Meher Baba


Tea is a drink liked by most persons in all countries. In Gujarati we call it chaha, which also means love. Both these chahas, if confined within material limits, have no spiritual value. One chaha (tea) is injurious to health if taken in excess, and the other chaha (love) may be injurious to spiritual growth if it is for tea and sense-pleasures.

5 August 1926,
QM p25
Also Ms p1:11 p6-7

Strong tea provides a very good stimulant to tired nerves. But it causes no real improvement in health. On the contrary, the general health is usually undermined with strong stimulants.

26 November 1927,
LM3 p982

Wine is good for both health and the spiritual life. It is an intoxicant and tonic for both. If after drinking wine, thoughts are diverted to spiritual advancement, it is a great push toward the goal. Otherwise it can lead to hell. Wine is such that either it raises you to the highest pinnacle, or makes you fall into the deepest ditch.

The main object of intoxicants in the ancient past was spiritual. Seekers then used not only wine, but also hemp, heroin, hashish and opium; so much so that even Qutubs would indulge in them (You have heard stories that Sai Baba used to smoke a chillum pipe, and Upasani Maharaj smoked beedis). But eventually during those times, ordinary people indulged in these intoxicants for the wrong reasons. They could not understand their proper use, and the effects of the intoxication diverted their thoughts to carnal desires - worst of all to lust, the greatest obstacle in the way. In the spiritual Path, lust is the greatest obstacle.

September 1929,
Isfahan, Persia,
LM4 p1227

Q. Is your aim to help us with our spiritual problems, or our practical problems?

Baba: Our spiritual problems are our practical ones.

Q. And just how do you intend to help?

Baba: The help I will give will produce a change of heart in thousands, and then right thinking and living will result automatically.

Q. Will that solve the depression problem?

Baba: It will solve every problem.

Q. Prohibition?

Baba: Yes, and the problem behind prohibition. I do not believe in drink, and none of my followers drink. But I know that prohibition should never have been put in effect the way it was.

Q. All at once?

Baba: Yes. Spirits should have been barred, but not beer and wine. Then we might have had a law that could be enforced. As it is, we have a law which makes money for dishonest officials, and increases all vices everywhere.

I believe in self-control, not in coercion. Coercion is based on oppression, and results in fear and hatred. Self control requires courage, and may be induced by love. We will do many things for those whom we love which we would not ordinarily do - which we would not ordinarily have the strength of mind and power to do. How many habits have we been able to break through love, which we would never have had the strength to break without love? And when the love is universal love, all habits which are detrimental, either to the individual or to the social order, will be dissolved in its light.

Interview with Frederick Collins,
18 May 1932, New York
published in Liberty Magazine as
'I Can Hardly Believe it Myself: A Portait of a Happy Man,
Silent Seven Years, Who is Seeking to Right the World Through Love.'
Another (partial) version: LM5 p1621-1622

For all human beings, materialists as well as spiritual aspirants, use of tobacco or wine in any form, of bhang-ganja and opium, etc., is injurious, physically, mentally and spiritually. Tea or coffee, though injurious, is not so injurious as tobacco, alcohol, bhang-ganja, and other strong intoxicants. Rather these - tea or coffee - are in some cases beneficial, particularly when medically advised and taken in mild form. Excessive use of these, and in stronger forms, is as injurious as tobacco, alcohol, etc.

MG 3:1 p22,
March-April 1934

Why does a man commit suicide? Because he expects to find happiness in death. Why does another man drink? It is because of the happiness he expects to derive from alcohol. But what happiness is derived, and how long does it last? So long as the effect of intoxication lasts. No sooner does it cool down than he feels broken, dejected and miserable.

11 July 1934,
Feldmeilen, Switzerland,
LM6 p1892

Recourse to alcohol for drowning one's sorrows is a perverted form of solace. Solace afforded by things outside of you is synonymous with doping, which gives a certain amount of relief or relaxation. Real and unalloyed solace is within you.

1930s, A p26

The only possible means is the spiritual change of heart. That only will make people satisfied. They want to be satisfied. They themselves do not know what they want. When they get that, they will be satisfied. For instance, why do people drink? Those, say peasants or laborers, who labor hard all day, when they come home after the day's work, drink for stimulation. But if they get something else instead, they would be satisfied with that, and so on, until the desire for stimulation disappears. So for all material satisfaction created through desire and want, spiritual upliftment is needed.

1930s, A p43

Alcoholic drinks in ordinary moderate doses act as stimulants and are harmless. If taken in excess they are harmful. Drugs, whether in small or large doses, are injurious. They have a characteristic of making the users addicts. Starting from small doses and very subtly, they tempt the partakers to increase the quantity indiscriminately until they cannot do without them and become addicted. Tobacco and smoking has only the slight advantage of deriving superficial pleasure, which is temporary. But there are three distinct disadvantages: physical, mental and habitual. Physically, it spoils the system, and mentally, it tortures one when unavailable.

23 February 1938,
LM7 p2267

The state of ecstasy brought about by music or by some extraneous influence like drugs does not mean spirituality. It is a state in which the mind overpowers itself, and is a weakness to be guarded against. Instead of running wild, the mind should be self-composed. This comes through control.

before 1948,
ST p114

... It is a fact that once in a great while I give wine to my lovers, and make them understand that it is not this wine of grapes, but the true wine of love, giving divine intoxication, that helps toward union with God.

1 March 1953,
LC p20,
also LB p67-68

Wine is prepared by the crushing and further crushing of grapes, when it acquires the capacity for intoxication, which usually takes away one's command of understanding. Close and repeated feeling of love for God also brings intoxication, but this takes you towards true understanding.

MD p16-17

One who is addicted to opium (eating or smoking) derives a... feeling of well-being, though temporarily. After a time the opium addict begins to feel the after-effects of opium in severe constipation, loss of appetite, headache, dullness and drowsiness. He then begins to realise that it would have been better had he not become addicted. But unfortunately, he cannot give up the habit. He has become a slave. He realises this too late, and sinks into deeper addiction, being tempted to take greater and greater quantities of opium to keep pace with the gradual loss of the feeling of well-being...

After years of addiction, it so happens one day that the opium addict is found lying unconscious in a gutter full of filth. An extra overdose of opium proves tragic for the addict, who loses complete control over himself. The passer-by scoffs, ridicules, points at him as a confirmed opium addict...

... An opium addict has his personal friends who extol the effect of opium and bring into their fold innocent people... An opium addict feels happy to give a tiny bit of opium to another, and that other, when he gets the taste of it, hands over another small dose to his own friend, creating a circle of opium eaters...

PL p67-69

Tell those that are (taking drugs) that if drugs could make one realise God, then God is not worthy of being God. No drugs. Many people in India smoke hashish and ganja. They see colors and forms and lights, and it makes them elated. But this elation is only temporary. It is a false experience. It gives only experience of illusion, and serves to take one farther away from reality...

Tell those who indulge in these drugs (LSD etc.) that it is harmful physically, mentally and spiritually, and that they should stop taking these drugs. Your duty is to tell them, regardless of whether they accept what you say, or if they ridicule or humiliate you, to boldly and bravely face these things. Leave the results to me. I will help you in my work...

You are to bring my message to those ensnared in the drug-net of illusion, that they should abstain, that the drugs will bring more harm than good. I send my love to them.

17 November 1965,
to Robert Dreyfus
The Glass Pearl, ed.
Naosherwan Anzar

Go back to the U.S.A. Spread my love among others, particularly among the young, and persuade them to desist from taking drugs, for they are harmful physically, mentally, spiritually.

November 1965,
to Robert Dreyfus,
LA p638

If God can be found through the medium of any drug, God is not worthy of being God.

LA p638

Taking LSD is harmful physically, mentally and spiritually. But if you take me into your heart and love me as your real self, you will find me in you as the infinite ocean of effulgence. And this experience will remain continuously throughout eternity.

c.1966, India,
for a printed card to be distributed
in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco
Aw 11:3 p4

Now in India, since ages, there are those who have been used to drugs -- they are drug addicts. They are the ones who take ganja, then they take charas, and bhang -- and they feel uplifted when they take these drugs. And they see colors and signs, and they feel, through their hallucinations, that they have reached the goal.

And that false experience is also not continuous. There is a break in their experience. And that is the reason why it is not real.

Those who take ganja and drugs, they get uplifted through the drugs, and then, in the end, they go crazy -- mad...

Now we come to those persons who have experiences through drugs. They feel that they have realised God because they get certain experiences. But... the guideline is that their experience is not continuous. Even though that is hallucination, even that is not continuous. And that is the sign that it is not true experience. It is harmful physically, mentally, spiritually. Such experiences are harmful physically, mentally and spiritually.

1967, Meherazad,
to Louis van Gasteren
transcribed from a video of his filmed
interview with Meher Baba

Drugs Book Two

Index - Book One

Copyright 2005 Patra Chosnyid Skybamedpa, The Eastern School of Broad Buddhism.
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