(I am republishing the answer that I wrote in Quora)
- I don’t really like to advise. So what I am going to write here is just to make certain people think about what they are doing.
- This is only addressed to the ‘followers’, especially those who blindly follow him and show the kind of behavior which is quite incompatible to being spiritual. This answer is not addressed to the true spiritual seekers, who are earnestly seeking liberation as the only priority and doing the Sadhana and methods given by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev.
Ok, here we go…
Don’t judge others
Sadhguru usually tells a joke about a typical tea master in a teashop. The tea master talks about how Sachin Tendulkar should have played in a match and what decision the prime minister should have taken. He criticizes all the celebrities, judges them and says what they should have done. So, he sounds as if he knows more about how to play cricket and how to rule a country. But he doesn’t know how to make a good tea. 🙂
But these followers don’t realize that they are doing exactly what that tea master does. They indulge in discussions to judge who is stupid, who is spiritual and who is ignorant. They have a huge spiritual ego and just because they now know certain things that they didn’t know before and do certain things that they didn’t do before (like kriyas), they unconsciously develop an attitude that makes them to think that other people are somehow inferior. Their two favorite words are ‘stupid’ and ‘idiot’.
There is a famous video in Youtube that shows a debate between Sadhguru and Javed Akter. If you see the comments of that video, you will know what I am talking about. After reading those comments, I really can’t stop myself from leaving the following comment:
I see a lot of judgmental comments here, commenting on the intellect of Javed Aktar.. Why are you all people judging another person and calling him stupid? Who gave you the right to judge? Did Sadhguru ask everyone of you to go out and judge every person and find out who is spiritual, who is stupid and who is intelligent?
If someone thinks that he doesn’t need spirituality, he is entitled to have that opinion. If he says he is quite happy with his life and doesn’t need spirituality, let him be.
To most of the people who are commenting here saying that he is stupid, idiot and ignorant, let me ask you this question: Were you all born with some great spiritual wisdom the day you came out of the womb? Your life situations might have brought you to spiritual seeking for some reason. But it doesn’t happen to everyone simply because whatever happened in their life didn’t prompt them to seek any further.. That doesn’t mean that they are idiots or they are in anyway inferior to you…
You all have such judgmental thoughts about another person and you still think that you are spiritual? Don’t ever think that you are in anyway superior to another person just because you think you are a seeker now and that you have been meditating for a while.. There is no room for the concepts of superiority and inferiority in the realm of spirituality. You don’t have any business to comment or judge another person… Minding your own business is all about being in a spiritual path, because enlightenment is all about YOU AND YOU ONLY…
2. Don’t become a Guru yet
Another thing that you will notice from these people is that, you can get a lot of spiritual advice from these people, way more than what you can get from Sadhguru himself. They will sound as if they know even more than Sadhguru. They think they can now interpret and explain what Sadhguru says. They think they can explain to people why Sadhguru says certain things and clarify their doubts. They now think that they know more about enlightenment.
After taking just a few steps into a dense and wide forest, if you think you know the entire forest, thats really funny. But when people talk about the forest without taking a single step in, that is a big joke.
3. Don’t become a victim of ‘SIWOTI’ syndrome
Have you heard of SIWOTI’ syndrome? It is a real psychological problem that many people have. The full form is ‘Someone is wrong on the Internet’. You can witness this syndrome in many of the blind followers of Sadhguru.
According the the Rational Wiki, here is the definition for it:
SIWOTI syndrome is a strange psychological affliction affecting many Internet users – more likely an immune response than something viral.
The abbreviation comes from “Someone is wrong on the Internet“, a phrase used in #386 (“Duty Calls”). The syndrome manifests in persistent attempts at convincing people who are (definitely and indisputably) wrong that they are wrong. It is suspected that, analogous to the role of toxoplasmosis
I am reminded of a guy, whose name is S.P (name shortened to initials). He asked a question in Quora about the atheist’s opinion of what Sadhguru says about God. Then, he requested answers from many well known atheists on Quora. Once they gave their answers, he started an internet war with those people, trying to prove them wrong. Why??? First of all, he didn’t properly understand what Sadhguru says. He pretended he understood and started fighting with others. Sadhguru’s main intention was to make people understand that they should not pretend to know or believe in things that they really don’t know. But Sadhguru obviously didn’t ask anyone to preach this to people and try to correct everyone in the world. I don’t think that he ever said he is running a missionary.
4. Don’t create a Cult of personality
Definition of cult of personality from Wiki:
A cult of personality arises when an individual uses mass media, propaganda, or other methods [which?] to create an idealized, heroic, and at times worshipful image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. Sociologist Max Weber developed a tripartite classification of authority; the cult of personality holds parallels with what Weber defined as “charismatic authority“. A cult of personality is similar to divinization, except that it is established by mass media and propaganda usually by the state, especially in totalitarian (or sometimes authoritarian) states.
It happens a lot. You can also witness this in many of Sadhguru’s followers. Some of them even have a mild ‘Celebrity worship syndrome ’ .
Here, I want to mention quote of Lucretia Mott:
“… my convictions led me to adhere to the sufficiency of the light within us, resting on truth as authority, rather than “taking authority for truth.”“, quoted in “Eminent women of the age
Sadhguru himself said it in a podcast: Truth is Authority. Authority is not Truth
Why am I mentioning it here? Sadhguru is not asking you to spend your time in idealizing and worshiping him. He says that he offers tools and methods for your well being. Your valuable time should be spent on trying those methods to liberate yourself and be enlightened first. The truth that you see, the absolute reality that you realize as the result of your Sadhana is the authority, not Sadhguru himself.
5. Don’t comment on internet posts without reading and understanding it fully.
This actually happens as a side effect of cult of personality that I explained in #4. In their attempt to obsessively defending their leader, they quickly comment on internet posts that criticizes their leader without reading the full post. Don’t be surprised if you witness this in this answer, it may happen 🙂 . Because, the followers of Sadhguru do this a lot.
I recently witnessed a hilarious example for this. One guy, who wanted to support Sadhguru, uploaded a video in Youtube which was in response to some of the allegations against Sadhguru. But he actually worded the title of the video in a different way so that it sounds like the video is about defaming Sadhguru. He intentionally did that as he mentioned later in the comments, because he wanted the critics of Sadhguru to watch that video and understand the truth. The content of the video actually explains that those allegations are false. But something unexpected happened. The comments which later appeared for that video were from the followers of Sadhguru. They started abusing the uploader in their comments. This, obviously is the result of commenting on a video without watching it.
They also upvote or like the posts blindly. They don’t really worry about the validity of the content of a particular post. They just skim through the content quickly and think ‘Does this post criticize Sadhguru in any way? let me downvote it.. Does it praise him in anyway? Let me upvote it’… Sometimes they upvote a content just because it praises Sadhguru, even if the content is completely contradictory to what Sadhguru says.
6. Don’t ridicule Logic and Reasoning
This is an important point, because a lot of Sadhguru’s followers have a weird aversion towards logic and reasoning.
You may have heard many mystics say that logic and reasoning is not helpful in understanding absolute reality. You can’t understand the nature of enlightenment with logic and reasoning alone. It is true. But it only applies to the ultimate reality, the eternal witness, the absolute truth (or Brahman, nirvana or by whatever name you want to call it).. It doesn’t apply to anything that is objective. And, your thoughts, emotions, perceptions and sensations are also objective because you can witness them. If you want to understand the truth of anything that is objective, you need to use logic and reasoning .And, if you want to understand that which is the eternal witness, you need to meditate..
In the debate between Sadhguru and Javed Akter, you may hear Javed saying ‘One of the things that these spiritual leaders do is to advise people not to use their minds’.. Sadhguru, in response to that, said ‘I never said anyone not to use their minds.If you have gone to wrong gurus, then I am not responsible.’… Understood? Sadhguru never told you not to use your mind!
You may want to this answer for more clarification: Shanmugam P’s answer to There is an article on Nirmukta website that critically analyzes Sadhguru’s statements. Is the way Sadhguru was exposed by Nirmukta community genuine?
7. Done talk about anything that is not in your experience
Here is an excerpt from Sadhguru’s book ‘Enlightenment – An Inside Story’
Questioner: What is the difference between mind and atma?
Sadhguru: Oh! (Laughs). Which atma are you talking about? What atma have you experienced? You know the function of the mind to some extent, but atma — what do you know about it? You are talking about stories that other people have told you. To put it very bluntly, the moment you start talking about what is not in your experience, you are just lying to yourself, is it not? So don’t talk about atmas. About mind, we can see.
I just want to remind what Sadhguru says to these followers. Because, when they begin to act like gurus (refer #2), they talk about all kinds of things that they have heard from Sadhguru. But Sadhguru really doesn’t ask you to do that.. He wants you to try the methods that he has given to you.
Sadhguru asks you to be skeptic. He says that skeptics are the true seekers . It is true.. A believer can never be a seeker.
8. Don’t make assumptions about the questioner based on the question.
There are two kinds of questions. There are some troll questions that I have seen which presupposes something in the question itself. In Quora, I have seen such questions. They are asked to troll people, not because the questioner genuinely expects an answer.
But I saw a Youtube video where the questioner asked Sadhguru ‘How do I know if you are not Ram Rahim?’.. Do you think there is anything wrong with the question? Do you think the questioner was stupid just because he asked this question? No!
The questioner doesn’t seem to know about Sadhguru. He probably heard about him for the first time. Since there has been many abuses in the name of spirituality and since the case of Ram Rahim is very recent, it is natural for such a question to arise to many people when they meet a new spiritual leader. The questioner didn’t accuse Sadhguru of anything, he didn’t have any preconceived idea about him. He just asks a question that starts with ‘How’… But if you read the comments on that Youtube video, you will see that people accuse him of being a stupid…
A commentator starts by saying this:
Some idiots find joy in equating Ram Rahim with Sadhguru, Open your freaking eyes and go around the country.
And that comment has 16 likes!!!
9. Don’t create unnecessary prejudice against anything
Prejudice and spirituality don’t go together…Prejudice is anti-spiritual. But I have witnessed some people show prejudice against science, other gurus, people who are not spiritual etc.. The worst thing happens when they show prejudice against foreigners.
Consider the following comment that I saw online from a follower:
You shall be proven wrong, and you obviously don’t know what I mean by common sense, no physicist today can compare themselves to tesla and Einstein, why Is this? Becuse they are materialistic, arrogant and think they know everything and everything exists in the 3d world.
He is very confident that all physicists are materialistic, arrogant and think they know everything. Really? How many physicists in the world did he meet to come to this conclusion? How can all of them arrogant? This is prejudice..
Let me show you a worst case.. A question was asked to a famous Quoran to know what he thinks about Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. Here is the answer given by him:
I had never heard of him before someone mentioned him in one of his answers. I am listening to the Sadhguru videos on YouTube now. I think that Yogis like this spend most of their time thinking about stuff so they usually have some interesting insights.
This video about awareness is interesting.
And, here is a comment posted by a follower in response to this answer:
How did this follower guy come to a conclusion that the person who answered the question as ‘bitter arrogant American’? Prejudice! When I read his answer, I only sense some admiration for Sadhguru.
10. Do the programs of Isha Foundation
Enough of the don’ts… The above 9 points have sufficiently addressed them. But this point is very important…
Do you understand the purpose of all the youtube videos of Sadhguru? Do you understand the purpose of his talks and what he really wants you to do? Do you understand what he means when he says ‘I don’t have any teaching, I only have methods’ ? Do you understand how you can actually try those methods?
Sadhguru spends all his time talking and lecturing because he wants you to do the programs in Isha more than anything else. He wants you to focus on your spiritual practice. He doesn’t want you to argue with people, label them with names, start a missionary, preach others and worship him. He wants you to do Isha programs, period!
I am reminded of a guy who started an argument with me to prove me wrong on my answer that I wrote against blindly following an authority. All I wanted to stress in that answer was that no person is infallible, even if they are enlightened and that blind following is a big problem. But he seemed to be a severe victim of ‘SIWOTI’ syndrome (refer point 3). He even gave me some spiritual advice. He answers a lot of questions about Sadhguru and gives spiritual advice to many people. He even used a lot of abusive words in some comments. And I was surprised to read one of his answers where he declares ‘I have not done any programs in Isha yet’.. What???
Hope you get my point!
You may also be interested in this answer of mine: Shanmugam P’s answer to What is your review of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev (Indian yogi)?