Man and Machine
Sadhguru's passion for motorcycles is as undiminished today as it was during his college years. Here, he recalls how his motorbike often served as much more than just a vehicle.
I literally lived on my motorcycle
Sadhguru: There was a time when I literally lived on a motorcycle.When I rode somewhere, I never checked into a hotel, I just slept on my motorcycle. I would just put my bag on the motor cross bar and the handle bar, lie down and have a sound sleep. People used to ask, “How can you sleep? You will fall down.” I would say, “Don’t worry, I will not fall off a motorcycle. I may fall when I’m walking, but not off my motorcycle,” because it was such a big part of everything that I was doing.
We used to assemble under this tree sitting on the motorcycle – getting off was like a sacrilege.
Mysore is the hometown for a particular type of motorcycle known as the Jawas. There were many motorcycle enthusiasts who were mad about motorcycles, always looking to fiddle with the engine and make it go faster. We used to meet under this huge banyan tree in our university campus and discuss all kinds of things. We used to assemble sitting on the motorcycle – getting off was like a sacrilege. Someone called us the Banyan Tree Club.We even printed a small, monthly journal called the Banyan Tree Club Journal.
Traveling the World
There was a time when I crisscrossed India on my motorcycle. I had even gone up to Nepal but I had to come back because at the border, they asked me for my papers. I did not know I needed papers to leave the country’s borders. So I asked, “What, papers? I don’t have any papers except my motorcycle license.” They said, “No, you need a passport.” I never thought I needed a passport to go somewhere. I thought my motorcycle could take me everywhere. I turned back and tried going another way, but there also at the border check post they said no.
My dream was to go around the world on my motorcycle.
My dream was to go around the world on my motorcycle. I thought I would do some business, make some money and then ride off. I kept my motorcycle in full trim, thinking in two or three years, I can sell the business off and ride away - which I never did though because something else happened to me later.
Later on, during the first three years of marriage, me and Vijji literally lived on the motorcycle. We had a tent with us and we would camp on roadsides. We traveled like crazy and did more than 60,000 kilometers per year on the motorcycle - sometimes with purpose but most of the time without purpose. If we felt like it, in the middle of the night we would just leave, ride up to Bombay and without entering the city, turn back and return to Mysore.