Sadhguru Profile

Carolyn and I have appreciated the work of Yogi, spiritual teacher, and environmentalist Sadhguru, who is the founder of the Isha Foundation in India. He is the author of several bestselling books and is the recipient of numerous awards for his valuable ecological work. Sadhguru Jagadish Vasudev was born in 1957 in Karnataka, India. His father was an ophthalmologist and his mother was a homemaker. He was the youngest of five children.

After Vasudev completed his formal education, he enrolled at the University of Mysore in India, where he performed well studying English literature. After graduating from school, Vasudev built a poultry farm in Mysore. The farm became a successful business, and it required minimal attention throughout the day, so Vasudev was able to pursue other interests during his time off, such as writing poetry.

In 1982, at the age of 25, Vasudev had a spiritual experience that changed his life. He drove up a hill in Mysore and sat out on a rock. As he was sitting there, Vasudev had a boundary-dissolving mystical experience that he described like this, “All my life I had thought, this is me…But now the air I was breathing, the rock on which I was sitting, the atmosphere around me— everything had become me.”

After having a similar spiritual experience around six days later, Vasudev shut down his poultry business and he began to travel around India on his motorcycle, seeking insight into his spiritual experience. Vasudev developed a love for riding motorcycles. One of his favorite places to ride was the Chamundi Hills in Mysore, although he sometimes drove as far as Nepal. In 1983, after about a year of meditation and travel, Vasudev felt inspired to teach yoga in Mysore, to share his transformative, inner experience with others.

Vasudev took the name “Sadhguru,” which means “uneducated guru.” A guru is a “dispeller of darkness,” or a teacher, and Sadhguru means a teacher who does not come from a lineage of gurus. In other words, he’s a self-taught guru. In 1992, Vasudev established the Isha Foundation, a nonprofit, spiritual organization and yoga center in Coimbatore, India. The foundation offers a system of yoga that combines postural yoga with chanting, breathing, and meditation. They also have initiatives to improve the quality of education in rural India, and the organization is supported by over nine million volunteers in more than 300 centers worldwide.

Through the Isha Foundation, Sadhguru has launched several ecologically oriented projects and campaigns focused on environmental conservation and protection. In 2017, Sadhguru launched Rally for Rivers, a campaign intended to build widespread support for river revitalization efforts across India, and in 2019, he launched the Cauvery Calling campaign, which focused on planting trees along the Cauvery River, to replenish depleted water levels.

In 2017, Sadhguru received the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award, for his “contributions to spirituality and humanitarian services,” and in 2018 the president of India awarded him the Rashtriya khel Protsahan Puraskar, an honor for organizing India’s largest rural sports festival. In 2022, Sadhguru completed a 100-day motorcycle journey from London to India, to bring attention to his Journey to Save Soil campaign, which focuses on raising awareness about soil degradation issues and the benefits of using organic matter in farming.

According to India Today, in 2019 Sadhguru was one of the fifty “most powerful” people in India. He ranked number 40, and he was included because his Rally for Rivers campaign was the largest ecological movement ever, with support from over 162 million people. Sadhguru has appeared on many popular talk shows talking about his ecological campaigns, including the Joe Rogan podcast and The Daily Show.

Sadhguru is actively involved in an assortment of diverse and creative fields, such as architecture and visual design. He is the designer of several unique buildings and consecrated spaces at the Isha Yoga Center. Sadhguru also writes poetry and paints, and some of his artwork can be found on display at the Isha Foundation.

Sadhguru has authored over thirty books, including the New York Times bestsellers Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy and Karma: A Yogi’s Guide to Crafting Your Destiny. His book Eternal Echoes is a collection of his poetry from 1994 to 2021.

Some of the quotes that Sadhguru is known for include:

Every moment there are a million miracles happening around you: a flower blossoming, a bird tweeting, a bee humming, a raindrop falling, a snowflake wafting along the clear evening air. There is magic everywhere. If you learn how to live it, life is nothing short of a daily miracle.

Whether you are a man, woman, animal, or an ant – the Source of Life is Within You.

A human is not a being; he is a becoming. He is an ongoing process – a possibility. For this possibility to be made use of, there is a whole system of understanding the mechanics of how this life functions and what we can do with it, which we refer to as yoga.

Mind is not in any one place. Every cell in this body has its own intelligence. The brain is sitting in your head, but mind is all over the place.

You may not be able to shape every situation in your life, but you certainly have the potential to determine how you experience every moment of your life.

This is the power of Inner Engineering.

In yogic culture, Growth means Dissolution. You dissolve your limited persona to become as vast as the Universe. When you are nothing, in some way, you are everything.

What happened yesterday, you cannot change. What is happening today, you can only experience. What is tomorrow, you have to Create.

The sign of intelligence is that you are constantly wondering. Idiots are always dead sure about every damn thing they are doing in their life.

The most beautiful moments in life are moments when you are expressing your joy, not when you are seeking it.

If you resist change, you resist life.

by David Jay Brown