Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev     680 posts


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Sadhguru speaks about the subtlety of the spiritual path, and explains why some people may experience frustration in their quest for the Ultimate. He tells us how one can pursue spirituality without creating unnecessary difficulties for oneself.



"Spirituality is not difficult. It is just that there is a certain subtleness to it that people are unable to get. The hopelessness of it is that the very effort that you make to dissolve, is also karma. You will not grow unless you create a desire, “I want to grow, I want to reach this.” At the same time, if the desire goes on, that itself is karma – it goes on creating new karma.

However, if you can reach a state where you handle life with great involvement and intensity, and still don’t care a hoot about it, then it’s very easy. You must be deeply involved, you must do things like your life depends on it, but actually it should not matter at all. Whatever you do, it must be just the way the situation demands; nothing more, nothing less. The moment it matters to you, you become a vested interest. Whether it is for satisfaction, happiness, money, or because you want to go to heaven, the moment you do it with some purpose behind it, you become a vested interest. The moment you become a vested interest, there is no spirituality in you.

People talk about, “Don’t expect the fruit of the action,” and they misinterpret it as, “The result does not matter.” The result does matter. When we do something, we do it so that it works, isn’t it? When you perform some action, you think about it and constantly apply yourself so that it works. It is just that it personally does not matter. You neither gain nor do you lose from it. You do it if the situation needs it. If it is not necessary, you just roll back everything and sit quietly. Once you have this freedom within you, then, karma becomes a conscious thing.

If you have to know a very deep sense of involvement with something that does not mean anything to you, it can happen only when there is no fear of entanglement. For this to happen, either you must be crazy, or you must be drunk with blissfulness, or you must have fallen so in love with somebody that nothing matters. Without one of these three qualities, it is difficult to do something with great intensity and still not be bothered about what it is."

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' Mahabharat '

There is no other story
but of brothers and sisters
of wives and husbands
of teachers and disciples
of friends and enemies
of wealth and power
of love and treachery
of life and death
Like all stories
But for the one
Conscious one.

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Yoga means breaking the cyclical process of life and making it a straight line.

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Question: Namaskaram. During the practice of kriyas, there is always this challenge of thoughts entering my mind. I’m trying hard to keep them away and focus on the kriya, but this doesn’t really work. How to control your thoughts during meditation or kriyas?

Sadhguru: You are focusing hard and trying to banish the thoughts, and they are not going away. This is the nature of the mind, but it looks like you are very prejudiced against your mind. When you are doing your kriya or your meditation, you don’t mind if your kidneys or your lungs are functioning or if your heart is beating. You don’t mind all the other processes in the body – only your brain should not function! The notion that if you do something spiritual, your brain should stop working is simply wrong.

Your thoughts are just the smells – either fragrance or stink – of the stuff that you carry within you. Nothing new arises. If you don’t let the stuff that you have gathered go into your brain, your brain will work in phenomenal ways. It can do things that you have not imagined possible. But it is full of your own rubbish right now – that is the struggle; that is why you want it to stop. Instead of the brain being the crown of your life, it has become the garbage bin of your life. Physically, it is the crown. In the symbolism of yoga, Sahasrar is a lotus with one thousand petals – “one thousand” not as a literal number, but as something innumerable. If your brain was rooted in the existential process, innumerable possibilities would open up. But right now, your brain is only rooted in the mental process.

Now you may say, “Sadhguru, that’s exactly what I am saying – how to control thoughts?” No, that is not what you are saying. You don’t want your thoughts to interfere with your illusory idea of enlightenment. Illusory because enlightenment is not something that you cause. You don’t cause light, but you see light. When the sun rises in the morning, you do not cause the light, but you are able to see it if your eyes are open. If you cause light – let’s say with a torch or by any other means – you always have to keep it up, and there will always be the fear that it will go out.

The difference between education and enlightenment is just this – you can educate yourself with 1, 10, or 1000 books, but still you will run out of material at some point. Enlightenment means you did not educate yourself with books – you are simply there; it is an endless process. Is there something particular that an enlightened person knows that you do not know? No. Is there something particular that an enlightened person does not know? No. I am not playing with words. This is the nature of existence.

What is happening in your liver and kidneys is a lot more complex than the thoughts that you generate. If the activity of your organs does not disturb you, why do your thoughts disturb you? Because you think you are your thoughts. When you think, you don’t see it as “my thoughts” – you say, “I think so.” Because you are deeply identified with your thought process, it is bothering you. You are not identified with your kidneys unless you have a kidney problem. If they function normally, most people do not even feel if they have kidneys or not. Kidneys are a device – they are functioning so efficiently we can forget about them.

You are always conscious of that which does not function efficiently. You know, I am making a statement about your brain. If it was functioning smoothly, you would not notice your brain, like you do not notice your kidneys or liver. If you were not identified with it, you would not notice it. If you are identified with it, it is a big deal. You are not your thought. You are identified with something that you are not. Once you are identified with something that you are not, you cannot stop the mental process – it will just go on endlessly. It is like when you have eaten bad food, gas will develop. You cannot stop it with a wine cork. You just have to stop eating bad food.

The bad food for you is right now, you believe yourself to be things that you are not. The moment you identify yourself with your body, your thoughts, your emotions, and many other things around you, the thought process will be endless. People think that is how the mind is. That is not how mind is, or rather, that it is not how it is supposed to be. If you constantly had a stomach ache, you would think that is how the stomach is.

The brain is much more sensitive than other organs. All other organs have specific functions, but the brain has a few specific functions, and the rest is left open. This is the problem of being human. Any other creature has specific goals, nothing more. They must eat well, grow well, reproduce well, and die one day – everything is set. Only a human being is wondering, “Why am I here? What is the nature of my life? Where do I come from? Where do I go?” All these questions only come up when you are human. The difference between a human being and any other creature is that in human beings, the cerebral cortex and other parts of the brain have flowered.

You complain about a new possibility that has arisen within you, a possibility that an ape, a monkey, or any other creature does not have. Do not treat a possibility as a problem. It is not a problem – it is a possibility that you can sit here and think of something that is 1000 miles away, 1000 years ago, 1000 years later, or whatever else. It has become a problem for a lot of people because they have never looked at the user manual.

First stop giving the brain bad food – feed it with Truth, not untruth. We are in the hands of Truth. We don’t have Truth in our hands. We have a complex bunch of lies in our hands. If you keep down all the things that you believe, all the things that you have made up, you will see, if you sit here, your mind could be simply empty. If it is empty, what is the use? The use is it can reflect the whole cosmos. Otherwise, it is quite comic. This is the choice – you can make your mind into a comical place or a cosmic space. For it to become a cosmic space, you must keep all the lies down – then Truth will flourish by its own nature. The absence of falsehood is Truth.

Only a fool will talk about what Truth is. One who knows will only talk around it, because you cannot talk about it. You can only define and describe that which has some kind of substance, that which has measurable parameters, or boundaries. If something has no boundaries and no parameters, you cannot talk about it. The whole work is about clearing the mess you have created, not about establishing Truth. There is no need to establish Truth. It is in the lap of Truth that all of us exist.

I will not ask you to confess what thoughts you are getting while doing your kriya. Do not be concerned about your thoughts. Above all, do not try to stop them. Let them happen like the activity of your kidneys is happening. Not everything in your kidneys is clean. Not everything in your brain is clean either – what is your problem?

Do not discriminate between good and bad thoughts. There are no good and bad thoughts – there are just thoughts. Your thoughts depend upon what kind of garbage you have – that kind of smell will emanate. Today’s smell depends on yesterday’s garbage. It depends on what you threw into the bin. If you watched a movie yesterday or something else happened, today, that will come back to you again. Do not judge your thoughts – it is just rubbish. First of all, they are not even real. A thought means that it is not real. The largest part of who you are is unconscious right now. You are making things up all the time. If you want to know the nature of creation and the Creator, it is important that you do not make things up, which is what you are trying to do right now. Trying to make things up is a hopeless method.

If you try to maintain a continuous stream of thoughts while doing your kriya, suddenly, they will not come. Suddenly, you will get constipated in the head. Do not bother about your thoughts or about how to control your thoughts. Depending upon what is there inside today, thoughts will flow. There is no significance or consequence to this. You just need to do the kriya – do not do the thoughts. Whether you try to remove them or to have continuous thoughts or 108 sacred thoughts during meditation, you are still trying to do the thoughts. The kidneys will do their own thing; the liver will do its own thing; the brain will do its own thing; you do the kriya – that is all.

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“If you want to know the Divine, the only way is that you have no quality of your own. You just become a reflection. If you become a reflection, what will you reflect? Only the Ultimate.”

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Don't try to be the best.
Just do your best.

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In the Indian tradition, if you are a serious practitioner of yoga, no astrologer will want to make a prediction for you, because even he understands that you have taken charge of your life. This is what a yogasana means – you are taking charge of your life. You are transforming your body and mind into a possibility in your life. It is becoming a passage, not a block.

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Mahavir, a symbol of non-violent solutions to life. Warrior turned sage. Eternal inspiration.

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Repetition is cyclical. When you are going in circles, you are not going anywhere.

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The most important thing right now is that worldwide, people in positions of power get to experience life beyond their own identity.

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Maintaining cleanliness of body and mind is the first thing to do. Without that, life, and particularly spiritual process, can be a battle.

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The idea of perfection is so messed up. Have you ever seen a perfect human being? And where is the need to put everyone into the same mold?

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'Sadhguru answers a few questions on how youth are making a lot more money in this generation, leading to a lot of disenchantment.'

Question: There are people who start making money early in their lives. By 20 or 21, they are earning huge sums of money in big companies. But then, after some time, they feel that something is lacking in their lives; there is an empty feeling.

Sadhguru: What usually happened to a lot of people when they were 60, is happening to them when they are 24. They must be glad. Realization is coming soon. Otherwise they would have wasted their whole life and only then realized it.

There is only life. If you feel life is superficial, it means you are living superficially.
The reason why previous generations did not realize this is because by the time they were 18, they were married. By 24, they had four children. The whole life was a struggle – getting four children educated and married. Then grandchildren came. And before you realized what happened, they put mud on you – it was your funeral.

Now, you are 25 and you are still not married. You got the money, you have seen the world and you know it doesn’t mean anything. It is good that people are realizing it early.

Question: So at that point of time, what do they have to do? What path should they take?

Sadhguru: There are no two paths. There is only life. If you feel life is superficial, it means you are living superficially. You just have to go a little deeper into life. Is there some other way? “No, I want to die”, “To be or not to be.” Death is also a part of your life. There is nothing else you can do here except life. The only choice you have is either to do it superficially or in a profound manner. Choose. What other choice is there?

Question: But here comes another question: How to choose the right Guru? A lot of people don’t know whom to believe.

Sadhguru: Don’t believe anyone. If you come to Isha, I’ll give you something simple. Work with it. If nothing happens to you, you leave. If it works, take the next step. Or if something ignites within you, I don’t have to tell you anything, anyway you will do what you have to do. Till then, just go one step at a time. If something happens, you stay on and take many more steps.

Question: But how do we know the goal?

Sadhguru: Do you see that you are living with certain limitations? The only goal is to become free from that. What you do on the way is according to your capability. Maybe you will sweep the floor or manage something or run a nation or whatever – that’s just on the way. This is the significance of being in India: Whether you are a king or an illiterate peasant or a great scholar, all of us are aspiring only for the same goal – mukti. Someone is not superior because he is a king. We are all going to the same place. Who goes there quicker is the only question.

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Rama tried to manage the situations in his life, but he could not always do that. He lived in difficult times and things went out of control, but the important thing is that he always conducted himself gracefully. This is the fundamental essence of becoming spiritual. If you want the right kind of ambiance for your being to flower into a beautiful fragrant flower, you must constantly create an atmosphere of grace.

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' Of Dogs and Cats
and Pigs and Rats '

Of dogs and cats and pigs
and rats, who is supreme?

There are those who bark and bite
their tools are made of fear
Fear keeps everything in order
The virtues of fear are too many to list
It can even render you short of breath
and short of everything that is life
Fear is living death

There are those who puss and purr
Sleek and soft full of inducements
For whom life is a seduction
A sweet poison of the marketmen
Tying you up not in chains but in silks
Entangling you in ways
That does not leave you any way

There are those who grunt
and of course stink. To get
the right kind of grunt you
have to bend and snivel and give
something to ingest. Their official sty
is a place you dread but there
is no way you can avoid this slime

There are those who nibble
at all that is yours. There is no
sanctity for your bridal dress or
your long departed grandmother’s
What you worship they will work at
Nothing remains unexplored, they could
even invade your soul. O’ soulmates

Of dogs and cats and pigs and rats
O’ the evolutionary haste.

Love & Grace,

Sadhguru.

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Velliangiri’s lap has been more than my mother’s
for many lives has kept me nurtured and
above all focused upon my master’s will.

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For some time now, we are noticing that everything, whether it is books, documentaries, or movies – everything is getting banned without a thought, almost as a hasty response to avoid trouble. But true democratic thinking does not resort to banning somebody’s opinion. It knows that somebody’s opinion is not the ultimate truth. A society needs different expressions of opinions for its growth. Unless something is written or produced with the explicit intention of hurting or harming a particular group of people, of inciting violence or creating unsubstantiated defamation towards someone or something in particular, there should be no such thing as banning anything in a democratic society.

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When somebody says something about you or anything else, listen to it, just put yourself through a scanner and see if what they are saying is true. If it is, if something needs to be corrected, let’s fix it. If not, enjoy the gossip it generates. That’s all there is. When your reasoning matures, then you learn to accept everything because you understand the process of life. You are not just going by logic, you are going by the reasoning of life. You have more life sense in you, not just logical sense.

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Do not bother about what you like. First of all, don’t set it up like that. Just do what is needed. If you are doing what is needed, everything is fine all the time. There is no question of compulsiveness. Naturally, you become conscious. If you are always looking at what is needed, you will become very conscious. And the only way, and the only and only way you can experience life is to become more and more conscious. If you become less and less conscious, you cannot experience life. Only if you become more and more conscious you can experience life. If you are really conscious, everything becomes fantastic. If you become really unconscious, you are dead.

So the choice is not between what kind of life; the choice is between life and death because consciousness is the only way life can happen. Unconscious means you are moving towards death in installments. And if you invest too much in what you can count, you will become more and more unconscious. There was a sage in Karnataka, his name was Allama Maha Prabhu, a wonderful sage, he wrote thousands of poems. In one poem he laments, he says if a man is drowning, you can still talk to him. If a man is bitten by a snake, you can still talk to him. But a man who is bitten by wealth and money, you cannot talk to because he has become so unconscious.

If you can have a few bucks around, it makes things a little simple and easy. Beyond that it has no consequence. It is what you cannot count which makes the difference. So invest your life in what you cannot count. Whatever you do, you will be a great contribution to the world.

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If you torture yourself and everyone around you enough, you may get employment in hell.

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Bowing down to what seems powerful is natural. Bowing down to what seems weak and worthless – that’s great. That’s devotion.

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When you come into this world, you have nothing but life in you. What you make out of it is up to you.

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People have always misunderstood meditation as some kind of activity. No, it is a quality. That is a fundamental difference. Prayer means you are trying to talk to God. You are trying to tell him your vows, your expectations, or whatever else. Meditation means you are willing to just listen to existence, to the ultimate nature of creation. You have nothing to say, you simply listen. That is the quality of Nandi – he just sits, alert. This is very important: he is alert. He is not sleepy or sitting in a passive way. He is sitting very active, full of alertness and life, but no expectation or anticipation. That is meditation. Just waiting, not for anything in particular.

If you just wait without doing your own thing, the existence will do its thing. Meditation essentially means the individual person is not doing his own thing. He is just there. Once you are simply there, you become aware of the larger dimension of the existence, which is always in action. You become aware that you are a part of it. Even now, you are a part of it. But becoming aware that “I am a part of it” is meditativeness. Nandi is the symbolism of that. He reminds everyone, “You must sit like me.”

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Aliveness is not an acquired state – it is your nature. “Just being” means being absolute life – not a mind, not a thought, not an emotion, not an ideology, not a philosophy, not a belief system, not a gender, not a race, not a caste, not a creed – just life. If you touch life on this level, you will know by experience that life and the source of life are packed inside each other.

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At the spring equinox, the masculine and feminine within us are at equilibrium – a good day to transcend the identification with the body.

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