Leading business newspaper Economic Times had two young CEOs – Radha Kapoor of Pressto, India’s first premium drycleaner service, and Ashni Biyani of Future Ideas – interact with Sadhguru. The result was a stimulating conversation that touched on golf, beards, inspiration and, of course, the youth. The article was published on 4th April, 2014. Here is the piece.
Radha: When I started playing golf, I was told it’s a man’s game. And a boring game at that. I feel it’s a mind game and helps me focus. You too play golf. What are its benefits?
Sadhguru: We are talking about golf? If you are playing any other game, the ball is coming at you from different angles and velocity. In golf, you got to hit a sitting ball. You may even beat a world champion at one or two holes, which you can’t do in any other game. If you were to play soccer with Lionel Messi, you wouldn’t even touch the ball.
Golf is basically about geometry and your ability to gauge how things are, the terrain, the distances and exerting the right amount of swing and force.
Radha: How can young people in positions of power be taken seriously and be respected by the old guard?
Sadhguru: I don’t think this is an issue. If somebody exhibits a certain level of confidence and success, nobody is looking at your age.
Ashni: You inspire us. What inspires you?
Sadhguru: Nothing inspires me. I am bored with everything but I do it with absolute intensity. There are other things I could do for which very few people are ready.
Ashni: Like what?
Sadhguru: That cannot be explained in words. Like I could do poof (claps his hands) and take you into a very different dimension of experience. But not many people are prepared for that level of perception. Almost 90 percent of my life is dumbed-down activity.
Ashni: All gurus adorn a beard. Is that a branding thought?
Sadhguru: I thought you were old enough to know this. A beard doesn’t grow only on gurus, it grows on all men. The advantage of this look is that for ten years if I don’t have a mirror, I still look the same. Nature did not intend anything without purpose. I believe in geometry and design so the design is like this (pointing to his flowing beard). I use it to the fullest benefit. But you please don’t try it.
Radha: Today we are dealing with a lot of pressure and are living to please others rather than being true to ourselves.
Sadhguru: Today, if you don’t please others, they will make your life miserable. If you have to live in a society, you have to please a few people. When you are talking pressure, it’s the how of life. If while running a design school, living as a business person is becoming a pressure, don’t do it. The pressure is not because of the job or position but because you do not know how to conduct your body, mind and emotions.
Ashni: In modern times, business is governed by facts and data. What is the role of intuition or belief?
Sadhguru: Belief in what?
Ashni: Belief in the vision of the founder… belief in values?
Sadhguru: The problem with the founders is that they will anyway impose their vision on you. So whether you believe or don’t, doesn’t matter.
Why should you believe in values? If you recognise that a certain value will produce results, you do it that way. If you recognise that a certain other value will not work for you, drop it. Why should you believe in it? Belief means, something that you do not know. You want to assume and bring a certainty to something that you do not know. That means you are concretising your ignorance. There is no need to believe anything. What I know I know. What I do not know, I do not know. What’s the problem?
Radha: If you were given a choice to be the brand ambassador of a brand, which one would you pick and why (besides Isha Foundation)?
Sadhguru: Wow! You want to offer this to me? Which brand should I choose? I never thought of that. I don’t think they would choose me as a model for anything. Imagine, Guru’s choice— Coca Cola! I don’t think it would work.
Ashni: I understand you listen to a lot of classical music, so do I… do you believe it has healing powers?
Sadhguru: First, let’s understand what music is. It is a certain arrangement of sounds. If arranged in a certain way, it becomes noise, if arranged in a different way, it becomes music. Classical music involves mathematics, a mathematical structure is being built. Without any words music can bring tears, joy and set moods. Will people get healthy and well with it? Definitely.
Radha: India has a rich culture and tradition. Today’s youth is westernised and not patriotic enough. How can we create more awareness in our youth?
Sadhguru: I don’t think it’s about patriotism or nationalistic emotions. It’s not about being against something imported. Almost all cultures largely were built with the intention of survival and material well-being. This culture was designed consciously for the inner well-being.
Because here we understood that by arranging material things around you, only comfort and convenience will happen, wellbeing will never happen. All the affluent cultures are displaying this. A large section of people are on the verge of madness. Every day if they don’t pop a pill they will go off.
Above all when it comes to clothing, in terms of textile, no nation, no culture ever, anywhere in the world has produced the variety of textiles that India has produced.
Ashni: What according to you is the biggest strength of India today?
Sadhguru: The most fundamental strength of India is that we are a land of seekers. Seekers of truth and liberation. Not a land of believers. We are a Godless nation. For millennia we have been told, your life is your karma, it is your making. This is the fundamental strength. We have to bring this back, that we are a land of seekers. We don’t believe in something that is just told to us. It doesn’t matter. Krishna said it, Ram said it, Buddha said it, it doesn’t matter.
Right now, in a very drastic way, seeking has come down in the country. Because of which if the Western nations open up their visa procedures today, 80 per cent of Indians will swim across the nations and go away. In other words you are holding over 800 million people within the borders of your nation forcefully. That is a prison, not a nation. Only a fundamental spiritual thread keeps us loosely tied together as a nation. It is in the hands of young people like you to strengthen that. And 20 per cent of your wardrobe must turn Indian.