Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev: When leaders are insecure, they are are fearful

29 Nov,2013

 

By Vinod Mahanta & Moinak Mitra

 

He started out in the ’80s as the mystic on a motorcycle living on the proceeds of his poultry farm and conducting yoga classes across Karnataka. Today, Jaggi Vasudev or Sadhguru as he’s endearingly known, sports a flowing salt-and-pepper beard, drawing droves of disciples to his trademark ‘inner engineering’ brand of yogic intervention. Also a wag in his own right, the 56-year-old English literature graduate from Mysore University has an innate ability to simplify complex thought. So when we caught up with Sadhguru recently, he made no bones of calling a spade a spade, with a twist in the tale.

 

Edited excerpts:

When business leaders come to you, what do they ask?

Some may come with trouble in their area of work but most come when they are doing well. When they are doing well, they are most troubled. It is only when you trouble yourself a lot, you will be doing well. Many of them have reached a level of success which they never have imagined.

 

True, that may be the case in India after the 2004-2008 boom years…

Yes, but they see that nothing is really great, except that they are doing a little better than some other guy. Many are surprised they have reached a place they have never imagined possible. Still, they are not happy or peaceful. So this is a very important lesson for everybody else. Are leaders up to their responsibility in modern times? When you have such a privilege, in business or politics or anything, it affects so many people’s lives. The moment you begin to see that your work is important, who you are needs to be worked at. This is what spiritual process means. If you have the privilege of being a leader in any sphere of life, you must have a way to turn inwards and fix your experience of life. If this is done, then you will see when a human being is joyful. So for a leader, it is very important that he is in the best of emotions within himself all the time because everything that he does, affects so many people. So there, our (India’s) leadership has not worked at all, especially in the last five years. When leaders are insecure, leaders are fearful. He will then do what is good for him only. Only when he is joyful, when his experience of life is not affected by what’s happening around him, he will do what is needed. We want leaders who will do what is needed, not what they need.

 

Are leaders up to their responsibility in modern times?

When you have such a privilege, in business or politics or anything, it affects so many people’s lives. The moment you begin to see that your work is important, who you are needs to be worked at. This is what spiritual process means. If you have the privilege of being a leader in any sphere of life, you must have a way to turn inwards and fix your experience of life. If this is done, then you will see when a human being is joyful. So for a leader, it is very important that he is in the best of emotions within himself all the time because everything that he does, affects so many people. So there, our (India’s) leadership has not worked at all, especially in the last five years. When leaders are insecure, leaders are fearful. He will then do what is good for him only. Only when he is joyful, when his experience of life is not affected by what’s happening around him, he will do what is needed. We want leaders who will do what is needed, not what they need.

 

Throughout our education, why are we always told to chase the next level?

Where did education come from? You have an education system which was created for an occupied mission. Education was created so that you will fit into the system. You will be one more cog in the larger machine. When this goes away, we do not have the sense to re-engineer our education for the making of a new nation. Everything that you have in your education is mainly educating you to fit into something. There is no free thinking, there is no enquiry. You just read, mug it up, vomit it on the paper and get 95% and go to the next one. Education should be about exploring an individual human being’s potential as to how this human being can find cool expression. Every human being has a unique type of genius in him. Maybe, we cannot provide it for the whole one billion people, at least a segment, at least 10-20% of the population should be able to explore the full depth and dimension of what they can do and cannot do. If you don’t create that atmosphere in the educational institutions, in industries, in whatever other realm, you cannot become a vibrant and successful nation. You will always have to import ideas from elsewhere. Right now, whatever happens in America and is a success, somebody wants to do it here. Why is it that we are not looking at ourselves? That is because our education system is not exploring the genius of an individual human being. It is always designed to fit you into the system. That has to change.

 

Do business leaders work on IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and neglect EQ (Emotional Quotient) side?

Intellect is only a small part of intelligence and only with the memory background, the intellect functions. If I wipe out your memory, your intellect will be useless. It is what happens when somebody has dementia or Alzheimer’s. His intellect is not gone, only his memory is gone. None of his other banks of intelligence is gone, only memory is gone because intellect hugely depends on memory. But memory is limited. If you take your body, for example, it carries trillion times more memory than your conscious mind. Will you remember your great-great-great-grandfather? You don’t, but his nose is sitting on your face because your body remembers. You body remembers how your forefathers were a million years ago, you don’t have any such memory in your mind. I think with my whole body. There is a way to do this. It may not necessarily be a conscious thought, but there is a way to perceive information through your body because your body processes far more complex information than your mind.

 

How do you harness the other things?

If we invest a little bit of time, we can help. But when it comes to internal things, people want a dividend without investment. But without investment, there is no dividend. You must invest a certain amount of time. It will pay off.

 

India has a long history of spiritualism, but somewhere we seem to have adopted the Western materialistic culture. Have we lost the way?

Whatever the spiritual ethos the nation had, in 300 years the British systematically dismantled it. Some of the transactions that were going on between the officers here and the British empire there clearly say they aimed at these things, and they successfully did it. So where we are right now, we have a whole lot of spiritual jargon floating around on the streets but no spiritual process. That is like anything else in the world. The spiritual process works only for those who do it. Now we have come to a place in India where we only talk about it, we don’t do it. Spiritual talk is plenty, spiritual act is very little.

 

Source:The Economic Times

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