H.H. Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj (Muniji)

October - November  2004



Recently a man came to see me at Parmarth. He was an earnest seeker from abroad and was looking for a place to stay for several months to perform his meditation. He had a meditation technique which he said worked very well for him but he needed a place to practice it. He was from abroad and planned to stay in India for many months. I told him that he was welcome to stay here as I appreciated the earnestness of his spiritual quest. However, as I was just about to send him out to get a room, suddenly I added, "By the way, just to let you know that the ashram has very strict policies against smoking or the use of any drugs." He did not smell like smoke nor was he under the influence at the time. He was quite well dressed and presented himself very nicely. Yet, from within something told me to mention this fact to him before he made plans to stay.

"Oh," he responded and his voice dropped. "I do like to smoke hashish frequently before beginning my meditation. I find that it puts me in a very spiritual mood and enhances the transcendence of my meditation. I have tried to meditate in the past without it, but I find that the deepness of my meditation is much less and I find that I am less able to transcend my physical body when I have not smoked."  He left in search of a place which would allow him to smoke drugs before his daily meditation.

My heart pained to know that yet another sincere spiritual seeker would not find the answer to his quest, that yet another soul longing for liberation would be bound to the earthly realm.

My dears, a "feeling" of transcendence and an "experience" of spiritual union when one is under the influence of drugs is NOT the same as true transcendence or true spiritual union. For those who have never truly tasted divine Union, the feeling of the drugs mimics what we imagine a spiritual union would be like. Therefore, we name that feeling "spiritual union" or "transcendence" or "ecstasy." But all drugs do is either dull our senses or heighten our senses. Some drugs dull the awareness of our physical being, and other drugs heighten the awareness of our physical being. However, no drugs touch the realm beyond the senses! It is just an illusion.

I have heard people tell me they think better on drugs or that they feel "blissful" or that they have all sorts of deep spiritual experiences. These experiences may appear to be like spiritual experience but they are NOT the same. No one who has ever tasted the true divine nature of deep meditation or who has swum in the ocean of the divine would ever think of using drugs.

In fact, not only don't the drugs give us what we are looking for, but it is even worse. Due to the false illusion of spirituality created by drugs, many users develop an ego that says they have had a true "enlightenment experience". The belief that they have experienced samadhi or enlightenment further strengthens their ego and makes them less likely to listen to the true Masters who say it is not possible on drugs. They believe that they, themselves, have become Masters! Rather, they have become only slaves. Slaves of the artificial substance.

Attaining union with God is not difficult. It is not a feat for which one needs to swallow pills or smoke leaves. God has created us in the hope that we WILL attain Him. He is the Divine Sun that is always shining. We only have to open our windows and clean the glass to see Him. He is there, all the time, waiting for us to behold Him, waiting for us to go to Him, waiting for us to say, "Take me, I am yours."  We simply must open the windows and wipe the dust off the glass.

When I say "open the windows" and "clean the glass", what does it mean? It means to open the window of our soul. To open our divine eye, the eye which does not only see the material world in front of us, but the eye which can see the Divine. How to do this? Meditation and spiritual practice. Through meditating on the third eye, the divine eye, the agya chakra, one can open this center of divine vision. Also, through practicing meditation one cleans one's own glass.... the dirt and dust which have accumulated are our desires, our ignorance and our attachments. By engaging in a spiritual practice, one learns to reduce one's desires and attachments which thereby opens the pathway for Truth to enter. It is the attachment to this physical plane which prevents us from recognizing the Truth of our own existence. So, by reducing this attachment, we become more and more aware of the Truth and of our own divine nature.  Through the reduction of desires, attachments and ignorance, we become slowly slowly closer and closer to God. Then, the day comes when  the Divine Light shines upon us.

The True Divine Light can not be artificially induced or manufactured. By using artificial substances one only hinders one's own path. One merely delays the process of enlightenment. One actually goes further and further from divine peace, bliss and ecstasy, not closer and closer.

God is All Powerful. God is Everything.  You must have faith that God and God alone (by whatever name or whatever form you worship) can grant you the peace, bliss, ecstasy and ultimately enlightenment for which you are searching.  No drug, pill or leaf is more potent than God. So, why go down a path of dependence upon false substitutes for the true, omnipotent bestower of Life?

So, today, make a vow to throw away all false and artificial means of attaining your own divine nature.  Make a vow that your spiritual life will include nothing other than you, God and a Guru, if you have one.  Through God, Guru and sadhana you will attain whatever you are seeking.

May God bless you all.