This weekend has been significant because we had the first mega program in the ashram. Normally, the programs held here are much bigger, but with people who have already been through the basic programs so there is a certain level of involvement and discipline. This is the first time we had over 3,600 people who have come here for their first Isha program. I think the residents and 900 volunteers who came created an atmosphere where these new participants, without being told, maintained a certain discipline and involvement which is rare for such a large group of people. And their participation in the program was absolute. This is an offering that Isha Yoga Center has to make to everyone, so this will become a regular feature.
These large programs are very significant. In one weekend, the kind of impact it has on people’s lives -- this is not a program in their life, this is an event that they will never forget. The aggregate number of volunteers and meditators in a population needed to make a big difference is achievable in the next three to five years in Tamil Nadu. We are getting to a place where in a couple of years we could hit a number where there is a natural spiritual movement. As part of this, we are also in the process of rolling out different training programs for people to be able to transmit at least a minimum level of spiritual process to others. I would like many of you to be capable of transmitting something very simple to another human being.
The complexity that is involved in the Inner Engineering program demands a certain level of training, which has been hard to deliver. We have done pretty well, but in the process of training we have broken many people. Not that they are broken, but they came with big aspirations of becoming teachers, but 60 to 65% of them were never allowed to teach. Though we made them train for a whole year, we still did not allow them to become teachers due to various aspects.
Anybody who has an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives also has the opportunity to cause damage to people’s lives – always. Without bringing a certain sense of openness in people, you cannot make a difference. When people open up, the person that they open up to should have an absolute sense of integrity, which is not externally controlled but internally concretized, crystalised within oneself. Because of this, we have been extraordinarily hard on our teachers. I don’t think any organization treats their teachers like this, but it has produced wonderful results. Our teachers, wherever they go, stand out in their sense of commitment and discipline.
In terms of raising human consciousness, we need events which will sweep people off their feet completely. Not some concept, not some ideology, not some dry teaching, but something that will blow them away. This is needed, so we will be coming up with various large-scale programs. But I would also like to see thousands of people be able to transmit something – at least a small dimension. So in the future, we will be conducting three-week training programs in this direction. The only commitment is that you will never misuse the spiritual process for any personal reason. If that much is taken care of, we can make everybody into a teacher because we are working on making this program simple.
The device of Isha Yoga is such that it doesn’t matter how intelligent a person is who comes and sits in the program, the more intelligent he is, the more he appreciates it. You can’t find a single hole in it because it is so perfectly constructed. Someday, if it so happens that an enlightened being came and sat in an Isha Yoga program, he will see the hole immediately. But I am sure he will appreciate the device the way it is, and not point it out to anybody. I am sure he will not be so arrogant. Trusting that, everyone can become a teacher.