Prem Rawat's Teaching about Drugs - In His Own Words
Prem Rawat or Maharaji (the "Ultimate Ruler") taught that his followers should eschew the use of all non-prescription drugs and claimed that the effects of practising his Knowledge were so perfect that the use of drugs by his premies would automatically end. Like most of what he taught, this turned out to be wrong. Many of his young converts initially gave up or cut back on the use of drugs (mainly marijuana and LSD) but once the inital high of early 1970's Divine Light Mission deflated so did their drug free existence. Meanwhile the young Rawat had got free of parental supervision and and personally discovered that what he had been preaching was nonsense and that his life was much more fun using alcohol, marijuana and cigarettes. Unfortunately Mummy Ji found out. As his staunchest and most important devotee, Mahatma Gurucharanand said "Oh Maharaji is Maharaji, he can do anything he wants." Mummy Ji didn't think so. The most dedicated of Rawat's single followers were told they should live in an ashram and the Asram Code was specific: no drugs.
A. Personal Conduct
1. Members must be willing to completely cooperate with the directives of the Ashram Supervisor. The Ashram policy is determined by Guru Maharaj Ji. The Ashram Supervisor is directly responsible to Guru Maharaj Ji for the maintenance of every aspect of ashram life. Members should, therefore, follow the instructions of the Ashram Supervisor and help life in the ashram to flow smoothly.
2. Members must ask permission from the Ashram Supervisor to leave the ashram for any length of time and whenever they feel it is necessary to be out past 11:00 p.m. Members must always keep the Ashram Supervisor well informed as to their whereabouts.
3. Members must refrain from the use of alcohol, tobacco, and any illegal or immoral activity, and must abstain from non-marital sexual relations.
Miami, Florida, U.S.A. 15 June 1972
We must reach for that higher Knowledge that is higher than all the scriptures -- a Knowledge that cannot be found in drugs. All the press media and newspapers and television have been coming to me and the most popular question they ask is, "What have you to say about drugs?" I say, "Well, I haven't taken drugs, but I can just tell you one thing. I have got something higher than any drugs. Really higher than any drugs, and I can give you that." What I have got is higher than any drugs. They are artificial, you have to take them from outside. Knowledge is a built-in drug within us. It is hidden inside of us and it is higher than a drug that you have to take with water and so on. If you take Knowledge you have no need of drugs. It is internal, very internal, very beautiful, much more beautiful than any outside drug, it's very great, and that's what I have got. It is built-in. God has provided it as standard, not as optional but as necessary. It is a standard thing that God has given to all of us. So realise this thing.
Divine Light magazine Volume 2, Number 3
Guru Puja, Montrose, Colorado, July 25 1972
One premie came to me and asked this question, "Why do you want us to stop taking drugs?" I said, "Well, now you have realized this Knowledge, haven't you?" And he said, "Yes." And I said, "Well, suppose you come to my home and you bring an automobile. Do you bring the automobile right into my room?" He said, "No, leave it outside." And I said, "Same thing here. You used to take drugs and you say apparently these drugs brought you to a point. But then you took Knowledge and that was beyond them. So now stop taking the drugs and proceed purely, proceed naturally." And what is natural? These drugs are not natural because they are taken from outside. They're artificial. The natural thing is within inside us. All the drugs are outside, which means they had to be produced. Whenever a Master came, he never gave drugs to people saying, "Okay, take this." No. He revealed something that was greater. And I am here. I don't claim myself to be Perfect Master, but I am here with a greater thing than drugs. Take it. It's much better. You have to spend money on all those things and then you have to work it out with the sheriff because if he sees you, he will arrest you, right? But you can take this thing twenty-four hours a day and there's no money required. It's within inside you and if the sheriff sees you, he'll be amazed. And that's what has been happening, as a matter of fact. Because with drugs your body goes down and your senses just start bouncing around. But in this Knowledge your body and your senses all elevate and if the sheriff sees you, maybe he will see that you are high because of this meditation. And he will really be amazed.
Sayings Of Guru Maharaj Ji and Light Reading, © 1980, Divine Light Mission, Inc.
Guru Puja, Montrose, Colorado, July 27 1972
Many people, many youngsters say okay that when Lord Shiva came, He came with a bag of, of marijuana. And this is not it. He came with a bag of marijuana, but not marijuana was not that you smoke or eat. That marijuana was the marijuana of this Knowledge. When people got it, they really got blissed out. If they just went into it, they really got blissed out. That's what He had, He had not these marijuanas and so on and these-this is not the Word, this is not all the things you are too! Man takes LSD, till he has-he has got his effect of LSD, he is okay, LSD finishes, he is not okay, because he is not in the bliss thing. So what actually he is doing, he is flying over rough, rough weather. He goes up; he goes down. He goes up; he goes down. It's not going to help him. What I have is a constant LSD. It's not LSD, it's a built-in LSD which God provided you with when you were born. You get into it and you're always blissed out. No need to come out from it. You can do all your daily activities. This Knowledge is so beautiful you can walk and still meditate upon it. You can do anything, still meditate upon it. I have got much greater thing to give it to you than something else. So come, leave these things and come to me. I've got a much, much better thing. Try it, you'll like it. It's much better and (cheering and applause) so it's much better and much far out.
Perfect Master Tape #003 and and It Is Divine, Volume I Issue 8
Imperial College, 9 Sept 1972
First of all we have to get high, and the common way how to get high is with LSD. People say, "I'll take LSD, I'll take drugs and get high," but now there are no drugs here. People come to me and say, "Guru Maharaj Ji, why do you say not to take drugs? Drugs are a very natural thing." But I say, "You drive to this auditorium in your car, but do you bring your car into the hall. Do you? Why not? It carried you all the way from the house to the auditorium, then you leave it outside just standing there. You should bring it with you into the auditorium, because it brought you all the way from your house to here. But that doesn't mean you have to bring it inside, does it?" People say, "Oh, drugs helped us, they have helped us come to you." So I say, "Well if drugs helped you, that's good, but you can leave them now, because you have come to me." You just leave your cars, you get out of them and you come into the auditorium. In the same way you want to take drugs, so I'll give you a better drug. Leave the small drugs and I'll give you this better drug. Because you take one drug and then it goes off then you have to take another one, and that goes off, and all that costs money, but the drug I can give is constantly working in you twenty-four hours a day. It's built inside of you, it's a built-in drug, it's a built-in acid, it works inside you, and it is completely free. The only thing that has to be done is to connect the wire, then it starts working. It's the acid of consciousness, and you get consciousness, and when you get into consciousness you just go up and up and up and up into the stage of infinity. That's very beautiful because other drugs give you external experience, and this one gives you internal experience. You can do anything, you can drive your car, you can sit in your house, you can do anything, it's so far out, and you can still meditate upon it. And this is something that we really need these days, you know, because times are getting very, very strange.
Divine Light magazine Volume 2, Number 3
Lower Town Hall, Sydney, Australia, 6 October 1972
So today we need something, and we are all looking for something. We want an experience. We might not call it a divine experience, we might call it Truth, we might call it bliss, we might call it Knowledge. People are trying to find it in drugs. It is not in drugs.
Divine Light magazine Volume 2, Number 8
Delhi, India, December, 1972
Some people think there are other ways, like marjuana and other drugs, but no. Of those five million people, I think more than a million have taken drugs and found them useless. Because Knowledge is something that is built in within us. It is like an energy cell that is built in. It's not like an optional accessory. And marijuana is like an accessory that's lying outside, that you just take, right? But it's of no use, because there is a whole internal marijuana inside us. We try to get it from outside, but it is inside us. And this won't make us go flat, you know, like marijuana and LSD do. They make us flat. We drive a car and see the road, but think it is something else. I was watching television in America and this movie came on, "Hawaii Five-O." And it showed all these people who take LSD, and this girl started driving her motorcycle but she just fell on the beach. She was seeing all the roads going wide and long. So there is no need of those things. The internal thing is excellent. The internal LSD is very powerful. There's no need to waste money, no need to waste time. Wherever you like, just take it, it's okay. Like there is a saying in the Gita, Arjuna was told by Krishna on the battlefield, "Receive this Knowledge and fight also. Meditate on this Knowledge and go on fighting." And if Arjuna had taken LSD he wouldn't have been able to fight. Because he would have seen his arrow getting so long … Arjuna had something internal, not like that drug. That's what I am distributing to people. That's what I am revealing before you. And it's really good, it's really something inside us. When the school has been opened, it becomes our duty to go there and receive education.
And It Is Divine, Volume I, Number 5, March 1973
A reporter for a Boston newspaper conducted this interview with Guru Maharaj Ji in 1973
Q: The people who have picked up on this movement in this country seem to be the younger generation. Why is that?
A: Well, not really - there are other people, too. But there are many youngsters because young people have gone through a desperate search. They have gone to everything - drugs and anything you want to say, you know? They've just gone through the whole trip. And still they have not perfectly realized what that Knowledge is, see? So when they come here, they realize this Knowledge, that it's what they have been searching for. They have to cling to it, and they realize what it was they wanted. Understand?
Light Reading, © 1980, Divine Light Mission, Inc.
Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji? 1973
Q: Maharaj Ji, can you get Knowledge from smoking pot?
A: See, suppose I am living on the moon. I am not getting any hashish, I am not getting any drugs, not even a cigarette. So suppose God comes to me at that time, and says, "You must receive Knowledge." Do I say, "God, I haven't got any hashish to smoke, so how am I going to get this Knowledge?" There is only one way to receive this Knowledge, and it isn't by hashish or anything like that. Why? I'll tell you. Because hashish is a physical thing. You smoke it into your body and you smoke it out of your body. Its effect is a physical effect. It affects your mind after affecting your body. And any process that must be applied through the body will not take you there. You can't find yourself with hashish, you can only lose yourself.
Q: No, man, you're wrong.
A: Let me tell you. This hashish smoking has only started here recently. In India they have been smoking it for a long time. These sadhus, if you ever see them, they completely lose themselves. They think about different things, things come into their mind, but all these things are external, it is not the Knowledge. Of course you get an experience, but if your car is going at 90 m.p.h. and it has a power brake and you put it on suddenly, so that you hit your head and you see light and hear music, you might think, "Oh, this is divine light." That's just a physical experience.
Q: But when I have a good smoke, I think of love. That's all I think of.
A: Then continue to smoke if that is what you want. But thinking of love is not experiencing love.
Q: But everybody who smokes, they love, you know? Those who don't smoke, they cannot love.
A: Maybe, but I don't smoke.
Q: You don't smoke and you still love? Maybe you're special.
A: It would be far-out when you get this Knowledge, because it will take you higher than hashish. These plants come from nature, but this Knowledge is nature. By smoking you can experience something, but with this Knowledge you will experience everything, and you don't have to smoke anything.
Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
Satsang of Shri Raja Ji, (Prem Rawat's Brother) Fulham Town Hall, 11 February 1973
In the same way, when we have the Knowledge and if we want to go deep into it with a child's heart, we will meditate constantly, and the more we meditate, the more we merge with God. The really nice thing about meditation is that there is no limit on it. If we think how much more we have to go, it is always infinite. We can meditate for 24 hours every day. So for meditation it is necessary to have Knowledge, and if we have Knowledge it is necessary for us to meditate, and if we meditate it is also necessary to have satsang. Satsang is a kind of injection. Some people inject drugs, but when you inject a drug the injection is only in one place. When I am speaking or when Mata Ji is speaking, it is such a thing that it injects in every place, and the effect goes all over. And this is the object -- to spread peace, and it's the only way we can help.
Divine Light magazine Volume 2, Number 8
Divine United Organisation Announcement, February 1973
Suppose like America is a very rich country, and they are flourishing. But then, are they happy? There are so many strikes, so many riots going on in America, and there are so many young people who are in the drug problem, and all these problems, and they have to face those problems. You see, they have to face that drug problem, because they don't have any other solution. But supposedly we can give them a solution. The solution can be Knowledge. And if we can reveal them this Knowledge, because already this Knowledge has been given to so many of those youngsters who have been in this drug problem, and it has proved a fantastic solution and an alternative for them, a high alternative. You see, if I don't know what the alternative can be to what I am doing, and supposedly if I am eating aspirins, I am taking aspirins daily; actually, it's causing me harm. But you see, I am not a doctor, so I don't know what harm it is actually causing me, what harm aspirin can cause me, and I'm just taking it. It's the same thing. But if someone comes to me and says, "Listen, don't take them. Take other pills that don't have that type of effect," then suddenly I realize, yes, it might be true. So today, everyone says, "No drugs. Sonny, don't take drugs. Boy, don't take drugs. Don't take these things, and don't do that, and don't do that." But it's a foolish thing to do it that way, because you are not giving them an alternative. They will say, "This guy is crazy, because he wants us not to do it, but what should we do? We want peace, we want to see Light, we want to have a blessed experience." But if we offer them a practical Knowledge, then it's very, very possible for them. And this has happened, really, all these things. Because they come to one point that they never could have even dreamed of, and that's the infinite stage. Taking drugs, taking shots, is not the infinite stage. It's a very finite stage, it as a beginning, it has an end. If you are taking a two millimeter, or a two c.c. injection, you start and then you end at two c.c. That has a beginning, that has an end to it. If you are taking a pill, it has a limited size to it. But this Knowledge does not have it, so when they get into this Knowledge, it's just very blissful, as those people who have realized this Knowledge, and those people who have experienced the Blissful stage of this Knowledge, know. And that's why, after receiving this Knowledge, we leave all these kinds of things. And drugs are not the only problem, there are other things. But see, they have to have the alternative, and the alternative is the Knowledge. And if we can give them the Knowledge, really I cannot describe it in words.
Divine Times, Volume II, Number 6, US Edition - April 1, 1973 and Perfect Master Tape 001, April 1, 1973
Guru Puja, Alexandra Palace, London, July 13 1973
Because God is not like that. God is something that even these eyes can't see. Because these eyes were made to see this whole huge world and God is in a dimension which is beyond this world. Beyond any limits of creation and destruction. And we can realise that form He is in, sure we can. And that is what realising this Knowledge is because that is something that can bring peace to us, that can bring bliss to us. That's the real bliss. Taking drugs and tripping out is not bliss. It's tripping out, you see, and you are totally confused because you cannot make up your mind.
The Golden Age, Number 9, July 6 - July 27, 1974
Germany, October 8 1973
The Mirror: Are drugs permitted?
Maharaj Ji: We do not want people to take drugs.
Der Spiegel, a popular German newspaper
San Francisco California, February 10 1974
Maharaj Ji, what would you say to a premie that smokes dope and smokes cigarettes?
Well, the only thing I can say is that, look. You already have a Knowledge that is far superior to that. It's like this person who has an airplane and is saying, "Oh, I want to go to Los Angeles as soon as possible. Oh, I want to go to Los Angeles as soon as possible. I want to take the quickest means." And he has a jet which is okay. It runs. It's perfect. But all he does is take his briefcase and suitcase and start walking towards Los Angeles. And that's not the quickest means. And it's just like that. Saying, "Oh, I want the realization. Oh, I want that perfectness. Oh, I want this enlightenment as soon as possible," and then still going to something that is completely inferior, when Knowledge itself is superior. What can Knowledge do until you have really concentrated on it? If you have really understood it … until then what can Knowledge really do to you? If you are not meditating on it, it is just like food before you. If you are not eating that food, it's not going to go by itself into your tummy. And it's like that.
Élan Vital, Volume IV, Issue 4, Winter 1980
Seattle, Washington, February 12, 1974
And the reason for this automatic computer being given to us is to make the decision and to realize the perfect Knowledge and to meditate upon it and be completely blissful. Because I'll tell you something. If you haven't experienced bliss, you haven't experienced anything. And I don't mean the bliss by dope. I mean the bliss of this Knowledge, which is pure. It's completely, completely pure. And this is what you have to experience, and this is what you have to realize.
Elan Vita, Volume I, Issue 1, Autumn 19777
Copenhagen, Denmark, July 3 1974
All those ancestors made religions and those religions are coming right down to 1974, right down to this day. No Peace. So definitely we should try something else.
And that something else is the only thing left to try. I mean if you go back to bed and give it a little thought, what else is there that you can try? People have tried dope. They have become alcoholics and junkies.
You go to New York; you see them a lot.
Élan Vital magazine, Volume III Issue 1 Spring 1978
Mahatma Padarthanand, Melbourne, Australia, April 20, 1975
That wrong conditioning comes from premies, "You can meditate on this Knowledge when you are smoking dope; that will be push, lift." We are giving this bad conditioning because we are not trying to be practical example. When I came in 1973 in Adelaide, I gave Knowledge to more than 100 brothers and sisters, without Knowledge enquiry, without questions and answers, nothing. Because I was so positive, having conditioning of India that anyone who comes for Knowledge is so beautiful, ready, pure. I gave Knowledge on and on and on but after some time I learnt that "Oh actually I am not serving them properly" and then I gave them time for question/ answer, pre-Knowledge satsang and this and that. So some brothers and sisters have received Knowledge after attending satsang for a few days and they are multiplying this idea that "Why do you have to do satsang, why do you have to do service? I have received this Knowledge, still I am smoking. I am doing this crazy trip, still I have Knowledge."
Golden Age, Number 20, May, 1975
Fankfurt Conference, 28 November 1976
1978, that'll be a nice year, right? It'd be no problem. It might be something worthwhile; it's a nice place. Of course, we'll have to send the WPC there to clean out the hash (roars of laughter) and cut all the bhang leaves out and then when the other premies go there, they won't find anything. (laughter). We would design it in a certain way; we would have park facilities and every facility - parks, shops, roads, everything from one complex. Premies come in, close the gate (laughter), that's it! We could have big towers where premies stand with binoculars (laughter). Well the point is, you come from such a place, it takes a lot of energy to get together to pull off a programme like that; and you have this premie who is completely out of his head stoned, trying to listen to satsang and doesn't understand anything, just wastes his time - there's no point in that. No, that's a very, very good possibility if we look into it more. A little more to straighten out, look into the chartering, how many premies, do your statistics.
The Frankfurt Conference, Divine Light Mission booklet
The Frankfurt Conference, Evening November 28 1976
Look at people, they go into drugs, they go into this, they go into that, they go to this trip, they go to that trip. They're trying to hide, they're trying to hide, they're trying to push away the world, but that is not how you get happiness. The reason is because you simply don't understand that it's not the presence that is doing it, it is the absence that is doing it. What are we all about? Who are we? What are we doing here? I was reading some articles when I was in San Francisco, and the first time I went to San Francisco, one of the premies pointed out to me from where the whole LSD trip began. It's a little house, from where the whole LSD trip began, where hippie-ism supposedly began from this street in San Francisco. People were trying to run, to hide, to escape, from absence, but they just don't know that. They don't know that what is haunting them doesn't exist, so they can't escape from it, they can't hide from it, because it just doesn't exist. And that is why after going in to the whole trip of this world, after trying to hide so much, there is no satisfaction. But Knowledge brings us the presence. Knowledge brings us the presence of love. Brings us the presence of that reality that we want to go into and therefore the absence, the craziness automatically goes away, and that is all that happens in our lives. And we change, everything turns around because the absence has become presence, it becomes true. From fake, it becomes a reality. From a non-experience, it becomes an experience.
The Frankfurt Conference booklet
Atlantic City Conference, December 20, 1976
There's a lot of garbage excuses people give: "Oh it does this to you, it does that …" and that's the same thing that Knowledge does but more in a sense where it's actually lasting. There's a lot of, there's a lot of people who drink bhang*, in India And I know them, you know? It's just like bhang, y'know, everybody used to drink bhang in ashram. In India. And all of a sudden they would get just, the eye would, the eyes would be glowing red, and you couldn't even talk to them. Y'know, they would be just, somewhere else, in their own little world, y'know, diving in some cove or something. And you walk right past by them and say: "Listen. You know what's happening?" Y'know? And people would just sit there and go to sleep, or do this. And it's just like - there's a Knowledge - see, this is Knowledge that's been revealed to us, this has been given to us - it's more fantastic. Whatever can we ever substitute it for? Why don't we do that, why don't we understand that, why don't we progress in that part? Y'know? Because I know that a person who is stoned cannot really do meditation. For all the every time he sits down for it he'll fall off. When you, that's when, all your horses go wild. And that's the way it is. Because it's just like, there's no control over anything. And I've seen that, I've seen that. Unless, y'know, that's, that's just like: "because I haven't said it - it means it's OK". Y'know? Knowledge. There it is. Y'know? Same thing with alcohol, same thing with cigarettes, same thing with, with eating eggs and all the other stuff. That really influences you.… A lot of people are just, they, instead of having brains they just got horsemeat. (laughter) They don't understand (laughs).
Atlantic City Conference Audio Tape
Questions & Answers, San Francisco, California, February 10, 1979
Q: Maharaj Ji, what would you say to a premie that smokes dope and smokes cigarettes?
A: Well, the only thing I can say is that, look. You already have a Knowledge that is far superior to that. It's like this person who has an airplane and is saying, "Oh, I want to go to Los Angeles as soon as possible. Oh, I want to go to Los Angeles as soon as possible. I want to take the quickest means." And he has a jet which is okay. It runs. It's perfect. But all he does is take his briefcase and suitcase and start walking towards Los Angeles. And that's not the quickest means. And it's just like that. Saying, "Oh, I want the realization. Oh, I want that perfectness. Oh, I want this enlightenment as soon as possible," and then still going to something that is completely inferior, when Knowledge itself is superior.
Q: Maharaj Ji, sometimes what I like to do is smoke pot. And I know very often I make it a point to meditate and go to quiet places and my meditations are incredible. It's like a Knowledge review.
Now, look! It's like this. You want to lose weight and the proper way to lose weight is actually to do exercise and all you start doing is eating dehydrating pills. Now you might lose a little bit of weight, but each time you drink water … to what extent can you lose weight that way? Knowledge is something that you have to get into without using any external means. You understand? I'll tell you one thing. And try to imagine this. There was certainly a time when this whole Earth was not yet created and still God was there. And at that time, I'll bet you that there wasn't any pot. And still Knowledge existed. People realized it without smoking pot. I think that's the way you should do it, too. Because by using an external means of actually getting into meditation, you are limiting yourself from that infinite power. You are limiting yourself from actually understanding and getting into Knowledge. Because then, each time you have to do meditation, you have to have that. And if you want to do meditation twenty- four hours a day, that means you have to smoke pot twenty-four hours a day. And that's just not the way to go about it. It's something that is within inside of you and you have to get into it without any externals. And that is why this Knowledge is given.
Élan Vital, Volume IV, Issue 4, Winter 1980
Hans Jayanti Festival, Kissimmee, Florida, November 5 1979
And the thing is, we have to ask ourselves the question: Have we dedicated our lives to Guru Maharaj Ji? Have we really given our lives to Guru Maharaj Ji? As simple as that. And are we truly qualified to be a recipient of that Grace, to be a recipient of that shelter of Guru Maharaj Ji? Of course not. Because we get out of one big trip from this world … Whatever it is. Maybe it's smoking dope. Maybe it's LSD. Maybe it's something else. And this whole thing becomes another trip for us.
Élan Vital, Volume IV, Issue 3, Fall 1980
Hans Jayanti, November, 1979
* Don't bring alcohol or non-prescription drugs on-site.
Hans Jayanti '79 booklet
'Bhang' is a Hindi word for various intoxicating narcotics derived from the plant cannabis sattiva. (OED) The word is commonly used to describe a beverage laced with hashish (cannabis resin), such as "Bhang lassi", a drink of watered-down yoghurt laced with the drug).