Secret Drugs of Buddhism

This is interesting — a book on the use of psychoactive substances in Vajrayana Buddhism. There’s hopes that this will be published as a physical book but in the meantime you can pay for site membership and read it online. You can also browse the first few paragraphs of most chapters, apparently. The book’s site sez:

“Secret Drugs of Buddhism is the culmination of over forty years of research by an ordained layman of the Kagyud order of Tibetan Buddhism into his own school of Buddhism, generally known as the “thunderbolt vehicle” (Sanskrit, vajrayāna). Also called the “tantra vehicle” (Skt., tāntrayāna) and the “easy vehicle” (Skt., sahajayāna), it is now known mostly from its presence in Tibet though Vajrayāna Buddhism originated in India and it is these Indian roots which are the book’s main focus.

“While investigating the obscure origins of the Vajrayāna the author became intrigued by the pivotal role played by a ritual sacrament known as “the elixir of immortality” (Skt.,amṛita). The Vajrayāna tradition makes extensive use of this sacrament: some form ofamṛita is consumed at the outset of all its major rituals. While modern “amṛita” is an innocuous concoction of herbs, grains and saffron, the word amṛita originally denoted a potion made from psychoactive mushrooms, most notably fly agaric and Psilocybe cubensis. By the time of the later Buddhist tāntras, a concoction of five psychoactive plants, known in Sanskrit as pañcāmṛita, were being used as the sacrament.1 This work provides copious evidence that, in historical times, several psychedelic plants were used sacramentally within the Buddhist tradition.

“It is hoped that this book will soon be published as a hard-copy edition but, for now, it is available on-line only, at this web-site. In the interim, a downloadable PDF version is being developed.

If you have not enrolled as a member, please feel free to browse although you will find that the text of most chapters fades away after the first few paragraphs.2 However, a small fee buys lifetime site-membership which allows complete access to the site, the ability to contribute to discussions with other members and (when implemented) the ability to download PDFs of the chapters.”

The site is here:


Frater Lux Ad Mundi


  1. I am currently engaged in talks with a publisher regarding this book. Since uploading it to the web 3 years ago, I have added much supplemental material and about 100 illustrations. It will be in 9″x6″ format and I expect the page-count to be around 480 (it’s currently 465 but I’m adding index entries and may also include a Glossary.
    The book may see the light of day this year (2015) but will most likely hit the bookstores in Spring 2016. I hope the publisher keeps the price below $20 but that’s their decision. I have another meeting with them scheduled for next week and I’ll be posting any new developments on the “Secret Drugs of Buddhism” Facebook page.

    • Dear Mike
      Thanks for the update! As soon as you finalize plans for publishing the revised edition please drop us a line. We’d love to post the news on the blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *