During a recent edition of “In Conversation with the Mystic”, Karan Johar asked Sadhguru about love, family relationships, and how to deal with negative emotions. 

In this excerpt, the two discuss the relationship between father and son, which often becomes more complex as years go by.


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Karan Johar: When we talk about family, there are a few things that have always intrigued me and I seek answers, or rather validation, from a higher energy such as yourself. I’ve always questioned why there is an organic distance between a father and son. Why is there always that angst in this relationship? I am sure there are many here who have experienced this in their own homes, in their own environment.

Sadhguru: Because every generation makes the same mistakes  which means they are not learning at all. Family is the most basic institution in the making of a society, but this does not mean you must remain basic. Your family is a biological identity that you have. Your biology is the most basic identity. Biology is a reality – obviously, your parents gave you this body, at least to a certain extent. The way your body is and the way it looks is essentially because of them. Their bodies, in turn, were given to them by someone else. Limiting yourself to your biological identity for an entire lifetime is a crime which has so many consequences. This country has suffered a lot from it, for a long time.

Family is a basic identity that we are born with. It is wonderful when you are a child. Without this family support, you would not be who you are today, in many ways. So, with all due regard and great respect to the family because the human creature is born in such a way that, as you come out of your mother’s womb, you are not ready to get up on your feet and do things like other creatures. It takes a long time before a boy becomes a man or a girl becomes a woman, during which the incubation through the family is most important. There is no question about that. But you are supposed to grow beyond that identity, which a whole lot of people never do, and they suffer for it. Sometimes, if they are born in certain places, they even make an entire nation suffer. The entire Mahabharata is a family problem.

As a child, it is most vital that you are identified with the family. As an adult, you are supposed to grow beyond that. Having said that, is it necessary that every father and every son has to have some kind of angst? It is not about father and son – it is just two men being accommodated in the same home. When you were eight or ten, your father was godlike. The problem started after you became fifteen, sixteen, when you wanted to be a man, and there was not enough space. This big man occupied too much space and thought, “This is my space – who is this?”

In this situation, the two of them cannot recognize each other as father and son – it is just two men and not enough space. This happens not only in human families, but in every creature’s life, whether it is an elephant, a buffalo, or whatever. There is some friction, and either the younger one leaves, or the older one does. This is not a problem between father and son – this is two men trying to share the same space and the same woman called “mother” by one and “wife” by the other.

Karan Johar: Two men! Well, that certainly breaks the strong myth that this country has operated with, because the problem was always meant to be two women in the same house. You just turned it on its head, which I believe is true, because I believe the problem lies in the fact that two men can’t be accommodated.

Sadhguru: It also happens between women, though in a different way. Women do it in a feminine, covered way. Men do it in a more head-on, head-butting kind of way.

Editor’s Note: Find more of Sadhguru’s insights about relationships in the ebook “Compulsiveness to Consciousness.”