Sadhguru is many things to many people – guru, mystic, yogi, friend, consultant on all things and topics known (and unknown), poet, architect… so many faces, so many dimensions! But he is also a father and a husband.
He met his wife Vijaykumari, fondly called Vijji, two years after his experience of spiritual awakening. Their first encounter was in Mysore, at a lunch Sadhguru was invited to. This was followed by a brief but heartfelt exchange of letters, which culminated in marriage in 1984, on the auspicious occasion of Mahashivratri. Sadhguru’s schedule of yoga classes was as hectic as ever, and he crisscrossed South India conducting programs. Vijji worked in a bank, and would often accompany him on his motorcycle, volunteering at his programs when she could.
“Me and my wife happened to go to Kalakshetra…”
In 1990, Sadhguru and Vijji had a daughter, Radhe. “My wife was very keen on a child” Sadhguru says. “She felt that motherhood was a crucial experience in every woman’s life. Actually, when I was just about 19 years of age, when I had no inclination towards or was even thinking of building a family, I happened to visit Rishi Valley, one of the schools that J. Krishnamurti had started. I thought to myself, ‘If at all I do have a child’ – and for some reason I thought ‘she’ – ‘she must go to this school.’ Then almost five years before Radhe was born, me and my wife happened to go to Kalakshetra (one of the best schools for classical Indian dance), and when we saw this, we said, ‘If we have a daughter, she has to go to Kalakshetra.’ After that I never ever thought about it. Well, she went to Rishi Valley School for eight years, and spent four years at Kalakshetra, and now she has become a dancer.”
“She left, without any effort and with a big smile…”
As time progressed, Sadhguru focused his efforts on the completion of the Dhyanalinga, and Vijji was intimately involved in the process.
Sadhguru: In the month of July in 1996, we were consecrating the Dhyanalinga. Vijji had decided that once the linga was complete, she would leave her body. She announced that she would leave on a particular full moon day, and she started working towards that. I tried to talk to her, “It’s not necessary now, wait for some time.” But she said, “Right now, my life is perfect, inside of me and outside of me. This is the time for me. I don’t know if another time like this will come for me.”
For some reason we could not complete the consecration at that time. So on that full moon day, she sat with a group of people, meditating. Eight minutes later, she left, without any effort and with a big smile on her face. She was at the peak of her health, just thirty-three years of age. It is not easy to leave like this without causing any damage to the body. Just walking out of your body like you drop your clothes and go is not an ordinary thing. When a person has reached that point in his life when he feels everything that he needs is fulfilled, and there is nothing more to see in his life, he drops his body, willfully. If there is any struggle or injury, it means suicide. When there is no struggle, when somebody just walks out like he walks out of a room, that’s Mahasamadhi.
Once a person leaves like this, that person is no more. When somebody dies, you say they are no more, but that’s not true. They are “no more” the way you know them, that’s all. But once a person leaves in full awareness, shedding the body without causing any injury or damage to the body, that person is truly no more. That person doesn’t exist as a being anymore. They have just melted away, the game is up, completely.
“When I say Vijji, I am not referring to her as my wife or as a woman…”
Below is Sadhguru’s talk, on Vijji’s Mahasamadhi, spoken two days after the event on Thaipusam, 1997.
Sadhguru: It has always been hard for me to explain to people what Vijji is. When I say Vijji, I am not referring to her as my wife or as a woman. Even as a being, she has always been truly wonderful in my experience. But as many of you know, she was a person of very intense emotions. In her childlikeness, whatever emotions were within her always found expression, irrespective of the situation. Now she attained Mahasamadhi – the ultimate aim of all spiritual seekers – with such effortlessness, and has proved her worth.
This is not child’s play. Even accomplished yogis who spent their lives in spiritual sadhana struggle to attain this. To throw one’s life out of the body without injuring the body takes something else. One has to generate tremendous amount of energy, which requires intense sadhana. She knew the methods to achieve this and she was working towards this. But at this stage, we never imagined that without my assistance, she would be able to generate the necessary energy. Anyway she would have trodden this path, but the swiftness with which she achieved this is too much. She just made this possible with her love, probably the only thing she knew.
When I look at the whole series of events, it is very clear that there is a direct intervention of the Divine. It seems like Shambho that her heart was crying for, has taken her by the hand. Out of sheer love, she made it possible.
To a few people who were close to her, she had spoken about this many times. She had been expressing her intense desire to leave her body in full awareness, without any sense of attachment. “I want to leave” – this had been her constant mantra with me also.
The day we dropped Radhe and were driving down from Ooty, as she used to normally do when we are travelling, she was chanting “Shambho.” Tears were flowing. Then she held my hand and asked me to stop the vehicle. She said, “I don’t know any other Shambho. There are moments when I have seen you like that. Only you should help me towards my moksha,” and she cried. I said, “Whether you know him or not, he knows you. Just be sincere in what you are doing. You will definitely experience him and know him beyond my form.”
On the purnima days, she was into certain intense sadhana. At 8:45 in the morning, she would have bath and sit. Again at 11:45, she would have bath and sit. Once again at 3:45, she would have bath and start her practices. On that day, I was with her all these three times, started these practices for her and went back to the class. At 6:15 in the evening, she dissolved into that utterance of Shambho and became His.
Even now, when we feel the energy that she has left behind, it is very clear she found her exit through the Anahata – the seat of love. For any being, to transcend the limitations of the physical body, there is really no better way. For this being, there is no more bondage of a physical body. Her name was Vijaya Kumari, which means “victory’s daughter” – the highest possible victory for any being became hers.
She has left my home empty but our hearts full. One important aspect is, she had a vital role to play in the consecration process of Dhyanalinga. Till now, the process was progressing in a glorious manner. But now we are a little stuck. That Shambho who took her as His, He only should show us the way.
The death is not a problem for me but this energy called love that she has left behind, I am unable to bear. All the sadhana that we are doing here will take on a new fragrance of love absolute.
For all spiritual seekers, Mahasamadhi is the ultimate goal – the very culmination of their sadhana – to dissolve into Divinity. Let people know that this kind of opportunity is available to man, that one can take the very process of birth and death into one’s hands. Generally, people believe that all these things were over with the sages and rishis of ancient times. But spirituality in its highest possibility is still very alive.
The public at large has come to the conclusion that the age of genuine saints is over. Now, the present situation here is a clear proof that it is not over – and it never will be.
I did not wish that at this stage, anybody here should leave the body and go, but somehow she aspired for it. She dissolved into the Mahamantra “Shambho.” It is not for me or anyone to ask whether this is right or wrong. I am not big enough to question Him.
This is incredible, truly incredible. Without even my assistance, she transcended the bond of mortality. Out of her love, she has gone beyond. Out of our love, we are required to be here and fulfill the task on our hands.
AUM SHAMBHO SHIVA SHAMBHO
JAYA SHAMBHO MAHADEVA