Saturday, June 3, 2017

Meher Baba and marijuana

An infinitesimally small number of self-described Meher Baba followers tell people that they are explaining Baba to that Meher Baba did not have a prohibition against marijuana, but only 'harder' drugs. Perhaps they hope this will 'sell' Baba as being more cool.

The facts, however, are indisputable that this is not the case on the basis of recorded discourses, published letters and even film recording of his discoursing on the topic.

In the main tract on the topic, "God in a Pill?" published by Baba's approval in 1966 it says:
Baba is emphatically against the use of LSD and 'Ganja' . . . and suchlike drugs and smokes (marijuana and hashish).    
Marijuana is mentioned nineteen times in the original print edition of Baba's principle biography Lord Meher.

As early as 1962 Baba stated:
There are many yogis all over the world. Many of them try to gain bliss through extraneous means and become drug addicts. Many of them become addicted to smoking hemp. After one or two puffs they get a feeling of elation; then gradually the effect wears off. Different types of yogis try to see God through different means, and naturally they get different experiences. But these are in fact only different kinds of hallucinations.
In the original typed transcript for Lord Meher, prior to publication and any meddling in America, in a letter by Mani expressing Baba's wishes it says:
One young aspirant named Paula Gordon wrote to Baba asking, “Is Baba’s message regarding drugs directed primarily to spiritual aspirants, or that all psychedelic drug use is dangerous and all research on human beings should be stopped?”

Baba replied through Adi on May 12th:

"All psychedelic drug use is dangerous, and in the long run is harmful, irrespective of whether it is motivated by spiritual aspirations or otherwise. Baba repeats that marijuana, LSD and other psychedelic drugs should never be used, except when prescribed by a professional medical practitioner in the case of serious mental disorder under his direct supervision."
Still some who are so addicted to marijuana will be convinced by the comitant paranoia known to be associated with the drug, that there is some conspiracy among Baba lovers, and that Baba himself must never have said this. Luckily there is a remedy for this. Baba said it on film.

In 1967, during an interview for the fim Nema Aviona Za Zagreb, Meher Baba explained that drugs produce a false experience and lead to madness. Meher Baba was silent. His disciple Eruch Jessawala interprets his hand gestures. The clip starts with an angle on Baba's feet, then pans the surroundings, but returns to Baba after a few moments.

Transcript: Now, in India, sanyassins... since... and 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 Charras and Bhang. And, they have... they feel uplifted when they take these drugs and they see colours and signs and they feel, through their hallucination, that they have reached the goal. And that false experience is also not continuous. There's a break in their experience, and that is the reason why it is not real, Baba says. Those who take Ganja and drugs, they get uplifted through their drugs and then, in the end, they go crazy, mad.
Ganja, for those that do not know, is the word for hemp in Sanskrit and other modern Indo-Aryan languages.

Meher Baba said again and again that such drugs are harmful mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Tell those who indulge in these drugs (LSD, marijuana, and other types) that it is harmful physically, mentally and spiritually, and that they should stop the taking of 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.
To Robert Dreyfuss in 1964

See also The Marijuana Issue: Secular Considerations with a Spiritual Twist where confusions over the science involved with marijuana is discussed by the leading international Ph.D. on the subject of hallucinogens, Allen Y. Cohen. Also see his article THE CASE OF DRUGS.

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