All of you know that the Rally for Rivers has been a phenomenal movement. Thirty days across 16 states, 142 events, 186 one-on-one interviews, and any number of other small things. It only took a toll on my throat – everything else is fine. The entire process went without a hitch, thanks to all the volunteers across the country who strived with enormous enthusiasm, and all kinds of people who didn’t know us before and just got ignited by this cause.
It was most touching. Somewhere I was driving through a village; it was raining; an old lady was standing there with four, five children, all of them holding Rally for Rivers boards, waiting. Someone had told them, “Sadhguru is going to come” – and I was zooming past. When I saw the blue boards, we backed up again. These people felt, “You’re doing something for the rivers, so we are standing here.” It’s been amazing. All kinds of most touching things happened.
All across the country, people responded with incredible commitment. At least in five, six places, even at eleven, twelve in the night, when we were just trying to get to the destination, somewhere in a town someone stopped us and said, “No, no, no, people are waiting. You must come here.” And they led us to a wedding hall with over two hundred people – men, women, children, all dressed up like they were going for a wedding. Everything was organized, including music, and all of them were full-on and waiting. So at twelve in the night, I spoke right there.
On an average, we must have been driving for nine to ten hours every day – on some days, it went up to eighteen hours of driving. Indian roads are a bit of a challenge. I would say eighty percent of the roads are much better than they were eight, nine years ago. There has been a phenomenal change in the way the highways are. The only thing is there are a few guys who think they are in America and are suddenly coming at you on the wrong side of the road.
Above all, the way the political class has been responding, keeping their bitter rivalry aside, participating in the events together, and supporting the Rally fully, in spite of all the issues they have with each other – hats off to them. There were states where they were going into elections, and bitter battles were going on between parties. But with us on stage, there was the former Chief Minister, the present Chief Minister, and, if a particular party wins, the next possible Chief Minister – all three of them sat together and spoke in one voice. That’s a clear demonstration that though we have created many problems, we are also capable of solutions.
There are still so many things I can say. Perhaps you watched many videos and followed us on social media. We presented the Draft Policy Recommendations to the Prime Minister. In less than twenty-four hours, the Prime Minister’s Office called up. They were in action mode, wanting a soft copy of the Draft Recommendation. The agility with which they responded shows that everyone is serious on the job. I presented this around six o’clock in the evening, and next day around eleven, they wanted a soft copy.
They have already formed a small committee to act upon this, which is great. Now we are establishing a high profile board to interact with the government and take this forward. Many MoUs have been signed. We have to consolidate on that in various states. All I get into is more work. Some time ago, someone told me, “Sadhguru, you’re turning sixty. You must do sixty golf courses around the world.” I said, “Why not? Let me do it.” The other day, they asked me, “Sadhguru, what is happening to your sixty golf courses?” I said, “I think it’s going to be sixty rivers instead.”
It’s been a phenomenal run across the nation. This is something that had to be done. It has been on my mind for the last six, seven years. Normally, I plant a seed in my head and it grows by itself, without having to tend to it every day. Only three months ago, I spoke about this to our teams. But the way all those who have been managing the rally, our teachers and volunteers, got into the act, doing all the planning, organization, messaging, social media, media, and sponsors, within less than sixty days, a huge movement was pulled off.
This is Isha. We are a bunch of idiots doing incredible things, demonstrating the power of consciousness. There are no great intellectuals here – half of them are here because they didn’t fit in anywhere. The entire country is amazed at the way the Rally was pulled off. Even the topmost people in the country are openly saying, “Even a major political party cannot pull off a rally like this. How does an organization like Isha pull off something like this?” That’s what these “nutcases” can do, because they don’t have to carry the burden of “I know so much.” All it takes is a heart full of devotion and a sense of purpose, and it will happen.
My profound gratitude to all who Rallied. Enthusiastic children, celebrities, general population, volunteers across the country, our teachers, brahmacharis, and 130 million people who used their phone for a good cause. I Bow to you.