The World Association of Spiritual Sciences (WASS) founded by Dr. S. K. Sama of the renowned Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi, held its “2nd World Convention on Yoga, Science & Spirituality” from 23 to 24 August 2008 in Delhi as a platform to discuss the subject areas of medical sciences and spirituality. On this occasion, two new books by Sadhguru, Essential Wisdom from a Spiritual Master and The Mystic Eye were released by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, President, Bharatiya Janata Party (Delhi Pradesh), Neelam Rudy, wife of BJP politician Rajiv Pratap Rudy, and ad guru Prahalad Kakkar.
The book launch was preceded by an interview with Sadhguru hosted by Vikram Chandra, Senior Editor and CEO of NDTV Networks. Half an hour before the start of the “Conversations with a Mystic“, the hall’s capacity of 800 seats was exceeded, with people sitting on the aisles, others standing wherever they could find foot space and still many more trying to squeeze in. The response was so overwhelming that despite the alternate arrangement of a live projection of the program in another hall, the organizers had to stall the program start and request the overflow audience to move out of the hall in order to comply with the safety regulations.
Sadhguru introduced the subject by defining mysticism as that which is not in one’s normal perception. Hence, mysticism is about enhancing perception. Driven by the common longing to know more about life, scientists have chosen to look outward, while mystics choose to look inward. He referred to mysticism as “science handled in a more practical way.” Unfortunately, the deeper dimensions of life are generally unexplored, he said and expressed his wish to see mysticism become a part of everyone’s life, just like brushing teeth.
In the following stimulating talk, Sadhguru gave interesting insights to a variety of questions posed by Vikram Chandra. To one question regarding his enlightenment, he said one does not get something just by seeking or wishing for it – one has to do the right things.
As Vikram Chandra probed further, asking if there was a path to enlightenment, Sadhguru elaborated on how we have made the mind into a prejudiced instrument as it always works around whatever one is identified with. He said if we could bring up our children in a way that they distance themselves from their identifications of nationality and religion, the whole world would become spiritual.
Vikram Chandra repeated the common argument that people don’t have time for spirituality. Sadhguru pointed out that turning inwards does not take time. While the common impression is that spirituality disables people, Sadhguru sought to reinforce that spirituality is about enhancing one’s perception of life, which would only assist in one’s profession. He intrigued the audience ranging from business people to doctors and other professionals even more as he revealed his mission to plant “undercover yogis” in the society. To the question how to take this knowledge to the people, Sadhguru replied his approach was to present spirituality as a science.
In his familiar style, Vikram Chandra gave the floor to members of the audience who were waiting to ask questions. When requested to elaborate on human perception, Sadhguru sent the audience into peals of laughter as he humorously exemplified distorted perception, before he led over to the solution: If the mind works our way, we can choose to think the way we want. He also pointed out that enhancing perception equips us to plunge into life, not just to take half steps.
While the audience wouldn’t want to let go, the interview had to come to an end for want of time. Dr. Harsh Vardhan appealed to everyone present not to miss “a God in our midst.” Many questions remained unanswered due to the time constraint; nonetheless, a sense of fulfillment was palpable amongst people as they were thronging the entrance to get a closer look of Sadhguru before he left.
Later that day, some of the country’s movers and shakers gathered at a private residence in Delhi for an evening with Sadhguru. Sadhguru delved into the nature of life and elaborated on the technology to experience life to its fullest. He clarified that when he says “life”, he does not refer to our family, belongings, ideas and other accumulations that we are identified with. He stated that while all animals seem to be handling their survival process of eating, sleeping, reproducing and dying effortlessly, human beings seem to be making a lot of fuss about it because our happiness is so fragile. He also said that only because we have become so serious about life, we have missed being spiritual.
One questioner wanted to know why people on the spiritual path seem to be inflicting pain upon themselves by fasting etc. Sadhguru elaborated on the tradition in this country and how it is related to the body’s rhythm. He pointed out that certain traditions were fixed to compensate for the lack of awareness about what our body needs. Guiding the audience through an experiment with their body, he showed how unaware we are of the body functions.
All this led to the eventual question of how to turn inwards. Sadhguru explained that just as learning to read and write took us some striving, the inner technology also takes some striving and all the more so as it is a subjective technology which requires focused attention. He concluded by inviting everyone to make that investment in one’s inner wellbeing.
For those in the city who are already making this investment, the Delhi meditators, this eventful day had begun with an early morning Sathsang with Sadhguru. Before dawn, over 500 had gathered on the dewy lawns of the Delhi Center, eager for a glimpse of the Master before he left on the following day for the Kailash Yatra. With the first rays of the rising sun reflecting in the pond, Sounds of Isha set the tone for a beautiful day.
Sadhguru settled down on the dais and began to share about the Anandha Alai that has spread across Tamil Nadu. Exemplifying the effects of the “Wave of Bliss”, Sadhguru told how in a city like Erode, 1000s of people were doing their Shambhavi Maha Mudra with tears of bliss in their eyes. He said, probably never before something like this had ever happened and definitely it would create an impact in the city.
Towards the end of the Sathsang, instead of going into his usual style of question and answer, Sadhguru asked everyone to close their eyes, and he started a powerful meditative process. “I felt myself expand beyond myself, filled with ecstasy and a surge of energy,” one of the meditators shared about her experience.
After the process, as people opened their eyes, Sadhguru stood, spreading his arms, and everyone surged forward to hug the Master. As he slowly walked through the crowd to leave, many broke out in tears, overwhelmed by the love and bliss of his presence. The moment was fleeting, the emotion ephemeral, but something of sublime intensity had seeped into them, holding the possibility of enriching not only their lives, but that of many more.