Are psychedelic drugs helpful in spirituality?

Acharya Prashant
5 min readMay 31, 2021

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner: Recently, I came across an article on psychedelic drugs. I was surprised to know that a large part of the spiritual community consumes such psychedelic drugs and claims that it has helped them remain peaceful.

I was even more surprised to find that many spiritual teachers encourage their people to take psychedelic drugs, especially LSD, etc. Osho has once said, “The drug opens up a door and helps you to understand that man’s life and his experience need not be confined to the ordinary, mundane world. He can fly high towards the stars. He is capable of knowing things which are not ordinarily available. Psychedelics can open doors, not lead you through them.”

Acharya Prashant: When you want to be intoxicated, there is a lot to be intoxicated upon.

First of all, understand this: yes the mind is eager to go beyond the daily, mundane experiences, and that’s why the seeker goes to a Teacher. But, if the Teacher fails in bringing the seeker to the beyond, then this is the option that the Teacher has.

So, recommending the use of psychedelic drugs, in fact just tells of the inability of the Teacher to take the seeker beyond usual consciousness, through other means.

It’s like this. You want Samadhi (Peace), and instead of that, you are given Nidra (sleep). There is at least something in common between Samadhi and Nidra. Both are removed from your usual state of consciousness.

So, having given you Nidra, now the Teacher can claim that he has given you something that was not usually experience-able to you. But, is this what the seeker wanted? Instead of taking him to the higher level of consciousness, you are actually lowering his state of consciousness.

You are turning him unconscious.

What will be the result? He will definitely experience a change. But, is the change for the good? Is it a change that takes you higher? No. It’s a bad change. And if this is the route that many spiritual seekers seek, then this route is nothing but a verdict upon the disciple and the teacher.

Acharya Prashant