Yes, Ayurveda is a science, it definitely has many mantra aushadhis; some herbs do induce a state of calmness. But dependency on them again is bondage, so Vedanta discards it.
Ayurveda and Yoga, both definitely talk about herbs which can make you very calm and go deep, but most of these herbs, these drugs, that people use are harmful to the system. More harmful than the good that it does.
All these recreational drugs, absolutely not! It just destroys your body. It will temporarily give you a little high state that just takes you off from the mundane to a seemingly subtle feeling. But I have never tried it, never ever.
So this is what people say, but I don’t recommend it because I see people who use all this; smoke Marijuana or Afeem (Opium) and all that. Look at their face, there is no joy, no vibrancy, no radiance and they have no aura. So it never triggered any interest in me.
If you go to a Kumbh Mela, you will find a lot of sadhus who smoke Hookah, Charas, Opium, but looking at their faces it is far from anything you would call spiritual. They are completely oblivious of everything else in the world. They are in their own world. None of the signs of enlightenment you can see in them. So this is unfortunate.
Yes, in the past, this has been used only as a therapy. See, if somebody was too obsessed with sex, or somebody was too obsessed with greed, or jealousy, or some sort of delusion, then in the past they would have given them just a little bit to turn their mind off from whatever trouble they were in, but they never used it so much.
The same with tantric sex as well, it was given only to someone who was obsessed with sex too much. Do you see what I am saying?
Somebody has some hormonal imbalance in the body and they can’t think of anything but sex, the whole day and night, for those people they said this is all like walking on the razors edge. So a well experienced Guru would initiate them and give them just for that.
Only for a short period of time, not forever but for 3 months, 6 months or 1 year, something like that, so that the things would balance in the system. This is one particular section that they used to teach; but that whole tradition is lost now.