Let me start this post with a short story. Because, most of the times, using stories and analogies is the best way to illustrate something clearly and make people understand. This is especially true when it comes to discussing anything related to the spiritual path or spiritual enlightenment.
Once there lived a parrot which hatched its egg on a beautiful day. From the broken shell of an egg emerged a beautiful parrot chick. Let us give it the name ‘Vikruthaksha’. (Don’t name your child Vikruthaksha because the word Vikruthaksha means having unnatural eyes or blind 🙂 ). I will give the reason why I named it that way after the end of the story.
The name of the mother parrot is Sathyadarshini. The young parrot chick Vikruthaksha was born inside the dark cavity of a peepal tree. The cavity was completely dark except some rays of light which was entering through the opening. Every day, Sathyadarshini brought food to the parrot and took care of it very well. As Vikruthaksha began to grow inside the cavity, Sathyadarshini started to talk to her about how beautiful the experience of flying is.
Vikruthaksha asked his mom, “Mom, what do you mean by flying? I don’t understand”.
Sathyadarshini said, “You won’t understand that yet dear. Because you have never experienced yourself flying. But I can tell you that you will have an experience of boundlessness and complete freedom. You can fly everywhere and look at the green fields, rivers, streams, and forests from the above, while almost kissing those beautiful white clouds floating in the blue sky! Right now, you are here as a part of your growth. But it will not last long. Soon, you will come out of this small cavity completely liberated. Then you will know how wonderful it is”
Vikruthaksha said, “But mom, I am very curious to find out how exactly it is going to be. Can you explain that to me with something that I can understand?”
Sathyadarshini replied, “Sure.. Once you start flying, you can find your own food. You will find a variety of colorful fruits all over the world. Right now, you are not grown enough to digest all those tasty fruits. But one day you certainly can. You can experiment with a variety of fruits and taste them whenever you want. And they are pretty delicious, wonderful and extraordinary.”
Vikruthaksha said, “Oh, you mean it is all going to be tasty? Now I understand”…Sathyadarshini smiled at him, kissed him and flew out in search of food. As far as Vikruthaksha was concerned, the only thing he could understand about flying was that it was going to be tasty.
Vikruthaksha began dreaming, thinking and trying to conceptualize how flying would feel like. He couldn’t wait to feel the experience of it! Hours passed by as he kept thinking about it. It was getting late but Sathyadarshini never came. She was shot down by a hunter. Vikruthaksha began to feel hungry.
A few hours later, a human hand entered inside the cavity.. Seeing that, Vikruthaksha got scared, as it had never seen something like this before. A human voice spoke to it in the language of the parrots, “Dear little one! Don’t be scared! I am going to take you to my home and teach you how to fly. First, eat this piece of fruit. I think you must be hungry”. The hand dropped a small fruit inside the cavity, in front of the little parrot.
Hearing the word ‘fly’, Vikruthaksha got very excited. He started devouring the fruit. Finding it to be a new kind of fruit which was extremely tasty, Vikruthaksha shed tears of happiness while thinking, “This is something that mom has sent, since I wanted to fly! Oh my God, it was so quick! I can’t believe that I am going to fly soon and eat a variety of tasty fruits every day!”..
The man said, “Come on. Sit on my palms! I will take you home!”.. Vikruthaksha immediately hopped on his palms and the man took him home. Let us call this man Mayavi.
Mayavi took Vikruthaksha to his home and placed him in a golden cage that was decorated with embedded diamonds and pearls. The cage was in a brightly lit room. Once he placed Vikruthaksha inside the cage he gave him a fruit and said, ‘This is a consecrated space! See how beautiful it is.. I will give you fruits every day and you can just sit and enjoy’…
Vikruthaksha couldn’t thank Mayavi enough. Every day, Mayavi gave him some fruits. Vikruthaksha spent his time there sleeping and eating. Day by day, Vikruthaksha felt bored once in a while. But it was ok; because the routine was pretty good with all the fruits and stuff. And he always remembered what Mayavi told him, “Look, this is a very precious cage because it is made of gold and diamonds.. So, it is actually priceless. No other parrot has this privilege! They don’t understand unless they experience it.”
Soon, Mayavi brought a bigger cage and also brought more parrot chicks to the cage. Vikruthaksha lived with all those parrots and soon got trained to speak in human language. Mayavi would say something, and Vikruthaksha would repeat it. In the long run, all the parrots along with Vikruthaksha became pretty good in repeating whatever Mayavi says.
One day Mayavi said to all of them, “Dear people! I am sure you are all experiencing the effects of this wonderful golden cage! Some idiotic parrots do not understand any of this. I am on the mission of creating such undercover parrots like you so that you all start flying. Do you know the value of the gold and diamond which this cage is made of? Moreover, just think about the taste of the fruits you are eating. You would have never got all these in the cavities where you were living.”
All parrots repeated, ‘Yes Sadhguruji, we are so grateful to you!’. The poor parrots never learnt to fly and could never even think that they could actually fly out the cage into the wide open sky. They did not know their true potential and they mistook this experience of eating a variety of fruits in a well-lit cage as flight.
One day, a parrot called Kalyanamitra who lived in its natural habitat managed to peek its face inside the room through an open window. The parrots in the cage looked at it. The only thing which was visible was Kalyanamitra’s face.
Kalyanamitra asked, “What are you guys doing here?”
Vikruthaksha replied, “Don’t you see? We are trying to fly. Do you want to learn how to fly too?”
Kalyanamitra replied, “You guys are mistaken. This is not what we parrots call as flying”.
One parrot got frustrated and said, “You are an idiot… First, try and see if it works. Then judge!”.
Kalynamitra started laughing and said, “Poor guys.. No, this is not the real world.. You guys are missing out a lot. You already have the mechanism to fly and it is already inbuilt. You don’t have to rely on Mayavi to fly. First, you need to come out of the cage. Next time when he opens the door, just get out quickly and come outside”.
Vikruthaksha said, “You must experience and see. There is no use in just talking from there. Don’t ask us to get out. You try to get in. It will be totally worth it”
Kalynamitra said, “You guys want fruits right? Come out.. There are plenty of fruits out there. If you think this is what ‘flying’ is, think about what your mom told you.. You guys aren’t even spreading your wings. This guy who put you in the cage is misleading you!”
Another parrot got very angry and said, “Shame on you! It is clear that you have come with a hidden agenda. But you don’t understand a damn thing that we are talking about! It is funny that you are using logic to dissect all these things. You can’t understand all this with your stupid logic. Our Sadhguru Mayaviji is a boon for parrots because someone like him appears on this planet once in a millennium!”.
Kalyanamitra couldn’t say anything anymore. All he could do was to occasionally visit the parrots and remind them that what they think as ‘flying’ was not ‘flying’ at all. After all, Kalyanamitra didn’t have anything to lose. He was enjoying his boundless freedom and he thought that these poor parrots could taste this freedom too. Maybe one day these parrots would understand!
————–The End of the story————–
All right.. I think it will be easier for you to understand what I am trying to explain using the analogy presented in the story. First, let us look at the name Vikruthaksha. As I mentioned earlier, the name simply means being blind. When it comes to spiritual enlightenment, everyone who is not liberated/enlightened is blind; because he or she doesn’t really understand enlightenment by experience. The understanding is only conceptual and intellectual.
The spiritual enlightenment is similar to the experience of flying in the open sky. But a distinct spiritual experience is similar to eating a fruit by these parrots. The first thing that people need to understand is, a spiritual experience is not spiritual enlightenment; and spiritual enlightenment in itself is not a distinct experience that comes and goes.
There has been much confusion with the word ‘experience’ in the spiritual community. So, let me explain that first. At every moment, a person is experiencing life. Experience is inseparable from life. Your reality really is your conscious first-person experience. Because the whole world including your body and mind appear as objects in your conscious experience. When you were born, this pure conscious experience was the only reality. But as you started growing up, you developed a sense of separation from the world. Instead of a unified experience of reality with no distinctions, you started to experience the world with all its distinctions: You, other people and the world.
This separation between you and the rest of the world only exists in the mind. In fact, the separation itself is like a mirage and not real. But this separation got solidified in your mind in the long run as a part of the growth. This is not something evil, because this separation is pretty much a part of the growth and is supposed to happen. In the long run, you also develop a self-image or self-concept; with that, there also arises a need to protect and enhance this self-concept.
You then need many things to identify with and color your self-concept: Your parents, your relatives, your friends, your house, your properties, your beliefs, your values, your desires, your language, your race, your community, your country, your religion etc. The list is endless! Then each person you come across either falls into one of your groups or the outside group.
For example, a next door neighbor is an outsider because he doesn’t belong to your family. A person who speaks a different language, someone who belongs to a different religion or someone who belongs to a different country is an outsider in some way. And there is always a subconscious need to become better than another person or another group in some way. What you want to become may vary; for example, you may wish to become more righteous than others, more religious than others, more wealthy than others, more successful than others, more talented than others, more spiritual than others or more knowledgeable than others.
This also creates in-group out-group bias and prejudice. No matter how polite and helpful people appear to be, it is only on the surface; because, the hatred and anger that is fueled by the prejudice are always there in the depth of the mind, waiting to erupt at anytime. If someone from one religion makes a negative comment about another religion, you can witness this. This always happens between two groups, no matter what kind of group it is. And by your very nature, you will always want to conform to the standards of your own group. This group can be even as small as a group of friends that you belong to. And among the group of friends, there are still many divisions which can be narrowed down to ‘you’ vs ‘another’.
So, as a person belonging to one religion you may try to show that your religion is better than the others; as a person belonging to one country, you may try to show that your country is better than the others; as a person speaking one language, you may try to show that your language is better than the others; This is what creates prejudice and it is the worst poison when it comes to spiritual path.
I am not talking about what is morally correct; I am talking about what won’t work if you are on the spiritual path. So, as long as your thought processes and decision making are controlled by prejudice, you haven’t even placed the first step in the spiritual path. This is true no matter how much books you have read, how many pilgrimages you have gone, how many gurus you have met or how many meditation camps or programs that you have attended.
And at the core, you are also trying to be better than your friend or your neighbor or any person who is an ‘other’; This puts you on a hedonic treadmill and makes you run the rat race that you call as ‘life’.
This tendency to ‘become’ something always lingers in the mind, either consciously or unconsciously. This craving to protect and maintain a self-concept creates a psychological time and also a future. Your tendencies, thought processes, speech, and action are then always aligned in a way which makes you think life as a journey from point A to point B in time. A simple definition of spiritual enlightenment is breaking out of this psychological time.
But once you break out of the psychological time, you feel like a huge load has been lifted off of your shoulders. Even in your everyday experience, you would start to feel physically and mentally weightless. The experience of reality becomes pure, without clouded by the sense of a separate self. You just have a minutely subtle temporary sense of self when you interact with others and this arises only for practical purposes. But other than that, your life is a blissful vacation with nowhere to go and nothing to attain anymore. Because now, you are one with existence, which is always here and will be always here. This is the absolute and nothing is outside of it…Then the story of ‘me’ which is usually the center of a person’s experience of reality moves far away to the periphery and loses its significance. Then, the story is only important for practical purposes. When you are just with yourself, the story is no longer needed.
What people call as distinct spiritual experiences are just distinct experiences. They may be a good indication that you have progressed in the spiritual path to a certain extent. But this is just a part of the journey. There are some so-called spiritual gurus who completely ignore spiritual experiences and make it intellectual; there are some so-called gurus who exaggerate the importance of such spiritual experiences. If you want to compare the difference between the two, compare it with the flying and eating the fruit in the story of the parrots.
Enlightenment is like the flight of those birds. It is the ultimate freedom. That is why we have always called it as mukthi or moksha. Both of those words literally mean ‘liberation’ or ‘freedom’. And these spiritual experiences are like the fruits. If you crave for spiritual experiences, it is also a craving and it also binds you. But once you are liberated, each and every moment becomes worth it. You are experiencing your life itself in a different way!
Now you can guess what happened to most of the people who are following Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. In fact, it is the reality of most of the gurus and their followers. You can compare their followers with those parrots who were in the cage, parroting exactly what Mayavi says!
Each person has his own cage: for some people, the cage is the guru himself; they are too attached to the guru that they can’t let go of him and fly.
For some, the cage is the sense of belonging that they get because of the presence of other people in the community. The sense of belonging is actually a need for humans and some people just become ok when this need is fulfilled by becoming a part of their community. There is nothing wrong with that; but if you think this has got anything to do with spiritual path or enlightenment, then you are mistaken.
Yet for some, the cage is just the cocoon of various beliefs and concepts they carry in their mind about them, their spiritual path and their guru. They use all this to derive a sense of identity, which is totally opposite to what is supposed to happen in the spiritual path.
One needs to be extremely courageous to walk on the spiritual path, because he has to walk alone, gradually leaving back everything that he has thought of as ‘me’ or ‘mine’. I am not talking about running away from the society and renouncing the life. I am talking about living in the society but getting rid of identifications. Because all such identifications are like cages which stop you from flying; no matter how beautiful those cages are!
Most of the people in Isha do not seem to understand any of this, because they have become exactly like those parrots who simply repeat whatever that their guru says. It is true that some of them go through certain experiences solely because of the practices that they have been doing. Those practices are certainly useful but what Sadhguru speaks is completely misleading. Because, he himself is living in a cage. The only difference between these people and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is that Sadhguru is living in the most beautiful cage that these people have ever seen. He himself is conditioned by his own beliefs and identifications. I could clearly see this only after my own liberation.
When I try to explain this to these people, most of these people respond exactly the same way as how Vikruthaksha and other parrots responded to Kalyanamitra in the story. But I am pretty sure that there are a lot of intelligent people in Isha who will be willing to explore my blog and also the books of authentic people like Ramana Maharshi or J.Krishnamurti. So, for people who really have the ears to hear what I am saying, I am going to share something that happened recently, just to show how much brainwashed at least a certain people who are following him have become.
I had a conversation with a person who commented on one of my answers in Quora.To provide a context for that conversation, let me first include the actual answer that I wrote. Let me also explain what directed me to actually write that answer.
You will notice certain prejudice when it comes to Isha people: Prejudice against Science; Prejudice against Christianity, Christian missionaries and Islam (For any criticisms about Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, they are programmed to reply by saying ‘Some Christian missionary is paying you’); and to some extent, they are also prejudiced against the West. This may not be true about all people who are in Isha or who listen to Sadhguru. But at least, most of the people who go about commenting on the internet actually reveal this prejudice. Most importantly, they reply to any kind of valid criticisms with ad hominem attacks. I have nothing against these people. In fact, the only reason why I am taking my time to write all this is in the hope that at least 1% of people who read this will understand what exactly I am trying to say. There is more danger to listening to Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, because of much misleading information he is giving regarding science, history, and etymology.
So, I answered a question in Quora which asked ‘Why are Christian missionaries so paranoid about Sadhguru’. Before you read the answer, let me give you a disclaimer. As far as I am concerned, religion and spirituality are two different things. A large part of the holy books of most of the religions was written when people were living in a barbaric age and gave absolutely no importance to human rights. But I was hoping that at least the nature of my answer will try to see where exactly people are going wrong. I wanted to insist that love and peace have actually been the teachings of people like Jesus. When their teachings were written down, they obviously got distorted, which is a topic for another post.
The question asked in Quora: Why are Indian Christians so paranoid about Sadhguru?
I see an irony in this question…
Let us look into the meaning of the words ‘Hinduism’, ‘Christian’ and ‘Islam’…
Who is a Hindu?
I am going with Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev himself, when defining the word ‘Hinduism’. He defines it as follows:
The term and concept of Hinduism was coined only in recent times. Otherwise, there was really no such thing. The word “Hindu” essentially comes from the word Sindhu. Anyone who is born in the land of Sindhu is a Hindu. It is a cultural and geographic identity. It is like saying “I am an Indian” but it is a more ancient identity than being an Indian. “Indian” is only about seventy years old, but this is an identity that we have always lived with.
Anyone who is an Indian is a Hindu. I totally agree! (And since Sadhguru is defining the word ‘Hinduism’ by his interpretation based on etymology, I am going with the same logic to define Christianity and Islam)
Who is a Christian?
Anyone who follows the Christ is a Christian. What is the core message of the Christ?
Matthew 22:36-40 New International Version (NIV)
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Jesus only gave two commandments. And both commandments are about Love. Anyone who loves another human being as himself is a Christian.
Who is a Muslim?
The word muslim (Arabic: مسلم, IPA: [ˈmʊslɪm]; English: /ˈmʌzlɪm/, /ˈmʊzlɪm/, /ˈmʊslɪm/ or moslem /ˈmɒzləm/, /ˈmɒsləm/) is the active participle of the same verb of which islām is a verbal noun, based on the triliteral S-L-M “to be whole, intact“
The word ‘Islam’ is about wholeness and peace. Peace is a synonym for the word Islam. And I know that a person who feels complete and whole is peaceful!
Can somebody be a Hindu, a Christian and a Muslim at the same time?
Yes.. Anyone who is an Indian and who walks in the path of love and peace is all the three.
I made this pic about two years before..
But I think I made a mistake in that picture. It should have been ‘One God, one Mankind’.
We create all the imaginary divisions among people, when no such divisions exist. As far as I am concerned, there are only two kinds of people:
1)One who believes…
2)One who knows…
When you believe in something, you still don’t know. Once you know, there is no need for beliefs..
I agree with Sadhguru when he says the following:
The conflict in the world is not between good and evil, as is so often projected. The conflict is always between one man’s belief and another man’s belief, whether it is within the family or between nations. The moment you believe something, you are in conflict with the opposing belief. You can postpone it with moderate talk. But conflict is inevitable.
But then I came across this on a Sadhguru’s Youtube video, after seeing these pics in a Quora answer. The comments highlighted in red are from people who believe in Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s words:
Make sure you also read the comment from ‘Core Puncher’ highlighted in green. Someone commented me in a Quora answer that I am a shame to India, because I criticized Sadhguru. (Please note: Criticism is not hatred). But what do you see in the above comment, which is obvious?
Anybody who is paranoid about another human being, her/his race, religion, nationality, gender etc cannot be a Christian (man of love), cannot be a Muslim(man of peace) but can still be a Hindu. And I don’t see anything wrong in converting this non-Christian person into a true Christian, a person who loves another human being as himself.
But unfortunately, the followers/believers of Sadhguru has been trained to label anyone who expresses any skepticism as someone who is funded by a Christian Missionary! You will see this in many places.. Does somebody criticize Sadhguru? Is somebody skeptical of anything he says? Well, then he should be funded by a Christian missionary to do this.
I have also been criticizing Sadhguru for a while, highlighting many things I disagree based on what I have known/experienced (not based on what I believe). I know that someone at sometime is going to say that a Christian missionary is giving me money. And someone almost did that yesterday.
He didn’t specify anything about Christian missionary. But he implied that I am trying to convert Hindus to another religion. He left the following comment in my post Why Do I Criticize Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev? :
But in a way, he is right. I am trying to convert people who are religious/belief oriented to a true Christian, a person who can see and love another human being as himself. What is wrong with that? The whole post talks mainly about blind and abusive behavior.
I am certainly a Christian missionary who wants to stop such abuse and who wants Isha volunteers to understand the real meaning of the word ‘namaskaram’, a word that is used by them to greet other people.
I already explained the meaning of the word ‘Namaskaram’ in another answer that I wrote:
Every person is essentially nothing but this Truth which is beyond all the names and forms. In other words, You are That! But if you still consider and experience yourself as a person with a body and mind, then it would be correct to say that this Truth is inside you. That is why Jesus said ‘The Kingdom of God’ is within you.
This is also the reason why people say ‘Namaskaram’ because when a person says namaskaram to another person, you are essentially bowing down to the Truth inside him or the Shiva inside him. And this Truth is also your inner Guru, the true Satguru!
This inner Guru is capable of guiding you towards the truth when you are sincerely seeking liberation. This is what Buddha meant when he said ‘Follow your own light’. This inner light is Shiva. When we talk about Dakshninamoorthy, we are talking about the same inner Guru.
Do you know what is an ‘ad hominem attack’? I want everyone who doesn’t know about it to understand what it means.
Ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”short for argumentum ad hominem, is a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.
If somebody has an argument and if you personally attack his intelligence or anything else instead of refuting his views by proper objections, it is an ad hominem attack.
It is not only a fallacy but it is certainly not a sign of love and acceptance. Calling someone as ‘idiot’ or ‘stupid’ and stating such an attack as an objection to anything that you want to disagree with is an ad hominem attack.
You cannot expect such a love and acceptance by everyone, but it is certainly expected by someone who meditates or who claims to have realized the ultimate love, peace, and freedom. But I have found that most of the so-called Isha meditators always react this way to any kind of criticism by saying ‘shame on you’, ‘you are an idiot’etc etc etc.
I think all Isha volunteers recognize the picture in the right, where Sadhguru is hugging and giving love to such a prisoner, who is living in jail for whatever criminal offense he has committed. The criminal offense can be anything like murder, rape etc. How kind of Sadhguru to even shower love on somebody who has committed some inhuman crime! Right?
But I came across a tweet which was tweeted recently by Sadhguru. Let me elaborate…
Prashant Bhushan, a lawyer and founder member of the Swaraj Abhiyan has shared an article from http://savukkuonline.com on his Twitter account.The article he had shared talks about many allegations about Sadhguru with a very critical tone.
I don’t know anything about Prashant Bhushan. But whoever he might be and no matter what kind of person he is, let us put that aside. But if Sadhguru can unconditionally love someone who is in a prison, how do you think Sadhguru would have responded to such a tweet? Here is how he responded:
Please also read Sadhguru’s long message that you see just above Prashant Bushan’s tweet. This is called as an ‘ad hominem attack’.
This tweet by Sadhguru has 6,600 likes, 4,100 retweets, and 682 replies.. And most of the replies are quite abusive. You can read the replies by the so-called Isha meditators yourself. Many people called this lawyer a stupid and many people even called him as a ‘dog’ who is barking.
But I was happy to see one person who responded like this:
He wrote something on Twitter and about 600 people have abused and personally attacked him by saying all kinds of words, including the phrases like ‘he is a barking dog’.
(That is an extremely abusive phrase that Isha people use often, by the way. And I understand that Mr. Prashant Bhushan is noted for his use of public interest litigation (PIL) to support a number of causes related to corruption, environmental protection, and human rights. So, obviously, such an abuse is not something that a social activist deserves)
Well. Even a barking dog is calmed by love. Human beings have done it for ages:
Jesus, even when he was nailed to the cross because of all the allegations against him said ‘”Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” . And he promoted love. He asked people to love even their enemies.
I don’t think there is anything wrong to be a true Christian, a person who loves another person as himself. And according to Sadhguru’s own definition, an Indian Christian is none other than a Hindu Christian! Why would a true Christian be paranoid about another human being? If he is, he is not a Christian!
————–The End of Quora answer ————–
I hope what I am trying to say make sense now; ok, now please read the conversation between me and a guy who was trying to defend Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev here. I first need to thank him for commenting on that answer of mine. Because, after seeing the way he was reacting, I was completely convinced that I should write this post on my blog.
I was extremely shocked to see that he totally missed the point even after reading how much I stress love, peace, and friendliness in this Quora answer. If he has been brainwashed in such a way, then I think it is getting dangerous. I am going to use the name Vikruthaksha in place of his original name.
Here is how the conversation went:
Vikruthaksha: The difference between a fool and an intelligent man is that an intelligent man knows how foolish he is. Your life, your choice.
Me: How is that relevant to anything that is written in my answer? Please explain…
Vikruthaksha: If you didn’t get it already what the man actually wants to say after all your meticulous research, you’d never get it. At least not by anyone else’s explanation. But that’s ok. Your life, your choice.
Me: how long do you know Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev? Your reply is similar to what I would have said 14 years before…I think I have to tell you whatever that you said. Find out whether you really know what you think you know.
Vikruthaksha: No please don’t assume you’re capable of telling me anything. I don’t take instructions from people who are slave to of their own distorted mind. No thanks. You have a good day and a good life.
Me: Actually, you have made an assumption about me but completely missed the whole point of this answer…Come out of your blindness and seek your inner guru…
Vikruthaksha: I didn’t have to assume a thing about you. You already put it all up there on display.
Me: The underlying message of this post is love, compassion and forgiveness… if this answer seems to be coming from a ‘distorted’ mind to you, then it is time for you to look into yourself…
Anyway, replying to a post with an ad hominem attack instead of refuting something with valid counter arguments seems to be an incurable disease for many people.
Read the answer again if you haven’t..What exactly is the part you disagree with and why? Just because what I say is not in agreement with what you believe,you are lowering your own standards by engaging in ad hominem attack… I would be wary of anybody who wants to say anything about spirituality If he doesn’t even understand what love is.
Your assumptions about me are completely wrong! You are talking to somebody who has realized himself, who is no more as a person and who has found the divinity within himself…
Be a human first; for people who can’t understand divinity within themselves, the only thing I have to say is to learn at least to be a human. After all, that is exactly what I have tried to convey in this answer… Just open your eyes and see it…
Vikruthaksha: The way you call yourself realised. Lol. Cute. You’re so lost buddy. Maybe it’s time for you to stop pretending.
Me: let us leave my realization aside.. do you have anything to say about the rest of the things I have said? When the central topic of this answer is love, what is your explanation for your statement that this answer is coming from someone who is slave to his distorted mind? Do you even have the capability to explain? Because, you are not even realizing that your comments are adding credibility to what I have written about anybody who blindly supports Sadhguru..
Vikruthaksha: I dont care what i look like to anyone. About your answer, do you realize that your looking at this through intellect (which only knows how to disect and compare) and not the other dimensions of your mind. Your focus is on disecting what’s not when youve completely ignored whats there. And only because your way of being, you have an answer for this distorted question. What should i say to a man who chooses to be horse eyed. Nothing. My only attempt, if any, to such a man would only be to shock the man into his senses. Be productive or mind my own business. Those are my only options to choose from. And I’m the only one who allows access to those options.
Me: Read this reply carefully, because it is very likely that you will miss it..
First of all, if you are listening to Sadhguru, you need to at least pay attention to certain very important things that he has said.
I know the limitations of intellect and mind.. And I know when to use the intellect and when not to use it. And for your information, Sadhguru himself has said that he never said anyone to not to use their minds…
When I have to have a conversation with someone, the only tools I have is language, logic and intellect. When I am done with the conversation, I don’t have any use for any of it. Because, the experience of my life is not limited to anything, including intellect, mind,senses or the whole body. But the problem is, there is no possibility to translate that experience into language. It is completely indescribable; because after enlightenment many psychological distinctions disappear and psychological time disappears with it too.
The whole point of this answer is very simple. I see a lot of hatred and prejudice among the followers of any guru, including Sadhguru. You may deny you are not a follower but you are a meditator; but you have just revealed that you are too emotionally attached to a physical form and are simply parroting what Sadhguru says…
You asked me in the beginning if I have understood what Sadhguru says; I have understood many things he said more than he himself has understood it. Because, he himself is parroting Osho.
First, these Sadhguru followers have a standard convenient rebuttal for anything that they cannot refute with their intellect and reasoning. Immediately they will say, ‘you are using intellect and logic; It can only dissect’. Yes, it is true that you can only use it for dissecting. But that is not an excuse to not to use your intellect! Everything has its own purpose in the existence, including bull shit and horse shit. They help in growing plants!
If anybody who is using intellect is having distorted mind, then Adhishankara’s mind should be distorted, Buddha’s mind is distorted; and J.Krishnamurti’s mind is distorted according to this argument. Because, all these people used intellect to its maximum potential. After self-realization you can use anything to its maximum potential and the experience of reality is completely boundless!
Second, Sadhguru himself says first you need to help yourself towards your own liberation. He also says not to talk about anything that is not in your experience! But guess what, his own followers are not listening to him. You said that minding your own business is one of the choices you have. The truth is, when it comes to spiritual path, minding your own business is the only choice you have. Get liberated and then talk whatever you want! Until then, you do not have the measuring scale to judge me!
Surprisingly, whatever you said about me applies to your own mindset. The first thing you said was “The difference between a fool and an intelligent man is that an intelligent man knows how foolish he is. Your life, your choice.”… But this is exactly what all the Isha followers are doing. After listening to some of Sadhguru’s youtube talks and doing a couple of programs, they now think that they know more than the rest of the population and everyone else are idiots.. And the very reason why I started criticizing Sadhguru is because of this behavior. At least, some people who have read my blog, including some long term volunteers of Isha, have realized what I am trying to say.
Then you said I am pretending… Do you realize that you are actually pretending to know what spirituality is? Above all, you are pretending to know the state of my mind..
Until you see the peak of spiritual path, do not give in to such mind games! I saw Sadhguru way back in 2003 and I was an insanely addicted to his talks, books and Isha. From the year 2002, it is has been a very long, lonely journey and a life or death problem.. Most of the people are not really ready to do that. They are just looking for some sense of belonging; something that they can attach themselves to. Anyway, it is only after something that happened in 2014, after 12 years of journey which was almost like walking on the rope 2000 metres above a deep valley, I realized my own self, without a doubt. It is only after all that, I realized how misleading certain things that Sadhguru himself says…
If you are really listening to Sadhguru, then let me remind you of some of the important things that he himself said:
- Be skeptical and open-minded.
- Truth is the authority; authority is not the truth.
- Don’t talk about anything that is not in your experience
- Don’t indulge in judging others. Mind your own business.
These are not commandments. These are told to you simply because without understanding these basic principles you will not progress in spiritual path. The reason why many Isha people do not understand such things is because Sadhguru himself talks about many things which are misleading and have the capability to distract you from the spiritual path, In fact, he has said many things which are completely wrong about the nature of enlightenment.
You don’t have to believe me; but just be open-minded and be willing to explore my blog: http://nellaishanmugam.wordpress…. I have no reason to pretend and whatever I have written there is based on my own experience. To start with, read this: For Seekers of Liberation.
Remember, you can say whatever you want; but I don’t have anything to lose…. I have gone beyond anything that a typical human being can conceive of in his mind.
Vikruthaksha: And again, with this you’ve assumed a world of things. You’re way way off the track. I do not wish to drain my energy on someone this lost. Since you do not seem to have the tendency to pick up a cue, let me spell it out for you. I see you naked down to your confused core. I see your experience of life. And i pity you. You deserve better. I deserve better too. There are much better things to do.
Me: You are repeating just this one thing over and over again.. First, tell me what exactly is the purpose of your conversation, starting from your first comment..
Just for the sake of argument, let us assume that I am completely lost. What do you think your comment will do to me? I only see a reaction and an attempt to quarrel.. Do you even have the capability to have a normal friendly conversation here? Do you think repeatedly saying to someone that ‘You are so lost, confused etc’ will actually help him in anyway? The only thing it may do is help you to vent your frustration or anger.. If it is indeed helping you to vent your frustration, you are welcome to do so..I will be happy to be helpful.. I think this list of 100 abusive words can help you: The Online Slang Dictionary
I don’t know anything about you and your life. And it is also true that you don’t know anything about me too. I am saying all this because I have traveled in the path and I understand the mindset of the seekers. There are many things which people realize only in the passage of time..
Sumit, First, understand the difference between a normal discussion and a series of ad hominem attacks…
(He hasn’t replied yet. In case he replies, I will add it here)
This post is a wake-up call to people who are still relying on a single external authority for their spiritual growth, no matter who that authority is… My posts which are critical about what Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev says are only intended to echo Buddha’s final message: Appo deepo bhava – Be a light unto yourself.
Also read the following pages:
Why Do I Criticize Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev?
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev on Osho – The Two Diamonds to Discover your Inner Self!
Why do some people accuse Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev for copying Osho when Osho himself was a “potpourri” of various religious teachings?
Who taught yoga to Adiyogi according to Sadhguru?
Does Rudraksha from Isha foundation rotate according to the quality of food as Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev claims? Does it still work if you tie the Rudraksha on something static?
Do you think that Mr. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is a fraud?
Is Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev trying to convert Shiva Purana to science? Why does he insist that the fantasy stories in Shiva Purana and other mythological stories are based on science?
16 thoughts on “Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and Isha: Pride and Prejudice”
I understand, this is a well-meaning act. But may I kindly ask you to watch it so that it (i.e. criticizing Sadhguru) doesn’t become an obsession ? I also understand that you have transcended the little ‘me’ ( I enjoyed reading through details of your spiritual seeking and awakening) and hence, my reminder may be totally out of place. I somehow recalled Ramana Maharshi’s words that – Unless Self-Realization is stabilized, old vasanas can still obscure the knowing and cause apparent illusion again. (Not exactly these words … but something to this effect).
Again, this is coming from an ignorant. So there is a good chance that my observation itself is coloured by my ignorance, in which case I offer my apologies in advance.
Hello Sir, could i connect with you on facebook, really enjoy reading your unbiased views on everything. Great job 🙂
You have put enlightenment description just to attract the followers, for sure you can’t be awakened.
No one after getting so called enlightenment remains identified with any organisation, you still have strong identifications with Osho and always keeps on defending him everywhere.
The way Osho worked he would never had thought of such followers who will go on running missionaries in his name on WordPress and defaming others.
Now you would say you are not claiming to be enlightened, the way you said how you are feeling inside and the way you gave description of enlightenment, you are nothing short of acclaiming yourself a Buddha.
Am i defending anybody from this comment? Definitely no, but from your blog I find you completely hypocrite.
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nellaishanmugam, i found a person who i thought is enlightened. If u want u can converse with him:
https://twitter.com/KapilGuptaMD (he is active on twitter)
http://www.kapilguptamd.com/ (His website)
http://amzn.to/2b1gp6w (his books on amazon)
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I accept your views look straightforward, and I also intend to take your description of the experience of your ‘awakening’ as true.
But having read many such people’s experiences, I have come to my won inference (which could be right or wrong)
My Inference – Just, because you had an awakening in a specific way, or Sadhguru had it in a specific way – it doesn’t mean that others will also have it the same way. They may or may not.
Perhaps Sadhguru was in the same place as you are now – 30 years ago, trying to awaken people who were behind dogmatic religions – just like how you intend to help people out of so-called cult gurus
Awakening perhaps happens to someone without any reason whenever it has to happen, no matter whom the person is identified with.
One has to just keep putting the effort in the direction that he thinks (feels/intends) is right
That’s all one can do. After all.
once one reads a lot of books by the spiritual masters, its easy to start imagining one is liberated. sort of pretense, an act.
I agree with many of the criticisms that you have raised about Sadhguru – commenting on subjects that he himself does not have grasp on, comparing science versus spirituality etc. I myself have noticed that he makes mistakes about physics, linguistics and many other topics . I would love to talk to him or people close around him to say that these kind of pseudosicintific talks are not really needed but simply his own clarity and understanding from his own experience is sufficient. But I have never doubted his intentions or character itself as such just because of this. I just see this as a personality thing that he dons at a practical level as he sees fit for the tasks he takes up. It only shows that he thinks it is okay to promote his work like that which he might be willing to change it if he is sufficiently convinced that making such half-understood claims are not totally good. He is neither infallible nor all-perfect and I am fully aware of these things. I have also noticed that there are many Isha volunteers, devotees (many, simply fans) who get very defensive about Sadhguru and see your posts as agenda-driven because their very identity they have built around sadhguru is threatened by your criticisms and I can perfectly understand that.
However that does not help me to understand anything about the genuineness of Sadhguru because anyway people will get identified with one thing or the other and try to live around it. The question at this point for me is not whether people themselves are defensive or identified or otherwise with Sadguru: whether he himself is deliberately misleading people into attaching with him or not. I don’t see him doing like that.
One thing that I am not convinced is your implication that he is probably a conman who is deluded and trying to delude others. I have seen the reasons in your answers on quora but those are not proofs of genuineness of a guru but only personality quirks which I am sure is there in a person enlightened or not. I have noticed that different enlightened beings have different traits and personality, even if they all followed the path of being a witness of experience: jnana way. For example the personality of Fred Davis is extemely jolly and chirpy without too much intellectualism, ramana maharshi exhibited a very withdrawn, mellow personality (I remember Ramanar was asked by his Telugu devotee to compose Venba metre in Telugu and he was reluctant to do that because anyway it will withdraw criticism from traditional scholars. After persuasion when he composed one and criticisms happened just like he expected, he expressed his disappointment on how devotees are forcing him to do things he himself feels no need to do) and you are being an extremely analytical person who relies on logic and arguments with externalised thinking faculty (as i see from your behaviour in blogs), even though the commonness of jnana marga was there for you all.
I have also noticed when I read about siddhars and natha sages that they exhibit extremely fierce, not very polite/nice personalities in their life even though they are realised, gorakhnath or matsyanath or even siddhas like bhogar and others (of course not all siddhas and yogis must have attained the truth but simply they may have some mastery over certain things spiritually without being free; but still there is a possibility that there are fierce and intense ‘realised’ beings) These personalities of siddhas are much unlike the personalities of those who attained through jnana marga like ramana or mooji or Rupert spira.
I can never know if people like you, sadhguru, ramana maharshi, gorakhnath are enlightened or not as such. So I will rely on logical coherence of one’s behaviour and personality and how convincing their overall manner is in the light of their claim to freedom from limited self. I think that the most common mistake that people make is to think certain mastery or siddhi as indicative of a free being. The other mistake i think is also possible – to think that realisation entails a certain set of personality traits – no i don’t think so.
A few things bother me about sadhguru sure e.g. his not acknowledging his association with rishi prabhakar, his not citing the source of his entertaining content for lectures such as from osho’s and many other jokes from Americans, mystery surrounding his wife’s death is not satisfactorily explained. But in my perception there is a full coherence in Sadhguru’s words, behaviour, speech, manner and activities that still prevents me from pronouncing him as a fraud. e.g. the way he held his hand and looked at the deity in some places like chidambaram temple is the same like how his reaction was when I saw him in person in a sathsang when people were crying around him, from which I could clearly induce what kind of reactions come from him in what circumstances, the way he handled many honestly irritating questions in a session with extremely irritating journalists, karan johar’s interview and in many other contexts. I have looked at his words, behaviour and attitude in so many situations, on camera and off camera, in many interviews where the situations were very new and ex tempore (unlike his usual lecture entertainment where the content is pretty much the same), his views and outlooks are perfectly consistent with the kind of personality that i induced from all these various careful observations from my side for many years. I am a person who constantly evaluates things and never have been in the blind mode like you said you had been (buying gudi, yantras etc). But I still trust him because of this coherence in his words, actions, many on the spot reactions that reveal what kind of personality he has and so on. If you want i can recall and write a reply on what are the smallest of cues and other data that i used to inductively arrive at a working theory that most probably he is a genuine person. In my view, a simple deductive approach that starts from premises, builds arguments and arrives at conclusions is not the right way to understand human nature. Rather an inductive reasoning where all possible working hypotheses are allowed and a very strong hypothesis is one which explains all the observed data coherently and consistently. Right now I think it is possible that even though your intentions could be genuine your conclusion that Sadhguru is a conman is premature and it does not help the seeker’s cause but infact complicates the mental trust of a genuine seeker. I see that most people who have developed identity around sadhguru are doing so simply because that is what they will anyway do even if they let go of sadhguru they will do on other things. But if the guru is a genuine one the hope is that one day these people will come out of even these deluded views about their own guru and his methods. For God’s sake even the great Muruganar who composed beautiful poems on Ramana Maharshi and who was his disciple describes so poignantly how there came a stage when he had to give up his love and attachment for his own Guru himself because the actual guru is not the person Ramana himself but the truth within.
Otherwise your criticisms regarding isha devotee’s knee jerk reactions and other things are perfectly valid.
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Thank you for a detailed and clear comment… When I see his unwillingness to talk about Osho and Rishi Prabhakar, his extraordinary claims, his over attachment to India as a nation and his nationalistic views, his unwillingness to admit what he doesn’t know as something he doesn’t know, his preference to corporates over human beings which is reflected in his comments on things like Sterlite issue and Salem green corridor issue, his over-importance for external aids like yantras etc instead of pointing out what is inside, his unwillingness to take corrective measures on over abusive behaviour of his followers, his tendency to blame Christian missionaries for everything, and many other things make the hypothesis that ‘he is self-realized’ very very week. But anyway, my blog is here to offer some resistance to all these, help seekers to see and overcome their biases and give them a push to move forward… As far as I have seen, it seems to be working very well for at least 10% of people who read my blog.
I still respectfully disagree for many of those points themselves are unproblematic, some are problematic but justifiable and consistent with his personality which I have made peace with. But anyway this is beating the dead snake which I don’t want to do. Just wanted to offer you an alternative view and I think I have told what I wanted to convey. If your blog is encouraging people to be more critical and balanced within themselves then it serves its purpose and I am glad. I am just concerned about genuine people with no blindness towards sadhguru can still get confused thoroughly by a bunch of arguments and it is difficult to have the trust after that (I emphasize trust, not faith) which is not good for them. That is why my comment. Thanks for the reply. 👍
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Sure… thanks for your reply..
To you my friend…my critique:
For the rishi Prabhakar non-acknowledgement: well, there might have been some misunderstandings between them as far as the method of teaching.
For the wife maha samadhi issue: Watch the video on Sadhguru Exclusive: Cremation/Burial. he clarified it there
For similarity with Osho: Well, all realised masters are the same in terms of what they experienced, they differ in the way they word it. Even the words could be the same sometimes. Well, what new can you expect man(in terms of words) after 100s of spiritual masters who came before him and spoke eloquently on those topics? Is not the Indian constitution taken from 10’s of other countries constitutions? Do you similarly complain about that? No isn’t it?
For, over-importance for external aids like yantras: Well, he addressed this long. He clearly said the purpose of yantras is not for enlightenment, but just to create inner wellbeing(as they energise the chakras). This is done because not everyone can do those asanas in Shambavi or Shaktichalana kriya (like old age people, differently-abled, obese people, or people who are more used to pray and do a ritual that sits in an asana and do the fluttering)
Brother…why do you waste your precious life disproving someone. You could instead do something useful in terms of addressing the socio-economic condition of people. I am sure, had you been in his position, people would have found faults in you as well.
Do you want me to tell those in you
1. You seem absolutely lifeless as if joy has been stripped out of you
2. You seem to have intellectual knowledge but no existential experience
3. There is no such exuberance of life on your face. Well, that tells the karma you have accumulated.
And there could be many.
Sadhguru himself said: “A guru is not a person, it is a presence. In fact, the person can sometimes become a barrier to what he holds within in” SO he himself is aware that he could be wrong in social, cultural, political and economic issues. But when it comes to existential issues, there is no scope for agreeing or disagreeing, what matters is whether you are aware of it or not
I had a look at your blog… It is a great blog with a lot of useful stuff. 🙂 The subject matter of your blog is actually in my area of interest.
Ah, thank you for checking it out. I haven’t updated it in a while now. Looking forward to share interesting ideas there in future.
The thing is – the personality was never really the guru. I remember a quote of Sadhguru himself where he said in no uncertain terms that those who look at his personality will never know the guru. Only those who know him as presence really know what the guru is. He’s changed himself so many times even his closest disciples have no idea who he is, but only when they dropped the idea of who the guru is did the guru reveal itself as it is.
The personality is just the clothes they put on. It is part of the game really. In fact even Ramana Maharshi told very clearly that this picture of Ramana as a person isn’t really what he is. The personality itself has many pluses and defects – one day it will be gone. It isn’t something to ever hang on to more than necessary.
And in today’s world, I think knowing anyone (including you or I) through Twitter, Facebook and Youtube has become a very dangerous thing because it totally robs one from knowing the experience of any human being live.
In any case, somehow a dream key opened a dream lock for you and threw you right out of the game into that which is more fundamental than any games and rules. That alone is your truth. All other things, are, just drama. Your personality isn’t perfect either even after enlightenment, but that’s not it at all.
But every enlightened person I know was once in the game, playing by the rules — my own friend is an example. After breaking off the game, he changed his religious persona to an ordinary man and many people who knew him left him and went – some of them told me he doesn’t fit into any textbook definition of a realized soul, which was true, and yet I knew that these people had no idea what they were talking about. They ask me “If he’s enlightened, why is he building a new house?” Nevertheless simply by being in his presence many things happen that defy logic. That’s the mystery. I mean these changes catches me off guard as well. Someone who was just a devout Vaishnava now telling me “The gravitational pull of the Gita or the Bible is very strong” and I start wondering “Who am I talking to?”, but I chose not to resist. I still get surprises everyday. But this is what happens if we use logic.
The followers make a huge mistake of trying to find perfection in a limited form – that is idolatory. Plus this social media image is in my opinion an illusion within an illusion because it doesn’t ever come close to knowing a person live. Followers create and maintain this concept of a guru because at least at some stage in their life, it meant something to them. But one day this too has to be transcended. This is threatening to the ego.
There’s a funny story about Ramana Maharshi that some people came to find a labourer laying bricks for an ashram building, asked for the Maharshi’s whereabouts, went up the hill and came back empty handed, only to discover later that the brick layer was in fact the Maharshi himself!
Krishnamurthi himself was a bit of an irony – he went around giving talks where the message was that these talks weren’t really necessary at all. But what else can one say? It makes no sense logically, but its hilarious, and its true.
So I don’t see what the thing is about finding faults in a form – it will be faulty and the more you look, the more you find.
The real joke is when it turns out there was only one guru ever. The mind is truly an insane thing. There’s an element of grace somewhere in all this that sets people free of the game, otherwise you can never see it for what it is.
Knowing all this though, I think one should beware of social media. It’s a menace.
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I’ve been reading your blog’s for quite a while now. I’m a Sadhguru devotee. I’ve read a lot of your blogs and I understand every single point you’re trying to make. But what I don’t understand is your OVerall Point. I understand that Sadhguru may have read Osho, perhaps he hasn’t chosen to acknowledge him since his real guru is Sri Palani Swamy. But neither do I care…my main focus is Sadhguru’s kriya techniques and Dhyanalingam. Are you trying to say that Sadhguru is not really enlightened, or that we should stay clear of Isha…or that you’re just notifying us of a small number of problems with Isha? Please clarify. Thank you