BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA: Sadhguru Vasudev, founder of the Isha Foundation and Isha Institute of Inner Sciences, presented a talk titled “Inner Management: The Missing Link to Leadership Excellence”, on April 14, 2013 at the Glenn Memorial Auditorium, Emory University. The speech was part of the annual Sheth Lecture in Indian Studies. The event was co-sponsored by the Claus M. Halle Institute for Global Learning and Goizueta Business School.
Addressing an audience of over 1000 that filled the hall, Sadhguru stated, “I’m not talking about India as a nation, but as an ethos, as to what it represents – India cannot be studied, at the least one must soak it in, or at best must dissolve. This is the only way. The western analysis of India is too off the mark, as symptomatic analysis of Bharat will only lead to very grossly misunderstood conclusions of a nation that revels and thrives in a chaos that is organic and exuberant.”
“One must not forget that the basis of seeking is that One has realized that One does not know. One does not know the nature of One’s being. Instead of settling for a culturally convenient belief, for a whole populace to have the courage and commitment to seek the truth about themselves. This the basis of this nation that is called Bharata. ‘Bha’ meaning sensation, that is the basis of all experience and expression; ‘Ra’ meaning Raga, the tune and texture of life; ‘Ta’ meaning Tala, the rhythms of life, which involve both rhythms of the human system and nature.” he analyzed.
He added that India, most ancient of nations upon this earth is not built upon a set of principles or beliefs or ambitions of its citizenry. It is a nation of seekers, seeking not wealth or wellbeing, but liberation, not of economic or political kind, but the ultimate liberation.
Speaking about the title topic, Sadhguru emphasized on cultivating leadership as an intuitive process requiring the effective management of self before others. Sadhguru engrossed the crowd in his simple yet profound questions and provided compelling answers that accentuated the need to look inward. “Given a choice how would you like on be inside, pleasant or unpleasant?” he asked. “Pleasant” came the reply. “If you become pleasant in your body, we call this health. If you become very pleasant, we call it pleasure. If you become pleasant in your mind, we call this peace. If you become very pleasant we call this joy. If you become pleasant in your emotion we call this love, if you become very pleasant, we call this compassion. This is what you want within yourself, isn’t it?” He noted that when you are joyful you perceive everything around you to be wonderful and that is the reason to keep yourself blissful. “So is Bliss the goal of life?” he asked “No. Bliss is a condition that lets life bloom to its full potential, otherwise it will remain constrained,“ he answered.
Sadhguru noted the significance of maintaining peace within, irrespective of what happens on the outside, be it a bad boss or simply a bad day. “Everybody is in pursuit of his or her happiness. A criminal is pursuing his happiness far more vigorously than you. If something or someone is blocking your way, you want them to disappear somehow. The minute you are in pursuit of your happiness you are a criminal. The essence of life is to change from pursuit of happiness to expression of joyfulness. But what you experience on the inside can be controlled only by you, no matter what happens on the outside. If you take charge of this, you are joyful and your life becomes an expression of this blissfulness. Other people’s expression of love or appreciation does not even last for a day. You are trying to be happy with external stimuli. Unpleasantness always happens from within you, not outside of you. A boss can cause unpleasantness around you but not within you. “Why would some one cause unpleasantness to themselves?” he asked. We choose to live unconsciously with a compulsive need to react to everything that happens around us and look for solutions in books and everywhere but within, he reasoned.
The sense organs, Sadhguru said, perceive only by way of comparison, meaning you know light because it is brighter than darkness. And this he says is sufficient for survival, if that is what you are seeking. But everyone, no matter who he is at any given time is longing for something more, for expansion, to be free of boundaries. Boundaries are essentially the nature of the physical existence. If you touch a dimension in you, that is not physical in nature, only then this longing will settle, he says.
“Is there such a thing?” he asks. “Physical is something you gathered over a period of time – like how you grew up from a baby to an adult. So what you accumulate at most you can say is yours, but not You. Not only in your body but mind. Your mind is a heap of impressions you have accumulated” It is not the kind of car, the house you live in, but your experience is it pleasant, unpleasant or sea sawing between the two – that determines the quality of your life.” He concludes.
A mystic, yogi, humanitarian, and spiritual leader, Sadhguru established the Isha Foundation — a socio-spiritual organization with more than 150 centers and two million volunteers worldwide — in 1992. A 3day program, Inner Engineering with Sadhguru was offered at GICC this April 19-21. You may check http://www.innerengineering.com/ for details.
Sadhguru is a globally sought-after speaker on leadership who routinely speaks to C-level executives at organizations such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, World’s President’s Organization, the Australian Leadership Forum, and the Tallberg Forum in Sweden. He has also served as a delegate to the United Nations Millennium Peace Summit and the World Peace Congress, and founded Project GreenHands, an ecological initiative, which earned the highest Indian environmental award in 2010.