Sadhguru was recently interviewed by the lifestyle magazine Hello! in which he responded to a range of interesting questions. In a three-part series, we have been bringing you excerpts from the piece which appeared in the magazine’s May 2013 issue. While the first two posts dealt with materialism and spirituality and the challenges of modern life, the third and final instalment has Sadhguru speaking about our duty as human beings and how to reach our potential.

Q: Who is a good human being? What are his primary duties towards himself/herself and society?

Sadhguru: As a human being, your only duty is that you grow to your full potential. If you grow to your full potential, your very way of being is absolutely useful. The best things will happen around you; there is no need for you to do any duty.

If you do not know how to make yourself happy, is there any possibility of you making the world a happy place to live in? If you do not know how to manage your body, mind and emotions, can you manage the world? It is not going to happen. If you do not know how to keep yourself, you will definitely not know how to keep the world. So, don’t worry about your duty, see how to nurture yourself to the highest possible level. Then you will do what you should do.

Q: How can one align the mind, body and soul in a way that holds the three together in a fine balance?

Sadhguru: In yoga, we look at the human body as five sheaths. The first sheath is called annamaya kosha or the “food body,” because what you call as the physical body is just a heap of food. The second sheath is called manomaya kosha or the mental body. These two layers can only function in connection with the third dimension, the energy body or pranamaya kosha. You can compare this to computers today – there is hardware and software, but by themselves they cannot do anything unless you plug the computer into quality power.

Pranamaya kosha is the dimension in which most of the yogic practices function. If you keep your pranamaya kosha in perfect balance and fully activated, there can be no such thing as disease either in your physical or mental body. Keeping the energy body in full flow is not about doing healing or things like that. This is about going to the foundations of your energy system and activating it in a proper way by building a foundational yogic practice that establishes your energy in such a way that your body and mind are naturally fine.

Q: How does one evoke happiness from within?

Sadhguru: As there is a science and technology for external wellbeing, there is a science and technology for inner wellbeing. Yoga is an inner technology. When I say yoga, don’t think in terms of impossible physical postures or twisting yourself like rubber bands. This is a deeper understanding of your own body, mind and energy, and about creating an inner situation where you are joyful and peaceful by your own nature. Being peaceful and joyful is not the ultimate goal in life; it is the most fundamental thing in a human being’s life. If you cannot be peaceful and joyful, you are incapable of exploring any other dimension within yourself.

So, to be peaceful and joyful, we have simple methods. If you just make your life energies function in a certain way, you are naturally peaceful and joyful by your own nature.

Q: How does one get rid of fear, especially fear of disease, death and material loss?

Sadhguru: The physical in the existence is constantly under threat because the physical is always within limited boundaries – it is always demarcated. With anything which is demarcated, there is always a fear of losing it. For instance, this physical “you” is constantly under threat. No matter how healthy, strong or young you are right now, tomorrow morning you may be dead. I am not wishing it upon you, but you may be dead, isn’t it? Because the physical is under constant threat. Nobody can avoid it.

Fear has become so fundamental simply because your experience of life has not gone beyond the physical. If we had explored and established ourselves in other dimensions of experience, the body would not be such a big issue. But now, no matter what kind of teachings other people give you, whether someone tells you that you are atman, paramatman or whatever else, your whole experience is limited to the physical body. So the fear of losing it is natural. But if you establish yourself in other dimensions of experience, the body becomes an easy thing to handle. Life or death won’t make such a big difference.

Q: Do you think we control our destinies or does destiny control us?

Sadhguru: What you refer to as “destiny” are those situations which are going on without your permission; they seem to be unfolding themselves without your intent. I know you have been told that God is making your destiny and plotting your life for you, but I think you are adult enough these days. There is no such thing as destiny. Whatever you call destiny is something you have created unconsciously.

You are doing more things unconsciously than consciously. I would say, for most average, educated, intelligent human beings, only about two percent of their life is conscious. They create an enormous amount of their life unconsciously, which leads them in so many directions.

The whole effort of all spiritual processes is to see that you create your life consciously instead of blundering through it. Once you make that effort, you will see more and more of your life becomes self-determined, not pre-determined. If you have mastery over your physical body, 15 to 20% of your life and destiny will be in your hands. If you have mastery over your mind, 50 to 60% of your life and destiny will be in your hands. If you have mastery over your very life energy, 100% of your life and destiny will be in your hands – every moment of your life can become self-determined.