A Guru’s Predicament: Sadhguru on His Full Potential
Question: Sadhguru, you once said that you are functioning at about 3% of your full potential. Can you tell us how we can create a situation where you could unleash your full potential? And what would that 100% mean?
Sadhguru: What would the full potential be? Different people have expressed this in different ways. Krishna said, “I am the radiant sun among the luminaries. I am the moon among the stars. I am the lion among the beasts. I am the king of birds among the birds. I am the Ganga among the rivers. I am the Himalaya among the mountains.” In this language he went on, very eloquently. Jesus said, “I am the son of God; the only son.” That is another kind of language – the same thing expressed in a different way. Gautama said, “If you walk my path you will never have to turn around,” – a subtler way of saying it. In India, it is very common to chant, “Aham Brahmasmi” – that means, “I am the Ultimate Truth.” Mansur al-Hallaj, who is the originator of the Sufi system, went to India, came back and said, “Anal haq.” That means, “I am the truth,” and he got into a lot of trouble.
I am not given to that kind of language. I am just putting it very simply. Whatever mechanics and dimensions of this existence, if you just provide me the needed atmosphere, I can take you to any one of them and fix any one of them. I am not a god, I am not a Guru – I am a mechanic. I can take you to the mechanics of this existence, whatever dimension it is. Whatever needs to be done, I can fix it. That is the 100% potential. That does not sound as grand and poetic as, “I am the lion among the beasts. I am the Himalayas among the mountains. I am the Ganga among the rivers.” My interest in the existence is that it works. It looks so chaotic, so unwieldy, nobody knows the beginning and the end, but it still works.
If you are interested in that which works, you are naturally a mechanic. It is just a question of creating a conducive atmosphere, and that is challenging. If we create the atmosphere, I can make it work on any level of existence. This is all I have aspired for – and this is all there is.
So, what do you have to do? One thing is the foundation – the foundation of any building should be in the ground, but the Isha Foundation is sitting on my head all the time. I want to put it to the ground. If you are willing to be that ground and if it is off my head, a lot more things could be done. That is not all, but it is an important factor right now – I am trying to unload. Step-by-step, I am getting it off my head, but still it is happening too slowly because life does not stop for one moment.
This is a race to the grave. You may think that the physical body is going to many places. “I went to Himalayas, I went to Florida...” But still, your body is going straight to the grave – nowhere else. The rest is your imagination. That is something that I am constantly aware of.
In a very codified way, not the knowledge, but the keys to everything that is worth knowing are all in one place. If tomorrow, someone with the necessary awareness comes, it will not be lost. That was the intention of the Dhyanalinga – not just what I know, also what my Guru knew and what the whole tradition knew, everything is there, not in the form of knowledge, but in the form of keys. If someone is aware enough, they can pick it up and open whatever they want in the existence. It is a dvara, a doorway to the creation. You can use it to open just about anything. But right now, the 21st century is a talking century. If you don’t talk, nobody gets the point.
So, because this is a talking century – I hope it won’t be a talking millennium – we have to talk, but at the same time create an atmosphere where the needed talk happens as quickly as possible so that we don’t have to go on talking endlessly. If the talk has to be quick, it has to be brutal. If the talk has to be brutal and still people should not run away, you have to create the necessary atmosphere where people are so overwhelmed by your love, devotion and intensity that when they come here, I can go straight at them – no diplomacy – so that the talking period can be shortened. Otherwise, you will end up talking for the rest of your life and still people won’t get it. If you speak gently, the conversation will go on forever. One brutal word, it stops. To say a brutal word and not make them run away, to make them realize this brutality has a profoundness behind it, you need to create a certain atmosphere, otherwise the diplomacy that you should do, I will have to do, and my time is ticking away.
If people are created who are of a certain capability, people who are stable beyond mental moods and emotions, they will be the foundation – that means it is off my head. Then a lot more can be done. If we could find 100% expression with even a handful of people, that would already be fantastic. We are not expecting to find 100% expression with the whole world. That is never going to happen. I am not so dreamy. But definitely, it is possible to create a handful of people with whom it could be 100%. If that cannot be done, we may be a success in the world, people may be clapping their hands, but if we cannot find full expression even with a handful of people, if we have to be careful with them, watching out for their egos, then as a spiritual movement, it is a disaster.
We need people who have the necessary integrity, balance, stability, and heart in them, that even if you let them out into the most corrupt situation, they will function successfully there and come out untouched. We need people of integrity. Integrity has become a dicey thing in today’s world because people have very infantile ideas of freedom.
It would be impractical to think that you are going to make every fool on the planet into an enlightened being. The world is always a play between the positives and the negatives. Some generations enjoy the positives more than the negatives, some suffer the negatives more than they enjoy the positives. If there is something that we as a generation can do and be proud of, we have to see that for the next generation, the positives of life hugely outweigh the negatives. This does not mean there will not be a single problem in the world and everything will be perfect. That would not be a dream, that would be hallucination.
The whole world may not go spiritual but if you at least create a possibility that is available and accessible to the whole world, then the pluses would increase to a point where people can gloss over the minuses. When life is so good, even if one bad thing happens, you can ignore it and go on. Otherwise, every little minus pricks you so badly because there are no pluses in your life.
Particularly in today’s world, because of technology, our ability to reach people is phenomenal. Never before was this possible. What we can do in terms of reach, a Krishna, a Buddha, a Jesus could not do. Today, we have the advantage of technology – we have audio, video, television, and the internet – we can slip into everyone’s house. Though there are many other disadvantages in today’s world, this is a phenomenal advantage. If we make use of this – if we can change the culture of this planet from materialistic to spiritual even by one percent in our lifetime, it is a phenomenal achievement because if a ship keeps changing direction by one percent, after some time, it will have made a complete U-turn. Yes, you cannot turn everyone around right now, and there is no need to. If you can just change the direction by one degree, in a certain period of time, the world will have made a U-turn. This can be done if the necessary people are there.
We still have some life in us – there is time left. You decide how far you want to take it, what you want to do. Let me see that fire spilling from your eyes – not a fire of anger, greed, or passion, but the cool fire which burns quietly and does all the work that needs to be done without burning itself up. Cool fire fuels everything but it does not burn anything up – and we have everything in our hands to do that. Today, we have a social situation in the world where as long as we don’t break the law, we can do whatever we want. This was never so before.
It does not take millions of people to do this. Fifty really committed, stable people who don’t have basic questions on an everyday basis, are all it takes. If you decide that the air around you is good air to breathe, you don’t have to think every moment – “Is it poisoned, is it poisoned?” Wondering whether it is cold or hot is okay, but if you keep thinking, “Is this air poisoned…” If it was poisoned, you would have been dead by now.
If you settle these basic things within yourself once and for all, this will bring stability, a new ground for you to stand upon within yourself. Then the next steps will naturally come. Every rung will be a challenge, so you have to stabilize the ground on which the ladder is standing. I am not asking you to run up the ladder without checking every rung. But if you keep disturbing the ground on which the ladder stands, however good the quality of the ladder is, it is useless. You take your time on every rung, that is perfectly okay. If you are maddened by this, you run up the ladder without bothering whether it is going to withstand your weight or not – that is also okay. If that is not possible for you, check every rung and go. But this one basic thing, the ground, you must settle. If you don’t settle that, it will be just waste of time.
Time is not a commodity that comes and goes – it just goes. Time is life. We cannot afford to squander it. I would even say, there is no such thing as time, there is just life. If we create such people with the necessary integrity, stability, and balance, we can start exploring.
A version of this article was originally published in Isha Forest Flower.