I recently came across Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev—Indian yogi, mystic, visionary, and author of Inner Engineering.
Who is Sadhguru?
Sadhguru is often described as a contemporary guru, since he belongs to no particular tradition and incorporates aspects of yogic sciences that are most relevant for modern-day life into his teachings and practices. His scientific methods for self-transformation have universal appeal.¹
Universal appeal isn’t an overstatement. India’s population is currently estimated at roughly 1,370,000,000 people—almost one-fifth of Earth’s total population of 7,700,000,000. It’s estimated that Sadhguru has already reached 500,000,000 people in the world with his teachings over the last four decades. That’s more people than every human living in the United States. Actually, it’s equivalent to the United States population and another half of the US population combined.
That’s a big impact and imprint one person is leaving on humanity.
What is Sadhguru’s mission?
Sadhguru has often said that ‘society is overripe for a spiritual process.’ His fundamental vision is to offer the science of inner wellbeing to every human being – a science that helps a person realize the ultimate potential within. From this vision stem a multitude of projects, programs, and methods, all towards the same aim: to raise every human being to the peak of their potential, so that they are exuberant, all-inclusive, and in harmony within themselves and the world.²
Despite his universal appeal, we must remember one thing about humanity’s greatest spiritual teachers. They are not the way; they simply point to the way. In his version of Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell described it this way:
(Spiritual teachers’) words are (in the traditional Buddhist metaphor) fingers pointing at the moon; if you watch the finger, you can’t see the moon.
The truly enlightened spiritual teachers agree. They describe themselves as devices, guides, signposts, and maps simply pointing people in the right direction:
Nobody needs to listen to me either as advice, but as a device they must because they have not generated their own devices to grow…You have a limited amount of time—because of that, you must borrow my devices. — Sadhguru
In the service of the Truth, religious teachings represent signposts or maps left behind by awakened humans to assist you in spiritual awakening. — Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
30+ Sadhguru Quotes from the Yogi, Mystic & Visionary on Seeking, Inner Engineering, & More
Curiosity about Sadhguru drove me to watch the two podcast interviews below. I didn’t expect to turn my learnings into a post, but there was too much good stuff to not share it. Hopefully you can find some signposts within it as well.
Sadhguru Quotes on Spirituality, Being, Consciousness, & Seeking
On Spirituality & Being:
- “Only when your attention and involvement is indiscriminate, does the universe open up to you.”
- “Everything is negotiable except the way I am.”
On Consciousness over Commandments (liberating your life vs fixing your life):
On Seeking over Believing:
- “You seek a guru because you want your seeking to be more effective, not because you are seeking an answer.”
- “The entire thing is just a device—it is just a method to get you into a certain state of seeking, a certain state of evolution within yourself. It is about active evolution of yourself.”
- “Believers are in groups. Seekers are alone.”
- “The more conclusions you make, the less alive you become.” (on developing/holding beliefs)
- “The very word ‘belief’ means this: That I have concretized assumptions of which I know nothing about.”
- “The mechanics of any making of a nation is the sameness: sameness of language, sameness of religion, sameness of race, sameness of ethnicity…but, India as a nation, is a nation which has completely defied the definition. We have 1,300 languages and dialects in the country, every 50-100km if you drive, people look different, dress different, eat different…everything different. If you walk into any home, there are 5 people worshipping 5 different gods and goddesses of their own. But still there is no issue because this was the land of seeking. Seeking was the connecting thread for us. That everybody is a seeker, not a believer. It’s the fundamental nature of the culture that you’re supposed to seek—you don’t believe what is written somewhere, you don’t believe what some guru said, what somebody who claimed to be a god said or a messenger said. You always seek. You use all of them as help to seek, more profoundly. A guru is there not to give you a commandment, but only to assist you to seek.”
Sadhguru Quotes on Learning How to Live, Making Life Better, & Inner Engineering
On Learning How to Live:
- “To learn to read and write a simple language, you take 12 years of schooling to read, write, understand; that’s all you’re doing in school…For this you’re taking 12 years. To transform your life you want to do it in 2 minutes. So is that what your life is worth? So if your life is worthwhile, is it not important that you invest a certain amount of time and energy?”
- “Do you want to live in a beautiful world?…Beautiful means human life here is pleasant within every human being. The question is not about what I wear, what I drive, where I live, but how I am within myself.”
- “What we can do in the world is subject to many realities of the times, but how we can be within ourselves is always a possibility. So what is always a possibility must be manifested.”
On Making Life Better:
- “Everybody wants a solution, but nobody wants to delve into the problem and see what is the nature of the problem that we have.”
- “Every human being wants his life enhanced. If you don’t show them proper ways to enhance, they will find shortcuts.”
On Turning Inward & Inner Engineering:
- “As there is a science and technology for our external wellbeing, there is a whole science and technology for inner wellbeing. Unfortunately, most cultures have ignored this and thinking that if you make all the external elements well, everything will be okay. The United States of America is a huge statement that this is not how it works. The most affluent country on the planet; 70% of the population are supposed to be on prescription medication.”
- “The privileges of the nature of your experience must be in your hand.”
- “The source of human experience is within you.”
- “Why is growth foundational to joy? Joy is foundational to growth.”
Sadhguru Quotes on Identification, Thinking, Suffering, & Fear
- “Whether your body and mind works against you or works for you, this is a big difference.”
- “There are more people on the planet today thinking for themselves than ever before…Now, for the first time, a huge massive number of people are thinking for themselves.”
- “There is only one enemy: that’s yourself. If you fix this one guy, everything is fine in this world.”
- “80% of the population are experts in self-torture.”
- “Committing suicide in installments.” (describing someone who lives for a long length of time but never really lives)
Sadhguru Quotes on his Mission & the Future
On his Mission:
- “I just realized one day, that if I simply sit here, don’t mess with myself, every cell in my body will overflow with ecstasy. There’s really nothing to do. If I don’t just mess around with my mind and simply sit here, ecstasy will flow…Then I decided, I made a plan…I was just 25…in 2.5 years time I will make the whole world ecstatic. And, that day the population was 5.6 billion people. I said I could easily do this because after all there’s nothing to do. If I just teach them simply to sit here, it’ll happen.”
On the Future:
- “As the concerns of survival recede, human beings will naturally evolve into perceiving higher things.”
- “The machines came and took away the power of your muscle. Now machines are coming which will take away the power of your memory (referring to intelligence/intellect)…in the future, the only thing that matters is what kind of a human being are you?”
Which quotes resonated with you the most? Please let me know in the comments.
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Also published on Medium.