Question: Sadhguru, sometimes I wonder, if I die without reaching the Ultimate, will all the effort of doing the practices go waste? Or will this somehow help me in my next life if I don’t succeed in this life?
Sadhguru: You have decided to fail? That means you are not only choosing to waste your life, you are planning to waste my life too. I don’t take that kindly.
It is just a question of realisation. Realisation is not an achievement. Realisation means you see something that has always been right here. You suddenly realise you have been stupid all your life. If you remain oriented, you will realise. But if your orientation keeps changing every few minutes, then of course realisation will only happen in another life. However, what makes you think next time you will come as a human being? Suppose you come as a cockroach, do you think our future teachers will talk to cockroaches? I have not trained them for that!
Do not postpone it. You do not know when your life will end. If you maintain the direction, invariably, it will happen. But most people keep changing direction—one step forward, one step backward.
You only have to maintain the direction. The rest will happen because it is not something that you or I do—it is the nature of life to realise itself. You just have to maintain your focus in the right direction. Holding the direction means first of all to keep everything that you believe aside. You may feel like an idiot then, and it is good for you to know you are an idiot. The difference between being enlightened and being stupid is—an enlightened person knows that he is stupid; a stupid idiot does not know he is a stupid idiot. That is a world of difference. The problem with people is they do not know the trap they are in. If they knew, they would not stay there.
Before you go to sleep tonight, sit down and mentally keep everything that is not you aside. Starting with your nationality, your religion, your thoughts, your emotions, your ideas, your philosophies—keep everything aside. Do this every day. Just enter sleep as a piece of life—not as a man, woman or whatever else. It will take a little work, but just do it.
Start from tonight, because who knows if you will wake up or not. Over 1,50,000 people’s lives end every day. What is the guarantee it is not going to be you or me tonight? Do not think death is something that happens only to other people. You and I will die. Every day, approach your sleep like death. Tomorrow morning is your next life.
So, approach sleep like death. Just keep everything aside—your body means nothing; your mind means nothing; your thoughts mean nothing; your emotions mean nothing. All the different identities that you have taken on mean nothing. Some thoughts will come—just ignore them. Anyway, they are not yours.
You do not have to orientate yourself heavenward. If you look up, you are looking in the wrong direction.All that needs to happen is that you shift your attention from what you have accumulated to what is really you. That is all the orientation you need.
Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, a bestselling author and poet.
He was conferred the Padma Vibhushan in 2017. Isha.sadhguru.org