Q and A With Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

By Kavita Chhibber


Thank you for the overwhelming response to my interview with Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, the founder of Isha foundation. There were several readers who sent in questions and every other month we will continue the Q&A session with Sadhguru.


The questions have been reformatted to make better sense. Perhaps the best thing about Sadhguru is his tongue in cheek humor and the fact that no question is off bounds with him.

Here is the selection for this month.


Q-Sadhguru ji, how would I know, if my meditation is going right. I do my daily meditations in the sequence we learnt, but I don’t feel anything yet, neither am I able to view anything, when I close my eyes, I am blank. So please let me know if I am doing it right. Thank you- Ravi Sohal


Sadhguru: Meditation is not an act. It’s a certain quality. If this quality has to come forth in you, it can only happen when the fundamental work of bringing the body, mind, emotion and energy to a certain level of maturity and cultivating them in a certain direction has been achieved. Then meditation will blossom.


Meditation is not something you can do-it is a state of becoming. So if right now you feel that the meditation is not working, there is nothing to worry about. Just check the process, and if you are doing everything properly, allow the process to continue. You cannot force things to occur. It may take different amounts of time for different people to reach that state. Sometimes nothing happens because you are anxiously expecting something to happen.


Its like growing a plant. Just because you want a mango to drop out of a tree, its not going to happen. You have to nourish the roots for sometime and then the fruit will come forth.

Depending on the individual’s receptivity, it will take different amounts of time for the meditative state to occur. There is no person who is totally unreceptive. It just depends on what they feel within themselves.


Q-A wonderful interview with Sadhguru in the emag. My question is-why does a secular organization like Isha talk of embracing Shiva as was said in the interview? I understand that you are talking about embracing a person in totality, but is Shiva not a Hindu God? Please elaborate-Revathy Shivakumar


Sadhguru: In the yogic culture, Shiva is not seen as a God. Shiva is considered the Adiyogi-the first yogi, and the first instructor of yoga. Even today there is a place called Kantisarovar where the first yoga program happened with seven disciples known as the Saptarishis. So in yogic culture, we honor and respect Shiva, not as a God but as the equivalent of what God may be perceived in religion, because he gave us this science and the possibilities that come with it.

The word Shiva literally means-that which is not and interestingly, that which is not is the basis of what is.


Today modern physics has gone many rounds and come to the conclusion that everything comes from nothing and goes back to nothing. Interestingly we have always referred to Shiva as “the dark one” and today the modern physicists say that everything has evolved out of dark matter. So everything comes from Shiva and goes back to Shiva. By that we are not referring to a person or a God. We are referring to that primordial possibility- except that we call it Shiva.


Q-Sadhguru, I have been listening to your lectures for quite some time, and I may not exactly understand what all you say, as I’m just 21 yrs old. You say that experience is one truth which you can believe but there are so many different experiences each one goes through may be because of our karma or whatever. But if the solution is knowing your inner self then nature should have given this ability to every person in life. Why is it that only few people like you know the way to reach the ultimate when it is important for every one?


Like when hungry even an insect knows it has to feed itself. Similarly if experiencing the inner core was so important nature would have taught us in some way or the other. Why would it only give that ability to a Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev?


I just have this doubt. Can you answer my question? I’m sorry if I sound rude.-Shyam Balakrishnan


Sadhguru: You don’t sound rude at all Shyam. When it comes to “external” capabilities and possibilities, all of us are capable in a unique and different way. What one person can do another may not be able to and vice versa. This is how the world is. However when it comes to inner possibilities all of us are equally capable. There is no doubt about that. If it hasn’t happened its because people have not paid attention to it. Their whole involvement is with the external situations as well as the emotional and psychological situations which we all deal with on the outside.

What is gathered within your mind, and found in your thoughts and emotions has come from outside, and what you see outside is also outside.

Most people are so engrossed in that they never approach what is inside. No attempt is made to see inside. You are as capable as Buddha or me Shyam, when it comes to inner possibilities. Externally we are not equally capable.


Q-Your initial program is pretty good and I would be the first one to urge anyone to attend it. One will notice though during the last couple of classes how volunteers urge the ’freshmen’ to take the next level course.  What a beautiful experience it is, etc., There is no screening process whatsoever.   Nothing about people who are ready or not ready.  Like the analogy of a frog thrown into boiling water which jumps out of danger versus the one that is left in water at room temperature and slowly cooked to its death, one is drawn in deeper and deeper into a cult like environment.   The analogy is extreme I know, because people enjoy themselves and ’believe’ they are achieving moksha.  Now isn’t this the very thing that you seek to dispel?  That one should not believe but know?  How come then, when one undergoes altered states of consciousness that one should attribute it (believe) that that is an indication that he/she is on the true path to nirvana?  Just because one does not know how these states are brought about?  How about I slip some LSD in your drink, make you experience ’bliss’ and make you ’know’ that I am GOD? 


 And in your interview with Kavita, you say about Islam, how somewhere along the line someone usurped the Faith and did not allow it to evolve!  Anyone with a conscience would acknowledge that the Faith had its origins in violence, grew through violence and exists through violence.  Ironically most of our friends are Moslems, but know that a good Moslem is one who does not follow his faith, for anyone who follows it both in word and spirit is required to annihilate ’kaffirs’. –Name withheld on request


Sadhguru: Indeed many chemicals tend to create the notion that you are in certain states because after all every human experience is rooted in our chemistry. By manipulating that chemistry we can have certain experiences but what happens after the chemical effect wears off? You are down again.


As far as sufficient screening is concerned the first program that we offer does that. To do the basic first course you don’t need any special capabilities other than a willingness to want to do it. If people pay to spend a weekend in a place which is not particularly comfortable-its more like a boot camp-and commit the time then its obvious they are there because they want to be.

If a person leaves dissatisfied, its because he is too busy looking at others and their personal experiences trying to find out what it is that is happening to them or what is not happening to them. Obviously the focus then is not on yourself.

Again when you go through a spiritual process, remember its not about the guru or the other people out there. Its all about you. If you don’t understand that, you’ve missed the whole point about being there.


As far as this being a cult organization, is there a definition?


When I was in Paris last time, they did give me a list which said if you are vegetarian and chant in some unknown language, if you sing and dance with your eyes closed, and at times roll your eyeballs, then you are a cult, By that token, we definitely qualify for being a cult!


 As far as Islam is concerned, we don’t know for sure what Islam really said in the original version. All we hear today has been versions of others. These days it is not one religion but most major religions unfortunately, who feel that it has to be their way or no way, except may be for the eastern religions. Whenever any religion feels its their way or no way, violence will happen. Why single out Islam?


Q-Why do we see so many dysfunctional relationships? – Rekha Krishnamurthy


Sadhguru: Education should have expanded one’s horizon and made the world more inclusive. In the old days a family in the village meant not just your blood relatives but an extended family of the 300-400 villagers. Today the family first meant blood relatives, and then came down to the couple their kids, their parents. Then it was shortened to just the couple and their kids. Today its just the couple and they too meet on weekends, because they cant get along on a daily basis. The idea of individualism has grown in the world. The very nature of the today’s intellectual mind and logic is to dissect things to know. The scientist pulls at the petals to get to the core, but when you pull at life and break it apart, there is nothing left.


You’ve heard the saying-everyone in the world is queer except you and me, but even you seem to be a little queer. When someone starts to think that no one in the world is okay then it’s a sign of madness. Modern technology or education can be used both ways-in fact you can take anything and use it both for your well being or destruction.

Today people’s mentality has become exclusive and not inclusive. And when you exclude, the result is loneliness and dysfunctional relationships.


Q-I’m a bit upset with my two sons who are in their late twenties. They do their own thing, and when I tell them to respect my words because I speak from experience they say those are not their experiences. Am I wrong in my expectations?-Sarath Kumar


Sadhguru: Anyone who expects their experience to be respected isn’t making much sense. If your experience was that worthwhile, it would have been respected irrespective of your relationships or asking for it. So perhaps it really isn’t worthwhile or relevant to your sons. Respect is not something you can ask for-it comes automatically when you have made yourself valuable. When you moved from India to America, you moved to a different part of the world, with different values, different moral codes. Just because you may have a critical mass of fellow Indians around you, you can’t create a Little India of your own and expect your children to follow those values that you left behind. Your children don’t really grow up inside your home. Their major influences are outside and much bigger than the parental influences. Even in India things have changed, so expecting your children to blindly follow you is an unrealistic expectation.


Please send your questions to Sadhguru and mention the city, and country. The questions can be sent to Kavita@kavitachhibber.com.

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.


 All Material © Copyright Kavita Chhibber and respective authors.

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