That sounds damning. But mistakes can thankfully be rectified. And that’s the hope this book holds out to seekers. It reminds us that each one of us can make the journey-from confusion to clarity, from error to enlightenment, from self-deception to self-discovery-if only we choose.
Yogi, mystic, visionary and poet, Sadhguru is a spiritual master with a difference. An arresting blend of profundity and pragmatism, his life and work serve as a reminder that yoga is not an esoteric discipline from an outdated past, but a contemporary science, vitally relevant to our times. Probing, passionate and provocative, insightful, logical and unfailingly witty, Sadhgugu’s talks have earned him the reputation of a speaker and opinion-maker of international renown.
With speaking engagements that take him around the world, he is widely sought after by prestigious global forums to address issues as diverse as human rights, business values, and social, environmental and existential issues. He has been a delegate to the United Nations Millennium World Peace Summit, a member of the World Council of Religious and Spiritual Leaders and Alliance for New Humanity, a special invitee to the Australian Leadership Retreat, Tallberg Forum, Indian Economic Summit 2005-2008, as well as a regular at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He was awarded the Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar (IGPP) for the year 2008 for Isha Foundation’s Project Green Hands’ efforts.
With a celebratory engagement with life on all levels, Sadhguru’s areas of active involvement encompass fields as diverse as architecture and visual design, poetry and painting, ecology and horticulture, sports and music. He is the author and designer of several unique buildings and consecrated spaces at the Isha yoga Center, which have wide attention for their combination of intense sacred power with strikingly innovative eco-friendly aesthetics.
Listeners have been ubiquitously impressed by his astute and incisive grasp of current issues and world affairs, as well as his unerringly scientific approach to the question of human well-being. Sadhguru is also the founder of Isha Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of the individual and the world for the past three decades. Isha Foundation does not promote any particular ideology, religion, or race, but transmits inner sciences of universal appeal.
“There are only two types of people: mystics and mistakes,” says Sadhguru, leaving most readers in no doubt of the category to which they belong!
That sounds damning. But mistakes can thankfully be rectified. And that’s the hope this book holds out to seekers. It reminds us that each one of us can make the journey – from confusion to clarity, from error to enlightenment, from self-deception to self-discovery – if only we choose.
This book is an invitation to a journey – from a life of mechanical autopilot to a life of freedom and grace. It leads readers from narrowly logical categories to spaces far beyond the frontiers of probability, from the realm of fact to landscapes lunar and mysterious. But even as it charts its course, it does not poist any easy polarities; it is evenhanded in its rejection of the dogmas of both science and religion. Sharp, piercing and unsparing, what it represents is mysticism demystified – stripped of the trappings of facile logic and facile illogic, of rigid rationality and rigid faith.
Above all, this is a book that offers signposts on a journey that can so often be a bewildering one. Sadhguru draws the reader’s attention to the many perils of self-delusion on the path. Mysticism, he tells us in the very first chapter, denouncing many long-cherished assumptions, has nothing whatsoever to do with thinking about God, yearning for salvation or even attaining peace. And it is emphatically not an expedition for those with “shopping lists.”
It is, instead, a journey for those willing to take risks, for those willing to travel beyond the limited and unreliable matrix of logic and the five senses, for those willing to open their doors and windows and let sunlight in. does it take an act of conversion? Yes. Conversion to total receptivity. “you can convert this human system into absolute receptivity where you can perceive life in ways that you have never believed possible,” he says. But he concedes that receptivity doesn’t come easy; it entails putting aside one’s ideas, emotions and long-held identifications, with no guaranteed dividends in store. And yet, the spiritual life will settle for nothing less. When dominated by the human intellect, life is a mere circus, says Sadhguru. But when dominated by the human intelligence, it is nothing less than a dance.
That dance entails discernment. Sadhguru draws our attention to certain vital distinctions: between the clarity born of fanaticism and the clarity born of realization, between magic and mysticism, between a spurious spirituality and an authentic mysticism. “You saw God. So what the hell?” he remarks caustically, pointing out that the only index of any genuine spirituality is self-transformation. A spiritual process that doesn’t produce joyful and intense human beings, he maintains, is worth nothing.
In the second chapter, he tells us just what it takes to break out of self-created cocoons of individuality, how to generate intensity enough to “break the bubble” of space and time. In a subtle and vital distinction, he emphasizes that mysticism is not for those seeking mastery but for those seeking freedom. And the journey towards that freedom–which he describes tantalizingly as an ‘intoxication” that is “not insanity” – entails an understanding of how to be intense but not tense, relaxed but not lax. The chapter also includes forays into areas that are more obviously non-logical and mysterious; the question of past life memory; the nature of true bliss; the moon and mysticism; and the master’s personal account of how the “bubble” was broken in his own life.
The third section takes us even deeper on this voyage into the unknown, pointing out that modern science and the yogic science intersect at one vital point: in their acknowledgement of the mystery of existence. Here Sadhguru discusses a range of fascinating subjects: the beginnings of the universe; the true meaning of the term “sacrifice”; the yougic process of linga-making (the unique subtle energy form of the Dhyanalinga created by him in Coimbatore, as well as the birth of the linga in the ancient temple of Thanjavur); the yogic alchemy of transforming a man into a god; the birthing of a goddess (in which he discusses the Linga Bhairavi temple that he consecrated in 2010); and the significance of living in a consecrated space.
An exciting culmination to the book is the final chapter which covers a gamut of related themes, probing the mystical dimensions of subjects as diverse as dreams and destiny, karma and memory, imagination and meditation, human conception and birth, the human body, liberation and the limitless possibilities of the human spine.
There’s something here for every kind of reader. There is Sadhguru’s razor-sharp logic in dealing with fluffy illogicality, and his ability to uncover profound truth in seemingly sterile scientific fact. For those inclined soar too readily into the empyrean, this book will offer a firm anchor to the terrestrial. For those who prefer to remain earthbound, it is likely to offer moments of unexpected free-fall.
Fasten your seatbelts. Both matter-of fact and wildly improbable, here’s a book that crash-lands when you prepare for altitude, and takes off just when you expect to find the earth beneath your feet.
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