NDTV Consulting Editor Barkha Dutt engages Sadhguru in a conversation during the Penguin Random House “Spring Fever Festival” in Delhi. Sadhguru answers questions from the audience at the event, on meditation, intensity, and "gadget-addiction."
Questioner: Namaskaram. Sadhguru, in one of your videos, you say that the problem with the world is that most people lack the intensity.
Sadhguru: ___ (Unclear-what?)
Questioner: Most people lack the necessary intensity.
Sadhguru: Mhmm (Indicating agreement)
Questioner: And then you say the way is dhyana. So intensity is more associated to fierceness in personality and dhyana is more associated to calmness. So they’re somehow counterintuitive. Can you elaborate a little?
Sadhguru: People think peace means rest in peace (Laughter) because their idea of peace is death. Peace can be very intense. Peace can be tremendously intense because peace means the reverberations of life have become subtle and intense. Action means reverberations of life are not so subtle, it is at a certain level. So peace happens not because… Peace may happen if somebody is dead but to be alive and peaceful means you need to be highly intense state of energy, otherwise you can’t be peaceful. The reason why most people who don’t have any problems as such, you know after all they’re trying to earn a living, reproduce and bring up their children and die one day, just for that they’re freaking simply because of lack of intensity. Because life is happening at a low ebb, naturally everything is a problem. If it rises a little bit, suddenly you have a little clearer view of everything. For this, you need a higher intensity of energy within you and the yogic system is essentially focused towards that. Dhyana does not mean (Gestures) (Laughter). No (Laughs).
Barkha Dutt: Okay, let’s take the next question, here, right here in the front row, yeah.
Questioner: Sadhguru, could you just wish my wife “Happy Birthday” (Laughter)?
Sadhguru: Why? You didn’t do it (Laughter/Applause)?
Barkha Dutt: Okay, we’ll…
Sadhguru: Happy birthday to you (Laughter).
Barkha Dutt: We’ll take one… two more questions, yeah, right there, just wait for me to…
Sadhguru: There are vested interests, see.
Barkha Dutt: Yeah, there are (Laughter).
Questioner: ____ (Unclear-hello?) Sadhguru. What I get from Isha’s philosophy, if I may say there is, is that you need to see internally, in your interiority, you need to fix it internally before fixing your external situations. But is it also not right… is it also not very important to do the right thing externally, you know? Just to make myself more clear you know, if I be more precise…
Sadhguru: No, no, I’m clear, I get the question (Laughter). Why, do I look so dumb (Laughter)?
Questioner: Let’s say you know, if somebody…
Sadhguru: I got it.
Sadhguru: I got it.
Questioner: If somebody is born…
Sadhguru: I got the question (Laughter/Applause).
Questioner: Please let me finish (Laughs).
Sadhguru: (Laughs) I’m (Barkha Dutt Laughs)… Please… Please sit down. Isha’s philosophy is not about looking internally or externally. It is just that if you’re looking for mangoes, you look up the tree, you don’t dig the earth, all right (Barkha Dutt Laughs)? But if you’re looking how to plant a mango tree, then you dig the earth. You’re looking for mangoes if you dig the earth, will you find it, I’m asking? So if you… inner things- you must look inward, outer things-you must look outward. There is no such philosophy – “Look out or look in.” Wherever the damn thing is, look there (Laughter/Applause).
Barkha Dutt: Okay, we’ll take one more question. The girl here in the third row, yes.
Sadhguru: Like you know, Shankaran Pillai went for a job interview (Laughter) and they asked him, “Which is further, Mumbai or moon?” He thought profoundly and then said, “Mumbai.” They said, “How do you say this?” He said, “I can see the moon, I can’t see Mumbai” (Laughter/Applause).
Barkha Dutt: Okay, last question, yeah.
Questioner: Namaskaram Sadhguru. I just want to ask…
Barkha Dutt: Hold the mike closer to you.
Questioner: Yeah. I just want to ask you that everybody’s perception of good and bad is different and what do you think if we start manifesting our own good and bad, what’ll be the state of the society?
Sadhguru: Hmm, maybe you won’t have power tonight (Barkha Dutt Laughs). I think I already made this clear. The biggest problem with the world is there’re too many good people, not enough sensible people. Sense is life-specific, okay? Goodness need not be life-oriented, goodness may be going to heaven. And the moment – I want you to understand this dangerous concept, people don’t address this – the moment you believe… suppose I believe there is heaven and it’s a beautiful place and you can live in the company of gods, should I send you there today or no? If I really care for you, I’m saying (Laughter). Yes? If I really care for you and if I believe there’s a great place, should I send you there or not? This is a dangerous thing, do you understand? If you stretch it to its logical end, it’s a really dangerous thing. The moment I believe there is a fantastic place up there, I really love you and I want you to go there, you know (Laughter)? Tch, yes (Laughs).
Barkha Dutt: Okay, let me just end by asking you something that we haven’t spoken about and then I’ll hand it over to Chiki. You said you love machines.
Sadhguru: I didn’t say I love them (Laughter).
Barkha Dutt: Okay, you like machines.
Barkha Dutt: Or they’re useful.
Sadhguru: They work.
Barkha Dutt: Have our lives been overtaken by gadgets?
Sadhguru: Not mine.
Barkha Dutt: No?
Sadhguru: Definitely not, I use all the gadgets but they don’t overtake me. These are fantastic things in our life. Things… See, in every way, compared to how a human being was, let’s say hundred years ago, you’re almost superhuman. Tch, hundred years ago, if I could just pick up something from my pocket and talk to somebody in America right now, I would be superhuman. Why superhuman? If I said “I’m God” people would have believed me, hundred years ago. Five hundred years ago, if I just had a light bulb, I would have become God on this planet, I want you to know. Look at the things we have today, we are really superhuman. Once this kind of capability has come to us, little more sense has to rise, little more awareness and consciousness stu… has to arise. If this doesn’t happen, this capability will turn against us. This is what you’re saying.
Now gadgets are freaking people. Why? It’s a simple thing. You… If you want to use it, you can use it or you can keep it aside. Because you are in a compulsive state, if you start using a cell phone, you can’t stop it, even in your sleep you’re texting. See the boy is (Gestures towards somebody)… he’s in a… he’s not with me… he’s in… looking at me in the screen (Laughter). Now, this is the same thing. If food is good, if you start eating you don’t know when to stop. If you start drinking, you don’t know when to stop. If you start doing something, you don’t know when to stop. The same thing, it is not about the gadget, it is not about the food, it is just that there is not enough consciousness, there is compulsiveness. Everything is happening compulsively. Instead of addressing the root, you’re trying to kill the gadget. Gadget is a fantastic thing, every damn gadget has enhanced our life in a huge way, isn’t it? Don’t curse the gadgets. It is just that compulsiveness has to go.
Barkha Dutt: Well, on that note, I will say thank you for provoking us. As always, a pleasure (Applause) to have you, a pleasure (Sadhguru laughs) (Applause). Let’s have a big round of applause for Sadhguru here (Applause).