I was introduced to marijuana at the age of twelve. While this may seem quite young it is very common in America.
I came to know about Sri Sathya Sai Baba four years later at the age of sixteen. I loved Him with all my heart and before long my heart began to make it clear that this love and my drug habit could not mix.
I tried again and again to give up smoking. Again and again, I failed. In this way I went through much guilt and pain. Still I was determined. I prayed constantly to Baba for help and never gave up the fight.
Shortly after my nineteenth birthday I was sitting up in my sister's apartment. She had gone to bed and I was wide-awake. Having just drunk two cups of coffee I knew I would be up for several hours.
I had been smoking less and less and was determined to give it up altogether. I had made the vow and now came the test.
On the table in front of me was a pipe and a large bag of marijuana. My mind began tempting. "Go ahead, you haven't smoked for a long time," it said. But I said, "No!" and prayed to Baba for strength. "Baba," I said, "I do this for You."
I went through over three hours of torture as my mind tempted and I resisted. I tried to escape in sleep but the coffee kept me awake. There was nothing I could do but endure the suffering of this mental battle.
Finally, exhausted, I drifted off to sleep and in sleep I learned that through pain I had proven my devotion to God. As I lay slumbering I was rewarded with a most wonderful dream.
All pain and exhaustion vanished as Baba came to me and said, "Thank you for loving Me."