Dubai: Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, the Indian visionary and orator par excellence, captured the thoughts of thousands in Dubai on Friday with his spiritual insights.
Later, speaking exclusively to Gulf News, Sadhguru explained the need to alter one’s inner landscape.
His new book, entitled ‘Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy,’ was launched in Dubai on Friday.
The 288-page title has already become a best seller on the New York Times and Amazon listings.
Here are some extracts from the interview:
Q: Why do we need a book on inner engineering? Why this need to constantly tell people how to live their lives?
A: Isn’t it true that the simple act of how to brush your teeth was taught by your mother or father? Even [if] they did not teach you right, even that you would not know. If they did not teach you, some people might figure it out, most people will not. When it comes to deeper dimensions in life, some people will anyway figure it out, but most people will not.
We approach all aspects of our life on the outside in a scientific manner using all kinds of technologies; it is important that we also address our inner wellbeing in a scientific manner using technologies of well-being.
For a long time people thought inner well-being must be handled through belief, fancy philosophies, ideologies, all kinds of superstitions. It is time we address our inner self also in a scientific way using subjective technologies.
Inner engineering has been propagated on many levels, various dimensions of programmes. There are online aspects and also a book now.
Q: What are the main tools of transformation?
When we say tools of transformation, there are many ways to approach this. All human experience, whether it’s peace, tranquility, turmoil, stress, anxiety, misery, joy, pleasure, ecstasy, agony — whatever the human experience, it has a chemical basis to it.
Now one way to handle this is by popping chemicals from the outside. This is happening large-scale.
If someone wants to be healthy, he pops chemicals, peaceful — there are a set of chemicals, joyful — another set of chemicals.
What we are forgetting is that ‘the’ most complex chemical factory on the planet is the human body itself. If we manage this well, and become the CEO of your own chemical factory, you will keep your chemistry blissful.
Then you will have no fear of suffering and, once that fear is conquered, only then will you dare to explore the complete depth and dimension of your life. Otherwise, you will lead a very restricted life.
Q: Your book talks about how one of the most effective tools of transformation is Yoga. How is Isha Yoga that you propagate different from the dozen other yoga practices followed around the world?
A: In the western part of the world, people understand Yoga as a physical exercise, which is a complete misunderstanding.
The word Yoga means ‘union’ and this means in some way you have obliterated the boundaries of your individuality. Right now, it’s only because inhalation and exhalation are happening that you are alive. The moment you set a clear boundary between you and the outside world, you are gone.
This is not only in respiration but this communication is happening. Every particle in your body is in communication with everything else and that is how this life is happening. When you experience, this we say you are in Yoga.
If human beings are willing to include just about every other thing into their lives, they do not have to be taught to protect it. When you eat a banana, it becomes you by getting assimilated into your body. This is not only on physical level.
In experiential level, you can experience the entire cosmos as yourself. You are in an absolute inclusive state.
There is an intelligence in every one of us that can turn a banana or a piece of bread into a human being. Even if a drop of intelligence becomes accessible to you, your life will be magical.
Whether it is health, peace, joy, ecstasy, you will be a source of it. You are still the source of it but you are waiting for an external stimuli. Right now all this is on push start, we can put this experience on self-start mode.
Q: How can one truly experience oneself without the so called trappings of wealth, fame, status and other accessories of happiness that we have collected around ourselves?
A: What we have is only for our use, and not to carry it on our heads. If you use it, there is no problem but when you get identified with it, there is a problem, then it hurts. If one is painted with super glue head-to-toe and whatever you touch will stick to you, within a couple of days you will be a mountain of a mess.
That is what has happened to people. Inner engineering is a way of washing off the glue — use the things you have, you do not have to carry it on your head.
Q: What can the common man do to balance his spiritual and worldly life and yet be successful in his career? Is there a formula for this?
A: Why are we even thinking that being spiritual and being successful are even contradictory to each other? This comes from a misunderstanding that spirituality is some kind of a disability. Spirituality is a phenomenal empowerment.
The area of success is something you can choose. You may not be as successful as someone else, but you may be successful in a different way. The more you know about a certain object of use the better you can use it.
Similarly if you know about yourself and spirituality, you will be super effective, a superhuman. In fact, if you understand this, you will realise that being human itself is a super thing.
Q: You say that the human body is a sophisticated creation where we approach it without reading the user’s manual. What is the user’s manual?
A: It is all within us. There are a million things and, even if you learn a dozen things, your life will dramatically change.
The user’s language is written within you. It’s like me teaching you the alphabet and the language. Once you have learnt that, you will learn to read the user’s manual within you and navigate well.
Q: What will it take man to co-exist and stop being abusive to the environment, for a sustainable relationship to thrive?
A: We are always trying to make nations peaceful, the world peaceful, there is no problem with any of them. The only problem is that human beings are not peaceful. If you are not peaceful, how can you aspire for a world that is peaceful?
Where is the possibility because people do not even know the true meaning of peace? They think world peace means shouting a few slogans and then going home and sleeping. But now, one at a time, if an individual is taught the fundamentals, it is a life-long commitment.
Until now we have not seen this kind of commitment. Like we teach the alphabet to a child, if we teach the fundamentals of how to be at peace within oneself to every child from an early age, you will see the world will become a lovely place.
It is a lot of work and we have neither the physical nor the human infrastructure to deliver that.
Q: The UAE has formed the Ministry of Happiness and there is a lot of emphasis on happiness amongst residents. Is this in sync with your concept of happiness?
A: Happiness is not a concept, it is human experience and human beings are happy.
It is a wonderful thing that a nation or state comes up with this commitment towards [the] happiness of the citizens. Not just to build roads and bridges, but the intent that they want to be the cause. How successful they will be is something else, but they have an intent and that is wonderful.