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Meditation Guru

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

Born Jagadish Vasudev in Mysore-Karnataka, India, in 1957, Sadhguru was a precocious child reared in a traditional home. Even at an early age, he possessed a unique passion and purpose that defined his life. Preferring the wonder of nature and the eloquence of poetry to attending school, 10-year old Jaggi would often venture out alone on long treks through the surrounding mountain forests for days at a time. It was also in these mountain woods that, years later, Sadhguru found his deepest connection to himself.

Around the age 13, Sadhguru came across an elderly yogi by name Shri Raghavendra Rao, popularly known as Malladihalli Swami, who was being hosted by his grandparents. Admiring the physical agility and self-mastery of Malladihalli Swami, Sadhguru began studying yoga under him. At that time, his yoga practices were a means of attaining peak physical and mental health. “I never thought of yoga as a spiritual possibility, nor did the word ‘spiritual’ mean anything to me at that time,” he says.

Continuing his education reluctantly and attending classes intermittently, Sadhguru graduated in English Literature from the Mysore University. Subsequently, in partnership with a close friend, he built his own successful construction business. Despite his new hectic and even wild working schedule, Sadhguru continued to be an active and adventurous outdoorsman – hang gliding, racing motorcycles, and arranging hiking expeditions into the mountains for him and his friends. It was during one of these trips that Sadhguru had a deep ‘experience of the self’ that changed everything in his life.

Of all his trekking destinations, the Chamundi Hills in the outskirts of Mysore was most frequented, as it was the closest. Sadhguru, who was 25 years of age by now, had climbed the hills from it every possible face. On this particular afternoon, he’d come alone on his motorcycle and was sitting on a particular rock, that had become one of his favorite spots. It was here that Sadhguru had a deep inner experience that not only came unasked, but soon became a permanent reality for him.

“Suddenly, I had this experience that what I had considered as myself was not just my body or what was contained in my body. The rock I was sitting on, the trees, the mountains – everything was me…what was ‘me’ was everything,” Sadhguru described of the experience. “This shattered all of my limitations and delivered me to a completely new dimension of life.” Tears of joy rolling down his cheeks, he was deeply ecstatic.

“From the age of 5 years, I had not shed a drop of tear. Now so much tears flowed from my eyes that my shirt was drenched. I thought this experience was there for only about 3 to 5 minutes. But when I came back to my normal state, it was 7:30 in the evening – about four to four and a half hours had passed. The whole experience made me very ecstatic and blissful”.

“After that day, I started going through this experience often. Once I go through this experience, next 3-4 days I never sleep. I am wide-awake and I don’t eat for 2-3 days. Once it happened for 12 days – it became so intense…”

At that time Sadhguru was not somebody whom you would describe as a spiritual person or a person with such inclinations. He never went to temples or had any interest in meeting spiritual people. Belonging to the sixties, he grew up with ‘blue jeans and Beatles’. But now, in a month’s time, after the experience he just wound up all his business.

“That’s when I knew there was something fantastic in me, but I did not know how to share it.” He happened to meet some spiritual people who confirmed the mention of such experiences in spiritual literature but refused to believe that it was happening to him. “I found all these people on the spiritual path were talking of something fantastic but they did not have the experience. I had a big experience but I did not know how to express myself”.

This spontaneous experience of unbounded awareness, often referred to as “enlightenment,” revealed to Sadhguru that the same possibility exists for every human being. “It was very, very clear to me that every human being could live blissfully like this and it doesn’t need any external reason or stimulus,” he explained. Out of his realization, his deep understanding of the yogic sciences, and his desire to share this possibility with all human beings, Isha Yoga was born.

Today, full two decades after the experience, Sadhguru remains deeply engaged in creating an elaborate mechanism and a movement to bring to fruition the large scale manifestation of the fullest realization of the human potential. Sadhguru has often mentioned that it is his dream that just as walking down a street in India one runs into a handful of vegetable vendors, one day walking down the streets he would like run into a handful of enlightened people.

When not on his lecture tours and travels Sadhguru lives in Isha Yoga Center at the foothills of the Velliangiri Mountains in Coimbatore, India. He has two pets – Great Danes Siddhaa and Malli. These days, he is often visited by a graceful, old, 13-foot cobra, Naga, from the nearby Velliangiri Mountains. Website: