Questioner: Sadhguru, what is the concept behind Isha Vidhya? How does it fit into the agenda of Isha Foundation?

Sadhguru: None of Isha Foundation’s activities are based on any concepts or ideologies. It is based on the existing need of the people around us. There are people whose stomachs are full but they are still not fulfilled. To such people we are talking meditation and enlightenment. If you just go beyond the boundaries of this ashram, there are people who rarely eat a full stomach. I will not do such an obscene thing and talk meditation or enlightenment to them. I will talk to them about eating better, living better. And their children are not sufficiently equipped to at least make their lives in such a way that they can eat better. Isha Vidhya is a tool to empower them towards that.

National boundaries, political identities and all these things don’t mean anything to me, it is just that this mass of people that we call as India, have not had a good deal for the last few hundred years. Continuously they have had a bad deal. Invasions after invasions – people came, looted them, raped them, robbed them, left them. Nobody bothered to educate them or feed them, nobody bothered to empower them to do well in their life. Nobody was interested in them. Only now, in the last 15 years, our leaders are thinking fresh about building India as a nation, as a strong force, as a mass of people who can take care of themselves. They have done well in some areas, but they have goofed it completely in other areas.

India is a complex mess, not a simple mess. It is probably the most complex country in the world because the variety of languages, cultures and races is so enormous. If you handle it right, it could be very intoxicating and wonderful. If you don’t handle it right, it could be killing. In all this, what we have is over one billion people. One billion people means about 17, 18% of the world’s population in one country. If we have one billion well-educated, focused and vibrant people, there is no better miracle than that. They can do things that no technology in the world can do. One billion people, focused, educated and healthy – it will be incredible. But if you have one billion unhealthy, unfocused, uneducated people, there can be no greater tragedy. So Isha Vidhya is just a small effort in that direction to generate an educated, focused, healthy, next generation. That is the dream of Isha Vidhya.

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