Sadhguru: Today, most people in the world, especially young people, have developed a certain allergy towards spirituality. This has happened because spirituality has been presented in such an ugly way. People have come to understand spirituality as not eating properly, sitting on the roadside and begging. People understand spirituality as living a terrible life, torturing yourself and above all being anti-life – you should somehow not enjoy your life and must suffer it in every possible way. 

Being spiritual has got nothing to do with your external situation. You can be spiritual whether you live in a hut or a palace. Living in a hut or a palace is either about your choice or social and economic compulsions. It has got nothing to do with your spirituality. 


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Being spiritual has got nothing to do with your external situation. You can be spiritual whether you live in a hut or a palace.

To be spiritual, means to experientially know, “I am the source of my joy.” Right now, you believe that something or somebody else is the source of your joy, so you are always at their mercy. If you realize and experientially know that you are the source of your joy, wouldn’t you be joyous all the time? It is not even a choice. The very life seeks to be joyous. If you look at your life – you educate yourself, you want money, a house, a family, children – you want all these things because you have a hope that someday they would bring joy to you. But now, you are piled up with too many things, and joy is the one thing that has been forgotten. 

People have become miserable because they have a deep misunderstanding, of what life is. “No! But my husband, my wife, my mother-in-law...” Yes, all of them are there, but it is you who chooses to be miserable because you have made investments in misery. You think that by being miserable, you will get something. Let us say, somebody in your family starts doing something that you do not want them to do. You will make yourself miserable, and go around with a long face, hoping that it will produce results. You are willing to cause misery to yourself, with the intention of getting something. Once you are miserable, what is the use even if you have heaven in your hands? But if you are a joyous person, even if you have nothing in your hands, who cares? If you are truly joyous, does it matter what you have or do not have or whom you have or don’t have? Please understand, you caring and loving, you needing and wanting to own this or that, is just with the simple hope that it will bring joy to you. 

People always ask me this question, “What is the difference between a spiritual and a materialistic person?” As a joke, I tell them, a materialistic person earns only his food. For everything else – for joy, for peace, for love – he has to beg. A spiritual person earns everything himself – his love, his peace, his joy. He begs only for his food, and if he wants, he can earn that also. 


Editor’s Note: Sadhguru looks at what for many people, is a looming question in their life, “Why Suffering”? The ebook is available on a “name your price” basis. Enter “0” to download for free.