Sadhguru is a yogi, a mystic, and an author of many books. His most recent book, as mentioned in this interview, is A Yogi’s Guide to Creating Your Destiny. He is no stranger to public speaking, having been an invited guest to the United Nations, Harvard, MIT, World Economic Forum, and so many more. In his work, Sadhguru has devoted himself to the betterment of mankind and this planet as both a humanitarian and environmentalist.
For today’s short interview, we focus in on Sadhguru’s new Green Earth Initiative; a group focused on informing the world of the facts regarding environmental decline, and it’s hopeful reversal. We discuss the importance of this planet, it’s fragile ecology, and the surprising cause of it’s decline. We also talk about the importance of soil, and how it is the root of all life. Lastly, we discuss his tips to writing a book and where to look for inspiration.
“Everything that’s happening to you…is entirely your making because human experience comes from within”
This week on the School for Good Living Podcast:
- The purpose of life here on this planet
- The human experience
- Action over inspiration
- The degradation of our soil
- The next steps
Brilliant Miller [00:00:02] Hi, I’m brilliant, your host for this show, I know that I’m incredibly blessed as the son of self-made billionaires, I’ve seen the high price some people pay for success. And I’ve learned that money really can’t buy happiness. But I’ve also had the good fortune to learn directly from many of the world’s leading teachers. If you are ready to be, do have and give more. This podcast is for you high friends.
Brilliant Miller [00:00:25] Brilliant here today. My conversation is a short one with Sadhguru. He’s a yogi, a mystic, an author and so much more. He’s written a book called Engineering A Yogis Guide to Joy, a book that has changed my life. He’s written another book called Death An Inside Story. And his most recent book book I talked about in this interview is A Yogis Guide to Creating Your Destiny. And he’s written many, many more books and done a whole bunch more. He has spoken at prestigious conferences and forums around the globe, including at the United Nations, the House of Lords, Harvard, MIT and the World Economic Forum. One of the things that I love so much about Sadhguru is that he is involved with and very concerned about not just spirituality, but human well-being, which means he’s a humanitarian and he is also an environmentalist, someone who’s deeply concerned with and doing something about the quality of the ecology. On our planet today, I have had the good fortune to travel with my wife and I in India and Tibet and Nepal and to visit his ashram here in the United States, which is located in Tennessee, the Institute of Inner Sciences. So if you don’t already know Sadhguru, you must not be on social media. There’s not many people I know who use social media more effectively to spread a message than Sadhguru. But if for whatever reason, you don’t know him already, I hope that you get to know him through this interview, through what you find of him online and ultimately someday have the chance to interact with him in person. With that, I hope you enjoyed this conversation with my friend, Sadhguru. Welcome to the School for Good Living. Will you tell me, please, what is life about?
Sadhguru [00:02:22] It’s about life. Life is a grand in a phenomenon by itself, you need not be about anything. Those who do not experience the profoundness of what life is, they will invent other agendas for life, missions for life. And in the end, they give up that life can be really phenomenal here and they will invent another place where things will be better. It seems to me all this is happening because of lack of profoundness of experience. If you experience life in its full profundity. It is too phenomenal that it has to be a means for something else. It is the means and the end by itself.
Brilliant Miller [00:03:09] OK, thank you for that. So you’ve written many books and your most recent book is Karma A Yogis Guide to Crafting Your Destiny. Why did the world need this book? Why did you write it, and what do you hope it will do for its readers?
Sadhguru [00:03:27] The time has come in the world where people need to understand. That everything that’s happening to you, the way you’re experiencing life, whether your life is joy or misery, whether you’re an exuberance or suffering, is all entirely your making because human experience comes from within. But in pursuit of human well-being for a long time, maybe looked up thinking it’s going to come from that. As we realize the planet is round and it’s burning, we should also realize we don’t even know what is up. Nobody knows what’s happened down in this cosmos and nowhere to decide up. All right. So instead of looking up slowly in 20th century, we started looking out in terms of well-being. When you looked up a variety of philosophies, ideologies, belief systems came up which divided humanity. And we are still suffering for that. And when we started looking out for well-being, well, market economy came and in one century, literally, we have ripped the planet apart where there is a question whether there will be enough for the future generations to live or not. We’ve come to that kind of a question mark I need to know more. A figment of imagination. It’s manifesting itself everywhere in so many different ways. So all this in pursuit of human well-being. One looks heavenward, one looks outward, one thinks it’s in God, another thinks it’s in the marketplace. So most people have shifted from heaven to marketplace anyway. They’re not planning to go to heaven. They want to go shopping in pursuit of their well-being. So we need to understand, if it comes to human well-being, in is the only way out, there is simply no other way, because human experience, whether it’s pain or pleasure, joy or misery, agony or ecstasy only and only happens from within you if you do not have any any grasp over how human experience is generated from within in pursuit of human well-being, in pursuit of human happiness. You destroying everything around you. If you were joyful by your own nature, you do only what is needed, nothing more, nothing less. Right now, humanity is on fire, wanting to burn the planet down. In pursuit of happiness, and it’s never, ever going to happen like that, you go to an apple tree and start digging the ground because you’re a potato farmer. What are the.
Brilliant Miller [00:06:22] One of the things, as I’ve listened to you read the audio book, which I’m really grateful that you read it, I think. People who merely read the words on the page will be missing something if as if they listen to it, they would gain if they listen to it. But one of the things that you that you talk about is how a book can only transmit so much information. Right. And that for some of maybe the more subtle or the deeper aspects of dealing with our karma, perhaps we need an initiation or to work with the master or something like that. When you talk about what you see as the limits of what the written word can do and how you approach those in writing this book,
Sadhguru [00:07:03] the written word can be a great source of inspiration. You can’t be endlessly inspired. Inspiration is to instigate action. If you go on inspiring yourself, you will become a hot air balloon. This is what is happening to a lot of people who are going on reading about spirituality. All right. They become hot air balloons because they are talking about all kinds of rubbish, which is not in their experience. So inspiration is fine. Little bit of guidance is fine. But if really something has to happen, it needs to be transmitted. If you want to do something significant with this life in this lifetime, it’s very important that you receive a certain powerful transmission which will set fire to certain things within you, which will make things happen in ways you will not imagine possible. But if you by reading books alone, you are going to get somewhere, not by reading books, you could be significantly inspired. That action will naturally comfort.
Brilliant Miller [00:08:15] All right, thank you. In a recent conversation, you were talking with me about soil, about something that many people probably don’t think a whole lot about, and we don’t think about things when things are going well. We don’t have to think about them. Right. But why is soil an important thing for you to be thinking about this time? An important thing for all of us to be thinking about
Sadhguru [00:08:42] the very body that you carry soil. All right. The tree that you see standing there is soil, the bear that walks this land, this soil. Tell me one thing that is not soil, which is life. Everything is soil, so the quality of the soil will definitely determine the quality of life upon the planet, the strength of the soil, the richness of the soil will also determine how strong and how rich this life is. So what have we done to the soil? What we have done to the soil is this, that we have put it into an unnatural condition in the sense soil, if you walk into the forest, soil is always regenerating itself because what grows up comes down and that gets once again recycled and again goes up and comes down. So in the form of animal animal waste, animal bodies in the form of tree litter that comes down, this is the way soil is regenerating itself. But today we have left large patches of land upon the planet, very large, significant patches of land on the planet, either because of agriculture or urbanization, particularly because of agriculture, because agriculture has taken the maximum extent of land on the planet. Our idea of agriculture is mono agriculture, which is monoculture, and we have no animals on the farm because machines do all the work. They are not raised on a farm because if you have a tree, it will eat up all your fertilizer. So no trees, no animals. If you grow one ton of whatever, let’s say you grow one ton of wheat or soybean or something. You’re literally taking out one ton of soil topsoil. How will you put it back? So on an average, it is estimated most land, if you farm for somewhere like 40 to 45 years after that, desertification will set in soil will start turning into sand because all the topsoil goes away in the form of crop. So this is happening across the world in one place, it may be more serious than the other, but generally it is estimated by very responsible scientists that by 2045, 65 percent of the world’s soil will be uncomfortable. At the same time, they’re predicting by 2050, our population will be something like ten point five billion people, so your population is expanding and your ability to go grow food is going down. Well, if that is your plan, all the best. You’re you’re planning a disaster for yourself. You’re planning a disaster for future generations of people. You’re planning a disaster for an unborn child. You’re planning a great disaster for an unborn child, you know, business to bring another life here, destroy all the possibilities of life and then live life here, human life. So the biodiversity loss because of this is so serious that in the last 50 years, 66 percent of vertebrate life has vanished, 66 percent and nearly 80 percent of the biomass insects are gone, they’re saying, by the end of 21st century. It will become such that in terms of worm population, insect population and microbial population in the soil will be so diminished that literally you will not be able to grow a thing on this planet. So we are going there very rapidly if we do something significant right now in the next 15 to 20 years. If we put back enough trees, if we put back enough animals on the land and see that soil is regenerated and above all, biodiversity flourishes in the soil because soil is alive. See, the studies show that in southern Indian soil, particularly in tropical soil, if you take a handful of soil below 10000 species species, not numbers, 10000 species of life in one handful of soil. This is being diminished at a rate where it’s literally suicide. It’s suicide if you don’t talk about soil right now. If you do not do something about soil right now, it is the most irresponsible thing because I am particularly talking about soil very strongly, because unfortunately, civic issues are being projected as ecological issues, because nobody wants to address the real issues, because real issues take time, resource and money to produce results.
Brilliant Miller [00:13:50] So when you combine the fact that human beings seem to not do a very good job of thinking long term with the fact that many people feel powerless to make a difference. How do we make a difference as it relates to soil or any other large global issue like climate change or deforestation or overfishing or any of these things?
Sadhguru [00:14:14] It is many things that you mentioned a lot more, there is air pollution, there is water pollution, there is climate change, there is overfishing there, plastics in the ocean. Many, many things, OK, that is multiple problems. All these problems created by just one or maximum two generations of people. People have lived here for a million years, but they didn’t do anything like that, but these two generations of people are threatening the oceans, the planet, the climate. Can you believe this?
Brilliant Miller [00:14:52] But we have air conditioning. Yep.
Sadhguru [00:14:54] So. So now how to address this? So this is why soil is important. The supposed water pollution, let’s say water pollution. Who’s doing the water pollution, largely industry, but much more by the agriculture. People don’t recognize that because. You can always hit industry, threatened them with closure and make money out of it. This happening around the world, I’m sorry to say this, in the name of ecological activism, this is happening everywhere. They will they will, you know, go against an industry. Of course they will pay up. If you go against agriculture, nobody is going to pay up after it. So nobody goes against the farmer. It is not an individual farmer’s fault. It is the way we have taken the world agriculture. One thing is it’s all monoculture, another thing is it is all fired by assaults, you can you can call it fertilizer’s you were just throwing salts and salts for this topsoil that is being taken away by every crop. There is no replacement of the topsoil you cannot replace unless you have enough green little from the trees and animal waste you cannot replace. There is simply no way. What else is there? What other organic material is there to put it back. So without making these changes, it won’t happen. We can go into the problems that is plastics in the ocean. There is air pollution in the cities. I’m telling you, if there is too much air pollution, if we way this pandemic has done that to some extent to us, unfortunately. But if you turn off all the machines, everything that smokes in the world for three months, believe me, air will become like pristine, pure as it was a few hundred years ago. All the border pollution industries with the proper laws, if you enforce within a year’s time, all of it will be fixed. If you employ all the naval forces in the world, you can clean up the oceans in a matter of six months to 12 months. We are not doing those things, but soil, if it goes bad as it is going bad right now, if desertification happens, it will take 150 to 200 years to turn back for that. Many of us, I would say out of the seven point six billion population, if at least three to four billion of us die and get buried in the soil. We will make enough good manure and regeneration will happen. Yes, we will pay that kind of price. I’m not I am not a doomsday. I’m a very optimistic person. But it is very, very important that now in the next 15 to 20 years, we take steps. Otherwise, if we don’t do it consciously, nature will do it in a very cruel way.
Brilliant Miller [00:17:52] OK, well, the last question that I have for you is to switch gears a little bit and ask about writing and creativity and maybe the Segway here is that every one of us knows things that other people don’t know. We have lessons and experiences and insights and sharing. Those really can make a difference in the world. Right. So for those who listen to this show who are watching this, who feel called to write, they want to share their message in a written in a written form. Or in any other way, I suppose, what advice or encouragement do you give to those people?
Sadhguru [00:18:29] You don’t have to necessarily listen to talks if you learn to listen to everything, there is a lot in there, Knauss. I didn’t listen to anybody, I did not read any scriptures or books. I just listen to every aspect of life.
Brilliant Miller [00:18:51] OK, well, Sadhguru, you have made such a difference in my life, and I’m grateful for what I’ve learned from you, the places you’ve taken me or the things you’ve shown me over the years. And I’m really grateful that you’d make time to have this conversation with me today. So thank you.