Interview with Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

By Vidya Pradhan Motorcycle riding, Frisbee playing iconoclast or loving spiritual mentor? After an interview with Sadhguru, I can almost picture him saying with a belly laugh “Are the two mutually exclusive?” I heard of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev through two friends who have been deeply influenced by his words, his actions and even his very presence. A spiritual rebel who has disclaimed deep knowledge of traditional Hindu scriptures, Sadhguru experienced a transcendent bliss at the age of 25 and has since made it his mission to share his experiences with others. He has served as delegate to the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, the Alliance for the New Humanity, and is an active supporter of the World Council of Religious and Spiritual Leaders. Recently he was in the Bay Area to address the members of TIECON. Through his Isha Foundation, he has directed several outreach programs for life-term prisoners, impoverished children and rural rejuvenation in southern India. When he graciously agreed to a phone interview from India, I was a little intimidated. Despite reading many of his speeches and sayings, I was no closer to understanding the essence of his teachings. WNI: You talk about ‘being liberated and enhancing life’s possibilities’. Could you elaborate on that concept. Sadhguru: Every person is in some level of bondage. These are our limitations. In many ways these are self imposed. WNI: Aren’t some limitations socially imposed? Sadhguru: All of these are self imposed. If you can be bound by something you can also be liberated. WNI: That is a little deep for me Sadhguru, I am not sure I understand that concept. Sadhguru: Not being able to understand is also a limitation, is it not? If you strive for it can you break it? There were many things you thought you could not do, but you have broken that, is that not true? Likewise, you have also gathered many limitations that were not there in your childhood. WNI: Can one live completely without limitations? Is that a reasonable goal for a human being to aspire to? Sadhguru: How can it not matter? Does it not affect your life? People have been preaching that we should achieve joy, happiness, that the most important thing for a person is to become free. All these things are important because when you’re happy you feel free, when you love, you feel free. WNI: So does happiness come from freedom? Sadhguru: Not necessarily. Freedom is way beyond happiness. When you are happy you feel a little free so you go for that. When you are in love you feel free so you go for that. Whatever gives you the sense of freedom you go for that. Because ultimately the only thing that matters is to be free. We seek bondage because it gives us a sense of security. Being married also gives a sense of security and purpose. Is this not also a bondage? What you are saying is that the creator’s creation is not good enough and you have to paint it to make it good. WNI: So should one strive to be as natural as possible? Sadhguru: No,no,no. If we were as natural as possible we would all live as wild animals. WNI: But then by imposing civilization, are we not imposing limitations on ourselves? Sadhguru: By imposing civilization, we can see the necessity of the situation and not be bound be it. Playing a role is not the problem, becoming the role is a problem. WNI: Why do you call a spiritual undertaking a science? Sadhguru: A systematic approach is what makes it a science. When we systematically explore the physical world we call it a physical science. Similarly, when we systematically approach the inner world, we call it an inner science or yogic science. WNI: What principles should we live by? Sadhguru: Drop the principles. All principles are a substitute for a lack of consciousness. If you were aware, you would live life as it is necessary to be lived now. If awareness is missing, you are trying to replace it with morals and ethics. If your humanity is on full swing you wouldn’t need morality. Only because there are so many ways we suppress our humanity, you need morality to be good. WNI: What as individuals are our responsibilities? Sadhguru: What do you mean by responsibilities? WNI: The duties we have towards our family, our coworkers. Sadhguru: What a horrible way to live your life! If you had a little love in your heart, then these words – principle, morality, responsibility- would not be necessary. All this nonsense is because we have lost the love we have for humanity. WNI: In some interviews you have used ‘karma’ as a negative word and you talk about dissolution of Karma? What does that mean? Sadhguru: Karma means literally ‘action’ but generally we mean ‘past action’. How what we have done in the past affects what we are today. The things you have done with your body, with your mind, with your emotions and your energy since the time of your birth is deciding what kind of a person you are, how you see things, how you experience things. is it not? The impressions of that are what cause the bondage. Because you can have only a limited exposure in your life, you will be limited. So unless you free yourself from this, you cannot look at all the enormous possibilities out there. The past is ruling the present and future. You are recreating your future just like the past. So karma is like old software- it is written into your system. Unless you become free from that there is no choice in your life. There is no such thing as good bondage and bad bondage. You can know life only through perception not by thought. When we talk about a spiritual process, we are trying to move from the psychological to the existential. What you think is just your creation. Just experiencing life the way it is and not the way you think it is. It is not easy to shake off because you yourself have created it. WNI: You have said that everyone must find their own way. So is having a guru essential? What is the role of a guru? Sadhguru: A guru is like a road map. You can travel by yourself if you want. Vasco da Gama and Columbus sailed by themselves. Of course, Columbus landed in the wrong place and that’s where you are! When you are traveling uncharted terrain, it is good to have a road map. It is also possible to go without one but to find something that is right next to you, you may go around the world and come back. But if you go with somebody who has already traveled the path it is much easier. If you want a wild and adventurous time, you can go by yourself. We don’t know how long it will take. WNI: For many people it is the religion which is a road map. Could we survive without it? Sadhguru: Religion is a road map to get lost. All religions started somewhere as a spiritual path but somewhere along the way they get so twisted and turned with local culture and politics that after 1000 years it is no more a road map, it is completely distorted. WNI: Do you think the human community is moving in the right direction? If not, are we at a point where big change is possible? Sadhguru: Growth is always individual. This is the whole thing. People are always asking “what is your idea of a peaceful world?.” Do you think if we remove all the guns in the world we will have peace? People will just shoot with their mouth. Unless there are peaceful individuals the world will not be peaceful. And creating peaceful individuals is an enormous task. Going on the street, putting up banners is easy. How many people can sit in one place peacefully? WNI: You have given speeches at the WEF and TIECON. If it so difficult to communicate to people in groups, what do you hope to achieve? Sadhguru: Even if you talk to 10 or 1000 people, the person who is listening is an individual. What you are trying to communicate is that there is a need to make a journey – it is not the journey itself. It is not possible to begin the process in an uncommitted, casual atmosphere. We just use that environment to inspire and above all to make them see that they can learn from themselves; that there is a way to live in a far better way than they are right now. So it is just mostly inspirational. We never print or publish any of these talks. WNI: Having met so many political and economic leaders, are you hopeful about humanity? Sadhguru: I have great trust in humanity. I have turned around so many people- convicts, murderers- I have seen any number of them change their lives; I don’t see why these leaders can’t be turned around. Am I hopeful? No. I am trustful. I am trustful that the simple message of inner transformation that we hold in our hands can transform any kind of human being. WNI: How do you feel about the many layers between you and the people you are trying to reach? Now that the organization has grown to such an extent do you feel you are still effective? Sadhguru: I had kept it very curtailed, I had not allowed it to grow because I didn’t want a huge organization around me. I always wanted it to be a small band of people who can do this. But now I have allowed it to grow because I found them effective. Definitely in South India we have a big impact. People in small ways have found better ways of living, more harmony in their lives, in their families, in their society. Recently, a minister went to a taluk where we have been working for some time. A group of people gathered. The minister asked, “Tell me what are your problems.” They replied, “We have no problems!” The minister coudn’t believe it. Normally when a minister visits there are always petitions and problems and complaints. 70% of the population of the village was doing yoga. The minister got so rattled he sent a bunch of people to investigate this ‘yoga’! What we are doing is just a drop. The problems are so enormous, whatever we do is just a tiny drop. I wish much more could happen. WNI: ISHA foundation does a lot of grassroots work. Which gives you more satisfaction- the discourses you give or the outreach initiatives done by your organization? Sadhguru: Nothing gives me satisfaction because I am not looking for any satisfaction. I am not a missionary with some kind of zeal. I do things because I think they need to be done. I just reach out that way. It is not in search of achievement or happiness, it is just simple humanity that you reach out and do things while there is still life in you. It is just the action of a concerned human being. WNI: What do you think of Isha’s future? Sadhguru: I am not thinking of Isha’s future! I am only concerned about how humanity is going to live in this planet and live with all its contradictions and problems. It seems very bad but at the same time there are aspects within human beings that they can turn around and do wonderful things. I am trying to see how to ignite those possibilities so that people can make their lives beautiful. WNI:How would you distill the complexity of the world into its most basic element? Sadhguru: I would say live it totally. When I say live it totally, I am not saying party every night, Before you fall dead, all dimensions of life you must explore and go. There are such enormous possibilities within you. Most people are living such a miniscule portion of what they are capable of. They are not exploring so many dimensions. It is every human being’s birthright that he must know who he is before he dies. If human beings realized the immensity of what is to be a human being there wouldn’t be so much god talk in the planet. The short interview with Sadhguru gave me a glimpse of his thought processes but still left me quite bemused. “The more I ask, the more questions I have,” I remarked to Jayanthi Hari, who has been following Sadhguru’s teachings for the last couple of years. “The magic of Sadhguru is that in his presence all questions come to rest. You become meditative,” replied Jayanthi. She read his book ‘Encounter the enlightened’ and attended his beginning yoga program in Princeton. Sadhguru’s Isha foundation conducts yoga courses designed for self-discovery and inner growth. “I can honestly say that he transformed my life,” she reminisces. “When my family moved to the US, I had a lot of misgivings and was very unhappy with my situation and my environment. All those dropped overnight in his presence. All I was left with was a great longing to know why I was here in this world, what was my purpose in life?” And did she get the answers? “The first course put me on the right path. Since then I have done the advanced courses and feel that I have found my purpose in life.” She shares a poem by Sadhguru titled ‘UnmakingThose who feed upon the written word Claim to know the limits of the boundless beyond In the realm of the beyond Clueless is the scholarly dud The gloriousness of the written word Is but the excreta of the deluded mind If in you a raging longing i have made Don't you quench it with the delusions of the mind Allow yourself to be unmade Into the vastness of the beyond you will be made For more information on Sadhguru’s teachings and the programs offered by the Isha Foundation, visit the foundation’s website.

47 thoughts on “Interview with Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

  1. Subhash

    I usually watch the telecast of Astha Channel on Sunday. I have not met Swamiji but have a feeling that might happen soon. I request the Isha Foundation to enhace the TV telecast everyday for 30 mins. Young generation must join and see the closer way of enjoying life.

  2. sarah

    This guy is a fake, self proclaimed messiah and says nothing that any thinking, feeling person doesnt already know. The story about his wife disappearing needs to be looked into and basicall he is leading people away from the truth and deceiving them either deliberately or unwittingly. His influence is growing in the West but he should not take you in.

  3. Rajesh Ulagu

    Namaskaram,
    Sadhguru is a happening…He is a Mystic…and if anyone tries to understand Him, he find himself a fool. He can neither be predicted nor be reminded.
    Reading Sadhguru’s Interview is like reading message from God that is full of life.
    Please have in mind, He is always ‘is’ and no ‘was’ or ‘will be’.

  4. ravindra r. bijoor

    Pramans to the Master….

    the taste of the compassion from the ‘Master’ cannot be expressed in words….. one can just bask in the Grace……….. and cannot even say Thanks

  5. k ravi chandra

    All these babas are making money, at the same time they are making everybody fool.
    Try to work hard. The God will help. 

    K RAVI CHANDRA

  6. Spa Massage

    What a interesting and great site you have here. You have a large wide variety of subjects and interesting subjects and it is a pleasure to read.

  7. Spa Massage

    What a great and fascinating location you have here. You have a wide number of topics and interesting subjects and it is a pleasure to read.

  8. Dondero

    The following is the Indian Express report as appearing on October 12, 1997 about Police registering a case of murder by Jaggi Vasudev:

    Coimbatore, Oct, 11: Close on the heels of scandals relating to fake godmen getting exposed, yet another ashram from Coimbatore is in the limelight with Jaggi Vasudev aliash Jagadeesh of Isha Yoga ashram at Poondi near Coimbatore, being charged with the murder of his wife Viji alias Vijayakumari.

    A team of police personnel recently visited the premises of Isha Ashram at poondi and interrogated the inmates of the ashram. Godman Jaggi is away in the US.

    According to police, T. S. Ganganna of Bangalore (father of Viji) had preferred a complaint with the Bangalore Police suspecting foul play in the death of his daughter Viji. The complaintant had stated that his daughter left him last on June 15, 1996. He reportedly received a message on January 23, 1997, from Jaggi Vasudev, stating that Viji was no more.

    Ganganna said that Jaggi Vasudev had hurriedly completed the cremation on Jan.24 even before they could rush from Bangalore, raising suspicion about the nature of death. He suspected death due to poisoning or strangulation.

    According to him, Jaggi Vasudev could have caused the death of Viji to facilitate his illicit relationship with yet another inmate of the ashram. Based on the complaint of Ganganna to the Bangalore City Police on Aug. 12, a case was registered.

    The Bangalore City Police transferred it to the Coimbatore Rural Police.

    The Coimbatore Rural Police have registered a case against Jaggi Vasudev under Section 302 of IPC (murder) and IPC 201 (suppression of evidence).

    Later. Isa Yoga Foundatrion has denied reports that Jaggi Vasudev had fled to USA to avoid investigation of ashram. Authorised Signatory of Ashram Kiran stated that Guruji had gone for giving lectures . ENS

  9. Spa Massage

    What a wonderful and fascinating location you have here. You have a wide variety of topics and interesting subjects and it is a pleasure to read.

  10. Premnath.M.N.

    I recently attend the Inner Engineering program of Sadguru at Mysore and it was nice that he taught us some yogic exercises and how to do Sahambavi mudra and honestly speaking nothing like body trembling or nothing made me to shout or made me to cry, but some of the people just went crazy, they were just ecstasy, might be they were very weak. Regarding his way of asking people to change the society and treat all people with love I was unable to understand because the world is not that of Sadguru want to show us, I being a Advocate everyday I witness, selfish attitude, hatred, cheating and etc among the society and that is the reason we Advocates are rich. It is also a fact that to be good one can be good without anyone’s advice or teaching and it is all one’s perception where necessity of Either Sadguru or Saibaba never arise and this is my view.

  11. sheela

    namasthe i read one or two articles about guruji . i would love read moreof speeches . how 2 go about

  12. Dinesh

    No one has any idea if the guy is bluffing about the infinite possibility. Only the guy can tell you how he decieved himself and the others. :oops: I do not see him acheiving anything that the other “competitors” like sai baba, etc… achieved. It’s a cult. I would gladly follow guys like LN Mittal, Soota etc… who create jobs and create enough economic activity to feed millions than follow this guy.

  13. barthassarasy

    our Sadhguru has taken us to Kailash what a way to be with him no vocabalary to describe our inner feelings thanks sadhguru ……

  14. NIRAKARA SARASWATI

    PADANAMASKARA, SRI JAGGI VASUDEV…

    Since forever I have searched for You… Guru-ji, through the corridors of time and space… attempting to live the union of transcendence and embodiment, the sacred and the mundane, spirit and matter… as a lived reality. But there was such a hole in my heart, because the Tapasyas seemed never-ending, and there seemed so much to transcend before my True Guru would find me.

    Other MahaSiddhi Gurus were available to me, because I was one-pointed in my quest for Moksha to benefit all Sentient Beings and would not give up my search no matter the cost, (and there were many)… alone in tribal India. But always a big component was missing in the famous Gurus that I knew… who gave me much shakti for weeks or months, and then sent me on my way. They seemed to be more interested in people who could offer them fame and wealth, the things I couldn’t offer them in exchange for guidance over time, through the levels of Samadhi.

    They didn’t seem to realize that they were here on earth for a purpose bigger than their own gratification, nor that the price Divinely understood for their siddhis was to train others in the ways of liberation who would actually come back again and again (by choice) to help liberate the rest of mankind. They had little committed interest over time in a renunciant monk like me… a Sannyasi-Sadhu who had only a lifetime of sadhana to offer, and her service to the poor on three continents, which was always part of my sadhana, from childhood on.

    I prayed for a Guru like You, Jaggi Vasudev… implored the ethers that (somewhere, in a dimension unknown to me) would be some selfless Divine Being in charge of seeing within the soul of sincere Bodhisattva-inclined aspirants, abandoned by the wrong Gurus, wandering… one-foot-in-front-of-the-other, from youth into old age, in eternal Parivrajaka all over tribal India, without guidance nor the Grace of a true Gurus, lost and alone… but never giving up the possibility of being found and led, as she helped whomever crossed her path who needed help, on three continents.

    Now that I have found You, the Guru of my dreams, overcoming many obstacles and against all odds, the trajectory of our paths are about to meet in Detroit in a few days. Maybe someone will give this to You to read before your eyes meet mine. Your unforgettable eyes that have attracted thousands. They have been calling me from across continents, and I can only pray that my belief in karmic “miracles” (which has never wavered) will hold me in good stead… and the Grace of discipleship with You as my Guru, will be granted.

    Padanamaskara from the humble, very grateful heart and soul of,
    Nirakara Saraswati

  15. PRAKASH N BHAT

    Sadguru transformed my life. He has given me the courage to live the life and see life in life. No word is enough to thank him. Pranaams sadguru.

  16. shishya

    An Isha meditator named Raine wrote and sings that theme song. She is a beautiful singer and has perfomed with Sounds of Isha, the in-house musical troupe that accompanies Sadhguru at his talks and sathsangs.

  17. nachiket

    you are doing a good job.keep it up. please let me know anything if i can do for your mission hindi in India at Indore ( M.P.), India

  18. Eternal Truth

    Very impressive! I got to read a little about Sadhguru in some news, I researched and came across this interview.

    What he said here is phenomenal and just in continuation of vedantic knowledge.

  19. Pingback: ** Jaggi aka Jagadguru?? « GLOBE ONLINE

  20. avtar singh

    life is no longer the same.i feel it is he who is living in this body.somewhere
    that old stupid myself is lost on the path of sadhana.it is sadguru’s grace.

  21. senthil kumar

    Nice article… Very practical discussion…I love sadhguru…
    Such a great man himself and to the world…

  22. Raj

    When I completed reading “Mystic Musings” in a weeks time,I could see everything in a much more clearer way, now I do not need any glasses/medium to feel the natural existence.I hope this will help me in moving beyond the physical being. Let the divine shine in all!!

  23. CHITRA

    SADGURU IS EVERYTHING ONE NEEDS IN A GURU.
    HE SHAKES YOU UP FROM THE ROOTS & SHOWS YOU WHERE YOU ARE & WHERE YOU ARE HEADED.
    IF I HAD ONE WISH FOR THE WORLD, IT WOULD BE THAT EVERYONE LISTENS TO WHAT HE HAS TO SAY & DO ACCORDINGLY. IT WOULD CHANGE THIS PLANET.

  24. RMS (CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT)

    sathguru is the one of the greatest enlightened yogi of this century. We must follow him.

  25. shine rajesh

    a nice man, i read only few of his books but that books gave me a lot.Now he is a nice friend to me.He has a magical voice and his words are also magical words that
    can transform individuals life.

  26. Live From Within

    When I met Sadguru, his presence immediately brought me deep into the core of my being; I am so grateful and joyous now: )

  27. Ershad

    As i am a 20the century man. I have not seen Buddha, Jesus and Mohamed. But now i am seeing him as a reincarnation of Buddha, Jesus and Mohamed. I revere him not to become rich or get security but to get grace from him.

  28. RAMPRASAD

    Sadhguru …… he is nothing and he is every thing..i mean these two words hope u will understand…..ram

  29. Mundeep Singh Achreja`

    “Thankyou Endlessly,” is the theme song for your TV program on ASTHA(channel 2005), it is song from the heart.

  30. venkatasubramanian

    message was really very good.i want to know how i can work in my job without stagnet mind

  31. S.Ekambaram

    Sadhguru is a gift of our times. Let us look from within as Sadhguru wants us to. We are all only potentially divine. But Sadhguru is a Realized Diviinity. If one human being can attain the goal of this life, the bliss beyond, so can we.

    S. Ekambaram

  32. Ramakishore B

    Human being is a computer with inbuilt anti-virus which needs to be activated daily. Atlast the Yogis in India made it a point to spread the method of activating. All these years we looked for antivirus from external vendors which have side effects. Once the health of the computer is excellent the next stage is to develop good programs that are useful to the humanity. Then the Happiness and Bliss will be the experience. This is what I infer from Swamiji’s Talk.

  33. Deepta

    pDot!!!!!!!!!!!!!! reconnecting after an age… stumbled upon your interview on the isha site. do give me your mail id.

    luv,
    d

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