I recently got an email from an Isha volunteer in response to my criticism about Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. He/she had asked me to reply; but when I tried to directly reply to the email, it said that the email could not be delivered. Since I have already mentioned in the contact form of this blog that I may choose to post the content of the emails in this blog, I am going to use this post to reply to that friend from Isha. Also, I am going to discuss a few things which will be useful to other sincere seekers who are attached to Isha.
Here is the content of the email:
Have been reading your Quora answers and your blog posts.
Just wanted to say thank you.
I am volunteering at Isha for the past five and a half years.
I am greatly indebted to you for what you have communicated to me through your answers.
Your answer to the question”Is Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev trying to convert Shiva Purana to science?” gave me a really good laugh after a long long time.
Your answer to “How can I outsmart the existing Godmen in India?” made me laugh at my own foolishness.
I want to have a chat with you and get your advice on whether to get out of this situation or continue. Because if I continue, I have a lot to gain, but if I continue, knowing that this is a sham, will I be able to face myself later. The situation is way more complex than what I am able to express when writing this. If you ever come to Coimbatore in the near future, would like to sit with you and talk, or can have a phone conversation.
Sorry for using an anonymous id.
Here is my reply and I hope he/she reads this.
Thank you for your comments and understanding. As I said, I couldn’t reply directly via email. So, I am posting my reply here..
My intention of such criticisms about Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is only to make the seekers (who are into Isha) aware of certain unconscious tendencies of the mind and increase their skepticism. Despite many oppositions, I am pretty sure that it is helping sincere seekers. For you, my posts seem to have done their job.
However, whether you want to get out of this situation or not is totally up to you. As long as you retain the skepticism and follow your own light, where you are doesn’t make any difference. If your friends and family already know about your volunteering etc, it may be emotionally challenging for you to leave the situation right away. You can stay in the same situation and still make progress in the spiritual path, by taking what is good and leaving the rest. Now, I guess you know how to discriminate. 🙂
In fact, there are many positive aspects in your situation:
- The atmosphere in Isha is very beautiful and conducive to meditation.
- I have always recommended the programs in Isha to anybody who is interested in Isha. They are indeed very helpful and I know that. But it is very important to not to get stuck with just techniques and move forward to the ‘non-doing‘ part of your spiritual path that I have explained here: For the Seekers of Liberation. If you still need a lot of purification for the mind and the body (which is explained here), then staying in the situation may be helpful for you. You may feel motivated to do meditations when you see others doing them.
- If they encourage you to do volunteering for social service like planting trees etc, then you are indeed doing a valuable service for people. When you do that with the attitude of Karma Yoga, it also helps in preparing the ground, just like the kriyas you do. But just make sure that you are not exploited in the name of volunteering. Having read my criticisms, you know better about your situation and I hope you know what to do.
- When you get exposed to myths over and over again, at one point you will start believing them. This happens to everybody even if they say ‘I neither believe or disbelieve’. Such is the power of the illusory truth effect. You need to remind yourself of this again and again if you choose to continue with your current situation.
As you probably understand by now, I am not personally against anybody, including Sadhguru. My criticisms are just criticisms. The only agenda behind this is to help sincere seekers to follow their own light. In fact, it is about finding the satguru, who is the inner guru. This is pretty much in line with every mystic that we know of, including Osho, Ramana Maharshi, Lahiri Mahasaya etc.
I want to conclude with a message that I gave to another seeker, who agreed with my posts but still thought that the criticism is unfair. This is something that you probably understand already, but I am quoting it for the other readers who are reading this post:
“My point is, any external form you see is just a form… When people react to criticism about Sadhguru or anyone, they are only reacting to a persona that is reflected in their own mind.. Real satguru is beyond the name and form and he is within you… I understand the respect you show for a person.. but who is this person? Is this person the body you see? or is that the voice you hear when he speaks? He is none of these.., beyond all the names and forms, there is no difference between you and him…”
In Isha Kriya, people are taught to mentally repeat ‘I am not the body and I am not the mind’ for every breath; If a person really understands the concept behind Isha Kriya, he will certainly be able to see the validity in my posts. Since you have already seen that, I hope many things are clear to you and that your journey will be smoother than before.
Everything in life teaches lessons. I am pretty sure you have learnt so many good things while being in Isha too. If you email me again and tell me more about your situation, I can probably give a more helpful answer based on your situation.