Youth and Truth Campus Gossip – Sophia College, Mumbai
A historic building with picturesque gardens, set amid graffiti-lined walls of Peddar Road in the heart of South Mumbai. That’s Sophia College. This was one of Sadhguru’s stops in his month long endeavor to help the Youth seek the Truth, with the playfulness of gossip.
22nd September was unlike any other day on this campus and was abuzz with activity. A diverse group of students and teachers were all were excited and curious in equal measure for the scheduled program.
Volunteers, who included college students and faculty members, were hustling around to get things done, while students were beginning to queue up two hours prior to the start of the program. In the midst of all this activity, some of the students shared their excitement.
“The entire atmosphere is lit and it’s so exuberant and we are all waiting for Sadhguru’s arrival.”
Yet another student said, “I am a big devotee of Sadhguruji and he is coming today. I love the way he speaks and inspires us all.”
“Everyone is super-excited to see what he has to say and get his valued opinions about certain topics that we all have questions about.”
“Amidst the hustle and bustle, there’s something very exuberant about this place right now.”
A Problem of Plenty…
The students filled up the auditorium so fast that it seemed to have shrunk. While the moderators were nervously preparing for the questions, some students hadn’t heard of him before and yet were there to experience the mystic for the first time. In no time the hall was packed and students had to be sent away.
In the words of a student volunteer, “It’s a great turnout. We’re having to send students back because we don’t have any more place to accommodate any more students.”
Another volunteer who is also a student at Sophia College said “I thought it will be really difficult to fill in the crowd, but a lot of people were disappointed because they did not have place to sit and they had to stand. A lot of people got even further disappointed because they couldn’t enter the hall. It was so packed!”
Overall, it was deemed as an unprecedented response, where so many students turned up and all were looking forward to a wonderful session.
Cheering “Youth” in search of “Truth”
Sadhguru arrived amidst cheers and loud applause. The vibrant crowd was visibly thrilled to have him amidst themselves answering their questions on a variety of topics. With his usual wit and style, he profoundly answered a plethora of questions that touched upon divisive human tendencies, limited identities we assume, questioning authority, and more.
The audience couldn’t stop cheering and roaring in agreement, when Sadhguru candidly addressed some topics conventionally considered taboos like premarital sex, population rise and child adoption. As more questions followed, the audience seemed more and more zealous to take in his wisdom.
Couple of hours slipped by like a fleeting moment
The two-hour session felt like it got over too soon and the students were left wanting more! The mood had shifted from curiosity to gratitude.
One of the participants told us, that she found many students discussing his responses and the session in general. One excited attendee said, “By the end of the session a lot of people were discussing, ‘Who is this man, and why did we not encounter him quite a while back?’”
In spite of very few students knowing about him prior to the event, the students expressed their thanks for getting this opportunity and Sadhguru had stepped into a previously uncharted territory. Students were now willing to go back and devour more of his wisdom through videos and the yoga programs.
And they really opened up!
The event had touched all, with many students and faculty members coming forward to express gratitude for bringing Sadhguru to their college.
One faculty member said in her career of 25 years as a professor at college, this was a first-of-its-kind event and a much needed one at that. The students showed the desire to seek something which brings an inward-looking curiosity, and this in itself was an enriching experience. In her words, “We live in a world of plenty and children are thirsty in the rain. There’s something lacking in their life, it’s very beautiful when someone starts on a journey to step in and say, ‘I’ll hold your hand and guide you, find something in your life.’”
When we asked some students how Sadhguru connected with them, some of the comments which poured in were:
“New way of connecting with the youth and getting wisdom into them. He is different with everybody, talks differently with everybody in a context which they can connect with.”
“He’s very jovial and I call him a cool dude. If I couldn’t go up to his level, he came down to my level to make me understand what I want to know or what I am really trying to find the truth about, which is what makes him really relatable.”
“He is very open-minded and he’s not shy of talking about issues. He doesn’t tell you this is right - this is wrong.”
What did it mean for them?
The below reactions capture it all:
“Before coming here, I heard of him on YouTube and I was very excited to see him and hear him. I also made notes of certain points he said.”
“It was an amazing amazing amazing experience, I mean those two hours were just beautiful.”
“It’s been a beautiful response. Somewhere Sadhguru’s been able to touch each and every life in some or the other way.”
One faculty member who was also instrumental in organizing the event said, “It has been wonderful organizing this for the students, and students are filled with gratitude.”
In conclusion, it will only be fair to take the words of one of the students, to encapsulate their sentiments about the efficacy and need for “Youth and Truth” - “After Rally for Rivers, this initiative has been one of his best!’