Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and Isha: Pride and Prejudice

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.

parrot

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?

My answer:

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/[24]) is the active participle of the same verb of which islām is a verbal noun, based on the triliteral S-L-Mto 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.

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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:

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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? :

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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:

  1. Be skeptical and open-minded.
  2. Truth is the authority; authority is not the truth.
  3. Don’t talk about anything that is not in your experience
  4. 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?

 

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A Testimony From An Isha Volunteer

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:

Hi Shanmugam,

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.

Kindly reply…

Here is my reply and I hope he/she reads this.

Dear friend,

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:

  1. The atmosphere in Isha is very beautiful and conducive to meditation.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

With Love,

Shanmugam

 

Why Do I Criticize Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev?

(I am republishing an answer that I wrote on Quora. The question was asked by an anonymous user and here is the complete question in his own words: ” Why are there some opponents of Sadhguru who are dedicated to nitpick something wrong instead of learning or appreciating many correct things that he says?“)

I am pretty sure that I am one of the so called ‘opponents’ who seemingly has a dedication for criticizing him; I also think that the anonymous guy who asked this question is someone that I am aware of; a guy who feels angry and hurt after reading my criticism about Sadhguru.

So let me explain why I criticize him. I hope the poor guy understands why, instead of taking it too personal. I will also narrate the story that happened between this poor guy and me on Quora :). The poor guy is the hero of that story :).

Assume that the poor guy is the one who is in the front of everyone else, in the following image!

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This is a very important answer. So, I suggest you read it word by word without missing anything. Don’ be in a hurry to comment, read the complete answer…

This answer is going to be a long one..Because, I have to cover many things in this answer, to give you a perfect context. If you can’t read it now, just bookmark it and read it later.

Don’t wonder why I am taking my time to write all this. This is a multi-purpose answer. I will also be republishing this in my blog. I enjoy what I do and ideas simply flow like a stream once I sit down and write. So I absolutely have no difficulty in writing such answers…

First of all, I am not an opponent of Sadhguru. I don’t hate him and I am not against him personally.

I have praised Sadhguru many times. When it comes to the clarity in his speech, his wonderful voice, his humor sense, his involvement in life, his expertise in driving, his ability to be open to experience , his interest in architecture and many other things, he is excellent! You can read my review about him here: Shanmugam P’s answer to What is your review of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev (Indian yogi)?

I don’t care much about legal allegations against him. I have rarely spoken about them, except some questions that were raised regarding his wife’s death. Another blogger explains those questions better than me, I will give you that link: The controversial death of Sadhguru’s wife Vijji . There are some questions which are not addressed by Sadhguru and they are very important.

But when it comes to other allegations, I have listened to both sides of stories and I don’t always cling to one possibility. Also, I know that when a leader is running a huge organization, the leader is usually seen responsible for the fault of some unknown follower.

I don’t want to speak about something that I am not certain about, just to defame someone. But sadly, some people think that it is what I am doing. No, it is not! Defaming him is not my intention…

My Criticism is only about one and one thing only!

There is one thing that I am certain about… And my main criticism about him is related to that one thing alone! It is spiritual enlightenment and it also includes some extraordinary claims made in the name of spiritual enlightenment.

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I know what it is.. But the hardest thing to talk about is that, people already have a lot of ideas about enlightenment.. Many people think that they know what it is, by going by the words of their own gurus, their own scriptures and their own imagination..

I have had my share of wrong assumptions about it too. But it all pretty much ended in 2014..( a few of those wrong assumptions were still remaining which I got clarified three years later). I went through something, a psychological death of the sense of self, an extinction of a limited self that made me realize that I was never separate from the existence and this whole idea of a separate self is an illusion. It ended all my self-referential thinking, all the self-induced suffering, all my seeking and longing and gave me a sense of absolute freedom..

I don’t call it enlightenment because I hate to associate my experience of reality with a word that has been misused from the time immemorial. And, saying ‘I am enlightened’ is actually incorrect because that statement is inherently dualistic.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that those who have declared it were not enlightened. But it is also true that they don’t really talk about it unless there is a compelling reason. Language itself is dualistic, it can neither capture the absolute truth nor can it convey the pure experience of reality. But language can be a useful device to point out where to look and to tell people how to do that. To understand more about spiritual enlightenment, read this answer: Shanmugam P’s answer to What is enlightenment?

I have tried to meditate all my life. I did my first meditation when I was just 7 years old. I thought meditation is just sitting in closed eyes and with crossed legs with no body movement. Later when I was about 10 years old, I learnt and tried to do various asanas, pranayamas etc. But I really didn’t understand what spirituality is all about. The general idea that I had in my mind was that spirituality is all about suppressing my desires, fighting with my own mind, reading all the spiritual books in the world and trying to show extreme devotion to a personal God. It never worked even though I read all the books I could. When I was in the verge of committing suicide, I came across a book which had talks of Osho. And all I could say was ‘wow!’..You can read the full story here: The Journey of a Seeker – My Story.

If you read my short bio in my blog, it will read like this:

I am a blogger and I was a spiritual seeker. I had a tremendous awakening experience in July 12, 2014 on a Gurupurnima day in the presence of Sadhguru but I wouldn’t call that as spiritual enlightenment. But it did free me from many things and changed many things

When people read this and also read my criticism against Sadhguru, their first response is “I kind of feel weird because you say you had an awakening in the presence of Sadhguru and yet you criticize him, lol”. I am pasting a reply that I gave to one person who said this:

Yes.. I have mentioned that it happened during Sadhguru’s satsang on a guru poorinima day because that is exactly what happened. But usually what people do is add their own explanations for it. Human beings have been doing it for ages. What people forget is that correlation is not causation. Probably there is a correlation between full moon days and spiritual awakenings. But when we create our own explanations for it, errors are bound to happen. If you read my bio again, I have never said that Sadhguru’s presence caused my spiritual awakening. I was already doing everything in a focused way during the two months prior to it and it reached a peak during that day. That is all I know!

If you read my blog post regarding my spiritual journey, you will understand the context of it. The only spiritual practice that I did on a regular basis was ‘witnessing’, a meditation suggested by Osho which can be practiced anytime, anywhere.

” My way of meditation is very simple. There are one hundred and twelve methods of meditation. Out of all of those I have chosen the most simple – the most easily done. I call it witnessing.

The moment you witness something you become separate from it, you are the witness, the thing becomes an object – the witnessed.

If you are walking on the road, and you are also witnessing that you are walking – not going along just like a robot, mechanical, everyday habit, the road is known, the legs know it, you can even walk with closed eyes. But walking with absolute alertness every step, every fall of a leaf, every ray of the sun, every bird flying in front of you, fully alert… slowly, slowly, you become aware that you are not the body that is walking, you are something inside which is witnessing.

Once you have witnessed your body, you have got the knack of the method.

Then you start witnessing your thoughts – sitting silently, just watching the rush of thoughts, not interfering, not saying, “This is good. This is bad.” Not justifying, not appreciating, no judgment… non-judgmental witnessing, just like the mirror. Anybody passes by, the mirror reflects it; that’s all, it makes no comment.

Strangely enough, when you stop making comments on the thoughts, they begin to stop; your comments keep them alive. Once you are simply a mirrorlike witness, thoughts disappear, and you become aware of a deeper layer, of emotions, moods, which are very subtle. You are not even aware many times that you are sad. You are often not aware of what your emotional state is – it is very deep, there is a thick layer of thoughts. When thoughts have stopped, then you become aware of a very subtle breeze – and there is a great joy to see it pass. The method remains the same – you remain a witness without judgment.

First body, second mind, third heart. And the fourth happens on its own.

I call my way the fourth way because after the third you cannot do anything.

Once your emotions and moods disappear, suddenly there is a quantum leap – the witness has nothing to witness anymore. It comes home. It witnesses itself. It becomes both the seer and the seen, the object and the subject, and for the first time you have unity. This experience of absolute organic unity of your consciousness has been called by different names – moksha, nirvana, liberation, enlightenment, illumination. Whatever word you choose makes no difference.

But this is the ultimate peak, this is the ultimate goal of human life.

So my method is very simple. You need not even sit to do it. You can do it anywhere – walking on the street, sitting in the bus, sitting in the plane, eating, even sleeping. When you are going to sleep you don’t fall asleep suddenly, it takes a few minutes; just watch how the sleep comes in. Slowly, slowly, you will see sleep coming in, and as your witnessing becomes deeper there comes a moment when you can see that the whole night you are asleep yet still alert.

I have tried almost all one hundred and twelve methods. That list is exhaustive, there is no possibility of adding a single method more. You can make a method of combinations, but those one hundred and twelve are exhaustive.

Out of them all I have chosen witnessing, because most of them are based on this in different ways. ”

– The Last Testament Volume 4: Chapter 15 by Osho

A guy who commented on my spiritual journey in my blog kept advising me to read Vigyan Bhairav Tantra. I told him that I already read that and I also gave him the above excerpt. Then I explained the following:

What Osho called as witnessing is exactly what I practiced. Witnessing, self-inquiry, mindfulness and nididhyasana are all essentially the same, even though described differently and approached differently. It is the most direct approach and extremely powerful.

That is exactly the reason why Ramana Maharshi advocated self-inquiry. It is a deep inquiry of every thought, experience, emotion and sensation that arise moment to moment and recognizing that none of these objects of consciousness is ‘me’ or ‘mine’.

It is negating everything that arises in your consciousness as ‘not me’, ‘not me’ by simple recognition; not by thinking or analyzing or verbalizing it but just noticing for what it is. It is also called as ‘neti-neti’ method, which literally means ‘not this, not this’…

After this transformation, my life was completely different. I forgot all about spirituality, all about future and past and I totally forgot to think about me.. But there were challenges that I faced during the first 3 years because there was a period of integration. There were a lot of old tendencies which had to lose their momentum over a period of these three years. I still had deep reverence for Sadhguru during these three years and I never had a doubt regarding his claims.

In December 2016 I had to change my job. While updating my resume, I was quite surprised… What am I going to say when the interviewer asks ‘Tell me about yourself’?.. I had not thought about myself, the image of me that was derived from my past for the last three years. It has been long since I thought about my strengths and weaknesses, my objectives and all that. So, I had to make some effort to recollect many things about me.

That is when I also started posting in my blog. I had spent about Rs. 22,000 to buy Linga Bhairavi Gudi and Rs.11,000 for Dhyanalinga Yantra because I thought that It will create an energy space in my home, something that may help my family. I spent about a month from September 2016 until the Navarathri festival that year in decorating Linga Bhairavi with flowers, offering sweets and fruits to her, singing, listening and playing the songs from ‘He Devi’, an album released by Sounds of Isha. I kind of created a forced duality to see myself separate from Linga Bhairavi that triggered a lot of forgotten memories and feelings. I used to be very devotional when I was a kid and usually such practicies trigger those memories. The nine days of Navarathri that year was a period of intimate devotion and a roller coaster ride of emotions. It all came to an end on the 10th day, the Dusserah festival which I spent in Kulasekarapattinam, a town famous for Dusserah celebration. I had a permanent tattoo of Linga in my right shoulder that day.

The poor guy who thinks I am an opponent of Sadhguru thinks that the purpose of my whole blog is to criticize and defame Sadhguru. No, it is not! The very first post that I made in my blog was a poem that I wrote about Linga Bhairavi and Dhyanalinga. Here it is: தியானலிங்கமும் லிங்க பைரவியும் – Kural Venba about Isha and Linga Bhairavi

My wife was pregnant and we were expecting a delivery in the month of December. I was expecting a female kid and I wanted to name her ‘Bhairavi’. But it turned out to be a boy and we named him Lingesh. He was born on December 11th, 2016. December 11 is also the birthday of Osho; what a coincidence!

Anyway, this was the time I was slowly regaining my faculty of logical thinking. I literally stepped out of my logical mind during the transformation that happened in 2014 and I had to slowly learn to think logically. I was like a kid for the first two and a half years and I slowly learnt to act like a grown up. This was really like a second birth for me.

And I never seriously considered what happened to me but I found that Sadhguru’s version of spiritual enlightenment was seriously contradicting with many things that happened to me. There was no way that I could match what happened to me with many things Sadhguru is talking about. But still, I could never think that Sadhguru could be wrong. One thing was clear though, my seeking had ended, there was absolutely nothing that was lacking, nothing to gain anymore and nothing to improve upon! There was no solid and consistent self to improve upon or to attain anything. My life was peaceful, fulfilled, joyful and there was absolutely nothing that was lacking. There has been a sense of tremendous freedom, the kind of freedom that I had never experienced in my life. It is only when people taste such a freedom, they could understand how bound and helpless they were before.

That is when I began to interact in an online forum where I had a discussion with a lady. She explained her understanding of spiritual enlightenment as follows and she was very confident in what she was saying:

You will still live a human existence, which has polarity and that includes mental pain, it’s suffering that ends, because you know that your true Self, awareness, is not in the least effected by it and that is your true identity.

Another words, let’s say your enlightened…your mother dies. You will still feel emotional pain and even cry. Being enlightened will put it in perspective, so you won’t suffer, but you will feel mental pain, even if temporary. If you don’t like your mother (lol), then insert in that sentence someone else or your animal. This is just one example of many.

I couldn’t agree with this! We started talking about many things about how the experience of life is after enlightenment. But strangely enough, I didn’t consider myself as enlightened and I also wasn’t seeking enlightenment. I just had no concrete idea of what had happened to me.

She then posted an excerpt of her western teacher called ‘Ted Schmidt’:

Question- Is an enlightened person totally immune and never experiences fear, negative emotions?

Ted: No, as I mentioned in my last response, the enlightened person experiences life just like an unenlightened person except for one fundamental difference: the enlightened person (i.e., the person who has assimilated self-knowledge and “attained” moksha by having apprehended the fact that his or her essential nature is already free) isn’t swept away by the pain and pleasure that he or she experiences. The enlightened person knows that these experiences come and go and don’t really have any effect on the essential nature of the self. Thus, while the pain and pleasure persist, the suffering that ensues from feeling like these experiences are actually enhancing or diminishing, helping or hurting, the self ceases.

I couldn’t agree with this either. In a sense this is kind of true but this is open to many interpretations. He is not speaking about the experiential aspect of enlightenment, a change that I myself had undergone which had changed the way I experienced the reality 24/7. So in my experience, there was and is no duality; I never experientially sense that I am separate from the existence. My way of functioning in the world seemed to be a mystery that doesn’t gel with neither Sadhguru’s version nor this western Guru’s version of enlightenment.

I finally discovered that Ted’s guru was James Swartz, an old American Vedanta teacher. When I went through his website I found that he is extremely critical of Osho and also labels Ramana Maharshi as not a qualified teacher.

Also, I continued my discussion with the American lady on the forum and she also criticized Osho. At this point, I noticed my need to defend Osho and her tendency to defend James Swartz. After exchanging lengthy discussions, I got curious about Traditional Advaita Vedanta expounded by Shankara. James Swartz is a student of Swami Chinmayananda and he was insistent in saying traditional Vedanta is the only way.

One of the main myths that got busted for me is the one that Sadhguru is insisting. He says that more than 90% of the people leave the body (die) during spiritual enlightenment. You can read my answer here to know more about it: Shanmugam P’s answer to How many enlightened persons has Isha Foundation produced through its methods? .

At this time, I also realized my bias towards Osho. I decided to put it aside and began to curiously explore Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta.

That is when I realized that Sadhguru has got this whole idea of ‘90% of people leaving at the time of enlightenment’ from Osho. But Osho himself contradicted this in another discourse. Sadhguru used to say a famous story from the life of Ramakrishna which was actually something Osho made up, to explain how enlightened people create conscious karma after enlightenment. Sadhguru repeats the same story in the same style..

According to Sadhguru, body’s prarabdha karma is over at the time of enlightenment and he has to consciously create karma to keep his body alive. .. This is neither true in my experience nor it is said by anyone else in the whole history… According to advaita, prarabhdha karma can be exhausted only by living the rest of the life. Buddhism also has a similar concept. This resonated with me completely. My own past intentions were driving my life even though I don’t have any sense about future or past (memories exists but the identification is completely broken). And karma is nothing but the web of past intentions. Adhi Shankara says the same in his commentaries and Ramana Maharshi insisted the same.

You can read more about it here: Shanmugam P’s answer to Why is it said that after enlightenment a person may die? If a person is likely to die after enlightenment, then why should I pursue it if I cannot carry it for long? How does one overcome the fear of death on a spiritual path?

But you need to remember that even though prarabhda karma is the one which still runs the activities of the body, we can’t say that the person is actually bound by that karma. Because, the liberated person is no longer identified with his body. He no longer considers the prarabhdha karma of the body as his own karma. It only belongs to the body and it exists as long as the body exists.

Ramana Maharshi explains this paradox very well:

Question: Bhagavan says that when one attains enlightenment all the three karmas [sanchita, prarabdha and agamya] cease to be. But in Kaivalya Navanitam it is stated that the jnani will experience only prarabdha karma [karma being worked out in this lifetime]. Why does it say this?”

Ramana: Prarabdha is the rule prior to the attainment of Self-realisation. As such, even after the attainment of Self-realisation, a jnani appears to be experiencing prarabdha in the sight of onlookers. There are several examples which are commonly used to explain this: an electric fan goes on spinning for some time even after it is switched off; a burnt rope looks like a rope but it cannot be used to tie anything; a tree that has been felled looks just like a living tree but it is no longer alive; peas which are roasted still look like peas but they cannot sprout .

I started asking questions about Vedanta in Quora and I also went through Upanishads, Shankara’s commentaries on Upanishads and Buddhist suttas of Pali Canon. When I read them, I could immediately recognize the truth in them and I could easily separate facts from myths. I didn’t read them to add anything to my knowledge but I read them to make sense of my own experience.

A great eye opener was Shankara’s commentary on Bhagwad Gita. I also read many awakening reports which talk about this integration period. Even Shankara advises a lot of solitude after self-realization to make sure that the realization is completely integrated without any interference from the external world. He advised self-realized people to live with the strength of the Self. When he says ‘living with the strength of Self alone’, I could immediately recognize it. I didn’t do analysis, mental masturbation or research with the scriptures; All that was happening when I read Buddhist and Vedantic scriptures was a simple recognition of what has happened to me.

Let me give you an example. If someone says “I saw a huge black animal yesterday which had large ears, two horn-like organs near its mouth and a long pipe-like organ extending from its nose”, wouldn’t you immediately recognize that he is talking about an elephant? It is the exact recognition which I had when I read Shankara’s commentaries and Buddhist suttas from Pali canon.

In the mean time, I wrote some posts criticizing the views of James Swartz and his way of understating enlightenment. I was verbally abused by one of the followers of James Swartz (just like how Sadhguru’s followers become abusive). I finally decided to start a debate with James Swartz himself. We exchanged a few emails. I told him that his way of understating the experiential side of enlightenment is misleading. Finally, I had to define what I meant by the word ‘experience’. I told him that I am not talking about a special experience or an altered state of consciousness but the natural experience of reality with no duality and with no sense of separate self. He agreed to this view but he still insisted that his talks and books are not misleading; He said that a few people might have misunderstood what he is saying and reminded me that he has thousands of other students who understands him perfectly.

As things settled down, I was able to understand everything that happened in me. Let me include parts of some replies that I posted to a commentator in my blog:

There is a point in seeking where seeking completely ends and the sense of a separate self completely dissolves.. After that there is no more personal journey.. Changes may still happen, the experience of reality may continue to deepen for lifetime, but it is no longer a journey of a person… Because there is no more urge to reach anything or to attain anything. After that, whatever actions that the person does is in complete synchronization with the existence itself. There is no sense of a doership at all.. The speech and action then become the expression of the existence itself. This is my reality now.

The word nirvikalpa means ‘without any distinctions’. It just means the complete absence of duality. If it happens along with the loss of body consciousness, people usually call it ‘nirvikalpa samadhi’… But if a person experiences reality as nirvikalpa without losing body consciousness, it is called as sahaja samadhi. Many people reach sahaja samadhi without going through nirvikalpa samadhi. In sahaja samadhi, the person simple engages in day to day activities just like anybody else. But the big difference is that the person doesn’t sense a separate self or a sense of individuality anymore.. There is a sense of boundlessness and complete fulfilment.. nothing is lacking anymore and there is nothing to seek further… There is nothing to lose and nothing to gain at the absolute level.

Let me state a metaphor. A ball of sugar jumps inside a pot of water and it takes on a journey to absorb as much water as it can. It becomes smaller and smaller as time goes by until it is fully dissolved one day… Once the ball has completely disappeared, is there anymore journey for that ball? The sugar molecules which were in the ball are still there in the water, they may still undergo changes. But do those changes belong to the original sugar ball? The sugar ball is the person you think you are and the water is the existence… In a way, the sugar ball has now become water. But to be more precise and exact, the sugar ball is not there anymore. There are no clear boundaries between the sugar ball and the water. Another way of saying this would be that sugar ball and the water is one and the same now.

It is only after all this, I turned my attention towards Sadhguru again and watched some of his videos again. The first thing that I found was that there is a pretension in him and he is simply parroting the words of Osho. When it comes to spiritual enlightenment, one thing that is destroyed completely is the sense of a separate self. This is not only my own experience but also in agreement with two greatest spiritual schools of the world which is Vedanta and Buddhism.

But Sadhguru doesn’t address this at all. Instead he goes on talking about stuff which reinforce the idea of a separate self and which distracts people from actually walking on the path. He doesn’t address the psychological tendencies or traps in the spiritual paths. On the contrary, he goes on talking about stuff that would actually trap people and stop them from making any progress.

When I was seeking, I couldn’t see this! Because, I was also reading other spiritual books from other gurus, like Ramana Maharshi etc and following the practices they suggested. I couldn’t distinguish between the clarity I got from Sadhguru and the clarity I got from other gurus.

My main practice has always been witnessing that was suggested by Osho. The only reason why I went to Sadhguru satsangs or Isha ashram was because I believed that being in ‘consecrated spaces’ will help me in the path by giving me additional support. I didn’t realize at this point that Sadhguru’s main business was selling consecrated spaces and selling his own energy (For eg, On Shivarathri festival, the seats close to him are extremely expensive because that supposedly gives a chance to feel the energy and vibration of Sadhguru)..

But I know this whole energy business is bullshit because I have Linga bhairavi gudi and Dhyanalinga yantra for the last three years and I know there is no difference between being in the presence of it vs being away from it. The transformation I went through has made me absolutely receptive and there is no resistance at all from my side which will cause me to be not receptive to anything. I feel completely synchronized with the existence.

But people claim that they feel tremendous energy or vibration from Sadhguru. But in reality, it has many reasons. One reason in placebo effect. It has a powerful effect when a person is already a seeker.

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A guy asked me a question regarding this in one of my answers:

Then how would you explain following things:

  1. How sadhguru pushes people into transcendence just by his presence?
  2. why do people go crazy during initiations like shoonya and bhuta shuddhi?
  3. Why does BSP works ?
  4. What is the source of Sadhguru’s crystal clear wisdom? I don’t find that same wisdom in osho’s or ramana’s books?
  5. Why do people experience HUGE benefits by doing shambhavi?

And here is my reply:

  1. How sadhguru pushes people into transcendence just by his presence? Mostly it is placebo. If you don’t know what it is, use Google search. And the placebo effect is hundred times better when a person has already been a seeker and has already progressed to a certain level (and expecting an experience in the presence of someone who claims enlightenment). Also, you can actually see people going crazy and ecstatic watching a Michael Jackson’s stage performance and during church gatherings…I am not sure if you read the complete answer. I am not saying this after knowing him or after being in the path for just 2–3 years. I have encountered many situations which helped me to learn a lot of things. So, I am not the usual kind of skeptic that you might have come across. I even came across a person who claimed enlightenment and who had a special interest in making me his disciple. He arranged a satsang and I felt something deep when he entered the room. But it was caused by my own expectations as well as the way my mind was prepared before the satsang. But after I had a lot of personal one on one interactions with him, I knew he was cheating (I am not talking about Sadhguru here but another self proclaimed Guru). This happened in 2007.
  2. The other questions that you asked boils down to one thing: How come Shambavi and Shoonya meditations work. They will work because they are based on already available techniques. They have the same effect no matter who offers those techniques. These techniques can have a lot of positive effect on your mental health, physical health and can even offer you spiritual experiences.. But you need to have someone who is enlightened to guide you to go beyond and actually get liberated. Sadhguru’s talks don’t offer that guidance at all because he never talks about things which are very important when it comes to spiritual enlightenment.
  3. If you find some clarity in him that you don’t find in Osho and Ramana, there are two reasons. One is purely subjective and depends on what topic you are interested in. Second is his talent. Sadhguru has a degree in English literature and he has also worked on his accent and pronunciation. His accent is neutral and his voice is very clear. But this has got nothing to do with enlightenment. My school principal also spoke more clearly than Ramana Maharshi. That doesn’t make her an enlightened person. Meher Baba didn’t speak at all, that doesn’t make him an unenlightened person.

Also, try to understand the question that is asked here and try to understand the answer I have written. The question is more specific about his claim regarding curing his fracture in an hour. And In my answer, I have explained about the fact that he doesn’t speak the truth all the time. I have found him as an expert in lying, there is no question about it. I have seen enough of him in the last 14 years and I KNOW that he is mostly lying when he talks about himself.

It is also at the same time I discovered and observed many other things. I have written about those things in detail in the following answers:

Shanmugam P’s answer to What do you think of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev?

Shanmugam P’s answer to Is Sadhguru a hoax? How did he heal his asthma and ankle fracture in an hour (09:15)?

Shanmugam P’s answer to Is Sadghuru Jagi Vasudev another scam?

I am still willing to give him the benefit of doubt. But when I observed the behavior of his followers, I was completely shocked. They don’t really know what they are doing. Most of them are verbally abusive, completely biased and can’t even be open to healthy criticism. I understood that these people are completely misled and they are behaving like a parrot, just repeating Sadhguru’s words. They seem to be completely programmed. This is exactly what motivated me to write more about Sadhguru.

The perfect example is the poor guy, the hero of the story that I am going to narrate now, who might have also asked this question.

When I first wrote an answer saying that Sadhguru was simply repeating Osho, many people were not open to the idea and some people even rationalized it. Please understand, I am not complaining him of plagiarism. I am just questioning whether his enlightenment is authentic if he solely relies on borrowed words. A person who is talking from his own experience will absolutely have no need to imitate some one else’e words, terminology, examples and views. This shows a strong influence of one person over another. But when the person doesn’t mention him at all in public, that gives a sign of deliberately hiding it.

(Note, I am not talking about giving credit to Osho, this is how a lot of people misunderstand. He doesn’t even casually mention Osho’s name. But he has talked about all the other gurus. Even when someone sent him a question regarding this similarity, he just gave a clever answer, implying that it is just an imagination of the questioner. This signals a pretension. If you don’t see this obvious fact, then I am sorry; you have to google and read more about ‘Confirmation bias’ )

Since people were not open about it, I tried a different way. It is a psychological technique. I just conveyed the same message in a different way by showing Sadhguru in a positive light. I always try different approaches when it comes to writing answers and blog posts and convey the same message with different connotation. So I wrote an answer in a different style which you can read here:

Shanmugam P’s answer to Osho and Sadhguru should have some special connection. No other masters explicitly are so similar. They both are unidentical, but definitely very similar in a way with practical approach towards spirituality. What do their followers have to say?

I know that the blind followers of Sadhguru only care if a post shows Sadhguru in a positive light or not. They don’t seem to care about spiritual enlightenment but they only care about idealizing and defending Sadhguru. And after I wrote this answer, the poor guy immediately up-voted my answer and also wrote a comment saying that no one can deny what I said, because I have also explained the psychological reasons for why anyone would want to deny it.

But the same guy acted in a different way when I wrote another answer. I will tell you what he did shortly.. There was a question asked in Quora about why Nirmuktha site criticizes Sadhguru. For me the reason was obvious. Sadhguru voluntarily talked about Higgs Boson, which is completely out of his scope and ridiculed scientists. He implied that what science is discovering now has been discovered by our yogis and we knew the whole truth all along. This is completely unnecessary and is bound to invite criticism. How do you think a person who is passionate about science will react to such a comment? Is such a comment really necessary in the first place?

Only after seeing some comments in the Nirmuktha website, I realized that Sadhguru is creating prejudice against Science among his followers.

Science is not in competition to spirituality, it is only complementary. When both are bridged together, a lot can be accomplished. That is my whole effort and that is also the topic of my recent book (The Truth About Spiritual Enlightenment: Bridging Science, Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta). This book is the result of my whole life.

The answers to that question were also an attempt to provide some kind of justification to Sadhguru’s comments. For example, they asked questions like ‘Why do you expect Sadhguru to be correct on science’? … But that is not the point. The right question to ask is “why does he ridicule science and voluntarily talks about a scientific topic when he doesn’t know about it?’… Is saying ‘I don’t know’ very difficult for Sadhguru? Does he expect to not to face criticism after publicly ridiculing science?

Not knowing something is not a problem. Nobody knows everything in the world. But pretending to know something that one does not is the problem. Do you understand the difference?

But Sadhguru’s followers were reacting in a blind way. They were only reacting, desperately trying to justify him by saying totally unrelated things. Their comments were about how science is not good enough for certain things.

First of all, whether science is good enough or not is not even something that needs to be mentioned here, it is totally irrelevant. That doesn’t justify what Sadhguru said about Higgs Boson.

Seeing blind reactions, I was totally disappointed to see the kind of prejudice that Sadhguru has created. Have you ever thought that your left hand is in competition with your right hand? Then why the hell do you think science is in competition with spirituality? Why the hell do you have any need to prove that one is superior to other? I clearly see that authentic spirituality is not and cannot be in conflict with science at all!

This poor guy felt totally hurt after seeing the criticism. This is what he did: He immediately cancelled the upvote for my previous answer regarding Osho, deleted his comment and also wrote his own answer for the same question regarding Osho and Sadhguru, explaining that the resemblance between Osho and Sadhguru is merely a coincidence.. How can one of my answer regarding science and sadhguru change his opinion on a totally unrelated answer of mine? It is because he took the criticism personally. The poor guy doesn’t even understand what he is doing and doesn’t recognize this as blindness.

After some days, I wrote another answer: Shanmugam P’s answer to What are scientists’ opinions on Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s IIT Madras talk about water having memory and his abilities to manipulate its taste via telekinesis?

And I said something very valid, something that is not possible to deny, in that answer. I wrote it in a completely neutral way. Sadhguru claims that he was able to change the taste of water in a cup of glass to sweet by holding it in his hands for two minutes.

Let me paste a part of that answer here:

But I have also come across instances where Sadhguru voluntarily talks about science and claims that many things the science is discovered now has been already discovered by yogic methods. He may be probably doing this to create more appeal to yoga and spread it to more people with good intention.

But this is what creates a lot of arguments and questions among people. First, we don’t have any evidence for the fact that any kind of factual knowledge can be obtained through practices like meditation or yoga, even though we have been hearing such stories since ancient days. This claim and claims to do miracles have been misused by many fake spiritual leaders in our country which naturally makes people to be extra cautious and even harshly criticize all spiritual leaders. Until there is a solid evidence that such claims have any scientific basis, such criticism will even continue in the upcoming generations. This will actually make Yoga to become less appealing in the future. There is no way to stop it unless we do something about it in this generation especially when an influential public figure like Sadhguru, who claims to be able to do many things that a normal man cannot do, is alive. I can actually offer a simple solution for that.

As you see, I have first stated an obvious fact. If we don’t prove certain claims, this claims are bound to be rejected in the upcoming generations. So if your beloved leader is making an extraordinary claim, it is always good to ask for a proof.

Won’t a proof shut up the mouths of critics? Tell me yes or no.. Is it too much to ask for? Can you deny that if there is a solid evidence for even one extraordinary claim that Sadhguru has made, it will create a great appeal for yoga and also shut the mouth of critics regarding this once and for all? Touch your heart and tell me if this is true or not.. This is certainly, obviously, with no doubt, a win-win situation for everyone, with no exception.

Now, let me paste the last part of that answer:

Sadhguru has claimed many things which are extraordinary . He has done it indirectly by quoting incidents where he could do things like that. I will quote a claim mentioned in the same article that is given for this question, that can be very easily verified with an experiment.

So this lady in the house brought water for me and she’s like Kali suddenly, not just kathak, she’s like Kali. I looked at her – she’s a nice lady, today she’s in the Kali form – so I looked at her and she offered water to me and I said, ‘Amma, I don’t need this water. I don’t need to drink this water. You’re like Kali right now, I don’t need Kali’s prasadam right now, I’m fine.’ She said, ‘Why, will I poison it?’ I said, ‘No, you don’t have to poison it, it’s already done.’ Then I told her, ‘You take a sip from this glass.’ She took a sip from the glass, then I said, ‘Give me the glass to me.’ I held in my hands for two minutes and I just gave it to her, ‘You drink it now.’ She drank one sip and burst into tears and started crying, she said, ‘It’s sweet.’ I said, ‘That’s all the difference it is.’”

This is an extraordinary claim! But all he has to do is get a glass of plain water from you, hold it in his hands for two minutes and give it to you. If it tastes sweet, that is all there is to prove.

It can be verified with a scientific experiment very easily. Proving such a thing has many advantages too. Other then getting attention, Sadhguru and Isha foundation will gain more trust. It will stop people from turning way from Isha just because these claims are made. It will stop unnecessary hot criticisms filled with hatred and verbal abuses that we see all over internet. Sadhguru may win a nobel prize and Isha people will love that. He may earn millions of dollars which can be used for social welfare. Because we all know that Isha foundation already needs money for upcoming projects and currently have to rely on donations alone. In fact, many people who oppose him will start to trust that he is doing everything with a genuine interest for people’s well being and willing to donate even more. Tell me one reason why this is not a good idea!

If you understand this and are genuinely interested to make it happen, we can find a way to pass it on to Sadhguru. You can republish this answer anywhere, share this answer, upvote it or directly send an email to Isha. If each missed call can count, each upvote can count too.

Did I say anything wrong or something totally unacceptable?

But look at a comment that I got from someone:

I think, Mr. Dear Shanmugam, you are actually fooling yourself. Because Sadguru already told to everyone that to look inside and first establish in Yoga. This is what Lord Krishn said in Bhagava Geetha already. But Sadguru always insist everyone to look inside and find out yourself. Then only act! You do not know that who you are and you are talking and researching a SADGURU!! And even trying to help him or try to disaprove His Guruship even!! WHO ARE YOU??!! WHAT IS YOUR ELIGIBILITY??!! Ask yourself??!!! What a shame!!You are a shame for India. That you are trying to give Certificate for an Enlightetend Master. I live with another Enlightetend Master Sri Sri Yogananda Saraswathi and I know the full meaning of the word “Guru.” Then when it comes to the word Sadguru, He is more above than the so called Gurus and he can be the Guru of All Gurus. This is pure understanding. So don’t suspect a Sadgur’s words and you don’t have to make a research on what a Sadguru talks and do. Becuse Go and Read Shiva Samhitha and also Guru Charithra. Then you will realise that you are cimmiting a big SIN!! You may call that I a Sadguru supporter or lover! and I am sick !! But I challenge you, Go and read GURU CHARITHRA!!

I will challenge you that if you read three times GURU CHARITHRA all your life will be settled and your mind will change. You will be cured of your jealousy and suspicion!!! You have to read with love and devotion. That is first condition!! Not with Suspicion!! As Swami Vivekananda told “three things are necessary to make every nation great and every person great” I will here only give the first requirement. Other two you read in Swami Vivekananda’s works!! What he said the first important point to become great for anyone is “ Absence of Jealousy and suspicion”’

You have both!!! I feel pity on you and all those argues with a Guru! Can anyone argue with a Guru!! Only fools and egoists will argues with a Guru. But you can ask genuine questions to get genuine answers. When Sadguru answers such questions you have to understand. Remember a Guru can never till a lie. You and me may lie , but never a Guru.

First you have to go Isha and stay there for atleast three months and live a real Sadhaka life, if you want to understand Him. The after tayin ghtre and living with Him, if you still think that He is not a Guru at all, then I shall sayd that is your fte! and You are not fit for spiritual life! So that is why you live a life of a Fmily man and suffer all the prarabdha Karma outside. But there also you can understand a Guru or Sadguru, if you are a good man. But you are jealous and suspicious! You want to challenge a Sadguru and want to Help a Sadguru by giving a CErtificate for Him! My kind advice to you is that, Go and Read GURU CHARITHRA three times, so that your jealousy and suspicion will be cured!! I am sure and Guarantee. Forget about people who are tlking against Sadguru!! Eample is Sri Ramakrishna sadi when a an Elephant walks all dogs bark!! Why they are jealousy of the gaint walk of the elephant!! Same thing with others they are like the same dogs! it is not angry or abuse words! It their qualifiction, that they re only human body with a dogs mind!! Thiis is the answer for you.

Go and read GURU CHARITHRA three times! You will definitely will save your future life. After that talk!! May God save you from future misery!! After reading GURU CHARITHRA and when you understand who is a Guru, then you will feel like even praying to Sadguru Himself! That will be the change positive!! All the best!! Then I can say you life will be safe! Otheewise! Next birth you may become a dog or cat! Chances are there when you take the company of fools who bark at Sadguru!!

Do you see what this guy is saying? Isn’t this guy promoting pure blindness? Not only that, this is totally against what Sadhguru himself says.. Sadhguru says skeptics are the true seekers and I totally agree: Skeptics are True Seekers – The Isha Blog

He goes on to say that Sadhguru can never lie and we are supposed to blindly believe him. But does this random guy even know that Sadhguru himself says he lies whenever necessary?

Guess what, even though this comment is completely against what Sadhguru is saying, the poor guy, the hero of our story still has the guts to upvote that comment! He is simply upvoting the comment because now he gets some peace on seeing that I get personally attacked. But he doesn’t realize that no one can insult me… I can’t take offence from anyone, it is simple ignored. And I hope that he realizes his blindness one day…

Only a few days after that I realized that this guy is not alone. Every single person who comments on Youtube vidoes, blogs and Quora is extremely abusive, intolerant for any kind of criticism and can’t accept even a slight skepticism about Sadhguru. There are few exceptions but most of them are like this..

Just look at the nature of the comments of Sadhguru’s followers that is present in an Youtube video of Sadhguru’s speech:

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After I witnessed a lot of such comments, I am able to see that Sadhguru’s followers are unconsciously developing prejudice against science, westerners (mainly Americans), other religions (especially Christianity) and all skeptics in general. And you need to understand that prejudice is completely incompatible with spirituality.

So I decided to write this answer to make certain things clear to Sadhguru’s followers: Shanmugam P’s answer to What advice would you like to give to the followers of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev?

Only after seeing all this cultish behaviour and blind followings, I really started much of my criticism. And I have already made it very clear in one of my answers that I won’t stop my criticism until this blindness stops.

It is good for you as well to change it right away, because otherwise people will start labeling Isha as cult. So, the criticism is not about defaming Sadhguru, I don’t have the intention to defame him. The only intention I have is to make people aware of their blindness and unconsciousness. My ultimate intention has always been bridging Science with spirituality. I have elaborated it in detail in my book.

Finally, I want to end with my comments on something that the poor guy said:

Remember that sitting in a comfort zone and writing answers upon quora, creating blogs, publishing ebooks either for or against the popular figure is very easy task just like an intellectual masturbation, but to yourself approach him for testing his unproven claims and then declaring your “objective findings” is a different thing. And the latter is always preferrable for a matured mind.

First, the poor guy needs to understand that walking in the spiritual path itself takes someone away from the comfort zone. Spiritual enlightenment is totally destroying the comfort zone called ‘sense of a separate self’.

Many people think that intelligence is the top most quality that is needed in spiritual path. No! Courage is the topmost quality that is needed. You need to risk something that is considered as the most valuable thing in your life, which is what you think as ‘yourself’.. Unless you are willing to go through a psychological death, there is no question of spiritual enlightenment…

But after 2014, I am always in a comfort zone no matter what I do. I cannot leave the comfort zone because liberation is the ultimate and the greatest comfort zone ever. The pain only lies in passing through the bridge between a petty comfort zone of your sense of a separate self and the ultimate comfort zone of liberation.

Second, I see many objections which say ‘why don’t you challenge Sadhguru publicly instead of being an armchair critic? ‘ ‘Why don’t you approach him for testing his claims?’ etc.

Is Sadhguru my next door neighbor to challenge him publicly? Or do you think that I am the CEO of Sun TV? I am just an ordinary guy living an ordinary life. If you are worried about such criticisms, you are the one who should take this to Sadhguru. This is exactly what I addressed in my answer regarding water memory. But I understand where this objection is coming from. Because, this is a very common rebuttal that is taught to Isha followers. So they are just following the herd.

Third, as I mentioned very clearly, I am not really desperate about spoiling the image of a public figure. The only reason I write such things is to create an awareness about various things. I know it makes a difference. I have seen the difference that it has made and changed the way that at least some people think. And I am sure that one day or the other day such questions and criticisms will reach Sadhguru’s attention.

Fourth, I don’t support pseudoskepticism . Pseudoskepticism is different from actual skepticism. One trait of pseudoskepticism is ‘The tendency to discredit rather than investigate’. This is what the poor guy is talking about. I agree with him. But the problem is, nobody who has the power and authority to investigate is trying to investigate. And I am confident that my criticisms will somehow raise a public awareness regarding this. The same theme is present in my answer regarding water memory.

Thank you for taking your time in reading this answer. Here are two more links that I recommend the followers of Sadhguru to read:

  1. Giving and Receiving Criticism
  2. The Sociology of Calling Other People Stupid

 

Update – Aug 5th, 2018:

As a response to the comments I have been getting from the followers of Sadhguru, I have started a video series. So, watch this series before you comment (4 videos in the playlist so far:

Here is the link to the entire playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyvcEPSjKqOk8Evwhz5tSlm5whxfZswlQ

 

My Views on the Debate between Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and Javed Akhtar : ‘Faith, Reason and Inner Engineering’

I am republishing the Quora answer that I wrote. You can read my answer in Quora here.

 

First of all, I see a small problem in the crux of the whole debate. The debate is titled Faith, Reason and Inner Engineering’. Also, moderator Shoma Chaudhury when introducing and concluding the debate makes it clear that the debate is about faith and reason. She also seem to understand Sadhguru as a man of faith and Javed Akhtar as a man of reason. (You can hear Sadhguru’s voice in the background correcting her statement when she concluded the debate)

But actually, by going by their own words, both Sadhguru and Javed Akhtar are men of reason and are against faith. Both are in agreement towards how belief implies not accepting that one doesn’t know. Then what are they really debating about?

The debate would make more sense when it is about whether spirituality is necessary or not. I think that is how this debate should have been titled and introduced. Because, that is exactly where Javed disagrees with Sadhguru. There is no doubt that Javed Akhtar is an intelligent man and a great lyricist. But he doesn’t seem to agree with the fact that there is a way to get liberated from human suffering.

Javed Akhtar’s views on spirituality

Here is what Javed Akhtar said about spirituality in another talk:

Plato in his dialogues has said many a wise thing, and one of them is – before starting any discussion decide on the meanings of words. Let us try to decide on the meaning of this word spirituality. Does it mean love for mankind that transcends all religion, caste, creed, race? Is that so? Then I have no problem. Except that I call it humanity. Does it mean love of plants, trees, mountains, oceans, rivers, animals? The non-human world? If that is so, again I have no problem at all. Except that I call it environmental consciousness. Does spirituality mean heartfelt regard for social institutions like marriage, parenthood, fine arts, judiciary, freedom of expression. I have no problem again sir, how can I disagree here? I call it civil responsibility. Does spirituality mean going into your own world trying to understand the meaning of your own life? Who can object on that? I call it self-introspection, self assessment. Does spirituality mean Yoga? Thanks to Patanjali, who has given us the details of Yoga, Yam, Yatam, aasan, pranayam…We may do it under any name, but if we are doing pranayam, wonderful. I call it healthcare. Physical fitness.

Now is it a matter of only semantics. If all this is spirituality, then what is the discussion. All these words that I have used are extremely respectable and totally acceptable words. There is nothing abstract or intangible about them. So why stick to this word spirituality? What is there in spirituality that has not been covered by all these words? Is there something? If that is so then what is that?

Somebody in return can ask me what is my problem with this word. I am asking to change it, leave it, drop it, make it obsolete but why so? I will tell you what is my reservation. If spirituality means all this then there is no discussion. But there is something else which makes me uneasy. In a dictionary, the meaning of spirituality is rooted in a word called “spirit”. When mankind didn’t know whether this earth is round or flat, he had decided that human beings are actually the combination of two things. Body and spirit. Body is temporary, it dies. But the spirit is, shall I say, non-biodegradable. In your body you have a liver and heart and intestines and the brain, but since the brain is a part of the body, and mind lies within the brain, it is inferior because ultimately the brain too shall die with the body, but don’t worry, you are not going to die, because you are your spirit, and the spirit has the supreme consciousness that will remain, and whatever problem you have is because you listen to your mind. Stop listening to your mind. Listen to your spirit – the supreme consciousness that knows the cosmic truth. All right. It’s not surprising that in Pune there is an ashram and I used to go there. I loved the oratory. On the gate of the lecture hall there was a placard. Leave your shoes and minds here. There are other gurus who don’t mind if you carry your shoes. But minds?…sorry.

Now, let me address something very important before I talk more about the debate that happened. I have seen a lot of comments in that Youtube video (Faith, Reason and Inner Engineering) attacking Javed Akhtar and labeling him idiot and stupid. First of all, just because someone doesn’t understand what spirituality is, it doesn’t mean that he is idiot or stupid. There are too many factors into play, which makes a person to get frustrated with running on a hedonic treadmill and search for a way to get liberated.

A lot of Jaggi Vasudev’s own followers don’t understand what spirituality is. Before Osho died, he has said that only a very few people understood his message. I read somewhere that J.Krishnamurti said something like ‘Where did I go wrong, why didn’t these people understand me’.. Many people who think themselves as seekers actually start the journey with a curiosity or sometimes even with blind faith.Many people think that being religious is being spiritual. And all these people are not idiots..

A lot of you may have trouble explaining such things to your mom, dad, sister and friends.. Would you call all of them as stupids? If you consider for a moment that Javed Akhtar is also someone like your dad or granddad, you will not indulge in personally attacking him while sitting in your arm chair.

What is Spirituality?

When you talk to the skeptics, it is very important to not to talk about things which sound like woo woo or which are ambiguous. So, let me talk about what authentic gurus actually mean when they use the word spirituality. We can take two very popular words in our tradition to inquire into its actual meaning. One is ‘moksha’ which means ‘liberation’; the other is ‘nirvana’ which means ‘extinction’. Before I explain what exactly we mean by that, let me explain another concept.

Human beings are always running on hedonic treadmill. What is it?

Hedonic adaptation is a process or mechanism that reduces the affective impact of emotional events. Generally, hedonic adaptation involves a happiness “set point”, whereby humans generally maintain a constant level of happiness throughout their lives, despite events that occur in their environment. The process of hedonic adaptation is often conceptualized as a treadmill, since one must continually work to maintain a certain level of happiness.

For most of the people, living our lives is like running on a treadmill. You think you will be happy after getting a job. You feel happy for a while but then you run for something else.. You may think marrying the love of your life will make you happy. But the excitement of your marriage fades away and now you want to buy a car. Then you want to buy a house.. But you never get the ultimate satisfaction that you are aiming for. It is like a fire that is burning continuously; the extinction of this fire is nirvana. It is a prison that keeps you trapped. The liberation from this prison is moksha.

Why Javed Akhtar is not open to the idea that such a liberation is possible?

From this debate and from other talks of Javed Akhtar, I have understood one thing. He might have seen a lot of fake gurus. He might have noticed a lot of cultish behavior from their followers too. Sadhguru also mentioned in the video that just because one has seen some bad apples, that doesn’t mean all apples are bad.

But we also have to understand a reality. Most of the people today who are posing as Gurus are frauds or somehow fooling themselves that they are enlightened. Some of them may be intelligent , have good intentions and might have even had some spiritual experiences. But they might have taken up a guru role before the actual liberation has happened. Though there is no foolproof way to find out if someone is enlightened, there are lot of indications that show that someone is not, which will be obvious especially for people who are more advanced in the path. After seeing the way such gurus are, it is not surprising to me that Javed is not open to the fact that there is actually a way to get liberated and that it is quite possible.

Because of this hardwired concept he has about gurus in general, I don’t think he will be ever open to something that comes from anyone who is called as a guru. And a debate is certainly not a situation where such a thing can happen. He may be more open to someone like J.Krishnamurthi. Or a better option would be to gift him the book ‘Waking up – Spirituality without religion’ written by Sam Harris. 🙂 I have read testimonies by some people who said that they were skeptical about the truth of spiritual enlightenment but they became seekers after reading this book.

Some comments about the debate and the points discussed:

  1. I appreciate Javed for determining or mutually agreeing with the meaning of the words in the beginning. Because, this is very important since a lot of debates are semantic and happen because of each person using a word to mean something different from what the other person uses. A lot of confusion happens because of confusions in the terminology. So, it is important for both the parties to come to an agreement on what the words actually mean.
  2. Sadhguru says philosophy is just a fantastic explanation of aspects of life which can never be explained. He also says that he doesn’t have any philosophy. Thanks to him for mentioning what he means by the word philosophy. This is again an example of point 1, because he uses the word ‘philosophy’ the same way Osho used it. But coming up such fantastic explanation of aspects of life is only one aspect of Philosophy. Epistemology, a subject that deals with how knowledge should be acquired is philosophy. Scientific method that science uses is actually a philosophy. Logic is also a part of philosophy.
  3. Sadhguru says that there were no teachings in this country but only methods. And he says that there were no believers in this country but only seekers. This may sound good to hear but it is not true. There have been countless teachings, philosophies and even a lot of absurd ethics in this country. There has been contradictory metaphysical theories in each school. What is Manusmriti? It is not only a book of teachings but it had the most cruel ideas about the caste system. The whole vedanta and mimamsa schools are based on the belief that Vedas and Upanishads are eternal , infallible and revealed through divine revelation. I have talked more about it here: Shanmugam P’s answer to Which philosophy personally appeals more to you, Buddha’s Pratityasamutpada or Advaita Vedanta? . Also, there has been countless wars based on the beliefs. For example, wars between Shaivites and Vaishnavites, murders of countless jain monks by the believers of Shiva etc. I am mentioning this because many people who follow Sadhguru are so blind and they never accept that Sadhguru can also be wrong.
  4. After a few minutes have passed, you will notice personal attacks from both sides. But do you see who started it? After Javed talked about agreeing on terminology, Sadhguru ridiculed him for no reason and commented about his intelligence. There is no reason to do that. It doesn’t look good for a man like Sadhguru.
  5. Moderator asked a question to Sadhguru regarding the followers who engage in wars and ready to kill. She is actually talking about many people creating a ‘cult of personality’. I feel Sadhguru should have addressed this issue because this is actually becoming very ugly now. You can witness this in the comments of that youtube video itself. I have talked more about this here: Shanmugam P’s answer to What advice would you like to give to the followers of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev?
  6. She also asked regarding charging money for the courses and if such courses are available for poor people. I don’t have any issue in charging money for the courses because it is difficult to conduct courses like this without money, especially in metro areas. But Sadhguru also mentioned that such courses are conducted in rural areas for free. I have been hearing this quite a lot, but has anyone questioned how true it is? How many such free programs are conducted on a regular basis and how many villages are covered? How often do they happen? Sadhguru himself says that if one wants to attend such courses for free he has to go to a village. But which village and when? No such information is available in the course schedule of the Isha website. I once sent an email inquiring the details but got no response. Once you make a commitment to provide free courses for poor people, there should be someway for those poor people to find out about those courses. Don’t you agree?
  7. In the middle of the debate, you will hear Javed saying the most anti-spiritual statement which is ‘you are your mind’.. 🙂 You can’t really convince him anymore in a debate. 🙂 But anyway, I think the way Buddha approached this issue might have worked in this scenario. Buddha didn’t say ‘You are not the mind, you are not the body’. He said, “There is no ‘you’ in the mind and there is no ‘you’ in the body. Buddha’s approach was empirical and he put it in a different way. And scientists and Buddha are in agreement here. He said:

“Bhikkhus, feeling is not-self…

“Bhikkhus, perception is not-self…

“Bhikkhus, determinations are not-self…

But he never said what is actually ‘You’.. He left that to people to find out. He was silent when people asked him metaphysical questions. He won’’t answer if anyone asks ‘What is the source of existence, why am i here”

There is a beautiful parable called ‘Parable of the poisoned arrow’ which is about what Buddha said when someone asked metaphysical questions:

It’s just as if a man were wounded with an arrow thickly smeared with poison. His friends & companions, kinsmen & relatives would provide him with a surgeon, and the man would say, ‘I won’t have this arrow removed until I know whether the man who wounded me was a noble warrior, a priest, a merchant, or a worker.’ He would say, ‘I won’t have this arrow removed until I know the given name & clan name of the man who wounded me… until I know whether he was tall, medium, or short… until I know whether he was dark, ruddy-brown, or golden-colored… until I know his home village, town, or city… until I know whether the bow with which I was wounded was a long bow or a crossbow… until I know whether the bowstring with which I was wounded was fiber, bamboo threads, sinew, hemp, or bark… until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was wild or cultivated… until I know whether the feathers of the shaft with which I was wounded were those of a vulture, a stork, a hawk, a peacock, or another bird… until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was bound with the sinew of an ox, a water buffalo, a langur, or a monkey.’ He would say, ‘I won’t have this arrow removed until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was that of a common arrow, a curved arrow, a barbed, a calf-toothed, or an oleander arrow.’ The man would die and those things would still remain unknown to him

Buddha was not interested in mystic musings. He was only interested in showing people the way to liberation. It is because of the empirical approach taken by Buddha, a lot of psychologists are interested in Buddhism more than any other tradition.

Anyway, overall the debate was very entertaining and fun to watch. Javed’s posture and reaction was very funny. He seemed to be restless too. Needless to say, Sadhguru made many insightful points in the debate.

What Advice would you like to give to the Followers of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev?

(I am republishing the answer that I wrote in Quora)

Disclaimer:

  1. 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.
  2. 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…

  1. 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

In human aggression, the syndrome is the underlying reason for the existence of Internet flame wars, of the organized skeptical movement and of this very wiki.

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)?

 

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev And Water Memory – The Quora Question And My Answer

I am republishing an answer that I wrote in Quora for the question “What are scientists’ opinions on Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s IIT Madras talk about water having memory and his abilities to manipulate its taste via telekinesis?” . The question had already received many answers when I answered it but I wanted to address some key issues using my answer. Here we go:

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

I am going to answer this question with a totally different perspective. I am going to be neutral throughout this answer and I have made some suggestions too. I request you all to read the complete answer.

There are a lot of great answers from people like Asher Nitin who are well versed in science; there are also answers from people who love Sadhguru , who wants to prove that Sadhguru was right. They are not able to stand negative criticisms against their beloved leader who has been their inspiration; They have no doubt that the guidance from their leader has been life changing for them.

But as a consequence, I see that Sadhguru lovers have taken some of these answers very seriously and personally, feel offended and even write comments like ‘Some sick dogs are barking at Sadhguru’.

So, let me talk about it a little bit before I begin..

While I do understand your feelings, please remember that this kind of abusive comments are not expected from people who are really practicing the techniques from Isha. And I see this as a growing trend among some people who support Isha. They constantly judge people, call them ‘ignorant’, ‘arrogant’, ‘stupid’, ‘fool’, ‘haters’ etc.

(Please note that I am not saying everybody does it. There are probably thousands of people who have become peaceful, less reactive and more compassionate because of regular practice.

In fact, I wonder if these people who use such abusive language ever practiced the kriyas taught there. These people are probably the ones who just watched some 10–20 youtube videos of Sadhguru but never did any serious spiritual sadhana)

Anyway, I would like to answer the question in such a way that the nature of this answer does not in anyway belittle Sadhguru, ridicule or criticize him. I am going to be as kind and as friendly as possible and I apologize in advance if this answer hurts your feelings in anyway.

If your mind is not clear now and if you think that you cannot read this answer line by line with neutral mind, then please don’t continue. If after reading a paragraph, you find yourself mentally preparing a comment for my answer instead of paying attention to everything that is said and considering it, then please don’t continue. May be you can try later. The better time would be probably just after you finish doing a session of Shambhavi Mahamudra. Don’t comment anything without reading and understanding the complete answer.

……………………………

Here is my answer:

Let us Understand the Question that was put to Sadhguru First

First, if you read the link in the Isha website, you can see that the questioner wants to know if there is some kind of evidence for the water memory so that it can be verified:

You said that water has some memory. Is there any viability to bring that memory level to our life or something? Is there any scientific evidence or spiritual evidence or some other evidence is available for that? Basically, as I’m a chemist I’m telling this.

Note that the questioner is not asking if water memory is true. The questioner is asking if water memory has any verifiable evidence. I hope you understand the difference; but let me give an example from our life to distinguish between the two.

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What is an Evidence?

Let us say you have written an exam. You know you have written it very well and you are going to pass the exam. You can tell others that you will pass the exams and it is guaranteed. But there is no evidence yet. The evidence is obtained only when you get the results in your hand.

Also, as you know, exams are written in controlled conditions so that no one is allowed to copy, carry any written material, speak to anyone etc. And extreme care is taken to make sure that the question paper is not leaked out before the exams. All this is done so that the results of your exams are not influenced by anything else.

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Science- Experiments, scientific control and peer review

Same works for a science experiment. The experiments are conducted in completely controlled conditions to make sure that there are no errors and that the results of the experiments are not influenced by any other variables. You can read more about it here: Scientific control – Wikipedia

Once the experiment is done, it has to be published in the appropriate journal for peer review. For example, you can find a list of Physics journals here: List of scientific journals – Wikipedia .

The results of the experiment can be challenged by future experiments anytime. The results should be always reproducible. If the results are not reproduced by future experiments, then it is not considered as evidence. (science people, please correct me If I have made any mistakes or missed out anything here. Feel free to suggest edits).

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The Quality of online articles that claim scientific evidence

This is very important to understand. Because, not everything that you find online is a genuine scientific evidence. Just because an article describes an experiment done by a scientist and shows the results of an experiment, it doesn’t mean that it is a scientific evidence. That is why you can find a lot of things in Google Search which seem authentic to many people even though they don’t have any strong scientific evidence.

If you haven’t read the above paragraph, please read. If you have read it, then remember this for the rest of your life.

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Sadhguru’s answer

The scientific nature of Sadhguru’s answer has been already analyzed brilliantly by others. But some people still seem to think that there is a scientific evidence for it (the comment ‘Some sick dogs are barking at Sadhguru’ was made by one of my Indian brothers, because of this misunderstanding). So, I am going to address that alone here.

Here is what Sadhguru said at the end, about the evidence part:

There’s substantial scientific evidence today about how the molecular structure of the water can be rearranged without changing the chemical structure, even with a simple thought or a touch.

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The nature of the experiments which were claimed to support water memory

  1. Luc Antoine Montagnier is a French virologist who won Nobel prize for discovering HIV virus. He published a controversial paper called ‘Electromagnetic Signals Are Produced by Aqueous Nanostructures Derived from Bacterial DNA Sequences’ which concludes the following:

Diluted DNA from pathogenic bacterial and viral species is able to emit specific radio waves and these radio waves [are] associated with ‘nanostructures’ in the solution that might be able to recreate the pathogen.

The paper has been met with harsh criticism for not being peer-reviewed, and its claims unsubstantiated by modern mainstream conventions of physics and chemistry. No third party has replicated the findings as of March 2015.

Supporters of homeopathy claimed that this experiment supported homeopathy but this claim was criticized by the scientists worldwide.

For example,

On 20 October 2010, Harriet A. Hall responded specifically to these claims by homeopaths: “Nope. Sorry, guys. It doesn’t. In fact, its findings are inconsistent with homeopathic theory… Homeopaths who believe Montagnier’s study supports homeopathy are only demonstrating their enormous capacity for self-deception.” She went on to analyze the studies and pointed out a number of flaws, stating: “…even assuming the results are valid, they tend to discredit homeopathy, not support it… Homeopathy is a system of clinical treatment that can only be validated by in vivo clinical trials.”

Please note that this paper is about bacterial DNA sequences and nothing to do with water memory anyway. I included it because someone quoted it as a direct evidence for water memory.

2. Jacques Benveniste

From wiki:

“In 1988, Jacques Benveniste published a study supporting a water memory effect amid controversy in Nature, accompanied by an editorial by Nature’s editor John Maddox urging readers to “suspend judgement” until the results could be replicated.

In the years following publication, multiple supervised experiments were run by Benveniste’s team, the United States Department of Defense, BBC’s Horizon programme, and other researchers, but no team has ever reproduced Benveniste’s results in controlled conditions.”

3. Masaru Emoto

I think Sadhguru’s statement was mainly due to this guy Masaru Emoto. Emoto claimed that different water sources would produce different crystalline structures when frozen. For example, he claimed that a water sample from a mountain stream when frozen would show structures of beautifully-shaped geometric design, but those structures would be distorted and randomly formed if the sample were taken from a polluted water source.

He did an experiment but he did not publish the result in any authentic mainstream scientific journals. Also, it met with harsh criticism from scientists stating that the experiment lacked controlled conditions, was prone to manipulation or human error influencing the findings. Emoto was personally invited to take the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge by James Randi in 2003, and would have received US$1,000,000 if he had been able to reproduce the experiment under test conditions agreed to by both parties. He did not participate.

To conclude, there is not even a week scientific evidence for water memory as of now contrary to Sadhguru’s statement that there’s substantial scientific evidence today about how the molecular structure of the water can be rearranged without changing the chemical structure, even with a simple thought or a touch.

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My opinion on this

As many people have said, we can’t expect a yoga guru to be scientifically correct. No one goes to Sadhguru to learn science either. In this particular instance, the actual question that was asked to Sadhguru was that if there was a scientific evidence for water memory and hence Sadhguru had to talk about science.

While we don’t have any evidence that water has memory, Sadhguru’s statement that science does have evidence is obviously incorrect. This probably came from what he has heard or read. And, considering a hearsay or a random article as an authentic source is due to a lack of awareness on how scientific experiment and peer review works. Not only Sadhguru, majority of well-educated Indians are not completely aware of how to discriminate between a real scientific evidence and false claim. (I learnt about it only last year, by the way).This is just due to the lack of general awareness on this topic among public.

But I have also come across instances where Sadhguru voluntarily talks about science and claims that many things the science is discovered now has been already discovered by yogic methods. He may be probably doing this to create more appeal to yoga and spread it to more people with good intention.

But this is what creates a lot of arguments and questions among people. First, we don’t have any evidence for the fact that any kind of factual knowledge can be obtained through practices like meditation or yoga, even though we have been hearing such stories since ancient days. This claim and claims to do miracles have been misused by many fake spiritual leaders in our country which naturally makes people to be extra cautious and even harshly criticize all spiritual leaders. Until there is a solid evidence that such claims have any scientific basis, such criticism will even continue in the upcoming generations. This will actually make Yoga to become less appealing in the future. There is no way to stop it unless we do something about it in this generation especially when an influential public figure like Sadhguru, who claims to be able to do many things that a normal man cannot do, is alive. I can actually offer a simple solution for that. But before that, let me tell you something very important that many people are not aware of.

Burden of Proof

This is an important concept to understand. Because, I have noticed many people saying that ‘If Sadhguru has made a claim, it is the responsibility of the person who is opposing the claim to disprove it’. In other words, they say “If you don’t believe it, then prove that it is wrong’..

It is absolutely necessary to correct this common misconception. Actually, if somebody is making a claim, it is the responsibility of the person who makes the claim to prove it. It is an universally accepted fact in philosophy, logic and science. You can read the citations given for more details.

The Solution

Now, imagine if just one of the claims made by Sadhguru is proved to be true. Just if one claim gets scientific evidence, it will create a lot of world wide attention, appeal and a respect for what Sadhguru says. People who have been accusing Sadhguru for different things may start to wonder, ‘there must be a lot of truth in what this man is saying’.

I remember an interview that a reporter had with Sadhguru. The reporter asked ‘Is this Adiyogi statue that you have created has been created to seek attention?’ For that, Sadhguru said ‘yes’ and explained to the interviewer that it has been created to attract worldwide attention to yoga so that a lot of people will be interested in yoga. And he clarified that it has not been created for a personal attention seeking but rather for a good cause, to create worldwide attention to yoga. While it indeed created attention, it also raised a lot of questions and accusations.

Well, there is actually a better way to create such an attention.He can start with just proving one of his claims to science. Remember, this is not a problem unless people make it a problem. It is actually something very simple to do.

Sadhguru has claimed many things which are extraordinary . He has done it indirectly by quoting incidents where he could do things like that. I will quote a claim mentioned in the same article that is given for this question, that can be very easily verified with an experiment.

So this lady in the house brought water for me and she’s like Kali suddenly, not just kathak, she’s like Kali. I looked at her – she’s a nice lady, today she’s in the Kali form – so I looked at her and she offered water to me and I said, ‘Amma, I don’t need this water. I don’t need to drink this water. You’re like Kali right now, I don’t need Kali’s prasadam right now, I’m fine.’ She said, ‘Why, will I poison it?’ I said, ‘No, you don’t have to poison it, it’s already done.’ Then I told her, ‘You take a sip from this glass.’ She took a sip from the glass, then I said, ‘Give me the glass to me.’ I held in my hands for two minutes and I just gave it to her, ‘You drink it now.’ She drank one sip and burst into tears and started crying, she said, ‘It’s sweet.’ I said, ‘That’s all the difference it is.’

This is an extraordinary claim! But all he has to do is get a glass of plain water from you, hold it in his hands for two minutes and give it to you. If it tastes sweet, that is all there is to prove.

It can be verified with a scientific experiment very easily. Proving such a thing has many advantages too. Other then getting attention, Sadhguru and Isha foundation will gain more trust. It will stop people from turning way from Isha just because these claims are made. It will stop unnecessary hot criticisms filled with hatred and verbal abuses that we see all over internet. Sadhguru may win a nobel prize and Isha people will love that. He may earn millions of dollars which can be used for social welfare. Because we all know that Isha foundation already needs money for upcoming projects and currently have to rely on donations alone. In fact, many people who oppose him will start to trust that he is doing everything with a genuine interest for people’s well being and willing to donate even more. Tell me one reason why this is not a good idea!

If you understand this and are genuinely interested to make it happen, we can find a way to pass it on to Sadhguru. You can republish this answer anywhere, share this answer, upvote it or directly send an email to Isha. If each missed call can count, each upvote can count too.

Thank you for taking your time to read this.

Was Shiva the Real Adiyogi or Is that Sadhguru’s Nonsense?

Note: Read my recent answer in Quora for more detailed elaboration: https://www.quora.com/Who-taught-yoga-to-Adiyogi-according-to-Sadhguru/answer/Shanmugam-P-12

(Update: 11/06/2018:

Due to a lot of misunderstandings, let me make something very clear. If you call the Absolute, the Brahman and the inner light of all sentient beings as Shiva and if you refer to that Absolute as the first guru, I don’t have any disagreements at all. In fact, I insist people follow this inner light.

But Sadhguru’s version of  Adiyogi is about a human being who lived 15,000 years ago, who really married a human woman called Parvathi and who gave birth to two yogis called Skanda and Ganesha. 

In other words, he implies that all Puranic stories are real and not metaphorical. But his story of Adiyogi actually matches a folk story of Nandinatha which is prevalent in Kashmir Shaivism. Before you comment, I request the readers to fully understand the intention of the article.

For more details and clarity, don’t fail to read the above mentioned Quora answer and also this one: What is the derivation of the word ‘Shiva’?. In this Quora answer, I have clearly explained the derivation of the word Shiva. Also, read this post to understand the metaphorical meaning of Ganesha and Skanda: A Shamatha Meditation Based on Symbolism, Visualization, Mnemonics and Classical Conditioning)

Recently, a 112-foot Adiyogi statue was unveiled in Isha Foundation, Coimbatore by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The beautiful statue was designed by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev as a credit to the first yogi and as an inspiration for the world. But who is the actual first yogi revered by yogic tradition? Was it really the mystical Lord Shiva or someone else? Sadly, the original Adi yogi has been forgotten and has been replaced by a carelessly spun story by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev.

adiyogi-shiva-statue.jpg

Let me first quote the story as it is narrated by Sadhguru.

Story of AdiYogi as narrated by Sadhguru

“When we say “Shiva,” there are two fundamental aspects that we are referring to. The word “Shiva” literally means “that which is not.” On another level, when we say “Shiva,” we are referring to a certain yogi, the Adiyogi or the first yogi, and also the Adi Guru, the first Guru, who is the basis of what we know as the yogic science today.

In the yogic culture, Shiva is not seen as a God. He was a being who walked this land and lived in the Himalayan region. As the very source of the yogic traditions, his contribution in the making of human consciousness is too phenomenal to be ignored. This predates all religion.

Over 15,000 years ago, Adiyogi appeared in the upper regions of the Himalayas. No one knew where he came from or what his origins were. He just came and went into intense ecstatic dance upon the mountains.

People saw that he was experiencing something that nobody had known before, something that they were unable to fathom. So they gathered around him wanting to know what it was. But no one had the courage to go near him because he was so intense, like a blazing flame of fire. So they waited, hoping something would happen. Some people waited for months and left and Only seven hardcore seekers stuck on. These seven were insistent that they must learn from him, but Shiva ignored them. They pleaded and begged him, “Please, we want to know what you know.”

At last after 84 years of intense sadhana,he decided to become a Guru. On a full moon day which is known as Guru Pournami because the Adiyogi transformed himself into the Adi Guru – the first Guru was born on that day. He took the seven disciples to Kantisarovar and started a systematic exposition of yoga in a scientific manner. He began propounding the whole mechanics of life to these seven people, not intellectually as a philosophy, but experientially. He explored every nut and bolt of creation with them. He brought forth yoga as a technology with which every human being can evolve himself.

The transmission went on for a long period of time. After many years, when it was complete and had produced seven fully enlightened beings, who are today celebrated as the Sapta Rishis, Adiyogi sent each one of them to different parts of the world. One went to Central Asia. Another went to North Africa and the Middle East, where certain schools exist even today. Another went to South America, and that is one culture that imbibed it in a deep way and made something big out of it. One went to East Asia.

One stayed right there with Adiyogi. Another one came to the lower regions of the Himalayas and started what is known as Kashmiri Shaivism. Another one went south into the Indian Peninsula. This one is very important for us because he is Agastya Muni. Of the seven Sapta Rishis, Agastya Muni has been the most effective in terms of bringing the spiritual process into practical life, not as a teaching, philosophy or a practice, but as life itself. It is the benefit of what he did that the Indian people are still enjoying because he produced hundreds of yogis who were like fireballs.” and it goes on.”

First, it looks like Sadhguru has mixed two different stories and made them into one story. I don’t mean that Sadhguru would have intentionally done that. Regardless of whether someone is enlightened or not, human memory has its limitations. Sadhguru probably heard these stories a long time ago and due to memory errors, he might have made the two stories into one, which narrates something that never happened. I don’t blame Sadhguru, but the blind followers who simply take whatever Sadhguru says as correct.

I think it is important to make a few things clear. Let me first discuss who this Shiva is and a story from mythology that talks about Dakshinamurthy. Then I will talk about the real Adi yogi, who initiated 8 sages and sent them to different parts of the world.

Who is Shiva?

First, the word ‘Shiva’ doesn’t mean ‘that which is not’, as said by Sadhguru. I have no idea how he came up with such a meaning. The word ‘Shiva’ means ‘auspicious’, which has always been used as an adjective in Vedas. The word has been used for many deities, not just Rudra, the earliest form of Lord Shiva that we know today. It was just a word used to honour someone. Slowly, the word ‘Shiva’ got associated with the Vedic deity Rudra.

Second, mythology is not history. The stories in mythology might have been created for various reasons: to convey deep mystic teachings in the form of a story, to help people to develop devotion for a personified form of the ultimate truth as an aid towards self-realization, to entertain people etc. A puranic story always has multiple contradictory versions, each of them created by people to glorify their own favourite personal God.

Sadhguru has many times indicated that this Adiyogi is the same as Dakshinamoorthy. But the story of Dakshinamoorthy and the story of the Adiyogi who sent 8 rishis to different parts of the world are two entirely different stories.

Let me narrate a puranic story. When Lord Brahma was doing his work of creation, he created many sons from different parts of his body. Four of his sons named Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana and Sanatkumara were born from the mind of Brahma. These four people became Brahmacharis against the wish of their father. It is also said that Brahma became very angry because of that, and out of anger Rudra, the earliest form of Shiva was born.

But in Shaivite traditions, it is said that these four people approached Shiva who then assumed the form of Dakshinamoorthy to teach them. He taught them about Self-realization using chin mudra that symbolically shows how a person realizes the ultimate truth. That was all his teaching! According to the story, he just taught the essence of all the scriptures by a small gesture. Note that this applies to all traditions, not just Yoga. Most of the Indian schools of thought like Advaita, Yoga, and Samkya have the same essence even though they use different terminologies.

There are different stories associated with these four kumaras. Some of them are contradictory. Each purana has its own version. So, it is very clear that Dakshinamoorthy is a pure form created for devotion and sadhana, not a historical being who walked on the earth. And Dakshninamoorthy was not shown as teaching traditional Yoga at all. He is clearly not the Adiyogi of the yogic tradition. But this is not to deny the significance of Dakshinamoorthy in anyway. He is a great symbolic representation of enlightenment.

Who is the real Adiyogi?

During 200 BC or 300 BC, a great yogi called Nandhi natha lived in mount Kailash. He was a real human being who walked this planet and was the guru of the great Patanjali. He initiated 8 disciples (Sanatkumar, Sanakar, Sanadanar, Sananthanar, Shivayogamuni, Patanjali, Vyaghrapada, and Tirumular) and sent them to various parts of the world including central Asia to spread Advaita Shaivism. The whole Yogic tradition goes back to Patanjali whose Guru was Nandi natha. Nandi Natha also composed a poem with 26 verses called Nandikeshvara Kashika.

Even today, the Nandhi natha yogic tradition regards Nandi natha as the Adiyogi. A school of this lineage called Adi Natha does regard Shiva as the first yogi, but that was just a title given to Nandinatha, since Shiva means ‘auspicious’.

Tirumular, a well known Tamil saint and the disciple of Nandhinatha was actually the one sent by Adi yogi to south India to spread this school (not Agasthiya). Shiva sending sage Agasthiya to South India to balance the earth was just another puranic story and even that story doesn’t say that he was sent to south India to teach Yoga, as Sadhguru narrates.(Again, this is not to deny the significance of Agasthiya; He was a great Siddha who made great contribution to the world).

Vigyan Bhairav Tantra – 112 techniques for Yoga

Sadhguru also says that Adiyogi statue is 112 feet high and this is to represent the 112 techniques given by Lord Shiva. These 112 techniques are from Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, which is claimed to be a part of ancient Kashmir Shaivaite text called Rudrayamala. It was composed by an unknown author sometime around 8th century AD as a form of imaginary conversation between Shiva and Shakthi.

So, this Vigyan Bhairav Tantra is in no way related to the Adiyogi  Nandhi natha or a historical man called Shiva. The whole text of Vigyan Bhairav Tantra was actually popularized by Osho all over the world. Vigyan Bhairav Tantra is a very rare text which was translated to English by Paul Reps based on the commentary given by Swami Lakshman Joo Raina, a self-realized mystic of Kashmir Shaivism. The translation of Paul Reps was used by Osho to give his own commentaries.

The credit of popularizing Vigyan Bhairav Tantra goes to these three people:  Lakshman Joo, Paul Reps and Osho. Without them, not many people would have known about this valuable text.

As I already mentioned in my previous article ‘The Journey of a Seeker’, Sadhguru uses so many anecdotes, information, views and ideas given by Osho but never gives him credit. Osho was an honest and courageous man who created a great worldwide awareness about self-realization. He was the first man to popularize the fact that there is nothing wrong for a self-realized man to live a normal life with all the luxuries of the world. If Osho didn’t have the courage to own 92 Rolls Royces and still claim enlightenment, we wouldn’t be accepting Sadhguru owning a helicopter or playing golf. It is easier to accept Sadhguru now because we have already seen Osho like this. Osho did all the groundwork but the poor man doesn’t get the credit.

The Adiyogi statue looks beautiful, there is no question. But he didn’t build this statue to give credit for whoever the adiyogi was. It is simply a statue of Lord Shiva built to attract crowds and tourists. If Sadhguru is the kind of man who gives credit to people, then he would have given credit to Nandhi Natha (the actual Adi yogi) and Osho already.

Update 18/02/2018

Read my recent answer in Quora for more detailed elaboration: https://www.quora.com/Who-taught-yoga-to-Adiyogi-according-to-Sadhguru/answer/Shanmugam-P-12

Update – Aug 5th, 2018:

As a response to the comments I have been getting from the followers of Sadhguru, I have started a video series. So, watch this series before you comment (4 videos in the playlist so far:

Here is the link to the entire playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyvcEPSjKqOk8Evwhz5tSlm5whxfZswlQ