BENGALURU: Sadhguru is well-known for being a spiritual master and as the founder of Isha Foundation, which offers yoga programmes around the world. His latest book, Flowers On The Path, is a collection of articles written by him over the years, on topics ranging from beauty and humour to clarity and wisdom. Excerpts from an interview:
What does spirituality mean to you?
Spirituality does not mean any particular practice. It is a certain way of being. When one’s ability to experience life transcends the limitations of the physical, we say you are spiritual.
The essential nature of the physical is a defined boundary. The very nature of the human being is such, there is one part of him – the instinct of self-preservation – which constantly tries to define and protect this boundary. But there is another dimension of the human being that is always longing to be something more than what he or she is right now. The human desire to transcend physical limitations is natural. Journeying from the boundary-based individual body to the boundless source of creation is the very basis of spiritual process.
Do you think youngsters today are more spiritually inclined than the previous generation?
It is always the youth of the world who have more aspiration to seek than any other population. When one is youthful, he or she is willing to venture into dimensions which are not yet. So, the youth are natural seekers. The most important thing is to offer spiritual seeking as it really is – a scientific process of wanting to know life in deeper dimensions than we know it right now.
Spirituality is a way of exploring the ultimate possibilities of being human. It does not even need any goading or inspiration. The youth are natural candidates for the spiritual process. So, there is no youth who will not be ready for this adventure if it is presented properly.
What purpose were you hoping the book would serve to its reader?
Our goal is not just to sell a book but to bring transformation in a human being. Most human beings have taken to this everywhere in the world, that if small things go wrong in their life they will find someone to blame. If big things go wrong, they will find a big man up there.
This is the only culture in the world which has always taught people that your life is your karma. That means your life is your making. This has been our fundamental movement always – to help people scientifically understand how we can exercise this choice so that our life is in our hands.
Do you ever go back to your old writings?
As a youth, the unstructured nature of my mind naturally found succor in the ways of poetry because it could never find a logical, prose kind of expression. Because of this, poetry became so much a part of my life. Probably most of the poems that I ever wrote have never been read by anyone because I wrote them on a whole bunch of small sheets of papers. Once in a small fire accident where my car got burnt, over four hundred poems got burnt as well. Maybe I could recollect a few of the past ones if I wanted, but generally only what I have written in the last twenty years is all that we have. Anyway, the pace of my life is such that there is no time for the rear-view mirror.
Do you edit as you go?
Most of the time, people who live in the ashram assimilate what I have spoken and it is printed. So there is a certain rawness to many of my books. Because it worked for people who have seen me speak, now when they read this, it is just like I am speaking to them. Transitioning from spoken word to written word is a different thing altogether. When you speak there are gestures and expressions that you do beyond the words, which are lost in the written word. At the same time, the written word is for a larger reach. So for this book, I have almost read through every piece of it at one point or another, making it like a written word without changing the context of what is being said.
Do you have plans for another book at the moment?
Of the many things that are happening, the making of a book on death has been interesting, to say the least. Birth being a fatal ailment, no one escapes the release of death. No one shall fail in this life but all shall pass. This assurance of death is suffered and too many are terrorised by the same.
To know the phenomenon beyond the perishable mortal coil, to know life in all its dimensions, death or the constant awareness of death is a must. It is only in the awareness of the inevitable nature of death that you will bite deeper into the fruit of life. A book on death has been long overdue.