The Essence of Indian Culture
Sadhguru looks at how unlike most cultures on the planet, which were designed for survival, Indian culture was designed consciously for the inner wellbeing of a human being.
Sadhguru: I don’t think it’s… it’s not necessarily about patriotism or even nationalistic emotions and it’s not about being against something imported. It is not about promoting what we think is ours, it’s not about that. Most cultures on the planet, almost all cultures with… with small exceptions within that culture, in every culture has a little exception but largely most cultures were built with the intention of survival and material well-being. This culture was designed consciously for the inner well-being of the human being, because here we distinctly understood that with… by arranging material things around you, only comfort and convenience will happen; well-being will never happen. Now, the clothes that you wear, irrespective of Indian, western, whatever, will set you up for a certain outside arrangement but it will not fix your experience of life.
So here we were always interested in how the human being is. We are not so concerned about how the outside arrangement is. Because if this is fixed, you can sit on a rock and be ecstatic. If this is not fixed, you can sit in a palace and be utterly miserable. This is the whole, you know, affluent cultures in the world are displaying this enormously. A whole lot of people, a major segment of percentage of people are on verge of madness. Every day if they don’t pop a pill, they’ll go off. So we don’t want to do that. And 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 textile that India has produced. The aesthetic behind it… Do you think anybody anywhere in the world can produce something like this?
Nowhere on the planet this is possible, believe me. And within the country now – there were many more in the past – now there are about hundred and twenty distinct weaves which involve a completely different understanding of weaving, not slightly different, distinct. Many of them are on the verge of extinction because you are not supporting it (Laughs). So at least, I am telling you as a young woman, at least twenty percent of your clothing wardrobe must be Indian, preferably handmade, organic, because if you’re interested in your health and well-being it’s important what sits on your body through the day - it’s very important. And you can see a distinct difference for our kind of weather, for our atmosphere, this clothing is an organic evolution from this. Now, all the western clothing is essentially made for people who live in a cold country. A young man is standing there – I don’t know why he’s got a noose around his neck, I don’t understand. Because the English had it, do you understand?
In Mumbai weather, tying it up like this and putting a jacket and walking is hell! Yes or no? Now, there is no way you can exist in this weather, in this atmosphere with those clothes, it’s madness! But everybody’s doing it because somebody else has been doing it and they have told us only if you do like this, it's civilized, if you do it your way, you’re not civilized. I’m the only Indian around (Laughter).