Sadhguru - More Than a Life
How much do I want to read more? 8/10
I like this approach of the seeker toward his guru, that is, without being forced, without authority.
I'm intrigued with what he got from his interaction.
Going from intelectual to what actually really happens.
I thought gurus happened to other people.
I had read enough to know all that stuff about masters appearing when students are ready.
And yogis? I thought they were a bit like unicorns. Near mythic. I thought they were to be found in remote Himalayan caves or in exotic spiritual literature.
Then I met Sadhguru.
I learnt that enlightenment isn’t the sole prerogative of the Buddha or Christ or Akka Mahadevi or Ramakrishna.
A man who can read minds, heal, talk about past and future lives, yet remain rational, scientific, down-to-earth, devastatingly logical. A man who can discuss karma, nirvana and ancient spiritual traditions, yet remain liberal, provocative, contemporary.
How lightly he wears that wisdom. his time, his attention, his energies. he gives of himself without being patronizing, without ever allowing the recipient to feel diminished.
that presence spells so much more than what contemporary culture eulogizes as charisma.
He is quite simply the most alive human being I have met. Also the most spacious, capable of turning from robust to refined, energetic to still, earthy to subtle in a moment. That also makes him the most remarkable person I know.
I can divide my life into two distinct phases: pre- and post-Sadhguru.
But what did I want to know exactly? Well, the regular stuff. Death, birth, suffering, the universe—all those mysteries, all those terrors. Questions that the Buddha and every young person before and since have started off with until the distractions of formal and worldly education take over. Nothing I learnt in school or university ever seemed to address those questions. But education raised plenty of others. It offered enough fodder to keep me busy and occupied for a long time.
I started dying.
Not physically. Not psychologically either.
I watched all the moments I had considered valuable—the triumphs, the elations, even the rages—turn hollow.
I went to bed each night hoping things would be different the next morning, and would wake up to see my body stiffen into carcass-like inertness. And yet, I was alive like never before, watching what was happening with horrified mystification.
It was the calm of returning to health after a long illness, of having lost everything and knowing there was nothing more to lose.
Books, love, travel and art were all very well, but what really mattered, I now knew, could be only this: making sense of death and, in the process, hopefully making sense of life as well.
My primary self-definition now was seeker, not poet.
From St John of the Cross to Ramakrishna, Krishnamurti to Ramana Maharishi, Nisargadatta Maharaj to Meister Eckhart, and more.
reading wasn’t enough either. What I was seeking.
ot accidentally, but consciously.
Like so many modern seekers, I have felt a long-standing affinity with Buddhism, and decided to give the Vipassana meditation course a try.
I realized I wasn’t yet ready for this level of austerity.
What had grabbed the mind still hadn’t grabbed the gut.
I wanted guidance from someone I could trust.
Then in May 2004 I attended a talk by someone called Sadhguru.
I had no particular expectations. But I was curious.
I don’t remember much of the content of that evening’s talk. But I was riveted. It made immediate and enormous sense. It spoke to where I was directly.
What appealed even more was how it was delivered. Not mannered, not self-conscious, refreshingly devoid of scriptural flourishes, it was incisive, wry, funny, unsentimental. It was clear that the speaker wasn’t sectarian. And he wasn’t asking for faith—or recruits.
I was struck by this man, seated with easy grace before a mike, by his uncompromising forthrightness, the mix of dry humour and warm human sympathy that emanated from him. Something about him seemed familiar. I can relate to him, I remember thinking. I know where he’s coming from. He could even be a friend.
‘Every human being is spiritual. The only choice you have is between being spiritual consciously or unconsciously. Do you want to walk with your eyes closed or open? That is the question.’
The path to which he was inviting us was a path from compulsion to choice, from the habitual to the conscious, from unawareness to awareness. It appealed. More vitally, he seemed to know what he was talking about.
For all my scepticism, I thought I knew the smell of integrity when it came my way. I enrolled for a two-day Inner Engineering Programme that weekend.
The knowledge is not theoretical.
He needs no textual verification of his insights. His own inner experience, he says, has never failed him.
‘It’s obscene to keep giving and not receiving. This is a typical cultural expression for some people. There’s a very deep sense of gratitude that they want to express. It means something to the giver, and I don’t want to take that away.’
‘It is just like a plant, not longing for water emotionally or mentally—it is a deep energy longing. If there is a drop of water there, the roots will find their way to it. There is no emotion in it. There is no mind in it. It is a different kind of intelligence … It is just life’s longing for itself.’
‘It’s a totally wrong perception that you have to be fired up to do something,’ he once told me. ‘Only small things get hot to do things. I’m a cool fire. That’s how existence functions. It’s cool, but creative. The really big things in existence never get hot. Take the Creator, for instance. You’re born, you die—He’s fine either way.’
What is responsible for that heightened sense of aliveness that I and so many others feel when he is around?
Is it his personality? Is it his intelligence?
I have finally concluded that it is simply his presence: a spontaneous, intense and unencumbered all-there-ness. One recognizes it as the presence that would surface if we were all to drop our camouflages, our agendas, our ancient terror of our own vulnerability.
You know you’ve found the real thing, even before you know what it means.
This book is an attempt to share some of that sense of wonder that these years of knowing Sadhguru have been about.
More fundamentally it is an attempt to tell the story of an exceptional man.
Someone asked me the other day: what exactly does it mean to have found a guru? I’m still finding out, I told her. But it’s a bit like finding out that the silence of the world in response to the human cry for meaning isn’t entirely unreasonable.
Why should the mysterious knowledge of the self be limited to a few? Why can’t everyone be chosen? I remember his answer clearly. He replied: ‘It would be more accurate to say, “Many are called, but few choose”.’