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Q and A with Sadhguru

By Kavita Chhibber


Thank you again for the overwhelming response to my continuing conversations with Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, the founder of Isha foundation.

The questions have been reformatted to make better sense. No question is off bounds with Sadhguru and I hope readers will continue to think about life and ask relevant, thought provoking questions so others can also learn from the discussion. Some repetitive questions have not been answered in this month’s selection. Please refer to previous Q and A selections. Others did not make it in time for the issue.

Here are the selections for this month.

Hi Kavita

First, some feedback on your article..It was open and unbiased - and gave a refreshing view of a new guru - Jaggi Vasudev - almost made me want to see him - but ..Comments first!

Just for your info I had heard about him - from another vehicle - please check - does he have a daughter who goes to Krishnamurti school in mudenhalli - because one of my nephews goes to school there and said - Sadhguru comes to visit his daughter - and comes laden with gifts but the daughter does not like her father at all -maybe school gossip - or is the old cliché - that all great beings have households that don’t like them and definitely do not find them DIVINE!!...anyway -

Second, please ask Sadhguru clearly:

1) are all chronic diseases emanating from a distorted frame of mind-and therefore if the mind is calm - the disease should completely disappear? - if that is 100% true then why did so many great beings have horrible diseases till their death - Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Anandamayi, Ramana  maharishi, Nisargadatta - all had cancer - Neem Karoli Baba died of heart failure- and had an ongoing heart condition...

2)Claims may be many - but fact remains - they are unable to make their own families like them, forget about healing relations between countries

3) what part does destiny play -isn’t everything pre-decided anyway? most gurus hesitate to tell this truth, lest people leave them - because - if its all pre-destined why go to a guru - whatever will happen will happen anyway (Ramesh Balsekar says that and see how few devotees he has - isn’t the guru "business" also one of making (false) promises and then never delivering or delivering a glimmer - so hope keeps you going forever?

Forgive, me for these scathing remarks, I left the US 10 years  ago - a very successful career and money and comforts - in search for a deeper truth- but after 10 years in India and seeing the INNER functioning of all the MAIN BIG ashrams (and small) of this country , having lived full time in one - talked and met with the GREAT BEINGS - I have found out too much unpleasant stuff - that no one wants to hear about and even if they do - they wont believe it!!

hoping to see Sadhguru's answers in detail on your website. with Regards,

Janet Eddie

(Sadhguru laughs and responds cheerfully)Please let Janet knows that her nephew is very ill informed. I have brought up my daughter in a way that she has the freedom to speak her mind. I have a very positive and close relationship with her. So my question is-is Janet in search for truth or in search of a scandal?

If in ten years Janet has not been able to find one good teacher, then isn’t it time she took a look at herself? Whenever you meet people, or gurus, you will see both positive and negative energies surrounding them. You see what you want to see. Eventually every one must take what works for them and disregard the rest. Let me give you an example. A doctor gives you a pill for an ailment. The only thing you should be concerned about is whether that pill works for you or not. What the doctor does in his private life, how he relates to someone else is immaterial for you. That is none of your business, because it does not affect you in any way. What is most important is to decide whether the medicine heals you or not. If it does not go to another doctor.

Regarding gurus being unable to please their families-it is not just limited to gurus but any one who undertakes something on a large scale, at a public level. Mahatma Gandhi had many family members who resented him, but can you take away his contribution to India? Obviously the gurus will not have the time to focus on their family because they are involved for the betterment of mankind and helping others beyond their families. My family also complains some times that I don’t devote enough time to them because of my hectic schedule, but the family too has to grow and mature and understand.

As for cancer, most saints are exposed to an intense interaction with others, beyond the mind and body and the very nature of their work takes its toll on their body. Their own well being is the last thing they are concerned about. While the state of mind has a lot to do with disease, it’s not the only factor that causes it.

Finally, there is no such thing as destiny. Life happens the way you steer it. Janet searching and finding only wrong people is her own creation not destiny. Since a large part of what happens to you is on an unconscious level, you think some other force is creating it. Some people may have made false promises to you, I do not know, but by and large the promise is genuine, but you are not able to cross the distance between the possibility and reality. If you don’t walk that distance you won’t reach your destination and will call it a false promise.

Dear Sadhguru, 

I love to do my practices and meditate.  I regularly do the shakthi chelan kriyas, shoonya meditation and the Asanas.  I also like to eat non-veg and consume beer and alcohol.  How important is it for me to give the things I enjoy so much for my spiritual advancement?- 

Thanks, Rajesh

Every one must ask themselves this question - do you eat meat and consume alcohol for nutrition or pleasure? If its for nutrition then there are so many other healthier alternatives. If its for pleasure then I will not ask you to give it up. I can only tell you that what you eat affects your system in a particular way. The wrong foods will make you toil that much harder to make your practices more effective. I can give you the tools that will make your pleasure much higher than what you get from eating meat and drinking alcohol. I won’t say give up something you like but do take some time to look at the possibilities beyond the obstructions you are setting up for yourself to evolve to a higher level. Meat makes the system sluggish as does alcohol.

So remember I can give you a method where your level of pleasure will be a lot higher than what you derive by eating meat and alcohol. Focus on that than the idea of giving up something.

 Dear Sadhguru, in your book Mystic’s Musings you had told that before you leave the earth you will construct a devi temple. Now that the Devi temple is going to be consecrated soon  does that mean you are going to leave us and go ?

I’m not in a hurry to go anywhere. Enjoy my presence and make full use of it right now than worrying about my departure.

 Is the Dhyanalinga as effective a guru as you are?

The Dhyanalinga is as effective- only most people may not be able to relate to it as well as they relate to a guru in human form, but in terms of making things happen it is as effective.                       

In your book you have mentioned about occult practices and negative energies ... you have also said that by going to the dhyanalinga shrine one can get rid of such things and by wearing a rudraksha one can shield oneself from such energies.... but what if someone is bent upon causing harm to someone using occult practices and abhichara mantras..... a person can not be going to the dhyanalinga shrine so frequently ... and I think a rudraksha might not  protect oneself from severe forms of occult and abhichara..... in that case can what should a person do to save oneself ?  can one go in for tantric rituals as given  in the atharva veda to protect oneself ... if performed by a competent and learned tantric ?

If you have been badly affected you can resort to other means but the best way is to become more meditative. That is the best insurance.

 When you say that the dhyanalinga is beyond space and time... we can understand that its energies are not bound by space but when you say its beyond time what do you exactly mean ?

That which is not bound by space is not bound by time either.

When you say that you bow down to other enlightened masters slightly less than your guru .. its very difficult for me to understand why should you bow down to other masters a little less ... all of them have attained  enlightenment so I think all should be revered equally then why do you say so ? Is it  just out of devotion to your guru ?Is one enlightened master different from another in any way ?

That is because the rest of them are like me, and I see no reason to revere them. I bow to my guru because he made it happen for me. In basic ways most gurus are the same but in all other ways they are never the same.

The importance of ring finger has often been stressed by you... for applying vibhuti we use only right hand ring finger ... but the copper snake rings are always worn on the left hand ring finger ...... what’s the exact reason we wear the copper rings on left hand ring finger ?

 It stabilizes your system and also if you are doing some sadhana it assists in that.            

Dear Jaggi,

My family has recently taken part in the satsang held in Anna University. You have asked everyone to meditate for few minutes. During the course of meditation I heard lot of different sounds made by the people that was scary and confusing. why do people make such noises during meditation? There were lot of small children also in the satsang and I heard few kids crying hearing the scary sounds made by people. Can you please clear my and as well lot others’ confusion on this? with Love, Anandhi.

Firstly young children should not be taken to a satsang. People will make different sounds but they are not scary sounds-they happen as people break certain limitations within themselves and move to a more intense experience.  You got scared because it was something new and you had not heard it before. We always fear anything new that we do not know. By closing your mind to new experiences you shut yourself off from so many possibilities and ensure that nothing novel or new will happen to you. If you wish to be true to your name of Anandhi, it is very important for you to be open to new dimensions of life.

Namaskaram Sadhguru

Sadhguru, in your article in the Tamil magazine " Ananda Vikadan" dated 26th Sep 2007, you have  almost justified that success attained even with wrong methods is OK and in the later part of the article you have said one gets back what he sows ( did not say when one gets it back) it appears to me there is a contradiction. Please help me understand.

I’m not sure which article it was, or what the context was, but I have always said this- if you do not fear the consequences of your actions then do what you want. If you are scared about what will happen if you act a certain way, then regulate those actions. If you do something bad and accept the consequences joyfully then do as you please.

 In an interview ( given to Anil Dharker) you have said that contentment does not lead to joyfulness, can you explain that please.    Regards- S Subramanian (Subbu)

People who are not joyful seek contentment as a substitute. Otherwise a human being naturally continues to explore different dimensions of life constantly. Contentment means to contain yourself within a certain boundary because you want to maintain a certain level of pleasantness that you have reached. Contentment is an ideal created by those people who have decided they are incapable of being joyful.

In one of your speeches you said FEAR is all about imagining about and suffering that which in nonexistent. Is not fear a kind of intelligence? One sees a snake and suddenly jumps away. Is that not intelligence? My experience with fear is like this. Fear is because one has made some plan and if something happens in between, one cannot work towards that plan. Suppose one is studying for an exam and he becomes involved in some painful circumstances, he will not be able to study and pass the exam. One has learned  this from his previous experience. So one tries to avoid such painful circumstances to achieve what he strives for. Fear is being alert to avoid such circumstances.. At the same time fear is a disturbance since we cannot do anything when fear is there. How can we keep on working towards a goal without any interference of fear? Avinash Eswaramangalam

If you have too much fear you may end up not jumping far enough but on the snake itself and getting bitten in the process. Jumping can be done with sense and not senselessly. Fear makes you senseless and when you lack sense you do stupid things. 

Sadhguru,

                  What is the difference between karmic body and etheric body? I understand from your past conversation that our human body is made up of physical body, Mind, formless Karmic Body with Karmic mind which are various impressions from past life. Please explain what etheric body means.

Karmic body is an accumulation of the physical, mental and pranic body. Etheric body does not carry any karmic weight-it is free. 

Sadhguru,

                I am confused by the masculine and feminine energies of Shiva. As I understand Shiva, Shiva is the vast non-dual oneness or emptiness or nothingness and the mantra Shiva itself signifies the vast feminine energies expanding in unboundedness. Shiva in the Vedic literature has been referred to as Masculine and Parvati or the nature as feminine. Could you please clarify on my Gender ambiguity about Shiva?-Meena

There is no gender ambiguity as far as Shiva is concerned. Shiva chooses not to belong to any gender when we talk of Shiva as the ultimate dimension. As Adi-yogi Shiva chooses to be any gender masculine or feminine as is chosen in that moment.

Sadhguru, how strong a role does 'encouragement' play in a person's spiritual growth? How far can somebody be 'encouraged' to become a seeker? Or do people always have to experience sufficient suffering outside to make them turn inwards? How far would it be correct to say that a person can be encouraged to some extent to go and do Isha wholeness program, come back and be regular with the practices BUT to encourage someone to develop a longing and become a seeker is not in someone else's hands? If seeking happens, it happens, if it doesn’t then there is hardly anything someone else can do except wait,perhaps? Is the whole spiritual 'thing' dependent on a person's innate nature?  -Abhimanyu Saagar Patiala

If you have functional intelligence you will always seek beyond where you are right now. At Isha we only give you the tools to make that intelligence functional. As long as you are aware of that you will be a natural spiritual seeker.


Missing out on Things

By Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev


Q: At times I have this inner struggle that I am still missing out on many things in life by walking the spiritual path. How can I cope with this?

If you fix the goal of your life, you will not miss anything. All these tendencies are there within everybody. The past karmas have influences over you, they push you this way and that way. All your passions, all your desires, you cannot fight with them. Don’t ever try to fight with your passions and desires. Fighting with them is like fighting the demon, Mahishasura. If one drop of his blood falls, a thousand Mahishasuras will rise up. Your desires and passions are just like that. If you try and fight with them, if you chop them, they will spill blood, and with every drop, a hundred or a thousand will come up. There is no point fighting them. Just educate your passions, educate your desires to flow in the right direction that is all.

Desire the highest in life. All your passions, direct them to the highest. Even if you get angry, direct it only toward the highest. Even with your passion, that is the way to do it. Right now, every bit of energy that you have, you expend it by making it into desire, passion, fear, anger, and many other things. Maybe these emotions are not in your hands for now, but channeling them in one direction is in your hands. Maybe when you are angry you cannot be loving, you cannot suddenly turn your anger into love, but the anger itself can be directed. Anger is tremendous energy, isn’t it? Direct it in the right way; that is all. Every ounce of energy that you have, every passion, emotion, thought, if focused in one direction, the results can be very, very quick. Things will happen. Once you know there is something higher and you want to be there, there should be no other question about it.

Now, for you, again and again, this spirituality, this enlightenment, this God-realization looks so far away. It appears to be close this moment, the next moment it appears to be light years away, so certain complacency will come. They have always told you: “A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.” What is there now is better than something somewhere else. What you need to understand is: it is not somewhere else, it is all here and now. Only because you are not, it looks like that for you. God is not somewhere, he is here and now. It is you who is not. That is the only problem. It is not difficult, but definitely it’s not easy. It is extremely simple. Moving from here, from wherever you are right now, to the infinite is very simple, because it is right here. Do know, ‘simple’ need not necessarily be easy. It is just subtle and delicate. Unless you put your whole life energy into it, it will not open up.

With half-hearted appeals, God never comes. With half-hearted appeals, realization never happens. It has to be everything, only then it can happen in one moment. It need not take twelve years. Probably a fool takes twelve years to become intense enough; that is different. If you make yourself intense enough, it is just one moment. After that, life is just blessed. You simply live on, whichever way you want, whatever way you choose. But without creating that one moment, going on doing all kinds of nonsense, what is the use?

For more information about Sadhguru, please visit www.ishafoundation.org

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is an international speaker, author and peace advocate with profound spiritual and cultural insights on health and human potential. He addresses over 500,000 people annually at his public forums. Sadhguru is a realized master and yogi who has practiced yoga since age 13 and authored four books on the essential nature of yoga. Sadhguru has synthesized the science of yoga into a dynamic program that allows people to restore and maintain optimum health and inner balance.

Through his books, columns, articles and interviews aired and published in a host of international media, Sadhguru is considered an authority on yogic science whose teachings help people gain an inner understanding of the issues and events that happen to themselves and the world around them.

Sadhguru is founder of the Isha Foundation, a non-profit organization advancing physical, mental and spiritual health through yoga and self-transformation. The Foundation administers over 100 yoga centers, an ashram, residential complex and medical center in India, and conducts public programs around the world. His humanitarian initiatives for world peace and his outreach programs for Tsunami relief, prisoners, children and Action for Rural Rejuvenation in India are examples of his determination to improve the human condition for all people.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these columns are solely those of the writers and do not necessarily represent those of the editor/publisher.


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