Vinita Bali In Conversation With Sadhguru: The Next Step
Vinita Bali, former MD of Britannia, converses with Sadhguru about the next step in the life of an individual, a family, a community and humanity as a whole. Over the course of the conversation, Sadhguru gives a simple process that every individual can do daily, and also answers several questions from the audience.
Sounds of Isha plays instrumental music…
(Announcements by Moumita)
Sounds of Isha plays instrumental music…
Sounds of Isha – Maa Janani sings Hindi song Nirbhaya nirgun…
(Moumita gives a brief introduction about the In Conversation series)
(Video presentation about Vinita Bali and Sadhguru)
(Video stops abruptly)
(Moumita announces launch of new DVDs, invites guests to launch the DVDs, introduces Vinita Bali)
(Video presentation about Isha Foundation, Isha Home School, Action For Rural Rejuvenation, Isha Vidhya, Project Green Hands and Sadhguru)
(Moumita invites Sadhguru and Vinita Bali on stage to begin the conversation)
(General conversation between Vinita Bali and Sadhguru – not transcribed)
Sadhguru chants Jananam Sukhadam…
Sadhguru: Good evening everyone.
Vinita Bali: Good evening, namaskar and a very warm welcome to all of us here. It is indeed an honor and a real privilege, Sadhguru, to have you with us for the next ninety minutes, during which time I shall do my best, as Moumita described earlier, to engage in a freewheeling conversation and we will explore I think a variety of concepts with Sadhguru – concepts around leadership, ethics, individual responsibility, a little bit of questions around spirituality and so on. So, without further ado, I want to start off by asking you, Sadhguru, what is the next step for Sadhguru?
Sadhguru: (Laughs) Dinner.
Vinita Bali: Dinner (Laughter/Applause)? I thought that was already over. So, we expect a more profound answer from you (Laughter).
Sadhguru: It’s a very profound answer (Laughter) because you can postpone many things in your life. You can postpone buying a home, buying a car, you can postpone your wedding if you want – it's a good thing (Laughter) – you can postpone your divorce, good to postpone your death. But you can’t postpone your dinner (Laughter). Right now, this is the ugliness, which is happening in this country. A whole lot of people are postponing their dinner today. This is the horrible situation that’s happening. So, do not consider dinner as not so profound, it’s very profound. If you are eating ten times a day, it’s not profound. If you are eating once or even twice a day, it is quite profound (Laughs).
Vinita Bali: So, you say something which is, you know, which is very close to my heart, you talked about dinner. We…
Sadhguru: No, no, dinner is about my stomach, not my heart (Laughter).
Vinita Bali: Okay. We’ll… we’ll get to the heart through your stomach (Laughter). You know we live in a world of contrasts, at least as I perceive it. You know, there is obviously the rich and the poor, there are the ones who are impoverished and the satiated. You know, we live in a country where three hundred million people go to bed hungry every night. How do we deal with these big social issues and what is the one message that you would like to give to all of us, where we as individuals can make our own little, big, whatever contribution to being part of the solution, rather than waiting for somebody else to do something?
Sadhguru: Now, you’re immediately getting into the missionary mode (Both laugh).
Vinita Bali: We can try a little bit of that.
Sadhguru: Yes, it’s a serious problem and an unfortunate problem because we are living in a land, which has over 12,000 years of agricultural history, probably the only place on the planet like this. As far as I know, except a few other places in South America, nowhere else on the planet was agriculture organized 12,000 years ago. So, we have enormous experience of agriculture, which means the science of producing food, and we are living in a land where twelve months of the year, you can grow what you want. Many farmers in Tamil Nadu take six crops. Four crops actually but in between the inter cropping, totally six products they are taking out of the same piece of land.
Vinita Bali: Right.
Sadhguru: Nowhere else on the planet this is really possible. In spite of this, half the people are hungry, simply because of apathy, not because of lack of food, not because that it is not possible to fulfill this. I feel a focused effort, in a matter of five years… five to eight years, very comfortably, we can crest this. It should not even take that much time but if we are determined, within five years’ time, it is possible to cross this and it’s important to cross this because when you say India, I know lot of poetry has been written about “Saare jahan hai (se?) achha” (Referring to a well-known Hindi patriotic song about India) – how beautiful it is, our mountains, our rivers, our whatever. But for 1.25 billion people, you neither have enough mountains nor rivers nor land nor even a piece of sky, believe me. The only thing that you have is people. If these people are well-nourished, competent, inspired, this can be the greatest miracle but right now, sixty percent of India’s population, even their skeletal system has not grown to full size or in other words, we are producing a totally underdeveloped humanity.
If your body does not grow to its full size, neither will your brains. There’s medical evidence to show that first four years of your life, if you did not get the necessary nourishment, your brain is approximately sixty percent of what it should be. So with half-brained people, the next generation, what nation are you going to build? You’re going to be a big disaster. If you don’t fix nourishment, we are going to be an enormous disaster. It’s waiting, it’s a silent bomb, it doesn’t make noise. Very quietly, it’s going to implode upon us. So, this is something that has to be fixed on a war footing. Must be!
Vinita Bali: So, what is the role? I know all of us as individuals have a role to play. We are all part of a corporate, an academic institution, part of a community and a society. So, what do you believe is the responsibility? I’m not talking about corporate social responsibility. I’m simply talking about corporate responsibility when it comes to being part of fixing some of the problems that you’ve just spoken about?
Sadhguru: (Laughs) I’ve… You know, we are very much involved with nourishment, education, health of the rural populations. I’ve been talking to many leading lights. Not much light out there (Laughter). Whenever I speak to a lot of people – not all of them, many of them – if I tell them, “You know, we are planting hundred and fourteen million trees, you could do something”, they’ll say… they’ll tell me a very passionate story, how they… his wife or his mother has a trust where she fla… planted one hundred and eight trees around their factory and how they have grown, how beautiful they are and how it’s… how they are enjoying it. In all this passion, I just (Gestures)… okay, what’s there to say. Hundred and eight trees are good, I’m not saying no, but if your capacity was only hundred and eight, I am… I’ll bow down to you. Your capacity is hundred and eight million, not hundred and eight, but you are satisfying yourself with hundred and eight. You talk about nourishment, you say, “You know what? My maid’s children, they were so malnourished. Three of them, every Sunday, we feed them” (Laughter). These kind of stories I’ve heard of great compassion and love (Laughs).
So, there is a whole culture of doing something for your satisfaction or doing something because you want to buy a ticket to heaven. I want people to come to a place where you being fulfilled should happen within you. If you want to go to heaven, please leave (Laughter). But if you want to be a solution, there’s another way to work. I fed two children and I feel very happy. It’s all right, I appreciate that, I’m glad for those two children but this is not a solution, this is only for satisfaction. So, it’s time at least those people who are in a certain level of capability, I would say… When I say capability, all of you will thinking, “Oh, okay, some big corporate leader.” I’m saying all of you are in a certain level of capability, who should see how to bring a solution, not do something for your silly satisfaction. You can be satisfied by eating food, by simply sitting quietly, by sleeping well, doing whatever. Satisfaction need not come through somebody else’s suffering. You don’t have to fulfill your satisfaction because of this… You know, somebody is suffering, that is not the basis of your suffering and if you buy a ticket to heaven through that suffering, I don’t know, heaven will turn into hell for pobabl… probably for you (Laughs). I hope it does (Laughter).
Vinita Bali: I couldn’t agree with you more (Sadhguru Laughs). So, I want to explore two or three other dimensions that you spoke about. You spoke about capacity, you spoke about leadership. So, talk to us a little bit about what you see as, what are… Who are leaders and what is leadership? Is there a difference, is it…? Who’s a leader and what is leadership?
Sadhguru: I know there’s a lot of talk about leadership and wanting to become leaders. I don’t think anybody should try to become a leader, it’s quite obscene that “I want to become a leader” – that means all of you should be what? I don’t know. I know what you would like to call yourself (Laughs). It’s not about you wanting to become a leader or someone want to be… wanting to become a leader. Because of a certain thing that you have done within yourself or a certain level of observation or a certain intelligence or a certain experience, you are able to see something that most people are not able to see. The moment you are able to see something, then people will naturally look up to you as a leader because you are seeing something that they cannot see. And if you become a leader, there are many ways to become a leader – you can get elected, you can get selected, you can work it, you can pull other people down and become a leader or simply people will rise you as a leader because they see that either you are able to see something or you are able to do something, which they themselves cannot do. I feel this is the way leadership should happen – if you want to call it that – that someone is able to see something and do something that others cannot do, so everybody wishes he must take charge of the situation because naturally, he will be able to do something that the others will not be able to do.
So, what is the quality of leadership? Leadership means, once you sit on a perch, you better see clearer than others, otherwise you will make a ridiculous fool of yourself (Laughs). There’s a whole… You know, in the nation, certain things have been happening. Somebody sits on a perch and he doesn’t see any better than you, he looks like a fool immediately. So, it is not about you wanting to sit on the perch, you wanting to see something must get you to the perch, not because you want to be above everybody else you get to the perch. So, what is the quality of a leader? I don’t think there’s any particular quality. One thing is – a leader means his sense of life is beyond himself. It’s not about… His sense of identity is beyond himself. Somebody becomes a leader because he is willing to think and feel and act for more people than himself. If you act for yourself, you are called self-centered. If you just act for the sake of two or three people you gather in the form of family, you are named as Dhritarashtra. There are modern names for that. If you identify yourself with the entire nation or the world, you will be looked at in a different way. Essentially, your leadership will come from the right context, depending upon what you are identified with because everybody needs an identity. What sort of identity have you taken, will determine the context and the quality of your leadership.
Vinita Bali: In that context, isn’t leadership something that, you know, each of us can individually manifest? If I were to describe one dimension of leadership as saying it is about taking ownership to create a better outcome? In that context, you know we can convert leadership from a noun to a verb?
Sadhguru: I don’t know that much grammar, okay (Laughter)?
Vinita Bali: But you can try.
Sadhguru: See whatever we do, every human activity, the purpose of an activity is to produce something. Production may be a safety pin, a computer, love, joy, health, well-being, it doesn’t matter what, we want to produce something. When we act, we want it to be effective. How small an act or how big an act is not the important (thing?). We want something to happen effectively, which means it’s a question of efficiency, it’s a question of with how little, how much more you could do. That’s what makes you… because all of us have the same amount of time in a day. People always tell me, “Sadhguru, you had such a long day.” I said, “Unfortunately, there’s no long day, god… you know, they give me only twenty-four hours.” I would like to bargain for more but it’s not happening (Laughs). You can… You can make it more by in… increasing your efficiency, the way you function, ma… including people as a part of yourself where other people will function as a part of you so that you don’t have to bother about so many things around you. In this sense, you can enhance what you do but time-wise, all of us have the same time, we can’t help it. So, how much can you produce in how little time, in how mu… how little material, is the question. In the limited span of time, which we have as life, what is it that we can do? Is it just about efficiency? Is it about simply mindless efficiency – “Do better, do better”? No.
At different times in history, people seem to want different things on the surface. But essentially, no matter which time of history, who they are, which part of the world they are, everybody wants the same thing – well-being. But their idea of well-being… Everybody has their idea how to get there, but everybody wants well-being, no question about that. It doesn’t matter which part of the world you go, whether you came here thousand years ago or today or hundred years later, you will see people will be still seeking well-being. In pursuit of well-being, maybe hundred years ago, somebody would be going in search of water. Today, you are going in search of the Wi-Fi cloud (Vinita Bali laughs) but still well-being. People’s idea of well-being, whatever that is, but people are only well only when something beautiful happens within themselves. They think they’re going to cause it to themselves by some means but people have been happy before the Wi-Fi came, people have been happy before the automobile came, people have been happy before all the luxuries we are enjoying today, appeared.
So, what I’m saying is well-being… If you are in pursuit of well-being, essentially it is about what happens within the human being. What happens within the human being in the name of so many things – I don’t want to name all the things – in the name of so many things, what we call as family, society and another world, which we call as corporate world (Laughs), all these things we created, these are all different names or different mechanisms that we believe will bring well-being to us. Somebody built a family, somebody built a corporation – both in pursuit of well-being, isn’t it? I must tell you this, the first time I was at Davos, many years ago, they were almost resentful, “Why… What is a mystic doing in economic summit” (Laughs)? I… And a particular CEO who was running… was in charge of a top computer manufacturing company – three months later, they got sold out to the Chinese (Laughter)…
Vinita Bali: (Laughs) We can guess who they were (Sadhguru laughs).
Sadhguru: So he was very resentful, “What are you doing here?” Then I told him, “See, what’s your business?” He said, “I do computers.” I said, “See, whether you manufacture a computer or a safety pin or in between anything, fundamentally, this is about human well-being. The basic business is human well-being. You may do it through your computer, somebody will produce safety pin, somebody will produce a cloth, somebody will produce something else. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, the ba… the fundamental business is human well-being and that’s my business too, that’s why I’m here” (Laughter).
Vinita Bali: So Sadhguru, you’ve talked about well-being, I’ve… You know, one of the things that you say is, it’s all about how the body, mind, emotions and most importantly, energy come together and I think you’ve said it very eloquently, which says you know, when the body is feeling pleasant, we call it health, if it is feeling very pleasant, we call it pleasure and so on and you go on to say…
Sadhguru: You can… You can go all the way.
Vinita Bali: Sorry?
Sadhguru: You can go all the way.
Vinita Bali: I can go all the way (Sadhguru Laughs)? So, when the mind is feeling pleasant, we call it joy, when it is feeling very pleasant, we call it peace. When the, you know, when the emotion is feeling pleasant, we call it love, when it is feeling very pass… pleasant, we call it compassion. When the energy is feeling pleasant, we call it bliss and when it is very pleasant, we call it ecstasy.
Sadhguru: You’re a very good student (Applause)!
Vinita Bali: So… So, here is the question. Can you just elaborate on what you really mean? What is the difference between bliss and ecstasy? You know for… for people who are not mystics, what does…
Sadhguru: Oh (Laughter)?
Vinita Bali: … what does it look like?
Sadhguru: I think I need to clarify this accusation of being a mystic (Laughter). On a certain day, two cows were grazing on the English meadow, English cows.
Vinita Bali: Got it (Laughter). The Thomas Hardy kind.
Sadhguru: One cow said to the other, “What is your opinion about the mad cow disease?” The other one said, “I don’t care a hoot, I’m anyway a helicopter” (Laughter). So, what a mystic means is that there is no mistake about his perception as to who he is (Laughter).
Vinita Bali: Okay (Laughs).
Sadhguru: So, there are only two kinds of people – mystics and mistakes (Laughter).
Vinita Bali: That’s an easy one to remember.
Sadhguru: So, a mystic did not fall from somewhere else, strived to pay attention to simple aspects of life, very simple things. Very simple things means extremely simple things. Just… Right now, how do you know that you are here? What is the basis, I’m asking?
Vinita Bali: I am talking with you.
Sadhguru: Even when you’re not speaking, you still know that you are here, right?
Vinita Bali: Yeah.
Sadhguru: So, how do you know?
Vinita Bali: I’m perceiving…
Vinita Bali: …that I am in this place, there is an audience here, we are in conversation…
Sadhguru: No, even if you close your eyes, you are still here, right?
Vinita Bali: …I have a mindfulness, I’m attentive to the fact that I’m in conversation, I’m conscious…
Sadhguru: You are conscious?
Vinita Bali: I’m conscious.
Sadhguru: The reason that you know that you are here is because you’re conscious. How do you know that you have a body?
Vinita Bali: Because I can move my hand (Laughter).
Sadhguru: So many things can move.
Vinita Bali: But I am causing my hand to move.
Sadhguru: Fine, even if you don’t move, you know it’s there, right? How do you know? Because there is sensation in the body, right?
Vinita Bali: Yeah, yeah.
Sadhguru: If no sensation in your body, you wouldn’t know whether it’s here or not. No consciousness, you wouldn’t know whether you are here or not.
Vinita Bali: Right.
Vinita Bali: Yeah.
Sadhguru: So, these are s… taken for granted things. If you pay little attention to these things, you will see there’s a whole world out there, there’s a whole existence by itself. Just your sensation, if you pay enough attention, you know the nature of your physical existence. If you pay attention to what you’re calling as my consciousness, you know the nature of your b… your basic existence. Once you know the nature of your existence, that is when you can use this (Referring to oneself) gadget well. I’m calling this (Referring to oneself) a gadget because human mechanism is the most sophisticated mechanism on the planet. We are on top of the evolutionary heap, not for nothing. It’s taken millions of years to manufacture you. Yes?
Vinita Bali: Yeah.
Sadhguru: Not… Not a simple process. An enormous process has happened to get you to this level of neurological sensitivity, sensations, awareness, everything. So, these are the keys of your existence but everybody is reading a book or l… they’re looking into… they’re looking at the cosmos through their iPhone. Nobody is paying attention (Laughs) to this (Referring to oneself) because this (Referring to oneself) is the basis of your existence. Only if you know this (Referring to oneself), you can employ this (Referring to oneself) to its fullest capability. Even if you take your cell phone, the more you know about it, the better you can use it, isn’t it? The same with this (Referring to oneself). So, what this whole unnecessarily exaggerated - exaggeration is not the word - unnecessarily decorated thing about self-realization means is, you know more about this (Referring to oneself) or you know everything that’s worth knowing about this (Referring to oneself). That means you can use this (Referring to oneself) whichever way you want. If you want to sit still here for the rest of your life, you can sit. If you want to jump out and be active, you can do. If you want to do this and that together, you can do. Whatever you want, you can do because you know the mechanism fully, in its entirety, not just the physicality of it, but its entirety. So, if you know this (Referring to oneself), suppose your body happens as per your instruction, your mind happens as per your instruction, your life energies happen as per your instruction, how will you keep it - pleasant or unpleasant?
Vinita Bali: Pleasant.
Sadhguru: Pleasant. At least for yourself, highest level of pleasantness. What you want for your neighbor may be debatable (Laughter) but what you want for yourself is clear. So, when you main… When you want pleasantness, now generally, if you are very pleasant, we say you are blissful. Now bliss can get boring sometimes, okay (Laughs)? Yes?
Vinita Bali: Good to know that.
Sadhguru: Pleasantness gets boring, isn’t it, sometimes? You want some slosh to happen. Now you use ecstasy (Laughs). But that slosh cannot be kept up. Bliss can be kept for your entire life. Ecstasy cannot be kept for your entire life. You go up and you come down or in other words, bliss is a sustainable level of pleasantness, the height of pleasantness. Ecstasy is not sustainable but you can hit it often enough. At least a few times in a day, you must hit it.
Vinita Bali: You know, in the spirit of a freewheeling conversation, I’m reminded of a film I saw about - I think it was fifteen years ago the film was made - which was a series of conversations with quantum physicists and some mystics, to use that word. And the whole premise of the film was that the mystic and the quantum physicist is seeking an answer to the three basic questions, which are, “Who am I, where have I come from and where am I going?” I did not understand the film then (Sadhguru laughs). I am hoping that you would be able to throw some light on the three questions and you know, what the physicists and the mystics are seeking?
Sadhguru: So, you are asking me who you are (Laughter)?
Vinita Bali: Kind of.
Sadhguru: (Laughs) See, it’s all right to walk on the street, point at one of you and say, “Who are you?” It’s okay. You go to somebody and say, “Who am I” (Laughter)? This happened in the Cincinnati airport. People had lined up to check in at the check-in counter. One man came briskly, jumped the line, went straight to the counter and thrust his ticket. The lady at the counter said, “Sir, there is a line, please.” He said, “No, no, I’m in a hurry.” “Well,” she said, “Everybody is in a hurry, you are all getting on the same plane. So, please stand in the line.” Then he raised his voice, “Do you know who I am?” She looked at him, promptly picked up the microphone and said, “There is a man here who does not know who he is, can somebody help him, please” (Laughter/Applause)? So, you should never address this question to someone else (Laughter). All this so-called whatever - I don’t know, I don’t want to make comments - they all picked it up because that Ramana Maharishi’s book I think became famous in California, okay? Because Romain Role… Ronald… Ronald Romain (Referring to author Romain Rolland) wrote that book and it became popular in California, everywhere you go, everybody is talking, “Who am I? Who I… Who are you?” “Who am I?” is a question that should be addressed within you, digging… every time you ask it, digging it deeper and deeper and deeper into yourself. You never go and ask somebody, “Who am I?” That smacks of something else.
I was (Laughs)… I was teaching a program in Los Angeles and this is of… like maybe hundred and fifty, two hundred people. Half of them all are Hollywood types and a whole lot of them look alike, many… especially women, not because they are sisters, because they have the same doctor (Laughter/Applause). And I am teaching them an extremely simple process that they need to do every day, which is just twenty-one minutes, extremely simple. Just that, they are saying, “Sadhguru, you’re teaching us all these things but Ramana Maharishi said, ‘You don’t have to do anything.’” Tch, ohh, Ramana came all this way from Thiruvannamalai (Laughter/Applause)? I said, “Yes, he is absolutely correct. You don’t have to do anything and he did nothing. He simply sit… sat in one place like this (Gestures), fourteen years. Rats came and bit into his thighs, festering wounds, worms came out of it but he did nothing, simply sat,” I said, “You people are made like this - if a mosquito bites you, you’ll call 911 (Laughter). You don’t talk about doing nothing” (Laughs). I said, “Ramana talks about doing nothing, leave that, that’s not your business. You are made like this, you don’t talk about doing nothing.” Ramana talked about “Who am I? who am I?” You never utter this to anybody. Don’t ever go and… Please all of you (Laughter), don’t go somewhere and ask them… someone, “Who am I?” You can ask them, “Who are you” (Laughs)?
So, “Who am I?” is not even a question that you need to articulate. When… I just said, the more you know about it, the better you can exist here. Not necessarily… Don’t always think about a human being like he is some kind of a machine, how much he has to produce, there’s no such thing but how he exists is important. When you sit here, how are you within yourself is important, what you wear may be socially important, what you drive may be important somewhere else, what you… what kind of home you live in may be important for some other reason but existentially, there’s only one thing important - how are you within yourself? Are you pleasant or unpleasant every moment of your life? In twenty-four hours, how many moments of pleasantness, how many moments of unpleasantness and how much support does it need to keep you pleasant - that’s the question.
Right now, in pursuit of human well-being, we’ve ripped the planet apart and still, well-being is not happening. Comfort has happened, convenience has happened, well-being for sure has not happened, isn’t it? As a generation of people, we are the most comfortable generation ever, never before anybody could even imagine these things. But we cannot say we are the most joyful or blissful or ecstatic generation. No! Are we worse than others? I don’t believe so, every generation - same nonsense. Some people lived fantastic within themselves, others went through all the nonsense they had to go through. This is not because of what’s happening to them. See there are two kinds of suffering – physical pain can happen to you because somebody may cause something to you, somebody has no food, the… you’re in a war zone or somebody is poking you. I’m asking all of you – in the last twenty-five years, how many times it happened to you, somebody took a knife and poked you? For most of you, it didn’t happen. Maybe when you are in… in your school, somebody poked you with a pin at the most or you were not even worth that, nobody poked you (Laughter).
Vinita Bali: They simply poked fun.
Vinita Bali: They simply poked fun at you.
Sadhguru: Whichever way. Physically, how many times suffering entered you from outside? Very, very minimal, rest is all self-help (Laughter). You know, in Tamil Nadu, the government has a scheme, “Namakku name” (Laughter). “Namagae naavae” (in Kannada), it means. That means people are on self-help, busy, causing suffering to themselves daily (Laughter) - sit, stand, whatever happens. See, you will see people, most of them are driving their dream machines on Bangalore streets, all right? How many are driving joyfully? If we… If the traffic light takes ten more seconds, they are freaking in their dream machine (Laughter). Is it not a blessing that you bought this dream machine after working for whatever number of years, why don’t you… The traffic is making sure, you stay in your dream machine for a little longer, what’s your problem (Laughter/Applause)? I am saying, just about anything people are suffering. So suffering is not happening because of something else, it’s simply because people do not know how to manage their body, their mind, their energies, their emotion, nothing because no attention has been paid. No attention to the nature of who you are, has not been paid. So who you are, “Who am I?” question is internally… entirely internalized question. Never to be uttered, never to be written down. Unfortunately, somebody printed it and the whole world is talking, “Who am I? Who am I” (Laughs)?
You (Laughs)… o… This is okay if you’re a (an?) inpatient. If you’re an inpatient, in NIMHANS (Referring to National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore) you ask, “Who am I?” (Laughter), that’s allowed, that’s allowed. If you are out on the street, you are not allowed to ask, “Who am I” (Laughs)? You get me (Laughs)?
Vinita Bali: You’ve also talked about…
Sadhguru: No, there are other two questions in that (Laughter/Applause).
Vinita Bali: Yes. Yes, yes, I’m waiting for those two questions.
Sadhguru: Please repeat those questions (Laughter).
Vinita Bali: So those questions were “Who am I?” which you have answered.
Sadhguru: Mhmm (Indicating agreement). I did not answer, I demolished the question (Laughter).
Vinita Bali: I am going to go and think about it, that is homework for me. So, “Where did I come from and where am I going?” were the other two questions that…
Sadhguru: Where are you going (Laughter)? There’s only one way to find out, you must go and see (Laughter). As I was saying just now, some things are best known only by experience. People want to know, “After my death, what will happen?” I tell them, you must know by experience (Laughter). Are you ready? No. Then don’t worry, wait (Laughter). “Where did I come from?” See essentially, what you are asking is, all three… three questions put together, you are asking “What is the nature of my existence? Am I this body, am I this, am I that, what am I, what is the nature?” Because whichever way you look at it, you can prove “I’m that”, because for everything there’s some substance. You can prove yourself to be a woman, you can say, “I’m not this, I’m a human being,” you can say, “I’m just a piece of life,” you can say, “I’m god,” somebody may think you are something else. Doesn’t matter (Laughs) but for everything, there is some substance, so you can argue for it but that’s not the point. Really, what is the nature of your existence? Don’t take this as some kind of a great philosophical or spiritual question. Please see it as a practical thing. If you want to know how to use this camera well, the more you know about it, the better it is. You agree with me? Hello?
Sadhguru: Similarly if you want to use this (Referring to oneself), if you want to use this human being properly, the more you know about it, the better it is. So, self reasi… reali… realization is a very practical thing, not an esoteric thing. What you think is esoteric is… All the things that you don’t have an understanding of, you want to make it esoteric or you want to make it mystical. Let’s understand this word mysticism or mystical. Anything that you don’t understand will look mystical to you, isn’t it? Suppose you don’t know what’s electricity, you have no concept of that, now I press something here (Gestures), boom, lights come on. Very mystical for you, isn’t it? See, if I just had a light bulb a thousand years ago, I could have claimed, “I am god” and it would have worked. Tch, came too late, you know (Laughter)? So, the more you know about it, the better you will live. This is not something that you seek at the end your life, this should be the first step of your life, if you value your life. Yes? Knowing this (Referring to oneself) should be the first step of your life. Very beginning of your life, this question should be asked. Can I tell you a story?
Vinita Bali: Please.
Sadhguru: There was a… a Bishop in the Greek Catholic order. The Greek Orthodox church believes they are the only real Christians, others are not really Christians. They think they are the only pure Christians, others are not really that. They have their own pope in Istanbul. So, it became a very small group over a period of time (Laughs) for whatever reasons. So, being on the Silk Route, many fantastic stories from India are wafting across the Bosporus and these stories are going on about the mystics and the yogis and the magic of India, which the Indians have not seen and everybody else has seen (Laughter). So, he always wanted to go to India but being a man of cloth, he could not really choose where to go. After sixty years of age, when his… when he is semi-retired, he got an opportunity and he came to southern India and he found the right kind of guides, somebody told him, “You go up this mountain,” and they gave him the landmarks and “Here, there’s one yogi, he is the right one to meet for you.” So he climbed up the mountain. The man is not made for mountains, you know? Mountains demand certain things from you (Laughs). So, he went up and as they had said, there was a yogi, sitting in front of a cave, blissed out. He went and he had heard that if you see a (an?) Indian yogi, you have to prostrate, tch, but for that also you need some phys… fitness. This is a part of the Indian thing because that’s the only exercise most Indians do (Laughter). So, whatever you see, you just bow down but now they have learnt (Gestures) (Laughter).
Vinita Bali: A short cut there too.
Sadhguru: Yes, the idea is to touch the floor. Every time, every time you keep doing it through the day, it’s a good exercise, you don’t have to spend extra time for exercise. So, he struggled and scraping himself and sat up. All this commotion, the yogi opened his eyes and smiled. So, the bishop asked, “Can I ask you a question?” The yogi said, “By all means.” The bishop asked, “What is life?” Tch, this is after sixty (Laughter), the damn question you should have asked when you were six, at least sixteen. you must have asked. No, sixty, all right, better late than never, some time you asked. So, when he asked this question, “What is life?” the yogi went into raptures and then he said, “Life… Life is like the fragrance of jasmine upon gentle spring breeze.” The bishop looked like this (Gestures), “What! Fragrance of jasmine on gentle spring breeze but our teacher told us, ‘Life is like a thorn. Once it gets into you. If you sit, it hurts, if you lie down, it hurts, if you stand up, it hurts’ (Laughter) and you are saying it is fragrance of jasmine, spring breeze and all this stuff.” The yogi smiled and said, “Well! That’s his life” (Laughter/Applause).
So, we have never paid attention to the most important dimension of who you are and you do not know life any other way than the way it happens within you, yes? You are the only doorway to the existence for yourself, you can only experience through this mechanism and no other way. If you don’t know this (Referring to oneself), what the hell are you doing here? And just because you know this (Referring to oneself), people label you as a mystic, as this, he is that and many people mispronounce it (Laughs), as a mistake, you know (Laughter)?
Vinita Bali: So, one of the other things that you’ve talked about is, you know, the mind, what… and these are my words what I’ve understood of what you’ve said, you know, what the mind believes, the heart follows. You know, what is in the mind is in the heart…
Sadhguru: No, no.
Vinita Bali: …in a sense, if I’ve got it right, unless I’ve got it wrong. And you know, because when you say that there is no difference between, you know, my mind is saying this but my heart is saying is something else…
Sadhguru: You’re talking about a metaphoric heart or your heart-heart?
Vinita Bali: I am talking about metaphoric…
Vinita Bali: ...I’m not talking about…
Sadhguru: Okay, not the pump?
Vinita Bali: I’m talking about metaphoric heart, not the heart that is, you know simply pumping. There is something else, you know, which I’ve read some time back which says that, you know, you’ve got to search in your heart with your intellect. So, there are all these things which is about the mind and the heart and you know, how you apply intelligence and perception to create awareness and I think you’ve talked about that a little bit. Would you elaborate for us, you know, the concept of intellect, intelligence, perception and you know, how we can use that in our everyday lives?
Sadhguru: See, there’s whole lot of enterprise going on in the world by complicating very simple aspects of life, really (Laughs). If you complicate something with incomprehensible words and if you have lot of words to do it, then you will seem profound because anyway, nobody can understand what the hell it is (Laughter). So, searching your heart with your intellect – the thing that you are referring to as your heart is generally the emotional side of you. So, you’re separating what is thought and what is emotion. Let me ask you a simple question. If you look at yourself carefully in your day-to-day activity, you will notice this – the way you think is the way you emote. Right now, if I think you are such a wonderful person, I will have sweet emotions towards you.
Vinita Bali: Which I hope you are thinking (Laughter).
Sadhguru: This is not a confession (Laughter). If I have… If I think, “She is horrible,” I’ll have nasty emotions towards you. I cannot think you are wonderful and have nasty emotions towards you. I cannot think you are horrible and have sweet emotions towards you. It is impractical and it’s not possible. People act those things and it never works. People – “I hate her but I’ll be nice to her” - they will go like this (Gestures) and do like this (Gestures) (Laughter), you know? Have you seen this happening?
Vinita Bali: Yes.
Sadhguru: Nice things are done in a horrible way (Laughs). It is happening in families, among friends, whatever - nice things are done in such a horrible way. If you want to do something horrible, just do something horrible at least. Don’t spoil the nice things in a horrible way (Laughs). So, now, the question is just this - thought and emotion, are they same or are they two different realms? They are not. Thought is agile. See, today I can think… Right now, I think you are wonderful. To… Just next moment, you did something I don’t like, I think you are horrible. My thought immediately changes because it is agile but my emotion is sappy, it’ll take three days, it’ll struggle and slowly turn around. It has a larger turning arc but after three days, it’ll come my way. For some people, it’s three days, some people, three months but they will turn around, isn’t it? Yes or no? The way you think is the way you feel, there is no other way. It is also true, the way you feel is the way you think also. It depends which is more dominant in you. In a person, if emotion is forefront, the way they feel is the way they think. If thought is forefront, the way they think is the way they feel. You can’t think one way and feel another way, that only happens temporarily for some time but emotion will catch up.
Vinita Bali: So, Sadhguru, what is a creative mind?
Sadhguru: Oh! How big an answer do you want?
Vinita Bali: As big as you want it.
Sadhguru: See, the English word mind doesn’t say anything because it’s just one generic word, which does not describe different dimensions of what the mind is. Mind is not just one something sitting here (Gestures) and doing something, okay? There is really no such thing as mind. In the yogic culture, there is no mind. There is a physical body, there is a mental body because what you are calling as mind right now is a certain combination of memory and intelligence. There is memory in your body, more memory in your body than you can imagine. If I have to get at you again, it’s okay, I’m picking on you. You definitely don’t remember how your great-great-great-great-great-grandmother looked like but her nose is sitting on your face right now. Yes?
Vinita Bali: Yes.
Sadhguru: You don’t remember a thing consciously but your body remembers one hundred percent. How ten generations ago, your grandmother was, your body still remembers. A million years ago, how your forefathers were, your… still your body remembers, isn’t it? It’s not forgotten and it’s not going to forget. Your mind is not capable of this kind of memory. Your body has a trillion times more memory than your so-called brain. This whole shift towards the brain and intellectual process is an Eu… is a European malaise - they gave too much significance to thought. This has happened because they lived under a subjugated society, religiously subjugated society where you are not supposed to think anything except what’s written in some book, otherwise you are dead. They lived like this for a longtime. Because of this, when they got little freedom to think and managed to live, they started celebrating their thought too much.
Let’s understand the c… context of thought. You can only think from the data that you already have gathered. That means you can never think anything new. You can recycle it, you can rehash it, you can produce permutations and combinations of it but you cannot think something absolutely new. It is not in the nature of the thought to come up with something new. It can only recycle the past. That means if you dedicate yourself to your thought process, if you enshrine your thought process, you are ensuring nothing new ever happens in your life.
So thought need not be celebrated like this. That’s why in this culture, thought is never been given so much significance. What you think is your psychological drama. We don’t think much about that (Laughs) because it’s your drama. Your drama is important for you, somebody else’s drama, it’s important for them, everybody thinks their drama is the most important drama in the universe. This is everybody’s experience because they are so identified with their own psychological drama. This psycholoco… psychological drama should not determine the nature of your life because this is just a small happening compared to the life process. Life is a much deeper intelligence than intellect. If we… I don’t know if everybody is cut out for such a (an?) elaborate, very, what to say, academic kind of examination of the mind. Are you?
Sadhguru: Oh (Gestures) (Laughter)!
Vinita Bali: You got your answer.
Sadhguru: Lot of them said, “No” (Laughter). Anyway, I’ll try… I’ll make it very brief. We can look at… The yogic system looks at the mind as sixteen parts. Those sixteen parts are further broken and they’re taken up to 84,000 parts. But now, if I talk about 84,000, already there’s a segment which says no, so I will make it four. I am taking away eighty, okay? I’m being fair to you - only four! Four fundamental parts. One is the intellect, which we have… In modern world, in today’s world, we are unnecessarily giving too much significance to intellect and we will pay an enormous price for this. You will come to a place where you’ll know everything but you’ll know nothing of life significance, really. Today, you will see this happening to children. For the first time, this generation you see ten, eleven-year-old or twelve-year-old children, they look bored. When you were ten-eleven, you did not what is boredom, it was not possible. It was too exciting to be alive and looking around. You will see ten, twelve-year-old children, all looking bored because they’ve seen the cosmos through their phone screen.
They know it all and especially in the western countries, you will see this happening at eight-ten, they are really bored. You will see in the school buses, they are all sitting like this (Gestures) (Laughter), bored, because by the time you are twelve, you already had one love affair, you know what is a break, you know how to… all this recover from that, you tasted alcohol, you’ve seen this, probably you’ve gone into all kinds of physical things and you know the cosmos. What more? By the time you’re fifteen, there’s really no purpose for you to exist, for many of them. You should not be surprised, if this culture continues - I’m not saying this as a prediction, it is simp… something that I see beginning to happen - in another fifty or hundred years’ time, if twenty-five to fifty percent of the people commit suicide, you should not be surprised because e… life needs some exuberance. If too much information happens to you without experience, that exuberance will be gone and a sense of… false sense of knowing becomes so strong in you. This is the danger of intellect because intellects wants to… intellect wants to dissect everything.
Intellect is like a scalpel - the sharper it is, the better it is. It wants to dissect and know. Dissection works with some things, not with all aspects of life. If you want to know… The poor frog, you know, you remember, tch, the poor frog that you crucified and cut and great knowledge you ac… acquired from all that torture is unbelievable (Laughter). How much knowledge you know… For the torture that that frog went through, how much knowledge you have acquired is quite unbelievable. All that you got to know. Now you’ve got interest… suddenly you got interested, the mother that you had ignored, you want to know your mother today. Please get yourself a sharp knife, start the dissection. You may know everything about her liver, kidney, heart but you won’t have a mother left, that’s all.
So, life cannot be known by breaking it up. You can know physical things by breaking it up. You cannot know life by breaking it into pieces but this is the nature of the intellect. The whole modern science has evolved from human intellect. Because it’s produced technological benefits, you can’t argue against it because people, you know (Laughs), they… they think they are scientists, they know nothing about science. They’re just enjoying their iPhone. They think they are scientists because they can do this (Gestures). No, technology is fine, it’s brought much comfort and convenience but it’ll not bring life to us. So, intellect is like this. Intellect will be useful only depending upon what it is identified with and what is held, what holds this, how steadily.
So, the next dimension of the mind… The first one is called as buddhi, which is the intellect. The second one is called as ahankara. Ahankara does not mean ego, this, that, it means the identity. Whatever you’re identified with, your intellect functions only around that. Simple, if you just identify with a nation, if you say, “I’m an Indian,” everything Indian looks beautiful. If you cross the border and you say you are something else, all that looks beautiful. So, whatever you’re identified with, it’s only with that the intellect functions. So ahankara is the identity. How consciously and how steadily your ahankara has been created will determine the effectiveness of your intellect. Just because it’s sharp, it does not mean it’ll be effective because sharp intellect or a sharp knife can cause any amount of damage to you. If you have a sharp knife and you don’t have a steady hand, you will cut yourself all over the place. That’s all that’s happening.
Human suffering is just this – you don’t know how to hold this intellect in your hand properly. Every day, you’re cutting yourself. Self… All suffering is on self-help because your own mind causing this to you all the time. No matter what happens, people suffer, whichever way, they suffer, because they don’t know how to hold this intellect. If you had the mind of an earthworm, you would be quite peaceful. Yes (Laughs)? You’re trying to do it in so many ways to reduce the sharpness of the intellect by drink, by drug, by overeating, by doing all kinds of things, somehow to take away the sharpness because the damn thing hurts. It hurts not because that’s its nature, it hurts because you do not know how to hold it.
The next dimension of the mind is called as manas, which is a huge volume of memory. It is not here or there, entire body carries memory. So manomayakosha, this is called, a huge sack of memory. This memory is in various stacks, we’ll not go into all these details considering some people have clesd… said a clear no. They don’t want to have a mind, I’m sorry, they don’t want to know anything about the mind (Laughter). So, the fourth dimension of the mind is called as chitta. Chitta means it’s pure intelligence. It is unsullied by memory, it has no trace of any kind of memory, it’s just pure intelligence. If you touch this, then you have access to what you are referring as the source of creation because all kinds of things might have been fed to you - god is this, god is love, god is compassion, god is kind, what… whatever (Laughs). Somebody come, stand on the edge of this stage, say all the prayer you want to say and fall. Let me see whether compassion happens to you or a cracked bone happens to you, I would like to check, all right? All these things have been made up because whatever somebody is deprived of, they will attribute that quality to their idea of god.
Your ideas of god have come only because you do not know what… how this whole creation happened. Because you don’t have an answer, you made it up. Because you are human being, you said, “A big human being is sitting up there. Oh, how can he do all this?” if somebody asked, he has ten hands, so he does lot of things not like you, whatever. It’s all right for children but essentially, because you do not how creation happened, you are coming up with explanations. So, that which is the source of creation - don’t believe what I say, what anybody says - pay attention to one piece of creation. Just take a flower, pay attention to this, pay an attention to a leaf or an atom or an ant – all you will see is phenomenal intelligence beyond anything you can imagine. Yes? But nobody told you, “God is intelligence.” But this culture has said this to you in many ways - they told you chidhakasha, chidambara and so many things to tell you, if you touch your chit, the whole existence becomes yours. Everything that’s worth knowing is right here (Gestures) because you have access to the source of creation.
So, these are the four types of your… four dimensions of your mind. Unfortunately, the modern education thinks by just feel… feeding information and keeping the intellect reasonably sharp, everything is going to happen – no! You will rip this planet apart looking for well-being, you may lose the planet or you may manage to go to another planet and start your work again there (Laughter) but well-being will not happen. If well-being has to happen, you have to dig a little deeper into this one (Referring to oneself), otherwise no.
Vinita Bali: So Sadhguru, what are some of the things that you know, all of us who are here listening to you, what are the one or two things that we can do tomorrow, which will… which will increase this level of awareness, perception, thoughtfulness?
Sadhguru: Oh! You’re talking about a takeaway, hmm?
Vinita Bali: In a sense but you know, an enduring takeaway. It’s not light hearted, it’s not you know. because we’ve… you know. we’ve heard a lot and I’m sitting here and saying, okay, so what do I do differently tomorrow?
Sadhguru: Let’s say to learn A-B-C, the twenty-six alphabets - at least if you had learned the Indian… Indian languages, you know fifty-four whatever - twenty-six alphabets, how long did you take to learn to write them properly in their proper order and use them whichever way you want, how long did you take?
Vinita Bali: Oh! I’m still at it, a long time.
Sadhguru: At least three- four years minimum.
Vinita Bali: Yeah, yeah.
Sadhguru: To learn to make sentences and use the way you want, maybe you took twelve-fifteen years of education.
Vinita Bali: Much longer than that, yes.
Sadhguru: Yes? So, you gave so much just to learn some word craft but to know something about the fundamental nature of your existence, which could just change you dimensionally, you want to know it in two minutes. Why are you so unfair?
Vinita Bali: No, I only want to know where to start in two minutes.
Sadhguru: Okay. Where to start? Just do this much - before you go to bed today, one thing is, every hour, okay, remind yourself, right now it’s going to be eight o’ clock, eight o’ clock remind yourself – “Wow! I’m still alive” (Laughter). No, don’t laugh. So many people who go to bed today will not wake up tomorrow morning. More than a million people on the planet will not wake up tomorrow morning. Tomorrow morning, suppose you wake up, (Laughter)… Yes, who knows? You always think, “It’s not me, it’s going to be somebody” (Laughter) - very cruel (Laughs). Tomorrow morning if you do wake up, first check (Gestures) “Am I really awake, alive? I’m still alive, wow!” You don’t have to do anything, don’t scream or something (Laughter), at least one big smile, “Okay, I’m still alive, over a million people didn’t wake up tonight (this morning?), but here I am, alive” – fantastic or no?
Sadhguru: What is the biggest thing in your life? You are alive right now. So, you’re still on tomorrow morning – just one smile, wow (Gestures)! Then maybe there are two, three, four people who matter to you much in your life, just check (Gestures) (Laughter), he and she and that one and this one is alive – all alive, great! If one million people died tonight, which they do every night, at least ten million people lost somebody who is dear to them but none of those, who are very dear to you are gone today, fantastic or no?
Sadhguru: Tch, another big smile, don’t tell anybody (Laughter), just smile, okay, great. Eight o’ clock in the morning – wow, eight o’ clock, still alive. Every one hour, just do this exercise, okay? Every one hour, just remind yourself, check (Gestures) – on. Please understand this, if you think about god, you will become hallucinatory. Only when you are conscious about your mortality, will you want to truly know the nature of this life (Referring to oneself). When you know you’re on right now and tomorrow morning, you may be poof, gone, now you want to know, “What the hell? What is this (Referring to oneself)?” I’m real right now but tomorrow morning, gone. So many people who are so real and on, suddenly gone. Can’t believe where did they go but you thought about it for ten minutes and then you got busy. You had to text, “My father is dead” (Laughter). But remind yourself of your own mortality. Let the question deepen. If you can do it every moment, it’s great. If you cannot, at least once a (an?) hour, remind yourself that you are mortal. You are not immortal, you are mortal. If you know that you are mortal, suddenly you will see in a few days, you have no time to do any nonsense, which doesn’t mean anything to you. You will do only what really matters to your life. You have no time to do any rubbish with anybody. You will have time only to make the… do the best things that you want to do, what you truly care to do in your life and nothing other than that and that’s what you should be doing because it’s a very limited amount of time (Applause).
I want you to know it’s a very brief life - that is, if you’re a joyful person. If you are a miserable person, of course it’s a long life (Laughter). So (Laughs), if you’re joyful, if you live for hundred years, it’s gone too quickly. If you’re miserable, what a long life you will live, you know. So, it’s a very brief life, you should not be doing anything other than what truly matters to you, isn’t it? Yes or no?
Sadhguru: But you are doing so much nonsense, which doesn’t mean anything to you, simply because you think you are immortal. Otherwise people are saying, “No, I will live up to eighty, maybe hundred. So, I will do this at seventy. I will… I will smile at my neighbor when I am seventy-five you know, when all my work is done (Laughter). When all the property issues are settled (Laughter), after that I’ll smile at him.” There is no such guarantee. Has anybody here come with a guarantee card for two days (Laughter)? No, you could be dead tomorrow morning. I’m not wishing that, I bless you with a long life but it’s possible, right? Every day, it’s happening to a million people means, can’t it be you and me tomorrow morning, I’m asking? Yes or no?
Sadhguru: If you are conscious of your mortality, becoming aware will naturally happen because the significance of being alive will blossom. You used all kinds of words, which are straight from the American coast – mindfulness, awareness, mental alertness – no, you need to separate these things. Being mentally alert will help you to survive better. If I’m mentally alert, I can drive better, I can do my work better, I can do something else better, it’s survival.
Vinita Bali: Right.
Sadhguru: Awareness is not about survival. When I first asked you the question, how do you know that you’re here, you went around and then you said, “I’m conscious.” Only because you are aware, you’re alive. Your awareness is aliveness, your aliveness is awareness - the question is only about how alive. Lot of people think if they are fifty percent alive, it’s pretty good. Yes, you can survive fifty percent but you need to understand, if we want to torture somebody… if you want to torture somebody, what would you do? You’ll kill them? Suppose you got… got employment in hell, let’s say, you’re given the job of torturing people, what will you do? Kill them? Hello?
Sadhguru: No. Keep them half alive (Laughter/Applause). If you keep them half alive, that’s called torture. So right now, this is called self-torture, maybe you’re preparing for employment elsewhere (Laughter). Because right from the age of two or three, people… your parents are asking you, “What will you become? What will you become?” Wh… Well, I’m born as a human being, I’m supposed to strive to become a human being. See, every life on this planet, whether it is a bird…if it’s a worm, insect, bird, animal, tree, whatever, every one of them is stri… striving to become a full-fledged life and that’s all. A worm is trying to be a full-fledged worm, a tree is trying to be a full-fledged tree - that’s all a human being also, to become a full-fledged human being. No, no, what will you become means what kind of job will you get – from the age of three (Laughs)! This madness has come because of this whatever the last century of poverty in the country, people are so deprived and they think if they don’t have a job, they won’t eat anything. Tch, you know, it comes from a certain poverty consciousness – we must pass it, that generation is passed.
Right now, if you have a few brain cells working, you can make a li… living, yes? You don’t have to be qualified for anything. If you have a few brain cells working in your head, you can make a living, that’s not a (an?) issue anymore. There was a time it was like that, it's no more like that, it’s time we leave that, it’s not about what you will become, how you will be. What will be the experience of your life? Will it become the peak experience or is it just a mediocre nonsense – this is the question. Because once you have come as a human being, whatever happens, it’s not enough, something more needs to happen. Yes or no?
Sadhguru: You may think you’re doing different things. The man who goes to the temple, the man who goes to the bar, the man who goes to work, the man who goes to conquer the world, every one of them is just seeking a larger slice of life. Some people go to the mall, some people go the PDS, just like that some people think it… it comes free in the temple, so they go there, somebody else go (goes?) to conquer the world, somebody goes shopping. What is it that you’re trying to do? Just trying to have a larger slice of life. But it doesn’t matter if you gather the whole world around you, you will not have a larger slice. Your larger slice will happen only if your ability to perceive is enhanced. If your ability to experience is not enlarged, then you can have everything around you, still your experience is the same. Modern life is just that. No other generation had the things that we are having around us, most homes are looking like a warehouse (Laughter) because their shopping trips, they don’t know where to keep it, everything is falling all over the people, there’s no place for the people, full of things, but does it bring well-being or happiness or anything? No.
You cannot determine the experience of what’s happening within you from outside. It has to happen from within and it is… How enlarged your experience is, is how big your life is, not about socially how big people think you are. That may work socially a few things for you but it do… it doesn’t work in terms of life. So, when we say awareness, we are talking about the essential ingredient of life because only because you are aware, you’re alive. Isn’t it so? Yes?
Sadhguru: Now the question is, how alive? If you have to use an analogy - right now, this light is, you know, blinding me (Laughs). Now if you reduce the voltage, it’ll be like this (Gestures), it’ll light up only that much (Gestures). But they want it to light up everything, so they turned up the voltage. So, if you turn down the voltage, you will see only this much (Gestures), if you turn it up, you will see that much (Gestures), if you really turn it up, you will see the entire hall. Awareness is the same thing. Because you are conscious or you are aware, you know something. If you become little more aware, you will know something more, if you bo… know (become?) little more aware, something more. All these words are connected – pragna, the word guru, all these things are connected because pragna means you’re conscious. Because you are conscious, depending upon the intensity of your consciousness, accordingly your vision of everything around you is enhanced.
Now the word guru means, gu means darkness – tch, it’s a four letter word you know (Laughs) - ru means dispeller. So a guru is not supposed to teach you something, he is not supposed to give you a philosophy, not supposed to give you an ideology. It is just that he is supposed to throw little more light. Little more light means, if I sh… Suppose this hall is dark and you’re only able to see the first two rows, you are not able to see them (Gestures), if I flashed a torch light, you saw, “Oh, all those people, it’s a whole world out there.” But I switched off the torch, then you know, “There is something, now I have to see. What do I need? I need a torch beam of my own, okay” (Laughs)? This is the job. Pe (Laughs)… Because they… the children in the home where I am staying, they’re declaring, “He is… He is not like a guru, he doesn’t talk like a guru, he doesn’t look like a guru, he doesn’t walk like a guru, he’s not a guru” (Laughter). I’m very glad, I’m getting certified (Laughter).
Vinita Bali: Yes, yes.
Sadhguru: (Laughs) Now, about seeing everything the way it is because if I want to walk through this… There’re whole lot of people right now, belief systems, you believe in god, all right? Now, I know in the corporate world, people have shifted this, “I believe in myself” (Laughs).
Vinita Bali: Which is somewhat misplaced but that’s okay (Both laugh).
Sadhguru: Both are misplaced, they produce different kinds of impacts.
Vinita Bali: Absolutely.
Sadhguru: See, belief means what? Essentially, belief means you’re unwilling to admit what you do not know as “I do not know”. Whatever you do not know, you believe. If you believe, what it does to you is, it’ll give you confidence. Confidence without clarity is a disaster. Right now, let us say, I cannot see these people (Gestures), my vision is not clear but I have great confidence, I’m going to walk through these people. You know what I will do? I’ll step over everybody and go because I’m very confident. There’re whole lot of people like this. If my vision is clear, I will go through this without even touching anybody. If my vision is not clear and I have no confidence, I will ask, “Please, can somebody show me the way?” But now, I have no clarity but I have confidence – it’s a disastrous process. So believing in god, believing in yourself, believing in anything means – it’s just a “b” word, you know? You’re just bullshitting yourself about something that you do not know (Laughter).
Vinita Bali: Right, right.
Sadhguru: (Laughs) Wha… What is the problem, “What I know, I know, what I do not know, I do not know” – what is the problem with this? If this much sincerity enters your life, come to this much – “What I know, I know, what I do not know, I do not know. I don’t believe anything, I don’t disbelieve anything, I am willing to look at everything.” You’ll become a sensible human being and every one hour, you remind yourself you are mortal and ec… ex… you know, celebrate with a smile that you’re still alive, you will see wonders will happen to you (Laughs).
Vinita Bali: Thank you. Great (Applause)! So, even a free-flowing…
Sadhguru: Hey, wait, wait, it’s eight o’ clock.
Vinita Bali: No, no, no, no, we have more time (Laughter), we have more time, I was just going to say…
Sadhguru: No, I... I’m not saying that, it’s eight o’ clock you’re still alive, wow (Laughter/Applause)!
Vinita Bali: We are all alive (Applause)! That’s the collective celebration (Sadhguru laughs). Okay, so even a free-flowing conversation is limited by time, we’ve got about twenty minutes left and what I’d like to do is throw the floor open to questions from any of you. It is… No, no, one sec, let me just define some broad framework for asking questions – one is a request that please keep your question to a question, make it as short and succinct as you possibly can. You know, we’d like to hear your views but unfortunately, we don’t have time, we only have twenty minutes and I’d like to take as many questions as possible. The second request I’m going to make is depending on the first question, if there are other people in the audience who have a question around a similar theme, I’ll take three or four of those questions and then request Sadhguru to take those altogether. That way we will actually get in more questions and hopefully, cover a lot more of the areas that you would like to explore with Sadhguru.
Sadhguru: Now I see you’re really corporate (Laughter/Applause).
Vinita Bali: So having said that – somewhere… somewhere it has to show up – so having said that, I saw a gentleman in the front, can we have the mike here, please? Can we have the mike here? Yes.
Questioner: Namaste Sadhguru. Before I ask the straight simple question, can I share something with you?
Sadhguru: She already told you…
Questioner: It won’t take more than one minute (Laughter).
Sadhguru: I don’t know, you ask her. She already set the rules.
Vinita Bali: You know, you are the only person who can overrule me, so…
Sadhguru: I will not overrule you (Laughter).
Vinita Bali: Hmm (Laughs)? Can we stick to the question, please, it’ll give everybody else…
Questioner: I think by this time, I would have already shared. Anyway…
Vinita Bali: Okay, it’ll give everybody a chance to ask.
Questioner: Yeah, surely.
Vinita Bali: Thank you.
Questioner: And I actually wanted to tell that, why he is called a mystic.
Questioner: It happened to me. Three months back, for about two days, I stayed in Isha Foundation ashram in Coimbatore, just to go there and share my Kailash experience. I had gone for Kailash for tour. So, instead of writing Kailash you know experience, the book turned out to be mystic experience (Sadhguru laughs) and I’m here again today to meet the mystic. Anyway my question is directly… direct and very simple. I… Thirty years back, I was with Osho. Okay, I’m a disciple of Osho but the last seven years I’ve been…
Sadhguru: See, if you come to the question…
Questioner: Yes, question, yeah. Yeah, I learnt a simple process in Osho, which says that you know, whenever doubt arises in our life, you know, doubt the doubt and whenever trust arises, trust the trust. So that helped me a lot in terms of my…
Vinita Bali: So your question would be?
Questioner: My question is now that the ultimate, next step we are saying, the ultimate as the final step, I would like to ask is dissolution or what we call moksha, hmm? That is one area, which you know, I don’t know how to take a, you know, step forward. I don’t know whether I… my question is clear.
Sadhguru: You want to dissolve (Laughter)? Okay.
Questioner: That is the ultimate process.
Sadhguru: You need a barrel of sulphuric acid (Laughter). Please, sit down.
Vinita Bali: Okay, can we have s…
Sadhguru: No, we will answer that question.
Vinita Bali: Should we take one or two other questions, if you are okay with that?
Sadhguru: But you won’t get this kind of a question (Laughter/Applause).
Vinita Bali: Okay, we won’t get this. All right (Applause), all right.
Sadhguru: (Laughs) See, the reason why the so-called spiritual process has fallen upon ridicule in the world is – well, there may be few entrepreneurs who do their own things, leave them, I’m not going into that – but the reason why spiritual process has become ridiculous on the planet is because people try to do the highest things on the street side, without the necessary committed atmosphere, without the necessary focus, simply talk about mukti, moksha. You know, in the previous generation, everybody talked about mukti, moksha, just about anywhere, sitting, standing. Whenever life became mi… miserable, they want moksha, when it’s going well, they forget about moksha (Laughs). Their idea of moksha itself is convoluted. So this is important. With all due respect to everybody who has spoken about these things, maybe those things were spoken in a certain atmosphere to a certain individual towards a certain purpose. I think it’s quite irresponsible first of all to print that in a book and just everybody reads it, without knowing the context of what it is, without having gon… gone through the journey that person who asked that question has go… gone through. The question doesn’t have depth. Answers we can give any number, all you will do is you’ll pick up more words from today evening and it’s not going to do anything.
If you are serious about it, if you’re really serious about it, if you’re serious about your journey, leave all this. First of all, get rid of all the jargon, all the spiritual jargon. Just come to this much – how much of you is sense, how much of you is nonsense? Sit down, unprejudiced just make an evaluation, just an accountant’s job, okay? How much of you is – let me use the right, appropriate word – sense and how much of you is nonsense. Every day, sieve it out, you will see it’s not an easy job and ask some of you… two friends of yours and two people who don’t like you (Laughter), also to assess you. You know, you need a (an?) outside opinion, isn’t it? Second opinion (Laughs) is always good. You will see it’s a great cleansing process. Instead of talking mukti, moksha, dissolution, sushupthi, something else, something else – these are all words. Anybody can pick up Sanskrit words, what is the point? Let’s take… All the scriptures, all the teachings, all the philosophies, all the great things that people have spoken about, all of them are worth nothing, compared to a single existential te… step that you took inward. If you take one step, it is worth more than all the scriptures in the universe put together (Applause).
Vinita Bali: Okay, so, we’ve got a mike there.
Questioner: Sadhguru namaste. You spoke about the energy, manas, chitta, ahankara and all that. The existence of all these is the basic, that is the body and the body is the composition of the pancha bhutas, each one has got his own energies. Would you kindly throw light on those five energies, which is making us here, speaking, listening to you and all that, please?
Vinita Bali: Should we take more questions or do you want to do it one on one?
Sadhguru: Hmm, I think we’ll finish because they won’t be similar. You see from where to where it’s going (Laughs).
Vinita Bali: Okay, sure, sure, so, let’s… we’ll do it question by question.
Sadhguru: They are not asking questions from what we’ve spoken. They… They come with their own questions so (Both laugh)…
Vinita Bali: I know, I know, yes.
Sadhguru: So pancha bhutas or these are called as the maha bhutas because these are the five elements, which are the fundamental ingredients with which everything is made – your body is five elements, the world is five elements, the whole universe is five elements. So when Adiyogi was transmitting this knowing to the seven sages, who are today known as the saptarishis, they wanted to know – “What is the nature of this creation, where does it begin, where does it end?” He was bored with them, you know? Students can bore you… Teachers can bore you but students can bore you, they don’t understand that. He was just bored with them, he said, “All your great cosmos that you are talking about, how big it is, where it begins, where it ends, I can roll it all up and pack it into a mustard seed.” That’s efficient packing, corporate I think (Laughter).
Vinita Bali: Nano.
Sadhguru: Then they wouldn’t leave there but they said, “What is the nature of this universe?” By now, he was too bored, he didn’t want to waste his words, he simply said like this (Gestures showing all the five fingers), “Just five.” You just have to know five, that’s all. Not five million, just five. Just see with five ingredients, how much mischief. Look at the variety that’s happened in the universe. The size and the variety and the immensity of what’s happened, just with five – incredible or not? Out of this five, these four come from one. The other four what you know as… (Talks aside: Sir, can you tell me? In… what… in Kannada, I’m not able to get the names.) Anyway, earth, water, fire, air and space.
Participant: Prithvi, vayu, akasha, bhut, jala.
Sadhguru: That sounds better. So, these five elements are in a certain composition in different aspects of life. Let’s take life, not inanimate things – even there, it is there but – in different lives, it is in different compositions. In you, seventy-two percent is water, twelve percent is earth, six percent is air, four percent is fire, remaining is space. When I say remaining, Vinita is calculating, “Okay, six percent akash.” No, I said remaining is space because we are not talking about physical entities alone, not talking about the physical dimension alone. So hundred percent is not the quantity. As long as you measure the body, yes. Once you come to akash, you’re not talking about percentages. So what you are referring to as akash – because the word akash is being loosely used today in l… common language – the word akash did not mean sky, it meant the fifth element. Because your eyes cannot see beyond the fifth element, only in the night you are able to see beyond that. During the day, what you see is just the etheric sphere and because of the way light plays on ether, it all turns blue in your vision, otherwise you’re just seeing… Like suppose a cloud-cover came, you’re seeing only the cloud, that is the sky for you on that day. You say a clear sky – no, it is a (an?) etheric sky that you’re seeing, it’s an etheric bubble. Beyond the atmospheric bubble, there’s an etheric bubble. Light dissipates in a certain way, refracts in a certain way there. Because of that, your vision closes there. Only in the night, when there is no sunlight, then you are seeing beyond the etheric space.
Now, akash is another dimension of perception and intelligence and existence. So, your akash… Your water is here (Gestures), your fire is here (Gestures), your air is here (Gestures), your earth is here (Gestures) but your akash is not just here (Gestures), it’s spread. Normally, for a person who is, let’s say physically healthy and reasonably agile and active, for him, his akash is somewhere between nine to eighteen inches around his body. But if you do a little effort, this bubble can be expanded limitlessly. So, today, you’re looking for the iCloud. There’s already a cloud and this cloud can be enlarged. You can make it as large as this planet, you can make it as large (as?) this universe. It is a just a question of your willingness, that’s all. Your boundaries or how small your boundaries are, are question of your unwillingness to transact, isn’t it? Tch, let’s say your social boundary, how big your social boundary is or how small it is, is a question of willingness and unwillingness in terms of your social activity. Similarly, existentially, how willing this life (Referring to oneself) has become or how unwilling this life (Referring to oneself) has become.
“Why would I be unwilling?” – this is the question, you need to understand this. Because things are packaged one inside the other, life is made in such a way, what you call as life is also death at the same time. Right now, you can say, “I’m living” or you can say, “I’m dying.” Actually you are dying, one day it’ll be complete. Yes or no?
Sadhguru: Whether you call it living or dying, it’s the same thing but we are looking at it as two different things. The moment you look at it as two different things – that’s why the mortality process – the moment you look at it as two different things, you will accept one part of it, you will resist another part of it. Once you resist, if you resist death, you will not resist something the… called as death, you will only avoid living. Right now, today mo… tomorrow morning, you start the chant, “I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die” – all that’ll happen is you won’t live. Whether you’ll die or not, we don’t know but you will not live for sure (Laughter). So because life is… is inclusive but intellect is exclusive, always it wants to cut and see. What is life, what is death – there is no such thing. They are intermingled, both are happening at the same time. Because of this, akash, if you are able to perceive your akash consciously, suddenly your ability to know is just effortless. You can have the luxury of remaining uneducated and still be okay. You can still be okay even if you are uneducated because everything that’s worth knowing about life is here (Gestures), in these five elements.
So, the most fundamental aspect of the yogic process is called bhuta shuddhi. Every yogic practice, whatever you do, is a little extension or little extract from bhuta shuddhi, which means cleansing of the elements. If you do enough of this, then you arrive at what is called as bhuta siddhi – that means you have some mastery over your elements. If you have mastery over your elements, your body will happen the way you want it, your life will happen the way you want it, your destiny is determined by you. Not only that, even things around you will happen the way you want it. Lives around you will happen the way you want it, plants will s… flower out of season, things will happen in ways that you thought not possible. Is this something supernatural, is this superhuman? No. This is not about being superhuman, this is about realizing being human is super (Applause).
And the nature of the five elements, what they are, how they function, an enormous amount of study and science and experiential dimensions to it has been done in this land. Unfortunately, we are ignoring all that and trying to handle everything on the chemical level for health and well-being, which is a very… unfortunately, very… very rudimentary way of handling life. When we see all this… This whole way of treating human beings with chemicals and stuff has become relevant only because we are overwap… overpopulated and too crowded and all this. If you were little more spread out, if you lived in your own land, if you lived in the jungle, you most probably did not get any infectious diseases, okay?
Only for infectious diseases, chemical warfare is okay but for chronic ailments, it’s something that (that’s?) happening because you lost fundamental balance. One most fundamental thing is, if one of the elements is not in tune, this will do horrible things to you. So, one simple way is, in this culture, they taught you, if you have to eat your food, first you bow down to it. You are not saying thank you to any god, okay? Please don’t do this. If at all if you want to thank the… somebody, thank that poor farmer who doesn’t eat what he grows and gives it to you (Applause). We are not thanking any gods, we are not looking up and saying thanks for the daily bread wa… whatever. We’re just bowing down to the food because we know how you treat the food, accordingly it behaves within you.
Today, there is enormous amount of study, which shows… For example, water – this water (Gestures) has enormous memory. If I just as much as look at it in a certain way, its molecular composition changes, not the chemical composition but the molecular composition changes and it behaves differently. Lot of experimentation has happened about this and today, they’ve come up with something called imploding water, where some of you might have experienced this. Suppose you went to a waterfall and the water that is falling with great force, if you touch the water, it feels silky. Have you ever noticed this? Yes? If it goes down two miles and then touch it, it won’t feel like that. Only there, it feels silky because the water is imploding into itself. Now they’ve created imploding machines, you can implode the water and you feed this water to your plants. With ten percent of irrigation, you can get the same results, simply because the water is imploded. These imploding machines, which were made in UK, we are kind of getting them for the local farmers, so that the water is imploded. With minimal water ,you can grow the same crops because just changing the molecular composition changes so much.
We’ve always known this. This is why… Why do you think people go to a temple (Laughs) and they are dying for that two drops of water? Because the water is supposed to have the memory of the divine, supposed to be in touch with the deity and there is supposed to be memory and you take it and it’s supposed to work, if it… this whole science is managed properly but today, we don’t know how it is in most of the places but the possibility of changing the… how the water behaves within you, just by treating it differently. Before drinking, just bow down to the water. Don’t see it as a commodity, it’s not a commodity, it is life-making ingredient. This (Gestures) is more important than your mother, father, your children, anybody. Isn’t it so?
Sadhguru: What is in this vessel right now? Please tell me I want you to hear that.
Vinita Bali: Yes.
Sadhguru: Yes, because if you don’t drink it for one day, you will not want anybody (Laughter), you want only this (Referring to water). No, we ar… We are talking about the real thing (Laughter). So the five elements, if you learn to handle them properly, simple thing, whatever – the earth that you walk upon, the air that you breathe, water that you drink, food that you eat and the sky – three times a day consciously just (Gestures doing namaskar) put your hands together for these things. These are the lice… life-making ingredients, your life is made out of this. Just approach it differently, you will see your health situation, your sense of well-being, your stability, everything will be greatly enhanced. If you want to do proper practice of bhus… bhuta shuddhi, please come, we have elaborate systems of bhuta shuddhi. Probably nowhere else in the world right now these kinds of systems are offered but they will need a certain amount of preparation and absolute dedication to pursue that (Applause).
Vinita Bali: Do we have time for one more question?
Sadhguru: I have the day with me.
Vinita Bali: You have the time (Sadhguru laughs)? Okay, we’ll take maybe two more questions. Let’s take a question from the lady in blue.
Sadhguru: It’s green, actually.
Vinita Bali: Green (Laughter)… turquoise.
Questioner: Peapo… Peacock color. Namaste Guruji (Laughter). I have been seeing your videos in YouTube, this is the first time that I am seeing you live. So, I have a basic questions, which will help everyone here. Everyone talks about, you know, knowing ourselves and the first step is going inside and then the way to go inside is meditation and when I try to…
Sadhguru: I don’t know, please don’t (Laughs)… do… I never said such things. I don’t know which everyone said those things (Laughter).
Questioner: Okay, so then how do we go inside?
Vinita Bali: That is the question (Laughter).
Sadhguru: Inside what, you are already inside the hall (Laughter)? Inside what?
Questioner: Inside ourselves.
Sadhguru: Ohh (Laughs)!
Questioner: Okay, if that is the truth of the first step of knowing answers for all the questions, if going inside is the answer, then how do we do that?
Sadhguru: First of all, you must understand what is inside, okay, and what is outside. If you do not understand what is inside and outside, then you will go to all the wrong places. Now what is inside? Your body – accumulated over a period of time, yes or no? Hello, Maa?
Sadhguru: Accumulated over a period of time. What you accumulated… Don’t, don’t… I… I can… We’ll not get into a debate. What you accumulate can be yours, cannot be you. Is that much clear?
Sadhguru: Whatever it may be. What you accumulate can be yours, cannot be you. So, this body (Gestures) is an accumulation. What you call as my mind, the whole content of the mind is accumulated, depending upon what you are exposed to in your life. So your body is a heap of food, small or big. Your mind is a heap of impressions, again small or big. Between these two heaps, where the hell are you? So, inside, outside – leave these words because when it comes to language, there is only that much leeway, so within that, maybe different people are trying to use it in different ways, we don’t know in what context they used. You put everybody into one bundle and said, “All of you said this.” I don’t know who these all people are. Different people employed different methods around them, looking at the people around them, what was best suitable for the people around them, accordingly they would have worked most probably. If they are genuine, they would have worked with the people around them, not with concepts from somewhere. What… Looking at an individual person, you will do something, what works for that person. What you do with this person (Gestures) may not work for another person, you’ll have to do something else with that person but you are talking about a generic inward, outward.
So, first determine what is inward, outward. Everything is outward right now. The world is outside, body is also external material, ev… all the material in the mind also is external so what is this inward you are talking about? Then you will immediately say atma, paramatma, soul, this one. Now you are going into belief system. You don’t know! You know you have a body, yes? Hello?
Sadhguru: Please check your neighbors (Laughter). You know you have a body, you believe you have a mind (Laughter). But to some extent, you know but rest is belief. Yes or no?
Vinita Bali: Yes.
Sadhguru: I’m not questioning whether it’s true or false, let’s not go there at all, but it’s belief, it’s not yet in your experience. If you talk about something, which is not yet in your experience, to put it bluntly, you’re just a bloody liar, that’s what it means. But because lies are holy, lies are written in scriptures, light (lies?) are repeated by all kinds of people who dressed in different ways, which are supposed be holy though ridiculous. Because of this, you are not supposed to question these words. Anywhere you go, first thing is people say, “Sadhguru, what about the soul?” I ask them, “Which sole, right or left” Laughter/Applause)? So, let’s not te… talk about something that is not in your experience. Right now, your body is in your experience to some extent, your mind is in your experience to some extent, rest you don’t know but we can infer. If I have to ca…ca…accumulate this much (Gestures) body, if I have to accumulate this much (Gestures) mind, something more fundamental must be there, yes? Something more fundamental must be there, we don’t know what the hell it is. For now, we will call it “you.”
How you will go into yourself, I’m asking (Laughter)? You can go into this hall, you can go out of this hall? How will you go into yourself, I’m asking? Tch, saying let’s leave this, this is not the way. You do this way. What is not you, all those things you keep it aside. Before today… if you… before you go to bed, everything that’s not you, keep it aside. They may be precious to you. You think about it, your house, is it you? “Oh! My house” (Gestures) (Laughter). All right, you have lots of passion about it but all right, keep it aside. Your husband, is it you? No, that’s easy, “He is not me” (Laughter/Applause). My children are… is the… are they me? Oh, little difficulty, but no (Laughter), tch, they are not me. They’re beginning to tell you – if they’re twelve, they’ve already told you (Laughter). So, the clothes that you wear, is that you? No. The body that you wear, is that you? No. All these thoughts and emotion, is this you? No. Everything that’s not you, keep it in one heap, not physically, just do this mentally. Keep everything aside, let me see. Every day, you practice this. One day, when you successfully keep everything aside that you are not, what you are will be there (Applause). We have too many ideas about things that we’ve not seen, this is a big problem. Shankaran Pillai went to Britannia (Laughter/Applause). Can I…?
Vinita Bali: You love the story, yes.
Sadhguru: Shankaran Pillai went to Britannia Industries (Laughter) to find a job, to find a job. So, they were looking for a really smart, farseeing sales manager. So they asked him one question, “Which is further (farther?), Mumbai or moon?” Shankaran Pillai thought, he said, “Mumbai.” They said, “What? Mumbai is further than the moon?” He said, “Yes.” “How?” “Well, I can see the moon, I can’t see Mumbai” (Laughter and Applause). So what I am saying is – if you go by your present perception, you’ll get all the wrong conclusions. So don’t be in a rush to make conclusions. Let’s pay little more attention. You are a worthwhile life, which deserves some attention, isn’t it? Don’t seek other people’s attention (Laughter). Your own attention, doesn’t this life (Referring to oneself) deserve attention? Pay attention to this (Referring to oneself). Enough attention, everything will be clear. Everything about you, you’re asking me. If I tell you, what do you have? You have some more words. Tch, some more words you have, that will not get you anywhere near the truth. One more word or ten more words doesn’t get you any closer to reality, just you’ll have more things to say to somebody else.
This kind of hearsay is spreading in the world. Everybody knows where god is, who his wife is, how many children he has, when is his birthday, his address. In every bhajan, people are singing his address, where he is and how to get him but they don’t know a damn thing about themselves. This kind of, what to say, a very knowledgeable ignorance is dangerous (Laughter), you know? If you do not know, it’s not a problem. If I see, “I do not know,” the possibility of knowing is always there, isn’t it? If I do not know and I think I know, then I’ve destroyed all possibilities. So, we have arrived at many things, we know… In every culture they know what is the nature of god, where he resides, how the ambience is there and the works, you know? Tch, you… Everybody knows the geography of the heaven, isn’t it? Don’t you? In Hindu heaven, the food is good (Laughter), Christian heaven, food is not good but there are angels floating around (Laughter). If you go to another heaven, there are virgin problems (Laughter), there are various things but you don’t know a damn thing about yourself. It’s time, it’s time we paid attention because everything you know, you know it only the way it’s projected in the firmament of your mind. You don’t know anything any other way. Yes or no?
Sadhguru: So, what you need to fix is – you are seeing everything in a mirror of your mind and the mirror is wonky. First fix it, first thing is to make it stable, flat, proper plain mirror, so that you see everything the way it is. Does the plain mirror show you everything the way it is? Everything reverse, you know? Then you’ll have to flip it, that’ll take much more skill, most people can’t flip a dosa (Laughter). Now to f… flip the whole universe, the whole life that is reflecting in your mind, to flip it over without shattering it into pieces will take much more. But the first thing is to level out the mirror so that it shows you everything the way it is, not some other way. Right now, everything is seen depending upon how you are identified with something. Every identity has distorted the mirror of your mind and it shows you things in completely different way than the way it is. First thing is stop talking about things that you do not know – no soul, no atman, no paramatman, no god, no divine, no heaven – talk about something that you know and then the longing to take the next step will become strong. Otherwise, when you know the geography of the heaven, what is the need to pay attention to anything? Very dangerous (Laughs).
Vinita Bali: Okay, we’ll take a question on the side. Yeah, let’s… the lady with her hand up. Can we get her mike there please? Yes.
Questioner: Namaskaram Sadhguru.
Sadhguru: Mhmm (Indicating agreement).
Questioner: I know that I am not allowed to trek Velliangiri mountains because of my age. When is that going to change? Velliangiri mountains or Sabarimala or anything else.
Questioner: Either I should be very old that I cannot trek or I should have been nine years old or much younger?
Sadhguru: There are other mountains (Laughter).
Questioner: But Velliangiri is Velliangiri and yes, Kailash is open to all, I will go there, but Velliangiri also. Thank you.
Sadhguru: The… These rules were made when it was not very safe for a woman to trek in these mountains because this is tiger country, there is (are?) lots of other predators. It was not safe for a woman to go for variety of reasons. I don’t want to go into the detail of it but you need to understand, a wild animal, a carnivorous animal always smells a woman out much more easily than it smells a man out for various reasons, just for biological reasons. So they thought it is not safe to take women and go up these mountains because it’s tiger country. But these laws were made long time ago. Now, most of the tigers have receded to other places and woman are competent enough, fit enough to handle things maybe today. But the rules have not changed because the people who manage the place are still the same people, who don’t know why the rules were made (Laughter).
There are so many (Laughs)… I was very glad when our Prime Minister , first thing he said was, “My basic work is not to make new laws, I’m going to repeal some seven hun… seventeen hundred new… old laws.” I saw this is it (Laughs) (Applause) because… because I’ve seen there’re so many laws which are… which we’ve inherited from British times, which were made for a certain reason, but still we’re continuing the same things. You know, I’ve had many experiences. My recent experience is I have an FAA (Referring to Federal Aviation Authority, USA) license. To make it valid in India, all I need is an endorsement. In any damn country, I can fly but in India, I cannot fly. Why? Because the laws of the DGCA (Referring to the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation, India) were made before Wright brothers (Laughter/Applause).
Vinita Bali: Somebody had an epiphany.
Sadhguru: They wouldn’t change it.
Vinita Bali: They had an epiphany.
Vinita Bali: They had an epiphany before the Wright brothers and created the law (Sadhguru laughs).
Sadhguru: So, about how to make sure nothing flies (Laughter). So like this… So right now, because we are at the foothills, touching that is very sensitive for us because they’ll take it out on us. We’ve taken many women up the mountain through the forest but it became politically very sensitive and lots of emotions flying. We kind of contained it. There is Mount Everest, there’s Kanchenjunga, there is Alps, there is South American Andes – shall I tell you more (Laughter)? Lots of challenges for you (Laughs).
Vinita Bali: Okay, there was a question here in the middle. Yes, okay, just… just ask loudly.
Questioner: It’s been fascinating listening to you. The question does come up because you are telling… you said that the body is a fantastic gadget.
Sadhguru: I didn’t say, you tell me.
Questioner: But you just mentioned…
Sadhguru: No, that’s okay, but you tell me, is it true?
Questioner: It’s a fantastic gadget.
Sadhguru: Okay, that’s better. Not every body is kept that way but…
Questioner: You talk about bliss, you talk about the fact that human beings are here for becoming fuller human beings. Actually, the question that comes in the mind is why are all are our actions largely ____ (Unclear) hurtling us to self-destruction, rather than moving us to joy ____ (Unclear), what is preventing it? The answers are there but why I am moving away from it? There is terrorism, there’s greed, there’s hatred, there is rape, all those are happening.
Sadhguru: When did it happen to you, all these things (Laughter)?
Questioner: I hope it doesn’t happen to me (Sadhguru laughs).
Sadhguru: Now, I was talking to one of the media leaders in the country and he said, “Sadhguru, you may think of many things but actually, there’s only media and media” (Laughter). So, all these things are exaggerated in people’s minds. I want you to understand, today, as the world is today, in spite of all its problems, it’s better than ever before, believe me (Applause). Never before, never before, so many human beings were living in this level of comfort. Yes or no?
Sadhguru: You go to any place where big palaces and stuff – you know, there are still many fantastic palaces and fortresses left in the country – go there and see, it’s a huge amount of wealth but in those times, how common people lived there, is another story altogether, okay? So don’t think looking at the palace, “Wow! This is how people lived in 1600s.” That’s not how people lived, just four people lived like that (Laughter), rest lived in a completely different state. So that way if you look back in the history of humanity, never before this many human beings were enjoying the level of comfort, nourishment, health, education, the way it’s happening today.
Now about terrorism, violence – never before there was this least amount of violence. It is just that some ten people gets (get?) beheaded somewhere – you know, that’s a hobby right now in some parts of the world – ten people get beheaded, the blood and gore of this beheading flows into your sitting room and of course, you have a television in the dining room, so it f… falls on your plate. Of course, you have another television in the bedroom, so it gets into… seeps into your dreams. If 1,000 years ago, 1,000 people were beheaded in Middle East, we would be sitting here – “How…what a wonderful evening it is” (Laughter)! Because nobody would tell us what happened. Right through history of humanity, violence has been – especially in the last 2,000 years – the religious violence has taken millions of people, okay? Millions and millions across the world. At least now, it’s in tens. I am not saying this is good, this also we must strive to stop, but I am saying don’t go about thinking you are living in the worst times in history – no. You are at the best times in history, make the best out of it and see how tomorrow could be better.
Yes, even those ten people dying, need not die. But you need to understand once people believe, this is bound to happen. The… The fight in the world is not between good and evil as it’s always projected it… projected to be. It’s always w… one man’s belief versus another man’s belief, there is no other way. The moment you believe something, you started a fight already. When actually it explodes, is questionable. Depending on the situation, many things… Triggers are needed, detonators are needed. Right (Laughs)… I was looking for the right word (Laughs). Now, all this is because we have made conclusions about things we have no clue about. This is why I am telling you, things that you don’t know, just leave it alone. What you know… How to see, to stretch it by one step, if you do this, life… phenomenal things will happen, just one step, rather than jumping into heaven straightaway. Can I tell you a joke, are you okay? You l… It’s a very serious question, that’s why (Laughter).
This happened in New York City. There was a very… a progressive mother. She had a (an?) eight-year-old boy. When she is so progressive, obviously she is bound to be single (Laughter/Applause). So the boy went to school one day and came home and he asked, “Mom, is god man or a woman?” She thought about it, all the implications, the polit… the political correctness, of gender correctness, everything, then she said, “God is both.” Then the boy went into a deep thought. After some time, he came back and asked, “Mom, is god white or black?” She again thought about it, all the racial implications that are there and then she said, “Both.” Then he went into deep thought, he came back and again asked, “Mom, is god straight or gay” (Laughter)? She again thought about all the implications of that, you have to be very politically correct on this one thing and then she said, “Both.” He jumped up in ecstasy, “I got it, I got it, it’s Michael Jackson” (Laughter and Applause)! So like this, you have many conclusions. Don’t enshrine them, okay? It’s part of the culture, enjoy the culture.
You need to understand this, this is a godless country. Never ever in this country, you’ve been taught, “There is a god up there who’ll manage your life.” Always you’ve been told, “Your life is your karma.” That means your life is your making, entirely your making. All the gods that you worship are people who walked the geography of this land. Yes or no?
Sadhguru: They went through all the trials and tribulations that you are going through and much more. Do you… People say Rama rajya, this, this, I just ask them, “Would you like things that happened to Rama’s life, do you want it to happen to your life” (Laughter)? “No, no, no.” Then why you’re asking for Rama rajya? Things that happened to Krishna, do you want it to happen to you? The first part – yes, after that – no (Laughter/Applause). The butter and the girl part – okay (Laughter), after that – no. So, I want you to understand these people are worshiped because they did not allow the external situations ever to determine who they are. No matter what was happening in their lives… Most of it is not so good, okay? Much of it is horrible, what happened to them. In spite of that, they never allowed external situations to determine who they are. They remained who they are, did everything possible they could do outside – most of the time they failed in their endeavors, yes – but still they remained who they are. This is all you need to do with your life. Outside situations will happen in so many ways. What we do, we do our best but no matter what you do, what you do not do, what you can do or cannot do, how you are should be determined by you and you alone not by outside situations. If you do this, unknowingly people will… people around you will start bowing down to you. But before that, you start doing it to them, okay?
Thank you very much (Applause).
Vinita Bali: Thank you very much, thank you. Thank you, Sadhguru.
Sadhguru: ____ (Unclear) (Laughs)
Vinita Bali: Thank you.
(Moumita announces presentation of memento to Vinita Bali, International Day of Yoga, upcoming Kailash yatra, Isha Place in Bangalore and upcoming programs)
Sounds of Isha Music – Maa Janani sings Hindi song Ya ghat bheetar baag bagiche…