The Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) had invited Sadhguru for their Global Leader Lecture at the Y. B. Chavan Auditorium, Mumbai, on 13 October 2008. Sadhguru graced the well-attended event with a talk on “Ancient Wisdom for Modern Business,” a subject that seemed particularly relevant in the current situation of a global financial crisis.
Amongst those present were various senior corporate executives, IAS officers, High Court judges and lawyers, and other distinguished guests – notable among them: Mrs. Rajashree Birla, Director of the Aditya Birla Group, Mr. Ashwin Shah, Chairman of Jaico Publishing House and Mr. Deepak Satwalekar, Managing Director of HDFC Standard Life. Mr. Ranjit Shahani, Country President, Novartis India and immediate Past President, BCCI, welcomed the chief guest.
Prior to Sadhguru’s keynote address, Mrs. Rajashree Birla released Joy 24×7 by Isha meditator Jeetendra Jain with Sadhguru. Mr. Ashwin Shah, Chairman of Jaico Publishing House, was also present for the release. Talking about the book and how he arrived at the title, Jeetendra Jain, or Jeetu as he is fondly called by all in Isha, said that from being joyful 24×7 as a child, his joy quotient was directly linked to happenings in his life – from being very joyful when he did well in his studies, then in his career, and later when he got married and had a daughter. It then started sliding from 24×6 and 24×5, especially while being part of the corporate rat race. It was around the point when he was trying to change this trend that he participated in an Inner Engineering program with Sadhguru. Since then, Jeetu said, his joy has been on the upswing, moving towards a vision of 24×7. In this book, Jeetu endeavored to weave Sadhguru’s simple yet profound wisdom into the complicated life of an urban man and his family. The dilemmas facing the main protagonist in his book could well be anybody’s.
As is usually the case, Sadhguru had the audience captivated in no time with his sharp wit. In an unconventional opening statement, he questioned the topic of the talk, saying that it was an unwise conclusion that wisdom has to be ancient, as it would imply that intelligence has retarded. He said that wisdom has to be contemporary; else it would be a dogma.
He went on to explain the mechanics of joy and misery in a lucid, witty and thought-provoking way. Shredding the veil of a lingering deceit in everyone’s mind, he made the audience realize that, though people pray to God, they want the world to happen only their way and not His way. He also pointed out that the only source for people’s misery is that things don’t happen the way they want it to happen. Sadhguru made a very significant point when he said, “I have not given this privilege to anybody that somebody can irritate me, somebody can make me angry, somebody can make me miserable, somebody can even make me joyful. I have not given that privilege to anybody. I kept that to myself. If this privilege of creating the inner experience is with you, what is your choice? You won’t choose joy, you won’t choose ecstasy? Definitely you would, isn’t it?”
“Fixing the outside will not fix everything”, he said. He emphasized that human well-being will not happen if we do not attend to the inside as much as we attend to the outside. The audience was in rapt attention as he weaved his way through their intellects into their hearts with an arresting cocktail of jokes, anecdotes and thoughts of wisdom.
After the audience had sat spellbound listening to Sadhguru, the mike was passed around for questions from the audience. The Q & A session that was planned for about 20 minutes ran into an hour as questions, ranging from the Hadron Collider to self-realization to corruption, kept pouring in and Sadhguru’s answers only had them ask for more.
Sadhguru stressed on the important role that business and industry need to play in the striving to make a democracy of diverse populations like the one in India work. One of his emphatic statements in this regard was, “If we are constantly in imitation in everything including politics or business, life will slap us in the face.” The direct and thought-provoking answers, as always, deepened the thirst to seek and left the audience cleared of some misconceptions, yet wondering about life.
Mr. Deepak Satwalekar delivered the vote of thanks. Ms. Manju Sood, Executive Director, BCCI, helped present mementos to Sadhguru and Mrs. Birla.
Over 300 copies of the Joy24x7, published by Jaico Publishing House, were purchased by the audience and later autographed by Sadhguru.