AVATAR MEHER BABA ON DRUGS
This compilation of quotes concerns drugs, stimulants
and intoxicants of various sorts and their relevancy to the spiritual path. They are
listed in chronological order with their sources.
"I must ask all aspirants to remember once and for all, that if they are
desirous of rapid progress and quick enlightenment, they should live up to the
following four laws:
1. If possible, observe celibacy. If already married, keep as little sexual
intercourse with your partner as possible. Consider, if you are a man, all
other women as your sisters; if you are a woman, all other men as your
2. Avoid all animal food, except milk and the products of milk. Don't partake
of even eggs.
3. Avoid all intoxicating drugs and drinks. Tea is not an intoxicant, provided
it is weak. But be moderate in your habit of tea drinking.
4. Curb yourself, and never give way to anger. Whenever you fly into a
passion, you contract red sanskaras, which are the worst of all."
Meher Baba, February 1930, Meher Message, 2:2, p. 8
"Do not take intoxicating alcohol or liquor."
Meher Baba, February 1937, individual instruction to Garrett Fort
Lord Meher, Vol. 6, p. 2117, Bhau Kalchuri
Baba instructed Suloo Meshram:
he should never tell a lie to anyone;
he should abstain from lustful actions, smoking and alcohol;
he should not eat meat, fish or eggs;
to meditate for an hour every day;
and to write 'Om Parabrahma Baba' for another hour daily.
April 1938, Glimpses of the God-Man, Vol. 6, p. 65-66, Bal Natu
and Lord Meher, Vol. 7, p. 2277, Bhau Kalchuri
"Drunkards, when they get drunk, challenge 'Come one, come all.' It's not the
drunkards who say it, but their intoxication."
Meher Baba, 7 July 1940, Ranchi
Lord Meher, Vol. 7, p. 2579, Bhau Kalchuri
"Do not stress pork, alcohol or tobacco in the West. Tell them that what comes
out of the mouth is far more important than what goes into it."
Meher Baba, to Ivy Duce, a teacher of Sufism
How a Master Works, p. 205, Ivy O. Duce
"... Meher Baba directs me to send you his blessings and love, and to inform
you that he is happy you have been remembering him in the course of your
studies. Meher Baba wants you to study the book God Speaks, for it will help you to understand the mystery of life ephemeral and the truth of existence
eternal. The book God Speaks is a very important textbook for all students who are keen to understand the fundamental purpose and mechanics of life and the universe. God Speaks reveals to us that all experiences, even of spiritual aspirants on the path to God-realisation 'gotten in the natural course of involution of consciousness' are of the domain of illusion.
"Therefore, how much more distracting are the experiences of a layman in a
laboratory who experiments with drugs to induce experiences with the semblance of those of an aspirant on the spiritual path? Meher Baba has said that the one and true experience is the experience of Truth, the reality, for once the realisation of God is attained, it remains a continual and never-ending
experience. The all-pervading effulgence of God the reality is experienced by
an aspirant who keeps himself scrupulously above all illusory
experimentations, and humbly takes refuge in the love of God...
"It is absolutely essential for a spiritual aspirant who genuinely longs for
union with God, the reality, to shun false practices of yogic postures and
exercises, meditation on other than God the beloved, experiments with certain
drugs, and fads for types of food. These things do not uplift the aspirant,
nor do they draw him out of the rut of illusion. Experiences born of these
practices wear off no sooner than the aspirant withdraws from, or is thrown
out of, the orbit of the effects produced by the technique employed.
"All so-called spiritual experiences generated by taking mind-changing drugs
(such as LSD, mescaline and psilocybin mentioned in your letter) are
superficial, and they add enormously to one's addiction to the deceptions of
illusion, which is but the shadow of reality. The experience of a semblance of
freedom that these drugs may temporarily give to one is in actuality a
millstone round the aspirant's neck in his efforts towards emancipation from
the rounds of birth and death.
"It is good to know that there are drugs that alleviate human sufferings, it
is better to have a knowledge of a specific drug for a particular ailment, and
it is best to put to use the specific drug for the benefit of a human body.
But there is no drug that can promote the aspirant's progress, nor ever
alleviate the suffering of separation from his beloved God. Love is the only
propeller and the only remedy. The aspirant should love God with all his
heart, until he forgets himself and recognises his beloved God in himself and
Adi K. Irani, in a letter to Alan Cohen, 10 October 1964
Letters from the Mandali of Avatar Meher Baba, p. 98-100, ed. Jim Mistry
also The Glass Pearl, ed. Naosherwan Anzar
"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
"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.
Meher Baba, 17 November 1965, to Robert Dreyfus
The Glass Pearl, ed. Naosherwan Anzar
"Baba asked how I got into drugs and asked, 'Are there many young people
taking these things?' I said, 'Yes, Baba, very many.' And he said they were
very harmful mentally, physically and spiritually... Baba said that many
people in India smoke hashish, that they see colored lights and forget their
problems just for a little while, and then they come right back to the
problems which they still have to face, and that the energy that had been
spent, or misspent, in being high was simply wasted. He looked at me very
sternly and said 'No drugs. No drugs.'
"... Baba said I should go back to the West and spread his message of love and
truth among the young people, to tell them about what he had to say about
drugs, and not to take drugs. He said if the young people in this country
continue using drugs, it would lead eventually to madness or death for
Robert Dreyfus, about his visit with Baba at Meherazad in November, 1965
Meher News Exchange, June 1976
Allan Cohen wrote a letter to Meher Baba, asking the following questions:
'Does brain damage occur when LSD is being used for medical purposes? If so, how severe? Is there any way to repair this damage? Did Baba say that LSD was also deleterious to the liver and kidneys? Did Baba say that LSD affected the areas of the brain reserved for Subtle and Mental consciousness, and that the LSD user could never arrive at Subtle consciousness in this incarnation unless he gave himself to a Perfect Master? What are the physical effects or dangers of continued LSD use for non-medical purposes?'
Baba answered through Adi K. Irani:
1. Baba did say the user of LSD could never reach Subtle consciousness in
this incarnation despite its repeated use, unless the person surrendered to a
Perfect Master. To experience real spiritual consciousness, surrenderance to a Perfect Master is necessary.
2. The experiences gained through LSD are in some cases experiences of the
shadows of the Subtle plane in the Gross world. These experiences have nothing at all to do with spiritual advancement.
3. Repeated use of LSD leads to insanity, which may prove incurable even with
4. Medical use of LSD helps to cure in some cases mental disorders and
5. There is no such thing as 'areas in the brain reserved for Subtle
consciousness,' and the question of LSD affecting them has no meaning.
6. When LSD is used for genuine medical purposes, in controlled doses, under
the supervision of specialists, there are no chances of brain, liver or kidney
7. Continued use of LSD for non-medical purposes results in madness, and death eventually.
1966? India, The Glass Pearl, ed. Naosherwan Anzar
"No drug, whatever its great promise, can help one to attain the spiritual
goal. There is no shortcut to the goal except through the grace of the Perfect
Master, and drugs, LSD more than others, gives only a semblance of spiritual
experiences, a glimpse of the false reality. The experiences you elaborate in
your letter are as far removed from reality as is a mirage from water. No
matter how much you pursue the mirage, you will never reach water, and the
search for God through drugs must end in disillusionment...
"To a few sincere seekers such as yourself, LSD may have served as a means to arouse that spiritual longing that brought you into contact with Meher Baba,
but once that purpose is served, further ingestion would not only be harmful,
but have no point or purpose. Now your longing for reality cannot be sustained
by further use of drugs, but only by your own love for the Perfect Master,
which is a reflection of his love for you...
"And so, although LSD may lead one to feel a better man personally, the
feeling of having had a glimpse of reality may not only lull one into a false
security, but also will, in the end, derange one's mind. Although LSD is not
an addiction-forming drug, one can become attached to the experiences arising from its use, and one gets tempted to use it in increased doses again and again, in the hope of deeper and deeper experiences. But eventually this
causes madness or death."
Adi K. Irani, writing for Meher Baba, 1966? in reply to a letter from Richard Alpert (Ram Dass)
The use of intoxicating drugs in general is prohibited by Baba. However, he
permits the use of wine within limits. As such, wine may be used, within
limits, to celebrate Baba occasions like birthdays."
Adi K. Irani, 9 March 1967, in a letter to Ena Lemmon
The Turning of the Key, p. 216, Bill Le Page
For more about wine, see p. 269-270 in the same book.
About psychedelic drugs:
"Now I shall write to you what once I directly heard from Baba about the
nature of experience one gets after taking drugs. To understand what Baba
exactly said, I should first explain different aspects of consciousness.
"Normally a man experiences three aspects of consciousness: sound sleep, in
which there is neither consciousness nor unconsciousness; dream state, which
has dream-consciousness; and waking state, which has full Gross consciousness.
"An experience is valid when the one who experiences and the objects of
experience both belong to the same plane of consciousness, as in the waking-
state, in which both the subject and object belong to the Gross plane, and so
the experience is valid.
"In a spiritually advanced state (not of a yogi) of a mast, the subject and
object belong to one plane of consciousness, whether it is first, second or
third and so on planes, and the experience is valid.
"In a dream one goes into a Subtle plane, but the objects that he experiences
belong to the Gross plane, and so the experience is not valid, because the
planes of the subject and object are not the same.
"Reverse is the case in a yoga-consciousness. A yogi experiences Subtle plane
objects, but from the Gross plane, and so the experience is not valid.
"Now, what Baba said about drug experience is this: After taking a drug, one
experiences shadow of the Subtle plane objects from the Gross plane, and so
the experience is not only not valid, but full of grotesque sights and
feelings much more unreal and confounding than fantasies, and so harmful
spiritually, mentally and physically."
Adi K. Irani, 28 March 1973, unpublished letter
For more about smoking cigarettes, see How a Master Works, p. 189-190, Ivy O. Duce.
The words of Meher Baba are copyrighted by The Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagar, India
Avatar Meher Baba on Drugs Part 1