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Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev (born 3 September 1957) is a Yogi, Mystic, Visionary and Humanitarian. Sadhguru is an Indian spiritual leader and yogi whose life and work has touched the lives of millions worldwide. He founded the Isha Foundation, a not for profit organization which offers yoga programs around the world, including India, the United States, the United Kingdom, Lebanon, Singapore, Canada,[1] Malaysia, Uganda, China, Nepal, Netherlands and Australia. The foundation is also involved in various social and community development activities, which have earned the foundation a special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.[2] On 13 April 2017, the Government of India conferred the Padma Vibhushan award for his contribution towards the larger well-being of humanity.[3] His book 'Inner Engineering' was a New York Times bestseller. Many of his anecdotes, jokes, views and opinions have uncanny and exact similarity with the talks of Osho(Rajneesh).[4]

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
Sadhguru
Sadhguru-Jaggi-Vasudev.jpg
Founder of Isha Foundation
Philosophy Yoga, Inner Engineering
Personal
Nationality Indian
Born (1957-09-03) 3 September 1957 (age 59)
Mysore, India
Children Radhe (daughter)
Religious career
Guru Palani Swami & Malladihalli Raghavendra
Literary works Inner Engineering, Adiyogi: The Source of Yoga, Mystic's Musings and many
Honors Padma Vibhushan (2017)

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Born in Mysore, Karnataka (South India) on Tuesday 3 September 1957[5] to Susheela and Dr. Vasudev, Jagadish was the youngest of four children – two boys and two girls. His father was an ophthalmologist with the Indian Railways and as a result, the family moved frequently. At the age of 12, he came in contact with Malladihalli Sri Raghavendra Swamiji who taught him a set of simple yoga asanas, the practice of which he regularly maintained.[6] He states that "without a single day's break, this simple yoga that was taught to me kept happening and led to a much deeper experience later."[5]:39

After his schooling at Demonstration School, Mysore in 1973, he graduated from the University of Mysore with a Bachelor's degree in English literature.[7] During his college years, he developed an interest in travel and motorcycles. A frequent haunt of his and his friends was the Chamundi Hill near Mysore, where they often gathered and went for nocturnal drives. He also traveled to various places in the country on his motorcycle. This experience made him resolve "to earn some quick money," and just ride off to travel the world. In order to make money, he started several successful businesses after graduation, including a poultry farm, a brickworks and a construction business.

Spiritual experienceEdit

At the age of 25 on 23 September 1982,[8] he rode up Chamundi Hill and sat on a rock, where he had a spiritual experience. He describes his experience as follows: "Till that moment in my life I always thought this is me and that's somebody else and something else. But for the first time I did not know which is me and which is not me. Suddenly, what was me was just all over the place. The very rock on which I was sitting, the air that I breathe, the very atmosphere around me, I had just exploded into everything. That sounds like utter insanity. This, I thought it lasted for ten to fifteen minutes but when I came back to my normal consciousness, it was about four-and-a-half-hours I was sitting there, fully conscious, eyes open, but time had just flipped."[9]:04:04 Six weeks after this experience, he left his business to his friend and travelled extensively in an effort to gain insight into his mystical experience. After about a year of meditation and travel, he decided to teach yoga to share his inner experience.[8]

In 1983, he conducted his first yoga class with seven participants in Mysore. Over time, he began conducting yoga classes across Karnataka and Hyderabad traveling from class to class on his motorcycle. He lived off the produce of his poultry farm rental and refused payment for the classes. A usual practice of his was to donate the collections received from participants to a local charity on the last day of the class.[8] These initial programs were the basic format on which the Isha Yoga classes were later built.

DhyanalingaEdit

 
The Nandi bull statue at the Isha Yoga Center

In 1994, Sadhguru conducted the first program in the premises of the newly established Isha Yoga Center, during which he described the Dhyanalinga. The Dhyanalinga is a yogic temple and a space for meditation, the consecration of which, Sadhguru stated was his life's mission entrusted to him by his guru.[8] In 1996, the stone edifice of the linga was ordered and arrived at the ashram. After three years of work, the Dhyanalinga was completed on 23 June 1999[10] and opened to the public on 23 November.[11]

 
The Dhyanalinga is the first of its kind to be completed in over 2000 years.

The Dhyanalinga offers a meditative space that does not ascribe to any particular faith or belief system.[12] A 76-foot dome, constructed using bricks and stabilised mud mortar without steel or concrete,[13] covers the sanctum sanctorum. The lingam is 13 feet and 9 inches in height and made of black granite. The Sarva Dharma Sthamba, located at the front entrance, functions as an icon of singularity, with the sculptural reliefs and symbols of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Buddhism, and Shinto inscribed as a universal welcome.[14]

Isha FoundationEdit

 
Saplings being readied for transportation at a PGH nursery.

Sadhguru established the Isha Foundation, a non religious, non-profit organisation entirely run by volunteers. Isha Yoga Center near Coimbatore was founded in 1993, and hosts a series of programs to heighten self-awareness through yoga. The foundation works in tandem with international bodies like the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.[2]

Social initiativesEdit

He is also the founder of Project GreenHands (PGH), a grassroots ecological initiative which was awarded the Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar, by the Government of India in June 2010.[15] PGH aims to increase the green cover in Tamil Nadu by 10% and has successfully overseen the planting of more than 27 million trees by over 2 million volunteers.[16] In an interview with National Geographic Green magazine, he explained the impetus which led him to establish Project GreenHands: "In the year 1998, certain experts [...] made a prediction, by 2025, 60% of Tamil Nadu will be a desert. [...] I decided to drive across Tamil Nadu and see for myself if this is true. [...] I realized they were completely wrong because it wouldn't go to 2025, it would happen much faster according to me. [...] So from '98 to 2003, 2004, I went about planting trees in people's minds. And since 2004, we [have been] transplanting those trees back to the ground."[17]

Action for Rural Rejuvenation (ARR) is an initiative of the Isha Foundation that aims to improve the overall health and quality of life of the rural poor. ARR was established in 2003 and seeks to benefit 70 million people in 54,000 villages across South India. As of 2010, ARR has reached over 4,200 villages and a population of over 7 million people.[18][19] He has also been involved with agricultural and farmers' associations to work towards resolving issues faced by Indian farmers.[20]

Isha Vidhya, is Isha Foundation's educational initiative, which aims to raise the level of education and improve literacy in rural India. There are seven schools in operation which educate around 7,000 students.[21] The foundation has also "adopted" 512 government schools to reach out to students from financially constrained backgrounds, and aims to adopt up to 3,000 schools.[22][23]

Yoga programsEdit

 
Sadhguru conducting the Inner Engineering Program at the Bombay Stock Exchange, Mumbai.

After the establishment of the ashram, Sadhguru began conducting regular yoga programs at the Isha Yoga Center, including a course for the Indian Hockey team in 1996.[24][25] In 1997, he began conducting classes in the United States[26][27] and in 1998, he began conducting yoga classes for life-term prisoners in Tamil Nadu prisons.[28] From 2011, he began conducting programs with large-scale participation of up to 10,000 and 15,000 participants at once. These large-scale programs have been attended by over 75,000 people in total.[29][30]

The programs are offered under the umbrella of Isha Yoga. The word Isha means "the formless divine".[31] Isha yoga's flagship program is 'Inner Engineering', which introduces people to meditation and pranayam and the Shambhavi Mahamudra.[32] He also conducts yoga classes for corporate leadership to introduce them to what he calls "inclusive economics", which he says introduces a sense of compassion and inclusiveness into today's economic scenario.[33][34]

He also regularly conducts Mahasathsangs in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Here he gives talks, teaches meditation, and holds question and answer sessions with the audience. These Mahasathsangs are also used as platforms to encourage tree-planting activities as well.[35] He also takes spiritual aspirants on annual yatras to Mount Kailash and the Himalayas. The Kailash Yatra led by him is among the largest groups to make the trip to Kailash, with 514 pilgrims attending the journey in 2010.[36][37] He also spends time working with people on stress relief in institutes of tertiary education like SRM University, Chennai.[citation needed]

Sadhguru organises all-night Mahashivarathri celebrations every year at the Isha Yoga Center. It's estimated that these celebrations were attended by as many as 800,000 people in 2013.[38][39][40] The night includes music, dance, and guided meditation. In 2013, performers included Carnatic singer Aruna Sairam, dancer Anita Ratnam, and the band The Raghu Dixit Project.[40]

In March 2005, construction of the Isha Institute of Inner-sciences (III) in McMinnville, Tennessee, USA was begun and was completed 6 months later. Sadhguru had decided to establish III as a Center for spiritual growth in the Western Hemisphere. On 7 November 2008, he consecrated the Mahima Hall, a 39,000 square foot, free-standing meditation hall at the III. Mahima Hall is the largest meditation hall in the Western Hemisphere.[41] On 30 January 2010, he consecrated the Linga Bhairavi, a representation of the feminine aspects of the divine at the Isha Yoga Center.[5]

Participation in global and economic forumsEdit

 
KV Kamath, who was present at the Isha Insight program.

Sadhguru spoke at the United Nations Millennium World Peace Summit in 2000,[42] the World Economic Forum in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.[43] On 24 June 2013, he conducted a multi-religious session titled, "Interfaith Deliberations on the Universality of Religions" at the Isha Yoga Center, which was attended by representatives of various religions, and coincided with the fourteenth anniversary celebrations of the Dhyanalinga.[44][45]

In 2012, he was voted among the hundred most powerful Indians for his contribution in the field of environmental protection and for encouraging public participation in ecological issues.[46] He was also a participant in the 2006 documentary film ONE: The Movie. He has been involved in one-on-one interactions as part of the "In Conversations With the Mystic" program with Shekhar Kapur, Virender Sehwag, Juhi Chawla, Barkha Dutt, Anupam Kher, Jasti Chelameswar, Dilip Cherian, Muzaffar Ali, Tarun Tahiliani, Jaya Prakash Narayana, Kiran Bedi and Karan Johar.[47][48][49]

In 2012, he initiated the Isha Insight program, which focuses on helping small and medium businesses scale up their business activities. The program was conducted by Ram Charan with KV Kamath, Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao, Shankar Annaswamy, Vellayan Subbiah and Pramod Chaudhari also active in the program.[50] In an interview with Forbes magazine, speaking about the motivation behind setting up the program, he said, "While speaking at economic summits and to leaders in India and outside, I have noticed that the most serious issue people have is a lack of insight into what they are doing, or what they could do. That's how we ended up creating this programme called Insight."[51]

AdiyogiEdit

Sadhguru designed the 112-foot statue of Adiyogi, which is located at the Isha Yoga Center. The statue depicts the first yogi. It was inaugurated on Mahashivaratri, 24 February 2017, by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.[52] The Adiyogi statue depicts Shiva as the first yogi or Adiyogi, and first Guru or Adi Guru, who offered yoga to humanity. The statue is built by Isha Foundation and weighs around 500 tonnes (490 long tons; 550 short tons).

Sadhguru notes that the statue is for inspiring people to take up yoga. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has included the consecration of the statue in its official Incredible India campaign as a destination.[53]

PublicationsEdit

Sadhguru is the author of several books, including Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy, which entered the Washington Post and The New York Times bestseller list in multiple categories. The book tour in North America included 17 cities, and the launch events were attended by an estimated 26,000 people.[54][55] The Huffington Post review describes the books as "full of practical tools to begin one's self-transformation journey."[56]

EnglishEdit

TamilEdit

HindiEdit

KannadaEdit

TeluguEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Isha City Centres in Canada: Calgary and Toronto". Inner Engineering. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "'Quadrennial reports for the period 2011-2014 submitted by non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council through the Secretary-General pursuant to Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31" (PDF). 24 February 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2017. 
  3. ^ "PadmaAwards-2017" (PDF). 
  4. ^ "The Journey of a Seeker". 
  5. ^ a b c Subramaniam, Arundhathi (2010). Sadhguru More Than A Life. Penguin Group. ISBN 978-0-670-08512-5. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "Uncommon Wisdom". India Today. 26 April 2007. 
  7. ^ "'I have not read the Vedas or the Upanishads. I confess I haven't read the Gita'". Indian Express. 10 March 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c d Simone, Cheryl (2008). Midnights with the Mystic. Hampton Roads Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-57174-561-3. 
  9. ^ Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev (2009). TED India 2009 (YouTube). Mysore: TED India. 
  10. ^ "Dhyanalingam installed". Indian Express. 26 July 1999. 
  11. ^ "A multi religious temple". The Hindu. 19 November 1999. 
  12. ^ Rangaswamy, Sudhakshina (25 July 2003). "Transformation of the inner Self". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  13. ^ "Auroville Earth Institute, training courses, workshops on Vaults, Arches, Domes(VAD), stabilized rammed earth walls, compressed earth blocks, vaulted structures, compressed stabilised earth blocks, rammed earth.". 
  14. ^ Ganapathy, T.K. (28 September 2001). "Haven for the spiritually inclined". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  15. ^ Corporates partners with Isha foundation to support Project GreenHands, Business Standard, 6 June 2010, Retrieved on 6 June 2010
  16. ^ "Here's the 10th and final list of speakers announced for Jaipur Literature Festival". The Plunge Daily. Retrieved 2017-04-11. 
  17. ^ National Geographic Green magazine - interview with Sadhguru - 1. YouTube: National Geographic Green magazine. 
  18. ^ "Isha Foundation launches Centre-funded project". The Hindu. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  19. ^ "Jaggi Vasudev in city on May 7". The Times of India. 21 April 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  20. ^ "Farmers' convention in the city". The Hindu. 15 March 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  21. ^ "LIC gives grant to Isha". The Hindu. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  22. ^ "Students sensitised to environmental issues". The Hindu. 3 May 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  23. ^ Madhusudhan NR (13 June 2013). "Embarking on a spiritual journey". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  24. ^ "Morale-Booster says Bhaskaran". Indian Express. 26 November 1996. 
  25. ^ "Refreshed Team Begins Final Preparation". The Hindu. 2 December 1996. 
  26. ^ "Yoga guru touts peace, not religion". The Tennessean. 15 October 1997. 
  27. ^ "It doesn't take a guru to know which way the stress flows". Dayton Daily News. 17 March 1998. 
  28. ^ "Yoga Brings 'Freedom' to Prisoners". The Hindu. 16 February 1998. 
  29. ^ "A medley of yoga and green moves". The Hindu. 25 June 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  30. ^ "Life changing weekend with Sadhguru". The New Indian Express. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  31. ^ "Sadhguru – Exploring the unlimited". Life Positive. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  32. ^ "In pursuit of peace of mind". Daily News and Analysis. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  33. ^ "The route to 'dharmacracy'". Business Today. 27 November 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  34. ^ "Inclusive Economics: Enabling the World'". Huffington Post. 17 May 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  35. ^ "Isha's Green Salem goes on stream". The Hindu. 14 December 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  36. ^ "Isha shows the way". Indian Express. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  37. ^ "'Mansarovar is beyond words'". Daily News and Analysis. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  38. ^ Zakaria, Namrata (June 2013). "The Lure of Isha" (PDF). Harpers Bazaar. pp. 106–108. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  39. ^ Zakaria, Namrata (14 March 2013). "Fashion label to 'yogi': Donna Karan on an Indian holiday". The Indian Express. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  40. ^ a b Vyas, Sheetal (1 April 2013). "Holy Days". Outlook. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  41. ^ "A 39,000 square-foot meditation facility". AtlantaDunia. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  42. ^ "Passion for Peace: At the United Nations Millennium World Peace Summit with Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev". Health and Wellness Magazine – Nashville. April 2001. 
  43. ^ Padmanabhan, Mukund (15 March 2009). "Golf with the Guru". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  44. ^ "Many paths one goal". Life Positive. August 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  45. ^ "Anniversary celebrations at Isha". The Hindu. 24 June 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  46. ^ "The most powerful Indians in 2012: No. 91-100". Indian Express. 24 February 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  47. ^ "In Conversation with the Mystic - Anupam Kher with Sadhguru". FirstPost. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  48. ^ Dua, Chetna (2 August 2013). "Conversations with the mystic". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  49. ^ "Live Webstream | In Coversation with the Mystic". 
  50. ^ Sangani, Priyanka (21 December 2012). "What differentiates people who are successful from the rest, explains mystic Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev". Economic Times. ET Bureau. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  51. ^ Gupta, Indrajit (21 Nov 2012). "How to Scale up Your Enterprise: Conversations with Sadhguru & Dr Ram Charan". Forbes. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  52. ^ "PM Narendra Modi unveils first 112-foot tall Shiva statue in Coimbatore". The Financial Express. 24 February 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  53. ^ "Maha Shivratri 2017: PM Modi unveils 112-foot Shiva statue in Coimbatore". Daily News Analysis. 24 February 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  54. ^ "Don't vote as part of a tribe, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev tells Americans". Business Standard. IANS. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  55. ^ "Sadhguru's newly launched book is about exploring inner self". Matrubhoomi. Matrubhoomi. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  56. ^ Lilak, Pam. "How To Start Drinking From The Bottomless Cup Of Joy". Huffington Post. Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  57. ^ "Adiyogi: The Source of Yoga" by Sadhguru, Harper Elements

External linksEdit