Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev     680 posts


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How the mundane has managed to bury the magical in most human lives, I wonder.

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A devotee’s perception is way better than that of a person who intellectually dissects, because devotion is a way of embracing the universe.

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How does a person become free of their bondages when they are in a family where so many people are dependent on them and there are certain chains around you? Sadhguru explains.

Sadhguru: Maybe you cannot release your body from the chains but you can definitely release your mind from the chains. That is in your hands, isn’t it? Right now, maybe you cannot take Sanyas and live in an ashram – your husband, wife or your children will not allow you, but you becoming mentally free, can anybody stop you? No. The bondages have come only because of yourself and nobody else. Freedom does not mean we have to change all our situations. We do not have to turn our life or situations upside down to become free because one situation is not better than some other situation; don’t ever believe that. It is just a choice. Somebody chooses to live in this situation and somebody else chooses to live in another situation; everything has its pluses and minuses. The important thing is how you are within yourself, isn’t it? So, you may not be able to change your external situation immediately, maybe there is nothing wrong with it and there is no need to change it. But you should change your inner situation because it is bothering you.

This mind can become a ladder to divinity, it can make you ecstatic. Many times this mind made you happy, isn’t it? And many times it made you very unhappy, fearful, tense and frustrated. So the same mind is doing both. It is doing whatever it wants because this little instrument of a mind is not in your hands, it has gone out of control. You can take your car and reach the next city or you can ram it straight into a tree. It is left to you. So, it is just about what you do with it. You can reach very far if you keep the controls in your hands.

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Truth is the only authority. Authority is not the truth.

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If your relaxation is not of good quality, your work will not be of good quality.

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' Stillness: The Highest Level of Intensity '


Here we are from the exuberance of Mahashivarathri to the stillness of Samyama. Shiva is an ultimate symbol of exuberant action and motionless stillness. From extraordinary or almost superhuman levels of activity in the last month we have come to the stillness of Samyama.

So, you want to be still, but you are alive and kicking! To bring this life to a certain state of stillness, one must completely dissociate with the activity of the mind. Physiological activity is not a problem — we can still that very easily — it is the psychological structure that is active. You need to understand this, the advantage that the body has over the mind is that even if you keep the body still, it exists. But if the mind becomes still, it does not exist. So, the mind will not let you become still, it will do many things unless you are entirely dissociated with the nature of your mind.

These simple methods of stilling the mind have become irrelevant to modern life because if you talk about them, it looks like exploitation. If you go somewhere spiritual, the first thing they always told you is surrender. That means, you do not make decisions. If you do not use your mind to make decisions, you will see, the mind will be largely still. If you do not understand what it means to surrender, then obedience — just do something. Sit down means sit down, stand up means stand up, speak means speak, shut up means shut up. But this is entirely “wrong” in today’s world. It is wrong if you end up in a place that is exploitative in nature. But if something is done for your wellbeing, I do not see anything wrong with it.


So, if you do not know what surrender is, at least become obedient. Without taking this step, stilling the mind is like trying to catch mercury. If you try to catch one blob of mercury, it becomes one hundred. With surrender or obedience, you can dissociate yourself with the mind. As you dissociate with the mind, you will see that stillness is a natural part of your existence because the existence is largely still. Only the physical is active, the space is still, absolutely still. Stillness is the highest level of intensity. If you experience a bit of stillness within, suddenly your body, mind – everything – is exuberantly intense. It is a different level of life altogether.

If one has to become still, the individual mind has to become less and less important. This is coming from a knowing that the existence itself is a living mind. When such a huge mind is at work, better keep your petty mind aside. If you cannot see the cosmic mind, at least see that the mind of someone who is beyond you is at work. But not in today’s world! That is called slavery. Today’s spiritual process is crippled; we cannot do so many things, but we are still supposed to take people to enlightenment! We are asked to remove the tires of a car, but still drive it very far!

Spiritual masters are always finding easier ways of doing things. If today, at lunchtime, you decide to eat noodles through your ears, we might tell you to try eating through your nostrils; at least the food will go down your throat. You can even try the soup! It will be easier, but you will still find it difficult. If you open your mouth, it will be a joy to eat. The spiritual process is like this. Right now, you are like, “I cannot do this, I cannot do that, but give me a spiritual process!” So, we are trying through your ears, eyes and nostrils – it is very hard, but what to do? We believe if we keep forcing food through your nose, one day you will open your mouth. Not by any teaching, just through sheer sense. We are waiting for that day when you will open your mouth. What a ridiculous thing it is to be a Guru!

Samyama is a state where you are fully aware that you are not the body, the mind or the world. If you are free from these three things, there can be no suffering. That is the aim of Samyama, to move from the chaos of the body and the mind, to the utter stillness within. Six hundred and seventy diehard seekers have come from all over the world to reach this state, and they are doing phenomenally well. For the first few days, they struggled through their physical limitations, but have now moved beautifully into stillness.

May you know the stillness of Samyama.

Love & Grace,

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Stillness is the highest level of intensity. If you experience a bit of stillness within, suddenly your body, mind – everything – is exuberantly intense.

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I have never been lonely because the Creator has never left me for a moment. He has never left anyone for a moment.

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My meeting with the researchers from one of the premier research institutes in the U.S. was interesting. They have been studying the blood and other samples taken from some of our volunteers. They are saying that they have recorded for the first time that Isha Yoga practitioners have a greatly enhanced neuronal regeneration. You know what that means – you cannot forget your misery. Only way is to transform – just in case you were hoping Alzheimer’s will solve your problems. Another hope dashed because of Isha Yoga. There are also very interesting studies on the impact of Dhyanalinga upon the physiological parameters. What a shame that I need to be authenticated.

~ February, 2011

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Yoga always tries to transform the body, because if the body transforms, the mind will mature by itself.

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What is possible and what is not is not your business. Nature will decide this. Your business is just to work for what truly matters to you.

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Life an easy ride,
if no concern of how and where
destination is guaranteed
and no fare.

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Gender equality shouldn’t even be an issue. At work or on the street, where is the need to look at someone as man or woman?

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MARRIAGE - CHOOSING CONSCIOUSLY

Questioner: My question is about marriage and divorce. I’ve been married for 25 years. There were many occasions where I felt like divorce, but then it has been a wonderful experience for me when I really fell in love. But what I see today, many youngsters don’t want to marry, and those who are married are getting divorced. Would you like to throw some light on this situation, Sadhguru?

Sadhguru: What you only intended, they are successful with! You need to understand the institution of marriage. One aspect of it is about bringing a certain sanctity to the simple basic needs that every human being has. There are physical needs, psychological needs, economic needs, emotional needs, and social needs – a variety of needs. To fulfill all these needs, we set up an institution called marriage where all this can be conducted in a sensible manner. Marriage is to bring some organization, some aesthetic, some stability, because man and woman coming together naturally used to bring fresh life.

The nature of human life, the nature of human offspring is such that because of the possibilities that a human being carries, compared to any other creature, it is the most helpless life and needs the maximum amount of support. You could leave a puppy on the street – as long as it gets food, it grows up into a good dog. But not so with human beings – they need not just physical support but a variety of supports, and above all, a stable situation. When they are 18, they will debate whether they should get married or not, because the physical body is asking for freedom. At that time, everyone questions if marriage is really needed, and whether we can just live whichever way we want. But when you were three years of age, you valued a stable marriage immensely – isn’t it so? Not yours – your parents’.

When you were three, four years of age, you were 100% for marriage. When you become 45, 50, again you are 100% for marriage. Between 18 and 35, you are questioning the whole institution.

If at the time when the physical body is dominant, you give in to it, you will question every institution. This is hormone-fired freedom. Your intelligence has been hijacked by hormones, so you question the fundamentals of everything. I am not saying marriage is the thing, but do you have a better alternative? We have not come up with a better alternative, because a stable situation is a must for a child.

If your whims and fancies change, if your emotions change, do not get into such situations. It is neither compulsory nor is it necessary for everyone to get married and have children. But if you get into it, and especially if you have children, you must understand, it is a minimum 20-year project. That is if they do well. If they don’t do well, it is a lifelong project. If you want to get into such projects, at least 20 years, there must be a commitment to create a stable situation. Otherwise, you should not get into such projects. Do not get into a project, drop it halfway and walk away.

If you do not like that, do not start the project – go for short-term projects. They have their benefits and they have their problems. It is your choice, but at least choose consciously. You do not have to get married because everyone is getting married. You do not have to talk about marriage and divorce in the same breath as if they come together. No one thought of divorce in this country until recently.

If it so happens something went entirely wrong between two people, there is no way to fix it, and they have to separate, it is unfortunate, but it happens. You do not have to plan it at the time of wedding.

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Don’t hand over your health to a doctor. Your health is your business.

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Empowered by prana pratishtha, Bhairavi has become a living entity. Her powerful presence is a great boon for us and for generations to come.

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You can expand in two different ways – one is by conquest, another is by embrace. One brings misery, the other brings joy.

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The less you understand life, the more you think it is accidental. Life is not accidental – everything happens between cause and effect.

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Once you are conscious, both unconsciousness and self-consciousness evaporate.

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So darkness is only a problem for those who have unstable minds. If you have a stable mind, darkness is a very beautiful thing. It is the coolest thing because nobody can disturb it. And it is the strongest thing because nobody can throw it out. It is the only thing which is eternal; it is the only thing which is all-pervading. The only thing that pervades the existence through-and-through is darkness. The dark nothingness that is all-pervading is the very lap of creation. May you have the needed stability of mind to know the utter stillness and the eternal nature of darkness.

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You have five friends who are all nitwits; they are half-brained. Whatever you see, whatever you experience, the senses only give you one part of the experience, they will never give you the whole. Because you start trusting and believing them, because you are deeply attached to them, your whole perception of existence is completely twisted.

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If you sit in a pitch-dark space, after some time you will not know the boundaries of your own body. You will not know where you are and where you are not. If your mind is stable and meditative, sitting in a dark space will be a fantastic blessing. But for those whose minds are in a certain level of disruption, darkness is a serious problem. Most people are terrified in darkness, though darkness has never bitten anyone, anywhere, anytime. But because the mind takes so much visual content through the eyes, the moment the eyes become helpless in the darkness, the mind becomes terrified because it is so deeply enslaved to the five senses.

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ON DARKNESS

Sunday was Amavasya, or the day when the moon disappears from our sight. On the no moon day, if you are willing not to disturb the darkness and keep it absolutely dark, if your mind is not in a primate condition where it jumps around and imagines ghosts, goblins and other nonsense coming from the darkness, darkness will be the most wonderful thing.

If you sit in a pitch-dark space, after some time you will not know the boundaries of your own body. You will not know where you are and where you are not. If your mind is stable and meditative, sitting in a dark space will be a fantastic blessing. But for those whose minds are in a certain level of disruption, darkness is a serious problem. Most people are terrified in darkness, though darkness has never bitten anyone, anywhere, anytime. But because the mind takes so much visual content through the eyes, the moment the eyes become helpless in the darkness, the mind becomes terrified because it is so deeply enslaved to the five senses.

You have five friends who are all nitwits; they are half-brained. Whatever you see, whatever you experience, the senses only give you one part of the experience, they will never give you the whole. Because you start trusting and believing them, because you are deeply attached to them, your whole perception of existence is completely twisted.

So darkness is only a problem for those who have unstable minds. If you have a stable mind, darkness is a very beautiful thing. It is the coolest thing because nobody can disturb it. And it is the strongest thing because nobody can throw it out. It is the only thing which is eternal; it is the only thing which is all-pervading. The only thing that pervades the existence through-and-through is darkness. The dark nothingness that is all-pervading is the very lap of creation. May you have the needed stability of mind to know the utter stillness and the eternal nature of darkness.

Love and Blessings.

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Below, read more from Sadhguru on the importance of planting trees and the inspiration for Project GreenHands:

Sadhguru: I have been asked repeatedly by many people, “Why is a spiritual leader, a yogi and a mystic planting trees? Why are you planting trees?”

Trees are our closest relatives. What they exhale we inhale, what we exhale, they inhale. Trees keep our lives going, just like the outer part of our lungs. You cannot ignore your body if you want to live, and in no way is the planet different from this. What you call “my body” is just a piece of this planet. And the very essence of the spiritual process is about just this.

When we say “spirituality”, we are not talking about looking up or looking down. It is about turning inward and knowing the nature of what “this” is. The first fundamental fact of looking inward is always to see that you are naturally very much a part of everything around you. Without that realization, there is really no spiritual process. That is not the goal of spirituality, that is the fundamental – that who you are, or what you think you are, is just a part of everything else.

Today, modern physics is establishing that the whole existence is just one energy. Scientific evidence is establishing that every particle in your body is in constant communication with the whole cosmic space. The spiritual process is about enhancing one’s perception and bringing this into one’s experience. Anyways, what is a dry scientific fact that doesn’t change anybody’s life except trigger the imagination? If instead it becomes a living experience, then to care for what’s around you as you care for yourself is just a natural process.

Returning a Desert into a Forest

So in the year 1998, when certain experts from the United Nations came to Tamil Nadu, they made a study and prediction that by the year 2025, 60% of Tamil Nadu would become a desert. This is a land that has been continually farmed for more than 12,000 years. Probably nowhere else on the planet, except perhaps in parts of South America, agricultural activity has been happening continuously like this. The ethos of agriculture is so deep in the Tamil farmer. His understanding of the land, crop, seed and everything around him is so deep. Even today, most of the Tamil farmers grow three crops per year, many of them four crops in a year; very few places on the planet can do this. Such rich land which has nurtured us for thousands of generations. So when I heard that within one generation, Tamil Nadu would become a desert, I didn’t like it. Essentially, I don’t like predictions because when people make predictions, they are making predictions from existing facts, existing statistics and cold figures. They are not taking human aspirations into consideration; what’s beating in a human heart is completely ignored. What individual people are thinking and dreaming and longing for within themselves is completely ignored in all predictions. The future is not created by cold statistics, but by human aspirations.

So I drove around Tamil Nadu, I just wanted to see if this prediction was real. And I found that it is not real. It is not true in the sense that, in my estimate, I realized that it would not wait until 2025, it would happen much faster. In the last 10-15 years, small rivers have dried up completely. People were now building homes in riverbeds. About 20 years ago in Coimbatore city, one could get water at 120-125 feet. Now they are going 1,400 feet. What tree can put its root to 1,400 feet? And all the palm trees around Coimbatore – their crowns have fallen off. Palm trees, which survived in the Arabian Desert, are dead in Tamil Nadu. There’s not enough moisture in the soil for even them to survive.

So when we saw this, we thought we’ll do something. One of the immediate things that we did was turn a mountain green at our ashram. We are at the edge of a rain forest in Tamil Nadu, and it’s a very beautiful place. But this particular hill right behind us was completely shaved of all timber because there was an illegal furniture industry in the land. We had to pay almost 3-4 times the land price and buy them up, but we dismantled this and the next thing to do was put back the trees on the hill.

So putting back trees into the forest is not an easy thing to do. People said, “Sadhguru, this is not going to work.” The more I hear, “This is not going to work.” The more I know this has to happen because if more and more people think it is not going to happen, that means we’re heading for a disaster for sure.

So we came up with an innovative idea. We invited about 3-4,000 volunteers to come and we took simple sheet metal and rolled it like a cone with a stick attached. They just pressed it into the earth and made a hole, then put two seeds in it. We planted the seeds a few inches deeper so the birds and other animals wouldn’t eat them up. And if you put the seed in mud, then the sprout won’t come because mud is clay, it gets packed and will never sprout. So another set of volunteers carried sandbags and just filled up the holes. We must have thrown about 7-8 million seeds. We had close to 100% sprouting because the land was rich and wet, and about 75-80% of them have survived. Our experience of the hill has completely changed.

About 6-7 years ago, if you came to the ashram, this particular hill would go completely brown during April and May and it would radiate heat. Today, if you come at the peak of summer season, it is still green and the temperatures have come down at least 2-3 degrees. So we are not experiencing global warming. And, I want to insist on this, it took only 20-22 days of work and 3-4,000 people. We just went about singing songs, joyfully doing it. And all that we provided people was just food, two meals a day.

Planting Trees in People’s Mind

Then we took on the more difficult task of planting across Tamil Nadu. We made a simple barefoot calculation – the national aspiration is 33% green cover. We were at 16.4% green cover in Tamil Nadu. So if you plant 114 million trees in about 6-8 years time, in 15 years we’ll have 33% green cover. When I said this figure – 114 million trees – people said, “Sadhguru, do you how many zeros this number has?” So I just asked them a simple question. “What is the Tamil population?” They said, “Sixty two million.” I said, “If all of us plant one tree today, nurture it for two years, and plant one more, it is done.”

So the first 6-7 years were spent planting trees in people’s minds, which is the most difficult terrain. Now we are transplanting with much more ease onto the land because the idea is standing on people’s heads. If we had not spent those 6-7 years of planting trees in people’s minds, today this work could not have happened.

I see that if anything has to happen, it is never going to happen by policy change. Unless people can emotionally relate to it, unless people can have an emotionally charged movement, there is no way anything is going to happen on the ground. So we went about creating the experience of how a tree is not a project for you; a tree is your life. It is an outside part of yourself. It breathes for you everyday. It is more than your lungs; your lungs cannot do anything without trees. We made people understand this in very simple ways and the rural folk, the way they stood up and their commitment, focus and enthusiasm with which they went about, has been so phenomenal. Just seeing this has been such a joy.

When I go to the villages and see people who have to work for their bread everyday, when I see them taking time off and doing this work, it really brings tears to me because these are not people who know what climate change is. These are not people who know what global warming is. These are people who have the least in the world, the smallest carbon footprint on the planet, if they have any at all. Even a sparrow leaves a larger carbon footprint than these people because they just live off the land. They don’t have power in their homes, they are not burning anything. They are the most eco-friendly people, but we are asking them to do this. And their response and their enthusiasm have been so fantastic. I hope these simple folks’ audacity and concern to plant a seemingly impossible number of trees will inspire many across the world.

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Sadhguru: I have been asked repeatedly by many people, “Why is a spiritual leader, a yogi and a mystic planting trees? Why are you planting trees?”

Trees are our closest relatives. What they exhale we inhale, what we exhale, they inhale. Trees keep our lives going, just like the outer part of our lungs. You cannot ignore your body if you want to live, and in no way is the planet different from this. What you call “my body” is just a piece of this planet. And the very essence of the spiritual process is about just this.

When we say “spirituality”, we are not talking about looking up or looking down. It is about turning inward and knowing the nature of what “this” is. The first fundamental fact of looking inward is always to see that you are naturally very much a part of everything around you. Without that realization, there is really no spiritual process. That is not the goal of spirituality, that is the fundamental – that who you are, or what you think you are, is just a part of everything else.

Today, modern physics is establishing that the whole existence is just one energy. Scientific evidence is establishing that every particle in your body is in constant communication with the whole cosmic space. The spiritual process is about enhancing one’s perception and bringing this into one’s experience. Anyways, what is a dry scientific fact that doesn’t change anybody’s life except trigger the imagination? If instead it becomes a living experience, then to care for what’s around you as you care for yourself is just a natural process.

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