Fortunate Misfortunes

Sadhguru puts things in perspective and tells us that for one who is on the spiritual path, fortune and misfortune are of a completely different nature.
Fortunate Misfortunes

Sadhguru puts things in perspective and tells us that for one who is on the spiritual path, fortune and misfortune are of a completely different nature.


If so-called misfortunes strike, you must learn to take them in your stride because there may be a deeper intelligence to these misfortunes. What is fortune and what is misfortune is a social thing. But in terms of life, what is fortune and misfortune is of a completely different nature.

Harvest Time

After I got into teaching, I spent all my money very rapidly, traveling and organizing programs. It was the tradition in those days that whatever nominal fee was collected, at the end of the program, we would show the balance sheet to the participants, and call an old age home, orphanage, or some other people who needed money and donate it to them. After about three-and-a-half years, I had finished up my savings, so I had to make a living. I decided to grow cabbage because it was doing great in the market at that time. A friend gave me a few acres on his farm, and I gave myself ninety days to grow the crop, including preparation and harvesting.

Hybrid cabbage seeds are expensive, so I first grew them in a tray inside the house. After they all came up, I took each one of them and transplanted them. If you plant them in the day, their survival rate is low. So, after sunset, I would sit and work till 1 AM, planting with a torch light. I did all this backbreaking work and in about 12 to 15 days, tiny little cabbages were forming. I would just sit there in the morning mist waiting to see the first light fall on these cabbages. It was the most incredible scene. It almost felt like delivering 10,000 babies. Every day, each one of them was getting bigger. I sat up in the morning because one thing, I liked to watch them. Another thing, I didn’t want somebody to eat them up. I had such an incredible experience growing them. The cabbages all sized up nicely and I was counting money in my head.

Though it was such a beautiful experience to grow the cabbage, when the time to harvest came, the vegetable prices crashed. It wasn’t even worth harvesting and loading them on a truck because the sale price wouldn’t even cover the transport costs. So I just told the villagers, “Come and take five cabbages per family.” Still there were plenty. So I just left them to the cattle. When I saw the cattle eating the cabbage, initially I thought about all the time and money that had gone into the cabbages. Then I saw the cattle were so happy. They had not eaten anything so juicy in their life. So I thought, “Okay, what the hell!”

When it is time to harvest, you must just gather what comes.

When you are harvesting something for the market, sometimes it can become a bitter experience. For most people, they might have enjoyed their college time, but the final phase of going to the examination is when they are most tense and bitter. That is because they are harvesting for the market. We are harvesting to get somebody’s approval either in terms of money or marks or whatever else. If that is not the issue, then harvest is great.

When it is time to harvest, you must just gather what comes. It will all be worthwhile if you simply gather. What a great thing that the market fell on that day because the way I was then, if the market had worked, I would have thought, “Okay, let me grow one more crop. Let me try to squeeze the next crop in 60 days instead of 90 days.” And then maybe one more, and maybe I would have become a very rich cabbage farmer! How fortunate the market crashed and it all got washed out.

What is fortune, what is misfortune?

The spiritual process is not about causing a particular event. It is about causing a certain way of being that whatever the situation, it turns into a fortune. Those who look at certain situations as fortune and certain other situations as misfortune are the unfortunate people on the planet because then you are a slave of those situations.

Once you are beginning to touch another dimension of energy, intelligence, and possibility, you should learn to count your fortune and misfortune in a completely different way. “Where are my cabbages, where are my cabbages?” That is not the way to look at it. The cabbages were eaten by the cows, but what a fortune it was that they were eaten by the cows.

If you keep counting your fortunes and misfortunes by the same old social standards as you have been trained to do for a lifetime, you will continuously count in misfortune when there is no misfortune. The greatest misfortune for a human being is when even if fortune falls upon him, he thinks it is a misfortune. And that is happening to too many people.


Login / to join the conversation1
6 years 11 months ago

that was an eye-opening words.. really, lots of people reading this article will have their own misfortunes.. but what special is, those misfortunes gonna give you better fortunes which you never think of.. !! wait n watch

6 years 11 months ago

Kismet! I read this at a moment when i am all stressed about board examinations for my son . Thankyou

6 years 10 months ago

இப்படிக்கூட ஒரு மனிதர் வாழ முடியுமா ? இந்த மனிதர் சாதாரணமானவர் அல்ல...
என் தந்தை சத்குருவுக்கு ஆயிரம் வணக்கங்கள் ...

6 years 11 months ago

I simply loved Sadhguru's past story of being a Cabbage Farmer. I would be happy to read his life happenings in his youth. It is a request to the Isha Publishing team. Why don't you try publishing a book fully dedicated to Sadhguru's life happenings in his youth and before, Of course, the book - Sadhguru, more than a life, is great. But all of us would love to know about his childhood days, youth days and his relationship with Viji maa.

6 years 10 months ago

Thank you Sadhguru for this wisdom. Such thoughts of misfortune striking me trouble me on a regular basis. Your article opens my mind to a clearer understanding of this subject. Thanks again.

6 years 11 months ago

This article will always stay close to my heart. Sadhguru's involvement in the simple process of life, is a eye opener. Sadhguru is enriching us, with his sharing from his day-to-day life experience. So grateful.

6 years 10 months ago

Read Midnights with the Mystic :)

6 years 11 months ago

Thank you Sadhguru for an enlightening article,for it is need of the hour.Wish everyone get to know about this wonderful message and learn how Fortunate is their Misfortune!!!

6 years 2 months ago

mind blowing!!! awesome!!!!
Thanks Sadhguru!

6 years 11 months ago

so timely.. but I'm struggling to get dis-entangled from such so-called 'misfortunes', let alone treat them as fortunes.. although I theoretically know I should do so.. long way to go with the kriyas!

6 years 1 month ago

He makes everything simpler and Fun. Every day is a new beginning. Simply the best of Teachers !

6 years 11 months ago

Rightly said, We can't have a balance sheet for life. It's always better to see the positive side of life.

5 years 2 months ago

I was just in need for this! Thank you Sadhguru!

6 years 11 months ago

Thank you Sadhguru for this insight and perspective. I am all ready and have understood the theory. When will I be " I just am" not categorizing anything as good-bad, fortune-misfortune, beauty-ugly, totally 'Be' ? I am almost there...but yet not there...The 'vaasana' pops up....

4 years 8 months ago

I was frustrated with my job so i resigned, its been a year and i haven't made any money but i found sadhguru, Everyone says you are stupid to quit such a good job, but i know what a fortune it meet sadhguru..

6 years 11 months ago

Another enlightening message from you Sadhguru, thank you. I am grateful to have read this at the right time, it somehow answered the questions running through my thoughts that cause me to worry.

4 years ago

The greatest misfortune for a human being is when even if fortune falls upon him, he thinks it is a misfortune. You are the best Sadhguru!

6 years 11 months ago

all you ask for is already in that book right.

2 years 6 months ago

Thanks for the good writeup. It in reality was once a leisure account it. Look complicated to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we be in contact?

6 years 11 months ago

once again sadhguru shows us the way to deal with life's ups and downs
Thank you , one needs a guru like sadhguru in our modern society