The day the COVID-19 lockdown was announced across India, Sadhguru had this to say, “Those of you who are on the spiritual path or so you thought — this is a grand time for you. Those of you who are very strategic thinkers, this is a fantastic time for you. Those of you who thought you were musicians or artists or something, it is an absolutely miraculous time for you. Those of you who thought you are actually students — not that you are going to school or college, I mean to say you are a real student, you want to learn — it is an absolutely beautiful time for you.” 

Continuing on this, through his daily darshans, titled “With Sadhguru in Challenging Times,” that took place over the entire past month, Sadhguru pointed out many unprecedented possibilities that have opened up for us because of the lockdown. While at the same time, he alerted us to the dire realities of the current situation. 

So here we present you some highlights of what Sadhguru has talked about. These could help us greatly enhance our lives even in these troubled times, and we can take pride in being a part of the solution.

#1 Be Captive Seekers 

Sadhguru: I know people will abuse me for this, but now you have become a captive spiritual seeker — a Guru’s dream. Staying healthy and safe is very important, but let us make use of this time, in the best possible way. 

If I knew a virus could become a source of so much sense and awareness, I would have given you one a long time ago. Why am I wasting my time trying to teach you many practices to make you aware, to make you sensible, how many things! Oh, I did not know a virus can do this. Well, this is not a laughing matter, but if you lose your laughter, the virus will not go away. If you become dead serious, you will be dead before you are dead. 

If you become dead serious, you will be dead before you are dead.

Right now, your fundamental responsibility is to stay alive and to keep everybody around you, especially those who are vulnerable, alive. We have to pass this test. This will only happen out of responsible action. 

#2 Time to Check If We are Human 

It is in times like this, when we think we are in a crisis, it is in these times that what kind of a human being you are matters. It matters all the time, but in normal times all kind of flakes will escape. They can pretend. It is when a crisis hits you that what kind of a human being you are becomes the most valuable thing. 

Are we that kind of people who are always a part of the solution or are we a part of the problem? This is all we have to decide.

Right now we have to make up our minds, are we human beings or are we human creatures? If we are human beings, we should know how to be. If you know how to be, then social interaction is only by choice. If it is not necessary, you can keep yourself to yourself and this is a great time. For those who are on the spiritual path, being alone, keeping a distance from the people, becoming silent and things like this are not issues, these are opportunities. But most human beings are not in this sphere of life, so they will struggle. We are seeing how to offer various solutions for them in a very simple manner, but it is important that those who call themselves spiritual seekers must be super vigilant and willing to step out and do what is needed if the need arises. When everything is well, everybody’s fantastic. When challenging times confront us, that is when who we are really matters. 


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The fundamental question is just this: Are we that kind of people who are always a part of the solution or are we a part of the problem? This is all we have to decide. I have decided. I want all of you — wherever you are, in whichever part of the country or in the world — I want all of you to take this one stance: right now: in these next few weeks that are really challenging times for humanity that you shall be part of the solution not part of the problem. This stand everybody must take, this commitment everybody must take. This is very, very important. 

#3 It is a Reminder of Mortality 

Well, I want you to understand that the virus is not against you. It is just trying to make its life. Unfortunately, its aggressive way of making life takes away your life. This is just like human activity. 

This is the time to look at life as it is — not to indulge in adulteration of the truth.

Human beings in search of their well-being have destroyed life on this planet. They are threatening the very life of the planet itself, not with bad intention of course, just with the intention of living well. Similarly, the virus just wants to thrive, and you are the host. It is just doing what we are doing to the planet, that is about it, nothing more, nothing less. Right now, the fear of virus means essentially mortality is staring in your face. So, if mortality is staring in your face, you understand how fragile human life is. At a time like this it is good to make a distinction between what is you and what is not you. What is me and what is just mine. What belongs to me is all right. What is me, is of vital importance. Whatever may belong to you, you may spend a lifetime gathering things, but there is no container service at the end of your life. We have come here with a limited amount of time and energy. Now there is a reminder of our mortal nature by a microorganism. This is the time to look at life as it is — not to indulge in adulteration of the truth. 

#4 Bringing Pratyahara into Life 

In today’s world, where there is such an onslaught of sounds and colors and visuals upon our senses. The amount of visual and the audio input is so heavy today that turning inward looks like a very remote thing for most people. But a situation like this is a good time to check yourself out and also use this opportunity. There is a dimension in the Ashtanga Yoga called pratyahara. Some people think Ashtanga Yoga is a brand. Ashtanga means eight-limbed yoga. There are eight limbs to yoga. One of the limbs is pratyahara. Pratyahara means taking your sensory engagement from the outside world and put it inside. In today’s world, people cannot even comprehend what that is. You will see, if you just close your eyes for hours on end in a day — consciously and not sleeping — you will see there is a new dimension of energy available to you. This is what pratyahara means that you took away the sensory engagement with the world and turned it inward. 

Pratyahara means taking your sensory engagement from the outside world and put it inside.

This is a good time for you to experiment with this, that you bring some pratyahara into your life. Wherever you are, whoever you are, it does not matter. You don’t need any training. Just sit with eyes closed. It is alright that the mind is running away, let it run, don’t try to stop it because there are no brakes on it — all the three pedals are throttle, whichever way you touch it, it will only run faster. So don’t do anything, it will run. It will run because it has a certain karmic momentum. If you just leave it for some time without tending to it, it will slow down, and it will stop. Do not worry about stopping the mind or not stopping the mind. All I am saying is, do not engage with the outside world, for whatever number of hours that you can. Start with an hour, push it to six-to-twelve hours a day, you will see, you will have the necessary energy to hit the peaks. 

Right now, the biggest problem why human beings are not able to become blissful and exuberant within themselves is lack of energy — if they are joyful for three minutes, then they will sink just like that. Pratyahara is a key element to create that kind of an energy system which can take any experience of life in its stride and does not put you down. Good time to turn to pratyahara. 

#5 Time to Contribute, Not Criticize 

Well, it is unfortunate at a time like this, at a time like this when there is an imminent disaster waiting ahead of us, for the nation, for the world, to a point where countries are putting out their armed forces against their own people right now. You need to understand how serious that is. But even at a time like this, some people cannot stand up and do something useful and positive for somebody around them. All they do is just this rubbish. They do not care what happens to the rest of the humanity. All they care about is their own vitriol — spilling the poison all the time. Well, I hope at least the virus will cure them of this poison and these few days they will stand up and do something useful. 

It can pass off without too much disaster if we behave responsibly and do the necessary positive action.

Let people understand this: as a generation of people, we have never faced this kind of a situation. This is a bigger emergency than the wars you have had in your countries. This is a bigger emergency than anything that you have known. 

When such a situation is there, this is not the time to go about criticizing our healthcare system or our health ministry. This is a time everybody stands up and does whatever little positive things we can do in our lives. It can pass off without too much disaster if we behave responsibly and do the necessary positive action. 

Right now, a lot of things are being done in the country by the government, by the various agencies and above all by the medical professionals, the police and the forces. They are doing many things putting their own lives at risk. So you don’t sit at home and run your own silly drama. Just see how to get into some action in the world, without getting out of your house, maintaining distance from the people. See in what way you can contribute. 

Do something. Don’t just sit and crib about everything. 

#6 Express Your Gratitude 

As a nation, I think we lack the ability to acknowledge people when they deserve it. Unfortunately, we think everything can be fixed by criticism. This has to go. We have to acknowledge the wonderful things that many human beings do. 

When taking a bus, how many people even look at the driver and the conductor and say, “Thank you,” or at least do Namaskaram? This is simply missing in most people. In the past, we were a culture where for every small thing that we received, we always bowed down to each other, but unfortunately this has gone away. Right now, medical professionals, security agencies and various other people who manage essential services are risking their own lives and the lives of their families. Because they work in a hospital and they go home, they may be taking death home. When they are doing such a service, it is terrible if we do not acknowledge them. 

Every day in the morning when you get up, at least for the next six months till this passes, generate one thought in your mind that we are truly grateful for all these people who are risking their own lives. 

#7 Opportunity to Make a Generation of Wonderful Human Beings 

The turning off all the machines in the world to this extent, definitely, has a serious and wonderful impact on the ecological structure of this world. If we have sense, if I say these people will think that I’m adding insult to injury, because so much hurt has happened to many people, but I would say, well — as all the schools get six weeks, eight weeks summer holidays, the entire humanity every year takes off three weeks. No machines, no automobiles, no industry, no nothing for three weeks. You can walk, you can cycle, you can track, but no turning on of any kind of machine. 

Because without wonderful people there is no wonderful world.

If we do this three weeks, we can use these three weeks to upgrade ourselves. If the world has to become better, better technology is not going to do that. Better machines are not going to do that. That will all enhance certain level of activity. If the world has to really become a wonderful place, human beings have to upgrade themselves. Because there is no such thing as enhancing a society because society is just a word, nation is just a word, and world is just a word. It is just individual human beings. Without transforming individual human beings, there is no transformation in the world. 

So right now, there is a break like this. This is the time, all of you at least focus on this much: ten per cent improvement, okay? I am not asking you to suddenly become something else and grow a halo around your head. Ten per cent improvement must happen by the end of April. 

What I am saying is that wherever you are with your mental capabilities today, you should aim for ten per cent improvement. Whatever work you are doing in your life — whether you are cooking or you are making tea or you are running the country — whatever you are doing, you should become ten per cent better. Ten per cent better in everything — physically, mentally, emotionally, and in terms of your competence of whatever you are doing. Every one of you just do this because you will never again get this in your lifetime. If every year we do this ten percent increase, in ten years’ time we will be hundred percent better than what we are. This is the only way you can create a wonderful nation and a wonderful world. Because without wonderful people there is no wonderful world.

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