with drugs whatsoever. In New York, this fellow M. started taking drugs; his wife comes to the Centre uninvited but she does not listen to me. In New York, my disciples are so devoted to me, but this girl comes here and argues with me. She has come here two or three times. She argued with me in New York the way she did here in Puerto Rico. She doesn't want to come out of the hippie consciousness or way of life, but she will not leave us. Now where do I stand? Luckily for her, my disciples did not throw her out of the Centre. She was arguing and saying, "I don't love anybody, but particularly I hate men. I hate men." Then I said, "If you hate men, why do you come to our Centre? There are many men here. Half of us are men. Please do not come." But she does come; she insists on occupying a front seat and she creates problems for us.
So in this Centre in San Juan, I hope you people have totally given up drugs and all the attitudes that go with them. Believe me, if you continue to behave in this way, then I will use my spiritual authority. Otherwise, if I don't do this, I will not be able to run a Centre.
Now you two disciples right here are doing extremely well in spirituality and in dedication. But unfortunately in the case of the lady, your dress is not good because it is too short. Please dress modestly. And you, her friend, have to wear a proper shirt like Drona, whose shirt is dignified. So white or coloured will be all right, but not this bizarre pattern and ugly colours. It won't do because it does not give a spiritual vibration. Please come to this Centre fully dignified. Otherwise you ruin the inspiration of others.
In a proper family, there is always the proper care of material things and a standard which is understood by all the members. Otherwise, it becomes like a club. When you are in a club, you can wear anything you want: any type of garment, this or that. Again, I don't want you to be a dandy, dressing for the sake of showing off. No, far from it. And the women here, young girls and also other women, please try to wear modest dress. Your dress must come right down to your knees. In New York it is compulsory to be modest, and in Connecticut, we are making it compulsory. But before we did so, the girl disciples were unbelievably immodest with their mini-skirts. Now the Connecticut disciples have come to know from the New York disciples and they are absolutely modest.
These are the things that are necessary to make proper spiritual progress: modesty; simple dress, but clean; simplicity in the outer life and proper behaviour in the outer life. Everything has to be integral: in the outer life, our outer dress and our outer behaviour have to go hand-in-hand with our aspiring consciousness.
Forgive me, I am taking your precious time. But since I am the Father of this Centre, I am under obligation to tell you everything in minute detail. Otherwise, the next time I see you people disobeying our standards of outer dress, no matter how dedicated, how sincere you are, I will take action. For your dedication, I am truly proud of you, but if you misbehave in the outer life, then I have every right to be displeased with you. For example, this outfit, this kind of clothing [indicating a boy disciple] is not good. And, as I said, the girls must wear modest dresses. I was told by Sudha that about a month ago, a young girl came here dressed in an absolutely vulgar, revealing costume. She was almost totally exposed. This kind of thing I will not tolerate. Modesty is of paramount importance in the spiritual life. Modesty goes hand-in-hand with purity and spirituality.
Now, if you have any question, please ask me. What I have said is only for those who have given me the necessary authority and who have implicit faith in me. I am for them; they are for me and not for others. This I am saying for all the Centres and not only for the Puerto Rican Centre. It is for all our Centres. What I am saying is applicable to all my disciples.
There are people who misuse our Compassion, and again, there are people who actually benefit every moment from our Compassion. These people take full advantage of our constant Concern, Compassion, Love and Blessings. So you can either misuse them or you can take the utmost profit from them. This is what I wish to say.
TPR 6. July 21, 1970, Sri Chinmoy Centre, San Juan.↩