I believe in one belief, life starts by loving yourself first, loving what you do. With such a strong feeling, I gather my energies and get up every day, thanking God and the nature around me for the beautiful life.
We asked our readers, contributors, and authors about their love for books and their responses are wonderful! Every year, in the month of February, we always celebrate the month of romantic love.
This year is a bit different! We decided that everybody loves several things in their lifetimes. Someone might love cooking, someone would be drooling over fashion and style, someone else on the other side just can’t resist traveling. And moreover, many of them out there are single too! So, this year, we decided that we will not be restricted to romantic love only.
Being a spiritual being, I totally believe in the concept of Karma. With more and more days as they pass by, I feel that I am becoming closer to myself, being self-aware! This idea of self-love and spirituality has helped me to evolve as a person. This has been made possible with the help of one – who is an Indian Yogi, mystic, and an author! Being a regular follower of him, he has helped me gain that peacefulness, calm, and a feeling of serendipity.
Yes, you must have got it by now. I am talking about Sadhguru. To have a discussion with Sadhguru, Founder, Isha Foundation on a call, I was not believing myself that we would be having a one to one discussion with the mystic himself. A mixed feeling of nervousness and excitement took me over!
Joining with me was Swapna, our reader, contributor, and an awesome book reviewer! We started with the call with each other, just to make sure that everything is working as per the plan. As the time approached, our excitement was doubled. Having Sadhguru among us, even the idea of being with him was filled with a lot of positive energy. Having seen his videos on YouTube, we were prepared with our set of questions and curiosity.
With his books including his latest book – ‘Karma – A Yogi’s Guide to Crafting Your Destiny‘ to be released soon, Sadhguru has been trying to explain the real meaning of life. Finally, the wait was over, and he was in front of us, on screen. Without wasting any other moment, we greeted him together, “Namaskaram, Sadhguru”. With a warm gesture, he greeted us back, “Namaskaram”.
With an exchange of few introductory words, we were ready to begin. Of course, we didn’t want to waste precious time.
What is Karma?
The first question lingering in our minds was about what Karma is. We had watched all the videos of Sadhguru in which he has emphasized Karma as an action in present. But, we have grown up with a notion that it’s all about the actions we did in the past. With this curiosity, we asked Sadhguru about his take on the subject of Karma, to which he politely replied, “The word Karma has been misunderstood and misinterpreted in many different ways. Karma means action. Action means we are talking about your action. Every moment of our lives, there are four types of actions that are always on, both in wakefulness and in sleep. Physical action, mental action, emotional action, and energy action is constantly happening every moment of our life. Now, the imprints that these actions leave within us accumulate over a period of time and form a tendency of their own.
Or in other words, we are building an unconscious software within ourselves.”We were intently listening to the mystic. I was wondering how easily he is explaining the concept for which I was so much confusion about for a long time! We continued listening to him, “When you say my life is my karma, what you are saying is that my life is my making. This is the most dynamic way to exist. This is the only culture where it has been clearly expressed that your life is not being made by some other force elsewhere, your life is being crafted every moment by you; it is your making. Only thing is, you are making it unconsciously. What you are doing unconsciously, if you do the same thing consciously, then you will become the maker of your own destiny.” The words which we heard were deep and thoughtful.
Human Being – A Limitless Possibility
We have often heard that you are limitless! But as it’s easier said than done, and based on our experience, we have seen the power of mindfulness and how focus and concentration can do wonders. But being limitless? This is something we haven’t ever thought of till now. But we wanted to know about it. Sadhguru continued, “It is in this context that we are talking about karma. Every human being has to take charge of today’s karma, not cry about yesterday’s karma because that is unalterable. But if you take charge of today’s karma, yesterday’s karma has no influence over who you are right now. And this dynamic way of existence – seeing that my life is my making, is the essence of transforming a human being from a limited entity to a limitless possibility.”
Spirituality in True Sense
Being spiritual as we all know about is being aware. But in the true sense, what does spirituality mean? we seek that answer and asked Sadhguru to enlighten us on this topic. “The very mention of the word “spirituality” conjures a variety of images in today’s popular culture. It raises a galore of misconceptions, unfortunately. Spirituality essentially means one’s ability to experience life by transcending the limitations of the physical.”
Consciousness and Spiritual Process
Sadhguru explains the spiritual process meticulously, “People have tried all kinds of pacifist philosophies to quell this longing, to somehow put it to sleep by teaching you not to be greedy, teaching you how to be content with your existing limitations. But no matter what they have taught you, this longing to be something more than who you have not stopped even in a single human being on this planet because the longing to be boundless is eternally on.
If this longing of a human being finds a very gross physical expression, we call this sexuality. If it finds an emotional expression, we call it love. If it finds a mental expression, generally, socially it gets labeled as greed, ambition, conquest, and so on. Only when it finds a conscious expression, it is a spiritual process.”
Parenting and Education
There have been a lot of cases of students ending their lives. As the common man reads the news and usually forgets with time. Other times, they blame it on poor parenting. Sadhguru says, “Today, the pressure on children is because of comparison. You are putting two absolutely unique beings in comparison. There is only one like you in the world. That is so for your child also, but you are trying to put all of them into the same compartment and compare them on something that they learn and make them feel better or worse about it.” We nodded in affirmation.
Sadhguru continues, “nfortunately, for most parents, it is not about education, it is about the “first rank.” All they want is that their children sit on top of every other child’s head. Everybody wants to sit on top of the pile but everybody cannot sit on top of the pile. Only a few will sit on top of the pile. Others will naturally end up at the bottom and get suppressed. That orientation of education has to go. True human genius will not flower if this kind of education happens. True human capabilities will not find expression in competition. When you are trying to race with somebody you will think only one step ahead of them. You are not going to think of what your ultimate potential is.” We were taking in the words. I asked Sadhguru, “How should one raise a child in today’s times?”
Sadhguru smiled and continued from where he paused, “
This is why I tell people that to bear and raise a child, you must have either enormous courage or enormous wisdom. Because a new life is not a small thing. If you see it as a phenomenon which blossomed in your body, came out and is growing – out of two cells, life is happening in front of you, taking shape – if you watch it with utter wonder and create the right kind of atmosphere, your child will grow into something beautiful. But they may not be the rose flower that you expected. They need not become what you expect because your expectations are coming from the graveyard of the past. Children belong to the future.”
In response to the modern education system, Sadhguru says, “Though for millennia in India, education was conducted in such a way that it was a possibility for the evolution and blossoming of the individual, over the last few centuries, aberrations have happened to the culture.
Particularly, two hundred years ago, the British created a more organized aberration and tried to educate Indians the way they wanted. They found that Indians were very good with mathematics and languages and decided they will make good clerks and accountants staff their whole enterprise of imperialism.”
He also emphasizes that in the old education system, the most important thing is obedience, not intelligence or ingenuity. “The most significant aspect of India’s educational policy change is that education has moved from rote learning to a more creative way of learning, where children can think and apply themselves. Another important change is that children can take a break in their education and come back. Otherwise, in India, a break in your education meant you could never get back to school again. Now, this change will relieve many children who are severely pressured to a point of suicide,” he says.
He also emphasizes on the schools of today that they should be places to help develop a thirst for knowing something new every day. “In today’s world, where information is available everywhere, a school should shift away from propagating information to becoming an inspirational place, which builds beautiful human beings. Education should become a joyful choice, not a compulsive extruder out of which every child has to come out in a certain shape.”
A Mystic –
We were mesmerized by the love for bikes and cars that Sadhguru has and always thought of this love of his and how does he balance it with as a Mystic and a lover of machines like a common man. Sadhguru responded, “This image has spread everywhere that if you eat badly, dress badly, and live badly, you must be spiritual. I confront this almost everywhere I go. People say, “Oh, he drives his own car, what kind of guru is he?” If I have a chauffeur, will I become more spiritual? If someone says they are spiritual, the question is always, “What are all the things you cannot do? Can you do this? Can you do that?” No, the real question is, if you are claiming to be spiritual, what are all the things that you can do?”
We were thinking for an answer to this question, Sadhguru continued with his love for cars and bikes, “About my love for bikes and cars, I like cars or any machine that works well. Because a mystic means he is a mechanic who understands the mechanics of life. Well, isn’t this true that this mechanism which we call a human mechanism is the most sophisticated, complex machine which works very smoothly? It organizes itself, it creates itself, and it maintains itself all the time unless you do something nasty with it! So I’m interested in anything that works seamlessly.”
Yoga and Weight Loss
We all are aware and have seen around us that doing Yoga helps you lose weight. Who can better explain the phenomenon than a Yogi himself? We asked Sadhguru about this and whether it’s actually the truth or just a myth. “If you are doing Yoga, excess weight will definitely go. Yoga is not only functioning as an exercise – it rejuvenates the system and brings so much sense into you that you will not overeat. Once a certain level of awareness arises in your body, your body becomes such, it will just eat what is needed for it. It will not eat anything more,” he elucidated. “What about the dieting practice?” Swapna asked curiously.
“If you do some other exercises or dieting processes, you are always trying to control yourself. This is the big difference with Yoga. Here, you do not have to control yourself. You just do the practices. This takes care of the system in such a way that it will not allow you to eat more than needed. It will not allow you to do anything in excess,” Sadhguru elaborated further.
We both wanted to know why people are doing Yoga merely reducing the weight or eliminating some sort of pain like a backache or headache. Sadhguru responds, “We do not teach Yoga to reduce weight. It is not something that you do to slim down or for your backache or your headache. Yes, those things will anyway happen – becoming healthy and peaceful– these are the side-effects of Yoga, not the focus of Yoga. The focus of Yoga is to set another dimension alive within you, which is beyond the physical. Only when that is alive, slowly everything opens up. The existence opens up to you in a million different ways. Things that you never thought existed become a living reality for you, simply because a dimension beyond the physical has become alive.”
Take charge of your destiny
As we were approaching the time, we wanted to know what Sadhguru had to say for our readers. “You have been given this masterpiece of engineering – the human mechanism. If you learn to inner engineer it a bit so that it works the way you want, it will go on with absolute ease, without any friction. This means you are a designer-life. Of all that we can design, designing our life the way we want it to be or towards the highest possible, is the peak. My wish and my blessing are that every one of you should design your own destiny.”
We thanked Sadhguru for giving us his valuable time and insights into his world of spirituality and Yoga and bade adieu.
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[As told to Pria and Swapna Peri]
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