No One Should Be Labelled As Disabled
On the subject of disability, Sadhguru reminds us that life comes in many forms, and society need not brand anyone as standard or substandard.
Q: Namaste. My name is Dhanya Ravi. I am born with a rare genetic disease called Osteogenesis imperfecta, commonly known as brittle bone disease, which means my bones are extremely fragile, just like a glass. I have faced more fractures than the number of bones in anyone’s body. So today, more than a question, I have a humble wish. It would be nice if some time in the future, you could say something about disability, as I believe this opportunity would create a wider visibility for people with disability.
Sadhguru: It is our privilege to have you here. Life has come in so many forms, but societies have labels as to what is normal and what is not normal. But actually, if we look at any individual who has all four limbs intact, compared to the next person, are they not disabled in some aspect of life? If you run with Mr. Bolt, even with two good legs, will you not feel like a cripple?
So let us not brand ourselves or anyone else one way or the other, because life has come in so many ways. You have to respect that and do your best about it because it is a miracle, in the sense – today morning, the dosa or idli that you had was made with the soil that we walk upon, and that food became flesh and bone. In such a phenomenally complex process, which we have taken for granted unfortunately, certain things sometimes do not work the way we think they should.
So never call yourself disabled. You are one way, I am another way. No person can claim he has a perfect body or a perfect mind. I am disabled in one way, you are disabled in another way. In some way, every one of us is disabled if we compare ourselves to someone else.
Your bones break, that is painful and unfortunate. But most people who are labeled as normal are breaking their brains every day. They call it stress, anxiety and so many things, but they are literally breaking the brain in some way.
The physical form is a mechanical process. Sometimes things will go wrong with it. It may come normally and later go wrong, or in the very womb, something can go wrong during manufacturing. This has nothing to do with that person. It has something to do with a variety of things because it is such a complex process that something can go off sometimes.
But that should not determine how you live. How we live physically may be determined by many things. But nobody can decide how we live within ourselves except us. Nobody else can decide how I live within myself. In that sense, no one is disabled.
Achieving True Equality
Beyond the psychological and physiological dimensions, all life is the same. For this, we unfortunately have to use the corrupted word called “spirituality.” Spiritual process does not mean looking up or looking down. It is about turning inward and touching a dimension beyond our physiological and psychological structures. In this state, there is simply no difference between you, me and anyone.
This is why spirituality becomes significant. We can talk about equality as much as we want, but when we use our body or mind as the frontend, there can be no equality. But if we use this dimension of life that is beyond these two accumulations of body and mind, then everything is same.
If this one experience enters humanity, you will find a very fabulously inclusive existence here. It does not matter who has come with what capability, every life will have a place. But right now, we are setting standards based on physiological and psychological competence and saying, “This is standard, this is substandard.” Do not do that.
Can you say a carrot or a grasshopper is a lesser life than you? They can very easily live without you, but you cannot live without them. Nature has given us this possibility that we have the intelligence to be above all this life. When you rise to a certain level, if you are crude nonsense, you will think this is the time to dominate. No. If you rise to certain level where the rest of the life knowingly or unknowingly is looking up to you, this is the time to include and merge with everything. This is not a time to dominate, because once you dominate, you become alienated from everything.
Becoming a Large-Scale Life
If this inclusion has to come, then human beings have to come to at least a little bit of inner experience which is beyond body and mind. Your body is different, my body is different. We will think they are different at least as long as we live. Only when they bury us, we know it is all the same soil. My mind is different, your mind is different. But if you look at this as life, there is no such thing as my life and your life. This is a living cosmos. The question is only, how much life did you capture in this? This is all that matters, not the size of your body or brain. How big a life you live simply depends on how much life you have captured.
If you want to capture more life than you have right now, you must open up the boundaries of your individuality. Your individuality is slowly becoming a concrete shell that no one can breakthrough. If you obliterate the boundaries of your individuality, then we say this is yoga.
Yoga does not mean twisting your body or turning upside down. Yoga means union. Union means you consciously obliterated the boundaries of your individuality. Now, there is a life larger than anyone can imagine happening within you. Because of a large-scale life, everything will naturally come your way.
Editor's Note: Whether you're struggling with a controversial query, feeling puzzled about a taboo topic, or just burning with a question that no one else is willing to answer, now is your chance to ask! Ask Sadhguru your questions at UnplugWithSadhguru.org.