Should the Spiritual Process be Offered Free?
 
 

Sadhguru answers a question during a recent interview about why Isha programs are not offered free.

Interviewer: Why doesn’t God come for free?

Sadhguru: Who said there is a charge? There is no charge for the spiritual process.

Interviewer: What about spiritual courses?

Sadhguru: Why the program costs is because right now if you sit here, the lights are burning, the electricity is on. Everything costs to sit and stand here. Who has to pay it? So your idea is if somebody pays for it, you are spiritual. If you pay for it, it’s not spiritual. No, that’s not my idea. I think that’s a dastardly idea.

Seventy percent of our activity is in rural India and all this is 100% free. Spiritual programs are free, schools are free, hospitals are free, all social events that we conduct in rural areas are free. In the city, it costs. Even here if you don’t want to pay, if I do it in a slum, will you come and attend the program? No. You want it in a star hotel, but you want it free. If you want a certain level of comfort, if you want lunches and dinners and all these other services, you pay for it. The spiritual process is free because you are not paying me nor are you paying anybody who is teaching. All of them are 100% volunteers. You are only paying for the services.

At one time we did offer the programs free, but then people were walking in and out with total disregard for the whole thing. Most people unfortunately don’t value their word as much as they value their money. If they say, “I am coming,” it doesn’t mean anything. They have to make a down payment.

When we saw it didn’t work for free, we said you must pay 20% of your monthly income. Then we found people were coming to us the way they go to the income tax department – full of lies; we were starting the program with lies. Then we decided for different societies we would fix different kinds of prices. In the cities it costs something, in the smaller towns it costs less, in the remoter rural areas it’s free.

The higher programs are free of cost. When you come to Samyama, people who come there are absolutely committed, so there is no money involved there. 1000 people attending the Samyama for eight days costs phenomenally, but it’s free of cost. People just support the program whichever way they can. But when we open a program to the public, without money it will become ridiculous. If people don’t have that commitment, they walk in and walk out whenever they want. The only way to tie them down is money unfortunately.

 
 
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5 years 5 months ago

I am attending the IE programme at Hyderabad since yesterday and I can tell you that if Isha actually charged the true cost for the incredible organisation that makes this amazing experience possible, then each individual would have to pay unimaginable amounts. The meticulous planning, the incredible number of volunteers who are everywhere and the clockwork precision with which the programme is conducted would shame government departments (ask me, I work in one) or even large corporates. They could easily double the fee and still find queues that line up every morning.

4 years 1 month ago

You wouldnt have said this if you had attented IE and Had the experience..
Ask people who have done both Vipasana and IE.. Let them talk...

5 years 4 months ago

In your mind the money makes the world go round haha

5 years 5 months ago

i have been wondering about why does isha foundation alwayas charge high for their courses. well, Sadhguru does make sense and i do agree with them.

5 years ago

Very true Sadhguru. Unfortunately the binding material has become money these days. But once the participant experiences the course they have gone through - they have least thought regarding the payment that has been made by them.

5 years 5 months ago

People who are asking for free spiritual programs should evaluate their priorities in life. They would spend hundreds and thousands of rupees on movies, cigarettes, alcohol and other stuff but ask for free programs? This does not make sense.

4 years 1 month ago

Any cost for the infinite is zero. Any number is zero against the Infinite. The question is what's one's priority?

5 years 5 months ago

Point,! And ironic. I feel you charge the right amount of fee, for example the inner engineering program which held here in Delhi last month. I attended the program and I got a flat 40% discount because of being a student and having the student I.D. So i must admit your system is worth of what you charge.Therefore, later i was allowed to correct my practice and take part in a 7 day program as a volunteer(Off course for free). I mean what else do you want? Being a student i spend money like this and that. So what's wrong spending it for the right cause, at least i know i ll be blissful and chilled out after attending your programs.

5 years 4 months ago

Sir I have Registered for IE at Hyderabad ,i wonder about your volunteers they called me 12 times to Register myself and after i was after them calling 20 times to take my ID card this is one thing and next the High light is that even after paying so much money They did not allowed me to attend the complete program as i came just one hour late due to un avoidable situation .They said that you attend the program next time and will charge you again a penalty on the same and its going happen in APril Month .if ISHA really wants only money .why you people who are stating as volunteers come on to streets and Beg for money instead of making the Us Fools .............................Answer my question .....you uncommited volunteers .You have wasted both my money and time aso.......

5 years 5 months ago

Spot on every word as always Sadhguru. Thank you.

4 years 9 months ago

Can anyone tell me I.E programme at jalandhar in punjab.....i want to enrol for the course.

5 years 5 months ago

No one is saying it is not possible. But why should people hesitate to pay for something that they are receiving? It is a much better way to spend your money than on almost anything else. If vipassana and buddhist meditation techniques are offered free, it obviously means someone else is paying for you.

4 years ago

Why not pay if u want comfort and sit in AC environment. That would make it possible to be free for those who can't pay, People below poverty line. It's not only benefit for yourself but to a very small extent contribution to volunteers.
When someone who can pay with money asks -- why it is not free? It it more like , why you can pay for restaurant, vacation and not for spiritual program ? Y can't you pay for social programs for the benefit of society? Anyway

5 years 5 months ago

Very true, its very sad that we people are in this state of mind.

5 years 4 months ago

Sir I have Registered for IE at Hyderabad ,i wonder about your volunteers they called me 12 times to Register myself and after i was after them calling 20 times to take my ID card this is one thing and next the High light is that even after paying so much money They did not allowed me to attend the complete program as i came just one hour late due to un avoidable situation .They said that you attend the program next time and will charge you again a penalty on the same and its going happen in APril Month .if ISHA really wants only money .why you people who are stating as volunteers come on to streets and Beg for money instead of making the Us Fools .............................Answer my question .....you uncommited volunteers .You have wasted both my money and time also.......

5 years 5 months ago

What sadhguru says is true to a large extent....free stuff esp for Indians loses its value....but then there are other yoga camps running around like that of Ramdev baba who now runs em for free.....they are pretty successfull..with pple who are genuinely benefiting out of it..i wanted to attend Sadhgurus course but it was too expensive for me .... i missed a very important thing in life and dont know if ill get another chance... wish i was rich

4 years 6 months ago

No situation is unavoidable, it is you who chooses to make one situation 'avoidable' and another 'unavoidable'. Where have you reached late, and yet been accommodated with others, who have had the commitment to reach on time? If you are incapable of valuing the commitment of others, volunteers included, then you only fit for raving and ranting on a website.

5 years 5 months ago

Are you kidding. You mean to say you cannot spend 1500 rupees for something that would change your life for the better?

4 years ago

Please where in chennai

5 years 5 months ago

true sister but money makes the world go round

5 years 4 months ago

The easiest thing in the world is to question others.what we gain from the prog. is more valuable than the money that is paid. we can never pay the service of the vol.

5 years 5 months ago

I do not agree to this. If it is a donation, let it be a donation only, but now-a-days its like booking movie tickets. Some one from Isha was explaining me that people who are willing and can afford, should get front seat, but what about others anna? Are we really into some T20 match...and is somebody a match fixing agent here? Just wondering...in simple words, i feel bad. I was looking at AoL, they were giving 20% discount...great marketing guys...we Indians are fools....

4 years 2 months ago

Tomas,
Kindly understand that with the passage of time, some scenario gets changed. I'm glad that you've good research on ancient yogic school system of India but back then the wealth was decentralized.

As per current situation in India, rural people are not even getting basic necessities of life such as Pure Drinking Water, Medical Facilities, Education and so on. To help them with out any business interest or fees/charges, you have to have an Income Source. Basic reason behind Inner Engineering Course fees is the same. Imagine that whatever you're paying for IE, you're actually donating for the food towards starving people of Rural India... How about this? Hope at least you'll pay once in your life for your betterment along with a great kindness towards humanity.

Are we so much reserved or closed that we can spend thousands of dollars/rupees behind our own materialistic desires and can't pay even few hundred for a noble cause???

5 years 5 months ago

Is Rs/- 1500 that high?

3 years 8 months ago

"The sun provides everything for us for free" - hmm I suspect there is an exchange there too. Maybe we give, or devote our life.

5 years 5 months ago

yess thats right

5 years 4 months ago

Obviously it DOES mean someone ELSE IS PAYING for me and others ... so what is the point ?
#1. When people attend BEGINNERS courses WITH PAYING money , as pointed out , they DO have a consumption MINDSET " , the feeling that I paid for it.
#2. This whole notion that people go out and COME IN is a fallacy. People should be allowed to step out but can be told that they cannot COME IN. To have people to pay to keep them IN might work in the short term but one is LOOSING far more in the long term. whey build numbers
#3. when you pay for something that you are receiving , the thing that you RECEIVE becomes an OBJECT ...
things that are priceless should be offered and received for FREEE.... AND there WILL always be people who will pay for it ... but the person receiving will receive it purely...

5 years 5 months ago

yes, no one believes anything, the essence of Isha's work is that none believes nor disbelieves what is not in his/her experience yet. just be with what happens to oneself. moreover, the word 'kundalini' is not used at all in the IE programme.

4 years 2 months ago

why can't IE be published online for free in youtube

5 years 4 months ago

Actually, angular momentum and gravity make the world go round.

3 years 1 month ago

I have been reading all the comments, and I am surprised that if so many people are claiming that they have benefited from "IE" and then they react to comments in such a dominant manner. Well, each person is entitled to his independent opinion, and we must understand that not a single person can be compared to another and therefore there are going to be different views on this sensitive topic. SadhGuru is running an institution and following a certain code, which happens to be expensive for some, as compared to Vippasana which runs on a different code. Even Vippasana course cannot run without funds, but the code they use is different and it has worked well. But the person to decide which code to use is Sadhguru as he is on top of the pyramid. The fact remains that some "Urban poor" people may not be able to attend IE as they may not decide to spend this amount for this course because in their level of understanding and maturity, they do not budget this amount for this course. So while 1500/- may seem a paltry sum to many of us, for others, it may not be paltry for such a course at their level of thinking. So, I think we must refrain must calling anyone any names and learn to respect the opinions of all people, if we have truly understood our inner engineering. With due respect to SadhGuru, a different code like Vippasana where each person has the option of deciding to donate after finishing the course can work wonders as there is a lot of value that gets added in these courses and even if there are few people who do not pay, it will not matter as there are more funds generated than required. Because here, the rates are not fixed and there are really wealthy people who actually donate much more and thus much larger funds could be generated. So it would be worth experimenting this model.

5 years 5 months ago

Spot on Sadhguru. I am totally with you.

5 years 4 months ago

I can certainly shed 1.5K but those seats are full always...i was offered the 10K and 5k seats and it was a bit high for me at the moment....i know this course is priceless.....but still i live in the material world bound by limitations. may be next time...ill take the course for sure no matter what

5 years 5 months ago

I have experienced this personally. no one remains committed or realizes the value if s'thing is given for free.

4 years 1 month ago

When you are good at something.. Never do it for free..!!
~Joker (The Dark knight) :D

2 years 7 months ago

Support is important , clearly there are different types of aid : to support the economic costs of the services offered, then beyond money there is in my opinion a higher reality beyond the support of the money , which would be the help that comes from the heart and to send forward the Isha Foundation guess it is not easy, but everything goes well because I see that many people working in the ashram with harmony and certainly not for profit !

5 years 5 months ago

It is greatness of my master otherwise it must charge your whole income of lifetime or 1 child from every home just to listen his words forget about teachings...

5 years 4 months ago

Ya i agree with you...if i got the 1.5K ticket i wud have taken it....but i was offered 10K and 5K ones. anyways ill wait for the next time....too bad i missed it...

5 years 5 months ago

You are right Sadhguru, People value their money more than their words. Pity on those. I have done this several times to satisfy people for the time.

4 years 1 month ago

You are talking about 2.5 days Inner Engineering Program conducted by sadhguru personally and others are talking about 7 days Inner Engineering Program but his physical presence won't be there and this program charge is Rs 1500

5 years 4 months ago

1500 is not un-affordable by city standards. In any case, if you are in a situation where you are genuinely unable to make the amount, they will see what they can do for you. You don't need to miss the chance.

2 years 4 months ago

so you flew all the way out to India? I am thinking about something like this but dont have enough money to fly anywhere and was just wondering what it takes.

5 years 5 months ago

Its so ridiculous WHY those who do good are questioned about why they charge for their services? Money is just a means of exchange of Value. Period.

THERE IS NOTHING CALLED AS FREE. ITS ONLY AN ILLUSION. Everything requires an equal exchange of value. Look at nature... The trees produce so much value (fruits, purify air etc.) but yet, they TAKE VALUE from the soil, air etc. in order to accomplish those outcomes (create products of value).

ENERGY (VALUE..) MUST FLOW.

There is NO WAY Sadhguru can do what he does without receiving value from various forms. Some give through Voluntary services, some give through Monetary means.

FREE DOES NOT EXIST. Something for nothing? Time to kick that mindset out.

When the collective consciousness evolves, people would naturally exchange value without being asked to do so. They would give more than what they receive... Just they way Sadhguru does. But when we are dealing with people who need to be told what to do, IT IS BUT RIGHT TO TELL THEM TO PAY A SET FEE. PERIOD.

Stop questioning Sadhguru about "why he doesn't give his programs for free anymore?" OR ELSE.. go work your own job for free!!!

And dear Sadhguruji, PLEASE CHARGE FOR YOUR PROGRAMS. :-)

5 years 4 months ago

thanks....let me know if there is any other stuff i can try out..thanks a lot

5 years 5 months ago

With due respect, I have to disagree that it is not possible to run the programs without charging for them. Look at the Vipassana Foundation run by Goenkaji or any Buddhist Meditation techniques. These are all offered free and have survived for centuries in the gift economy. The facilities and comfort offered by Vipassana centers in India and abroad are amazing and they are for 10 days usually including food and stay. When people are touched, they will give plentifully. I really believe in human goodness and compassion and have seen that when people pay they are in a "consumption" mindset - not the best state of mind for continued spiritual upliftment. I have great respect for your words and work and my pranams to you despite the minor disagreement on this point.

4 years 1 month ago

I am not a follower of Sadhguru, but believe him and his words. Have heard a lot of him from many of my patients!! What he is sharing here is absolute truth!! People value money more than their words, unfortunately it is the truth!!

5 years 4 months ago

the concept of how money is spent is really up to the person's priority. it is no wonder how people spend so much money on vices while some who choose a simpler life wish to spend it on things they see as important. on the other hand, i have to agree with one of the people who said in the comments how people who do good things are questioned about money. nonetheless, Sadhguru has made a clear explanation for this.

2 years 2 months ago

I dont follow the logic here. It is possible to do this free and ensure respect for the integrity of attending the courses. This is proven by various Vipassana teachers ad courses including those of S.N. Goenka.

5 years 5 months ago

Idiots... for silly things they pay enormous amount and spoiling their own health they pay a lot of money and are busy earning for such stupidity and for good cause, these idiots ask why they have to pay fees. Go to hell, don't get in to spiritual process. Who asked these fools to join the course? Earlier even the Rishis should have charged for this, they made a mistake by offering free.

5 years 4 months ago

I have been watching sadhgurus talks on youtube....I find same respect in me for sadhguru as for Osho...I am interested to take meditaion classes, can anybody plases tell me names of villages (better if its near chennai) where methods are taught for free??

5 years 5 months ago

Point,! And ironic. I feel you charge the right amount of fee, for example the inner engineering program which held here in Delhi last month. I attended the program and I got a flat 40% discount because of being a student and having the student I.D. So i must admit your system is worth of what you charge.Therefore, later i was allowed to correct my practice and take part in a 7 day program as a volunteer(Off course for free). I mean what else do you want? Being a student i spend money like this and that. So what's wrong spending it for the right cause, at least i know i ll be blissful and chilled out after attending your programs.

4 years 1 month ago

a lot of us do not have a lot of extra money ,but for myself knowing that the money it costs me is going to rural India and Africa and i hope in the future other parts of the world that can not afford to pay makes it fine with me.

5 years 4 months ago

Unless people come out of their money mind, these questions will arise often....The attitude behind this question is that they should get everything in life for free or at a damn cheap price, but at the same time they should be paid a hefty sum even if they walk one step or even simply sit without doing anything.

1 year ago

People Pay for Liquors, People Pay for Movies, People spend Tons of dollars for their comforts but Alas still they fall in misery and pain and the irony is, the thing that really works for them, the thing that can really bring a sign of peace and happiness in their lives people want it for free ?? Doesn't it sounds so illogical ? I have been a Yoga practitioner for years and let me tell you that this is the most valuable and highest form of knowledge that is known to humanity till date. It is just like studying other education like your Engineering and other degrees but this is the most valuable one out of any education that you would ever study on this planet and offering it for free doesn't make a sense, people won't worth it. And moreover I think if the spiritual gurus are charging some money for such education which is somewhere so much beneficial for you; i think there is no harm in paying them for it.

5 years 5 months ago

Today, somewhere else i red in a site stating that IE is a fake and ppl are beliving that their kundalini is rising, but it will be only those who follow/worship will understand the effect of that. Here is the ans fm the guru why he is charging and if you go to higher lvl it will be only performance and almost no money is involved. Sadhguru told many times that IE is only a door to spiritual path, and you need to go miles to understand. What a pyramid our guru has in training method, great !

5 years 1 month ago

Very true, this is what making isha yoga unique !!

Sadhguru said it has been kept as a rule that worlds which are not under normal understandable sense like kundalini, re birth, even concept/belief of god, etc should not be spoken in isha.

our meditators neither believes nor dis believes any thing. everything is attributed to their inner experience !

5 years 5 months ago

Time is money. People spend so much time watching TV, gossiping and many other useless stuff. Nobody wonders why they spend their time uselessly. Very few people in the world volunteers or does any form of selfless service. But they will criticize the people who do it.
We have to understand that the Indian media is a not a neutral media. For the Indian media any Guru is fake any Swami is Sex Swami.
The only way out is to involve the people from Media domain in spiritual practice. This must be offered to them and make them realize the value of it.
Unfortunately the modern English education in India devalues anything indigenous like Bhagavad Gita, Yoga, Shiva etc
Also part of the problem is with us. As much as people read Bible and Quran very few of us read Gita, Yoga sutra, Upanishad or any spiritual book neither does the general Indian population do any Spiritual Practice.
I read somewhere that the total number of yogis/yoginis in Los Angeles is more than the entire Indian population put together. Long way to go.

5 years 4 months ago

If you are proposing an idea of anybody occupying any seat irrespective of the donation they make, are you ready to take the following resposibilities (a) no stampede or quarrel or fight should happen a bit among participants while occupying seats (b) pay the entire differential cost (actual cost incurred minus donations received) of the program. It is easy to comment about anything and let us do not that without knowing the reason behind every action. Thank you

11 months 1 week ago

Someone has to pay to support millions of people who cannot afford even the basic things. Isha is doing a great job of educating and taking care of thousands of people in the rural India which is the real India! What we pay is all to support these activities and which is good!! I have been to Coimbatore and stayed there for two days with my son and we paid Rs. 1,250/- per night as the donation this include, stay, and two sumptuous full meals, it was a great experience. To run this kind of organisation is not a simple task and costs money. Many volunteers are working with the organisation. The amount of the knowledge and understanding of life one gets is immense and should not come free, let us be responsible at the least to pay for a cause!!

5 years 5 months ago

Many do not realize that for mere survival we spend money, time & energy like crazy whether it is on formal education, comfort, luxuries, conveniences, entertainment etc. but when it comes to spiritual process which is life transforming and helping you to march towards liberation why is that we question the price to pay. I had the exact same question initially but once I looked at depth of what Isha is accomplishing I wonder how is it being managed with the little what they get thru programs and donations. I bow down to you Sadhguru.

5 years ago

The goal of his programs is mukti - liberation - the experiential knowledge of one's own Self. You cannot put a price or value on it because it is one's own Self - you are gaining nothing, you are only losing the rubbish that mask's it. The traditions in India from which he has drawn his teachings including the school of Yoga have traditionally offered their knowledge for free(no monetary value) from Guru to disciple. The only price the Guru extracted from his disciples was sincerity and dedication to the subject taught. The ways of the world in terms of monetary exchange and "value" exchange as you put it were completely out of the equation when it came to spirituality. Even Kings with vast amounts of wealth gained such knowledge for free in ancient India from Gurus. What is the price that the seven rishis paid to the AdiGuru for the first program? Your post reflects the capitalist societies of today that are trapped in the money for something mentality. As for your example of the trees producing value by taking value from the soil and so on, the ultimate value is what is extracted from the sun without which no value can be created on this planet. So what is the flow of value back to the sun from the planet if your monetary exchange of value theory holds true? The sun provides everything for us for free - this has been taken up in the shastras that likens the Guru to the Sun - shining unconditionally and providing sustenance to the soul of the disciple for FREE.
That said, I agree with this blog of the Sadguru's interview, but not your worldly, capitalist rant.