Sadhguru was recently invited to speak at Haas Business School at the University of California, Berkeley, as part of the Dean’s Speaker Series. One of the world’s leading universities, Berkeley has a long and illustrious history, and the Speaker Series hosts some of the brightest in the business world who come to illuminate young minds. It is also an opportunity for students to interact with the speaker and ask their burning questions. Arranged by Prof. Erica Peng, a lecturer and career coach at the school, the event took her two years to set up from when she first conceived it.

Sadhguru arrived on campus ahead of schedule in an exuberant blue shawl, and one could sense the anticipation and excitement among the organizers and volunteers. Students arrived early to get on the waitlist, hoping to get in. The hall was packed to capacity by the time the event started. Also in the audience were faculty members from across campus and visiting dignitaries. He was first introduced by Dean Ann Harrison, followed by a more personal introduction from Erica who joined him on the stage. As Sadhguru seated himself in ardha siddhasana (a yoga posture in which one leg is tucked in), he commented with humor that his brains would not work otherwise.

Erica opened the conversation by asking “What does Sadhguru draw from when he is doing so many global activities?” Immediately putting things into perspective, Sadhguru answered by saying that if we were aware enough we would not miss the fact that springtime itself is a global event. There is no need to talk about other global activities!


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With his usual logic, intensity and humor Sadhguru seamlessly wove a charming web, revealing the essential nature of the human being for the audience to understand. He clarified the difference between leadership and management, emphasizing that leadership means to see a bigger possibility for people’s lives.

Sadhguru brought a great deal of life-sense to the topics of business, politics and leadership. He reinforced that by holding to our identifications, within the vastness of the cosmos, we greatly impede our ability to “just be a piece of life.” He pointed out that we have lost track of how important it is to be aware that we are only one part of a planetary ecosystem, and that no single life is more valuable than the other.

He went on to speak about the effects of an educational system that is too focused on sharpening the intellect but based only on memory and knowledge, instead of on knowing and consciousness. “Consciousness means just this: an intelligence beyond memory,” Sadhguru said. He ended his conversation with Erica with a powerful statement to the audience that “The most significant aspect of being human is that your consciousness is in your hands.”

Afterwards, Sadhguru took a few questions. One notable question was from a young seeker on how to sustain a conscious business so that leaders will not revert back to the stressed ways of the past. This gave Sadhguru an opportunity to talk about stress and Inner Engineering. A mother and business leader asked how to pass on wisdom to the next generation, just like birds and other animals do. Sadhguru humorously replied that if chickens really did pass on wisdom, they would not be sitting on your plate! He clarified the difference between wisdom and knowledge or skills.

Manali Anne Photography, Facebook photo credit @manaliannephotography, Instragram photo credit @manaliannephoto