Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Spiritual and Disingenuous

It is hard for doting devotees of a spiritual teacher to see any fault in his sayings. And more often than not, what the teacher is doing is just talking nonsense, or building a dependence on himself in a subtle or crude way.

Take for example the following questions and responses from http://www.ishafoundation.org (a website of a spiritual teacher "Sadhguru" Jaggi Vasudev). The Q&A is first presented as-is from the website and then later it is presented with my annotations.

Q: How do I become aware? What support can I seek for this?

Sadhguru: "Unfortunately most people are still lame. They always need a stick to walk. Without a crutch they cannot walk. Support, once again, is at many different levels. If you are physically lame, you need a physical support. If you are psychologically weak, you need a psychological support. If emotionally imbalanced, you need emotional support. On a different level, if you are financially weak, you need financial support - if socially weak, social support. But these are different aspects. When I say support in relation to your growth spiritually, it was connected to all these things in a way.

Some people need psychological support; some people need a physical atmosphere support. When they come to a particular program, they meditate well, they do their Shakti Chalana Kriya well, but if they sit at home, alone, they can’t keep their eyes closed and do any sadhana even for ten minutes. They need support. Physical atmosphere is very important for them. Without support - outside support - for a lot of people, not only their way of being, their awareness, even their sadhana disappears.

Awareness is hard to keep. When I say hard, I am not saying it is difficult - I am only saying that it needs application, it needs awareness. It just needs awareness. When it isn’t there, to be aware or to make an attempt to be aware is hard. Now, awareness is not something that you have to learn or cultivate. The innermost core of your being is awareness. It is just that when people are living on the surface of their life, they are only experiencing the surface of what they are - just the body and the mind. Then awareness seems to be the most impossible thing, so difficult. But your innermost core is simply awareness. There is nothing to be done - whichever way you are, you are aware anyway."

========================

The question is pretty clear: "How do I become aware?" What it obviously means is how do I become aware of the various levels of my consciousness and become aware of the causal chains operating in me which lead me to remain as-I-am and unhappy.

How does the teacher approach this question?

"Unfortunately most people are still lame. They always need a stick to walk. Without a crutch they cannot walk."

"Support, once again, is at many different levels. If you are physically lame, you need a physical support. If you are psychologically weak, you need a psychological support. If emotionally imbalanced, you need emotional support."

The above is an elucidation of the word "support" as it is used in various contexts.

"On a different level, if you are financially weak, you need financial support - if socially weak, social support. But these are different aspects."

As above.

"When I say support in relation to your growth spiritually, it was connected to all these things in a way."

This probably refers to a talk of his after which this question was raised.

"Some people need psychological support; some people need a physical atmosphere support."

So, the teacher says: to become aware, "some people" need a conducive atmosphere.

"When they come to a particular program, they meditate well, they do their Shakti Chalana Kriya well, but if they sit at home, alone, they can’t keep their eyes closed and do any sadhana even for ten minutes."

So, the teacher says: at home people are unable to meditate or to do the "shakti chalana kriya" but they can do it well when participating in a program. At a program, typically the meditator is surrounded by like-minded meditators and the whole focus of the group and the atmosphere is on meditation. It is an elementary example of group psychology enhancing one's own motivation. Many people find it hard to jog alone, to watch a movie alone, to travel alone, to motivate themselves to do something creative on their own. They will do things if told to do so, or if part of a group. The mind needs an order or an authority figure to dictate to oneself.

"They need support. Physical atmosphere is very important for them. Without support - outside support - for a lot of people, not only their way of being, their awareness, even their sadhana disappears."

Because such people are unable to internalize the motivation. Their motivation comes from outside.

So what should one do?

"Awareness is hard to keep. When I say hard, I am not saying it is difficult - I am only saying that it needs application,"

Okay, so it is not difficult in the sense of being complicated, but it is difficult in the sense of being hard to persevere in.

So, once again, what does the teacher suggest? How to find out what is preventing one from being internally motivated?

"it needs awareness. It just needs awareness."

But that's begging the question. How to learn about and be aware of one's lethargy and the causes of one's un-creative, unhappy, unmotivated life?

"When it isn’t there, to be aware or to make an attempt to be aware is hard."

Of course, that is why the question is being asked. What is the way out? Why am I like this?

"Now, awareness is not something that you have to learn or cultivate."

So, the teacher says, awareness is not something that can be improved upon, since you cannot learn or cultivate it.

"The innermost core of your being is awareness."

You are awareness in essence, the teacher says. The punchline will come in the end.

"It is just that when people are living on the surface of their life, they are only experiencing the surface of what they are - just the body and the mind."

That begs the question: if my core is awareness, why am I living on the surface? Who is living on the surface? Is it the core? How can the core live at the surface? Is it not the core? But then what is it? How to deepen this experiencing?

"Then awareness seems to be the most impossible thing, so difficult. But your innermost core is simply awareness. There is nothing to be done - whichever way you are, you are aware anyway."

Bravo! I am sure the seeker is now clear about what to do.

Just do nothing. Just realize that you are awareness, and stop trying.

(the statement is obviously false because there is no awareness in a coma, state of unconsciousness or in deep sleep).

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Another example?

Q: Sadhguru, you have told us many times that if we have bitter experiences in our life, it is because of our past doings. What type of activities should we do today to avoid future bitterness?

Sadhguru: "Subbarao, the bitterness of any experience is not in what has happened. The bitterness of any experience is in terms of how you have received it. What is very bitter for one person could be a blessing for another person. Once, a grief stricken man threw himself on a grave and cried bitterly, hitting his head against it. “My life! Oh! How senseless it is! How worthless this carcass of mine is because you’re gone. If only you had lived! If only fate had not been so cruel as to take you from this world! How different everything would have been!” A clergyman, nearby, overheard him and said, “I assume this person lying beneath this mound of earth was someone of great importance to you.” “Importance? Yes, indeed,” wept the man, wailing even louder, “It was my wife’s first husband!” The bitterness is not in what is happening. It is in how you’re allowing yourself to experience it, how you are receiving it. Similarly, whatever the past activity or karma is, is also not in terms of action, but in terms of the volition with which it is done.

What is happening with you all, if you are a little open to me or to the teaching, is just that the volition is taken away, so you just do what is needed. That is what awareness means; there is no volition. Where there is no volition, there is no karma. You are simply doing what is needed; that is what acceptance means. That is what unbounded responsibility means, that you don’t have any volition about anything. In every given situation, simply whatever you see as needed, as per your awareness, as per your capability, you just do it. You build karma only with volition; whether it is good or bad, it does not matter. The strength of your volition is what builds karma.

People ask me, again and again, the same question, "What’s your mission?" When I tell them, "I have no mission; I’m just fooling around," they think I’m being frivolous. They don’t understand this is the deepest statement that I can make about living in the world, because there is no particular volition – just doing what is needed, that’s all. In this, there is no karma. Whatever you go through, there is no karma. Whatever you are doing is just happening, as it is needed. So karma is only in terms of your need to do something. When you have no need to do anything, and you simply do what is needed, there is no karmic attachment to it. It is neither good nor bad."

========================================

[ Now the annotation ]

"Q: Sadhguru, you have told us many times that if we have bitter experiences in our life, it is because of our past doings. What type of activities should we do today to avoid future bitterness?"

So, the student is asking: Since our suffering is due to our past actions, how can we stop doing actions in the present so that we do not suffer in the future.

The Sadhguru replies:

"Subbarao, the bitterness of any experience is not in what has happened. The bitterness of any experience is in terms of how you have received it."

Sadhguru says that the experiences are not bitter per se, but are perceived bitterly. I.e., it is all in your mind. One should ask the Sadhguru, is this the advice he would give to a child who is currently being raped by a sadistic father? "The experience is perfectly fine in itself, just don't take it in a bad way."

This attitude is the prime reason people with a solipsistic psyche do not want to improve anything, because they just stop feeling bad about it and that's the solution.

"What is very bitter for one person could be a blessing for another person."

True, most experiences can be evaluated in various ways, but there are experiences, for example, being painfully handicapped, suffering from hate and lust, being the victim of violence, being in a war-torn disease-ridden, experiences which are unequivocally physically and mentally stressful or damaging.

Psychological suffering (as opposed to bodily suffering), however, is indeed due to one's own instincts and conditioning and it is indeed upton oneself to be completely free of psychological suffering.

Let's define suffering as a state of mind or body which makes one unhappy and/or harmful.

Injury, illness, stress, hate, lust, greed, anger, etc., can be considered objective phenomena causing (or being) suffering in a particular individual.

The issue of responsibility is separate from the issue of categorizing an event. If we agree that living stressfully or unhealthily is not a sensible way to live life, then anybody who is living stressfully or unhealthily can be categorized as a suffering individual.

"Once, a grief stricken man threw himself on a grave and cried bitterly, hitting his head against it. “My life! Oh! How senseless it is! How worthless this carcass of mine is because you’re gone. If only you had lived! If only fate had not been so cruel as to take you from this world! How different everything would have been!” A clergyman, nearby, overheard him and said, “I assume this person lying beneath this mound of earth was someone of great importance to you.” “Importance? Yes, indeed,” wept the man, wailing even louder, “It was my wife’s first husband!”"

This joke illustrates only that the suffering can have a cause which is different from the cause perceived by others. The value of this joke in furthering our particular enquiry is zilch.

"The bitterness is not in what is happening. It is in how you’re allowing yourself to experience it, how you are receiving it."

Ok, so I am responsible for my suffering. Fair enough, so what should be done about it?

"Similarly, whatever the past activity or karma is, is also not in terms of action, but in terms of the volition with which it is done.""

Ok, so the karma (to use that word) is based on volitions, not on externally visible (so-to-say) events. E.g., to kill a person is not a "sin" if it is done with compassion (e.g., to ease that person's suffering during terminal illness). That is how karma is usually defined in spirituality.

"What is happening with you all, if you are a little open to me or to the teaching, is just that the volition is taken away, so you just do what is needed."

This is typically known as the surrendering of the will and is a common theme in spiritual circles. After the surrender, "what is needed" is dictated by external forces instead of one's own mind. Needless to say, the external force in this case is clearly spelt out as "me or my teaching".

"That is what awareness means; there is no volition. Where there is no volition, there is no karma."

So, in other words, "surrender your will to me, and stop worrying about any future punishment that you might get if you act on your own."

"You are simply doing what is needed; that is what acceptance means."

In other words, "you are simply doing what I tell you to do, that is what acceptance of me means."

"That is what unbounded responsibility means, that you don’t have any volition about anything."

It is beyond me how a surrender of one's own will can make one "unboundedly responsible." Reasonably speaking, if I surrender my will, I am not responsible for my actions. Only my master is responsible. And presumably, if he is "beyond karma", then he can be as volitional as he wants to be without accumulating any karma. In other words, God need not be worried about the consequences of his actions, but mortal humans should, as long as they haven't surrendered themselves to him.

"In every given situation, simply do whatever you see as needed, as per your awareness, as per your capability, you just do it."

This clarity of thought, where one acts without conflict, requires an extraordinary amount of self-awareness, enquiry and investigation. It is extremely hard, for a normal enough person, to act without any contradiction, confusion or malice.

Unless, of course, one has surrendered. This is the easy way out. Then one need not bother anymore. Just do what one is told to do, or what is required to achieve the ends which have been specified by the master. There is no confusion about the ends anymore. That is why the strange attraction of total surrender: it is the quickest way out of confusion ... and into ... subservience.

"You build karma only with volition; whether it is good or bad, it does not matter. The strength of your volition is what builds karma."

Clear enough.

So the exhortation is to surrender.

"People ask me, again and again, the same question, "What’s your mission?" When I tell them, "I have no mission; I’m just fooling around," they think I’m being frivolous."

In other words, I am God. I am not acting for furthering myself, I have no agenda of my own. This is all a leela (or play) for me.

"They don’t understand this is the deepest statement that I can make about living in the world, because there is no particular volition – just doing what is needed, that’s all."

This is what is called being dishonest about one's motives. If he wants to bring englightenment to the world, he should be forthright about it. Teachers before him have had the gumption to admit that they were world teachers. On one hand he assumes the title of a "sadhguru" (or the True Messiah), and then he says he is fooling around.

One should ask him: is he fooling around answering such questions? And if he says yes, and if people still keep asking him questions in all seriousness, then probably they deserve to surrender their will to him.

And, "just doing what is needed." Needed for what? Why the need for having a marketing website complete with an online shop, and worldwide tours and lectures, and hobnobbing with powerful politicians and having expensive retreats for the rich and the depressed and going to spiritual conferences with other spiritual leaders (or tricksters, such as Deepak Chopra)?

"In this, there is no karma."

"Whatever you go through, there is no karma. Whatever you are doing is just happening, as it is needed."

"So karma is only in terms of your need to do something. When you have no need to do anything, and you simply do what is needed, there is no karmic attachment to it. It is neither good nor bad."

In other words, I am God, and you surrender to me.

=================================

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Harmanjit,

You are correct in pointing out that there is a slight disjoint betwween the questions and answers. There are editors' failures. If you ask Sadhguru a question, there is no knowing what he'll say but it have never been that he does not answer and answer in full at that.

Sadhguru also says he always answers the person and not the question, meaning that, not necessarily mentally, what is it that this person asking, what is it that he needs.

Thirrdly, what he tells the person next to you could be very different from what he tells you.

Now, you could call all this as inconsitencies and dissmiss everything that Sadhguru says, or benefit and enjoy this play of matters.

Now, don't call me a devotee, unfortunately, I am not. I am saying this from watching him quite closely for a long time and seeing how this has been working with me.

But, of course you are right in pointing out the fault lines.

Wanderer said...

Why am I living on the surface? Who is living on the surface? Is it the core? How can the core live at the surface? Is it not the core? But then what is it? How to deepen this experiencing?

According to my research and insight, the surface phenomena is the generation of emotions and such by the mind in rapid sucession. Most people feel themselves to be the mind, but a better statement is that one is not the mind, but some kind of a percieving entity. Thus when the mind shuts off as in deep sleep, there is nothing to percieve but the percieving entity still does exist, however in the absense of perception it cannot know itself. In this viewpoint the mind is like any other sense and work organ, and not indeed the you. Thus nobody does live on the surface(mind), indeed and the core is the core and the surface is the surface. However the surface can become diseased as explained below and thus the core may keep it ship shape. Note that the construction of the body is such that pain generally indicated disease or imbalance.

In my own research in the matter Karma
is the set of mental habits. Thus you evaluate a new situation in terms of past experiences and responses, and so the mind tends to gravitate towards a repeated behaviour. Sometimes a whole set of behaviours is triggered which is painful, or is like a disease of the mind. Enlightenment consists of the wisdom, that since you are not the mind, but the perciever and the actor, you are not bound by the past actions and can act arbitrarily freely irrespective of the mind. In fact the karma being a set of habits will wash off pretty quickly through disuse, though may be painful in the beginning.

Anonymous said...

Dear Harmanjit,

Have you ever sat with Sadhguru and asked him a question yourself? If you get the chance, I would recommend it. Like the person who responded earlier as "snonymous," Sadhguru does answer the question for that one particular asking it. If you had the chance to challenge him on a question you would see that all the answers you're asking would come. Sometimes Sadhguru says things that are quite difficult to swallow. He can be brash and wittingly sarcastic, but never have I seen him way off the mark.

harmanjit said...

I have personally confronted Sadhguru in a conference in New Delhi regarding his ideas about children being born innocent and the ideology that "I am not the body" and his remarks were merely designed to impress his devotees, not to simply and rationally explain his ideas to an enquirer.

He acts like a Guru, not like someone who is interested in clarifying a question for everybody.

The objective answer to a question has to stand on its own, no matter, who is reading that answer.

If children are indeed born innocent, for example, this statement cannot change from one answer to the other.

Unless of course, the prime motive of the discussion is not intellectual clarity (as intellect is usually disparaged in spiritual circles as being not just useless, but a hindrance) but surrender, in which case, a disparaging and tailored manipulative discussion by the lofty teacher (as was apparent in discussions by Krishnamurti, Rajneesh or as of today, Mr Jaggi Vasudev) seeks to bring humility into the student by leaving him to admit that he knows nothing and he CANNOT make the situation better except by surrender.

Wanderer said...

I read Jaggi's posts after looking at your article here, and found him to be quite coherent and noncontradictory. It seems you are looking at what he says with a preconcieved notion in mind, and no wonder that is what you conclude in the end. I am surprised that you do not realize that nothing is really objective in the world. His talks do reflect a good level of intellectual maturity and logical consitency though.

Wanderer said...

See for example his comments on following and loyalty
http://www.ishafoundation.org/inspiration/default.asp?id=75

I must add that I did not even knew this person before I read it here on your blog so you cannot accuse me of being a blind follower.

Anonymous said...

Should I even comment, dear harman ? I am a follower and a devotee in any case. (a "blind" one by your standards) It would be much better if you confronted sadhguru in person with all these comments and questions. I would like to see your comments about the "cults" that you've been a part of and the "gurus" that you have been a shishya of. Those would be more worthy and show your level of intellectual maturity and honesty. don't need to id myself - you know who i am...

Kannan.V said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
whoami said...

hi harman:
i liked your analysis.
i too think that the answers contain
evasion from the question. they produce an illusion of the right answer, however due to the fact that they do contain lot of truths (or half-truths) and internally consistent and well-said (with jokes and all). that is why there is so much of followership. the produce an illusion of a right answer - and it is a centuries old phenomena. it requires a keen mind equipped in logic and not greedy to find a quick answer and unafraid of authority to find out the logical fallacies in such matters.

as i said there are some truths in the answer. they don't stand the scrutiny of logical mind though.

another point regarding "just fooling around". how does richard's statement that he is "having fun here" compare with this?

cheers
srini.

harmanjit said...

Richard having fun by talking about actualfreedom is still possible, as he is not setting himself upto to be an evangelist by taking lecture tours and whatnot.

I think Richard actually is extremely sincere in answering most questions and does not evade.

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys,
If you guys are discussing about Jaggi, it is not worth ur time. Anybody who has analysed his body language, remarks and answers can make out that he is a big fraud. His ultimate aim is to make u surrender, and make u give him all ur wealth. I have known him very early days and took me sometime to realise how big a manipulative cheater he is.
Note that he would encourage u to get close to him only if he realises he would benefit from U... viz U should be wealthy, influential or talented enough to serve in his organisation.
Next time U guys meet him, ask him how his wife died. Many believe he murdered her. I find it very hard to believe when someone says his wife died in deep meditation... "she went so deep that she did not know how to come back" (?????). One of us should try to give such a reason when someone in our family dies... see how the police would react.
He has ruined so many families and still continues to do so... hope Urs is not one among them.

Baljinder Riar (sunny) said...

Hello Harman. I like your analysis. I know that language has its limitations in expressing what one wants to express like the chinese guy Lao Tze did not even want to write a book as he thought its hard to write the experience and people can draw wrong meanings, which has happened with most of the religions now a days making people supersticious etc etc..
I went to this so called Sadhguru's site after reading on your blog. I have found many similarities in what he is saying and what Rajneesh used to say. But I would still like to meet this guy before deciding. I actually went thru information on the so called dhayanlinga which he has created by energising it so that people can benefit. I myself dont decide quickly unless I experience. So I will go to coimbtore next time to that place and also try to meet this guy coz my understanding is that its not hard to recognise these kind of people.
I did like most of your blogs. A thinking mind is always good and finds its way.
There is no much to write about these kind if topics but may be som other time.
regards
Sunny

HOURS said...

Religion and spirituality are a matter of faith as it deals with metaphysical things. Whether the preachings/teachings of a guru or mullah or priest (LEADERS) is good or bad and right or wrong depends on the listeners mindset.

If what the leaders say is in sync with some of your issues/concerns or notions, then you would actively listen and become a follower; otherwise you would go through the motions waiting for the first chance to escape.

What Isha foundation and numerous other spiritual and faith based organizations are doing is not something new. Its just a leaf out of christianity's book. Its called marketing. Just make your message simple and easy for any one to understand; for example Christianity says that Jesus christ is the only god and has paid for all your sins, so all you have to do is trust in the lord and you get a free pass to HEAVEN. Now, compare this with the hindu teachings of its one god of many forms and everything in this world is god and Karmic cycle of life and death etc., No wonder, Christianity became the number one religion of the world till Islam with their marketing strategy started to outshine them.

Jaggi says that I am the teacher and you submit to my teachings to have a happy life... does it sound similar.

For the record, I am a theist and believe in GOD, but not in Religion or any of these god men. Its elementary, spiritual experience can only be realized, so why bother following just one persons instuctions; start reading about spirituality from different cultures and faiths and arrive at your own conclusions based on your experience. Just as I was saying, its easy to buy a pre-cooked mmeals instead of starting from scratch and cooking your own.

Have fun discussing this subject. Its worth everyone's time.

HOURS said...

FYI: I am very much aware and acquainted with the ISHA foundation as my in-laws are full time members, volunteers, yoga teachers and residents at the ISHA foundation near Coimbatore, TN.

I have observed the phenomenol growth of the organization since 1994, when they held their initiation classes in Chennai. In the early days from the outset the classes (at least from maketing point) focussed simply on teaching Yoga to treat any medical ailments. However, when I looked at the different stages that one has to go through before learning the actual exercises, it was clear that the focus is in roping followers.

Kudos to their marketing strategy, the corporate world could learn a lot from these folks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Harmanjit,

you seem to know grey areas of life better than sadhguru. I think you should use them analysing your life than Q & A of sadhguru.

It is always easy to point mistakes which come out of lack of intelligence. If I say some thing about quatum physics if you do not know it there will be many questions for you and so on... questions come from lack of knowledge and analysis is done only by your logical thinking. even Einstien used 6% of his brain out of 100% and you an I use only 2-3% of brain. Now to confirm this is wrong or this is right cannot be stern which come out of 2% brain so instead of making conclusions and finding mistakes... please post your answers along with sadhguru's answer then may be you will be satisfied with you answer and then compare with your own logical thinking and post back.

It is all Maya.. more you dig in more you will be confused. But if you do not dig Maya you are always in cycle there will be no way out...think think think think and answer and see if you are not disturbed my response :-) enjoy the distubance it is life and it is Maya...if you can.. else you know how agitated you can become..then try to control it... can you.. be sincere.. so please with all due respect for your analysis do not thro mud on things which you do not understand... I follow his teachings very much and it is not offending to find you response but I want you to realise what you are doing to your self... please put your analysis brain in answering theri question rather than anything else like disecting guru's answer.

Anonymous said...

Dear Harmanjit,

I would like to reply to your and many of your queries from an impartial observer standpoint.
As many of you feel, Sadhguru expects people to surrender themselves and their weath and talent to his organization. Let us look at it. What is he doing with this? He doesn't experience any physical pleasures..Most of the money and talent from the organization goes to upliftment of the poor and children and go green initiatives. So how does he benefit from that?

Sadhguru, as you think, is not somebody who "answers" your questions..for that matter any Guru is.. If you ask him how to be aware.. he should simply say "Sorry You cannot be aware" .. Because that is the truth, but he puts in a different way.
I have attended many of his meetings and read several of his books.. Most of the times he would say, " All these discussions and Q&A doesn't take you anywhere - words don't do any help to you"..Which is the realiy!!! Just do your Sadhanas , you don't have to hear what he says, listen to his lectures, join any organization, or become his disciple. Instead of looking at others, start looking at yourself.
He still conducts lectures as there are still so many people out there, who think only "wordly" answers can solve their problems. They only do to some extent.

Sadhguru says, "Anything worth knowing in the world, can be known from within" - You don't have to pursue anybody for a conselling for questions like "how to handle my life, how do I become Aware,"
The answer comes from within you, but only by practising your Sadhanas consistently.

Richard said...

I'm glad I came across this discussion, it's very revealing. As long it is carried out with a smile on our faces there is no problem, after all, everyone here is just trying to get at some truth and we are all doing it because we beleive that doing so will make us happy. If we start insulting each other in the name of truth then this is self-defeating. I would like to throw my own two cents into this thing.
Okay, you will already be trying to ascertain whether I am a skeptic or a true-beleiver. Let me just say that I did some Physics at University, live in the real-world with the traffic jams and all the rest of the bullshit and I have attended one of these Isha Yoga courses. I have simultaneously maintained an interest in the sciences and in practicing the yoga technique which I learned. Actually it was a kind of subjective experiment for me to maintian the practice, just to see what would happen. The reason I did the course in the first place was because of a scientific study carried out on the effects of this yoga. Here is the link to that study for your edification. http://www.ishafoundation.org/news/happenings/Shambavi.pdf
So what actually happened after attending this course and doing the meditation/breathing thing regularly for about a year? Have I been ensnared in a massive scam? Did I send all my money to Sadhguru so he can realise his vision of a global yoga movement? Did I turn my back on my family when they didn't agree to swear allegiance to the one-true god, Sadhguru? Did I become one with everything that exists? No. Nothing like this has happened. I did however have a better year than I have had in a while. Whatever you believe about the man, the yoga which you learn works if you practice it. And after a while you see that it can't fail to work, because it is just based upon a sound understanding of the workings of the body and mind. If you take the time to look at how the condition of your brain/body affects your mind, and how your mind affects your life, then you can't help yourself taking steps to correct things, which has a beneficial effect. I had just never done that despite being a fairly intelligent, "logical" person. After a while you see that logic doesn't even come into it. Is it logical to think that just doing a bit of yoga in the morning could be the difference between a great day and another rubbish day in the rat race? No, it doesn't even come into it, but this is a truth for me. Yes I am aware that the mind is an epiphenomenon of the brain which negates any need for a spritual plane in order to explain consiousness or that the specific heat capacity of water is greater than air etc. etc. and that some of these so-called spiritual masters get caught having sex with married women,(like the very recent Nithyananda scandal), but my point is just that like in any scientific, logical study of anything, you need raw data, (what the mystics call experience), in order to uncover the truth. I suggest that if you want to find out if this guy is a fraud or not, then go do a course, experiment, see if any of it has a basis in reality. The yoga is central to understanding the truth or falsehood of Jaggi Vasudev. If a video turns up of Sadhguru sunbathing in a luxurious hotel pool area getting massaged by naked beauties, lighting a cigar with a £100 dollar bill and sipping from a glass full of the blood of 100 virgins then I will be the first to admit that maybe he is a bit of a fraud, haha, but I will still do the yoga because it clears my mind, makes me feel good where I would normally be a bit of a git, with some amount of negativity and apathy toward myself. So, have I been brainwashed? Am I being paid commission from Sadhguru? I just don't see you guys getting anywhere breaking down quotations and looking for inconsistencies or avoidances in what Sadhguru says. Of course they will be there, they are inherent in language. They will never be enough for you to prove to yourselves what you want to believe. You will need to get a hold of that tape!

Anonymous said...

Can Sadhguru comment on what is going on with Nithyananda? Nithyananda claims to be enlightened but has found to be sexually intimate with female devotees and has been dishonest with his devotees about these activities. Is this possible? What does it say about enlightenment?

Anonymous said...

Can Sadhguru comment on his own marriage? When he has been through marriage, why is he traning devotees to be sanyasins?

Anonymous said...

To anon at 10:57,

"..Most of the money and talent from the organization goes to upliftment of the poor and children and go green initiatives. So how does he benefit from that?"

How do you know where his money goes? Because he said so? Actually... Most of his money goes to his ashrams. Millions of dollars that could be used for the poor is being wasted on a dome hall in Tennessee for the comfort of western meditators...to get more of their money for himself.

"Impartial standpoint"? You're an isha devotee...so you're the last person that would be impartial about your master.

Anonymous said...

I think a few posters here are making assumptions that are not correct. I have been practising a kriya yoga (and Hatha) as taught by Sadhguru) for 4 years and have not been asked to do anything in particular; I also think the course prices are not especially high (there is no charge at all for one of them). In the UK at least they vary depending on the cost of the venue. I HAVE found the yoga (which I do at home every day) extremely beneficial. I also consider, for what it's worth, that coma or sleep do NOT exclude awareness, but they exclude the capacity to communicate awareness. Check out the stories of some people who have come out of comas.
Good idea to see the Dhyanalinga. Or at least to spend time in it (it's a nondenominational temple). Sadhguru very apparently (when you attend a talk you can see) addresses the person who has asked the question, not purely the question as an abstract idea; Iam pretty 'heady'and often want more or different answers FOR MYSELF. I guess I have to ask. He also frequently says he's not a speaker, that's not his 'thing'. Very different from Osho, who was. I have encountered teachers who seem to require a lot of money, etc, etc. He is not one. People can donate - there are a number of very effective and active charities. But no pressure.

Basically, people tend to take a position and then collect or arrange evidence to support it. Very few minds are open.

I like the guy, I have decades of experience of people working in these ways and he makes sense. Plus my life has changed for the better - not because I am in a state of excitement, but because the effects of the practices that are carefully taught in Isha leave me freer in myself, so that relationships have improved noticeably and actions are more effective.

Oh yes, and is it not OK now for a group of people interested in a particular activity to get together and build a place where they can pursue it? I refer to the strange condemnation of the people in the USA who have built an ashram. Sorry ----- so all communal buildings now are a waste of money that should have been otherwise deployed? can this be true?

Anonymous said...

Anon at 3:06- obviously an isha shill. A fundamentalist isha devotee. You seem to know just the right things to say. I know your type and can see through your words.

And I have decades of studying these types of narcissistic psychopath cult leaders who prey on the hopes and dreams of their devotees. Jaggi is one of them. You don't follow someone just because you 'like the guy', which sounds like cult behaviour.
No one should trust this man. Watch out!

kamal kumar said...

very Good Analysis.
I have done some courses in isha and read some of his books.

What i understood was he contradicts our tradition and he knows only a spoonful about spirituality, in short he is only business. Is he a criminal too, is yet to be revealed.

In one of his books he says, 90% of the people die immediately after attaining enlightenment. But he wants everyone to attain it.

If possible i request you to kindly analyze this statement too for my benefit.

Anonymous said...

If you want answers to life and spiritual questions, gurus are not the solution. Consider buying these books:
1. a copy of the Satyartha Prakash (published 1875) in Hindi or English or download free from http://www.aryasamajjamnagar.org/satyarth_prakash_eng.htm
2. Buy or download free the Hindi book 'Utkrisht Shanka Samadhan' from http://www.darshanyog.org/callfile.php?no=208