Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev or simply Sadhguru was born on 3rd of September 1957 to Dr. Jagdish Vasudev. He was youngest of two boys and two girls, a total of four children. His father worked in Indian Railways as Ophthalmologist and because of this they moved frequently from one location to another.
Contact with Malladihalli Sri Raghavendra Swamiji :
In 1969, at the age of 12, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev met Sri Raghavendra, also known as Malladihalli Swamiji.
Swami Raghavendra has story of his own. He learnt Yoga, Ayurveda and various Martial Arts from various people throughout his life. He was regular practitioner of Ayurveda medicines and claimed to have treated more than 3 million people.
Malladihalli Swamiji taught simple Yoga Asanas to Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev which he practiced regularly without a single day break. In words of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev : "without a single day's break, this simple yoga that was taught to him kept happening and led to a much deeper experience later".
Schooling, Travel and Business Ventures:
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev graduated from the University of Mysore in English literature, in 1973, at the age of 16. During this time, he developed a knack for travelling on motorcycle. His earlier frequently visited location was Chamundi Hill near Mysore (It is this place only where he got his ecstatic spiritual experience). Sooner, he traveled various places in country on his motorcycle.
This passion for traveling pushed him "to earn some quick money". To do that Sadhguru entered into multiple successful ventures including construction business, brickworks and poultry farm.
The poultry farm business kept him teach Yoga classes without money in his later days.
The Spiritual Experience:
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev had spiritual experience on 23rd of September 1982, at the age of 25. He rode up the Chamundi Hill and set on a rock there. And just like that he was in ecstasy.
In his own words:
Till that moment in my life I always thought this is me and that's somebody else and something else. But for the first time I did not know which is me and which is not me. Suddenly, what was me was just all over the place. The very rock on which I was sitting, the air that I breathe, the very atmosphere around me, I had just exploded into everything. That sounds like utter insanity. This, I thought it lasted for ten to fifteen minutes but when I came back to my normal consciousness, it was about four-and-a-half-hours I was sitting there, fully conscious, eyes open, but time had just flipped.
The way forward : Teaching
After six weeks of that mystical experience, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev decided to look for some insight into that experience and again traveling was needed. He left his business to his friend and traveled extensively to gain some insight. After a year of traveling and mediation, he decided to share his experience and teach Yoga.
The First Yoga class:
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev conducted his first yoga class in Mysore in 1983, at the age of 26 and after over one year from the day of Spiritual experience. The number of participants were seven. Sooner, he traveled across Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to conduct Yoga classes. He refused payment for the classes as the rental from his poultry business was enough for him to go on.
Marriage and Children:
After a brief stint of letter exchange, they got married in same year, on the occasion of Mahashivratri. After 6 years of their successful marriage life, they had a daughter named Radhe. Radhe is married now.
On 23rd january 1997, Vijji died. This created a lot of controversy afterwards including an FIR registered against sadhguru.
This is what Sadhguru is to say about his child:
Vijji was very keen on a child. She felt that motherhood was a crucial experience in every woman’s life. Actually, when I was just about 19 years of age, when I had no inclination towards or was even thinking of building a family, I happened to visit Rishi Valley, one of the schools that J. Krishnamurthy had started. I thought to myself, ‘If at all I do have a child’ – and for some reason I thought ‘she’ – ‘she must go to this school.’ Then almost five years before Radhe was born, me and Vijji happened to go to Kalakshetra (one of the best schools for classical Indian dance), and when we saw this, we said, ‘If we have a daughter, she has to go to Kalakshetra.’ After that I never ever thought about it. Well, she went to Rishi Valley School for eight years, and spent four years at Kalakshetra, and now she has become a dancer.
Isha Foundation and Isha Yoga:
Isha means: The Formless Divine.
In 1993, at the age of 36, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev founded Isha foundation: a non-religious, non-profit organisation entirely run by volunteers.
In the same year, Isha Yoga center was founded in Coimbatore to host a series of Yoga Programs for spiritual development. All the programs are offered under the umbrella of Isha Yoga. He conducted Yoga course for Indian Hockey team and life-term prisoners in TamilNadu Prisons, in 1996 and 1998 respectively.
With the increase in breath and depth of his Yoga programs, participation in his programs also got increased. From 2011, the participation in single program increased to 10000-15000 participants.
Here is the brief list of programs offered under Isha Yoga under the guidance of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev:
Dhyanalinga and Sadhguru Wife's death : 1994 - 1999
Dhyanalinga is a yogic temple and space for meditation.
Dhyanalinga was first descibed by Sadhguru in 1994 in his ashram. He recounted consecration of Dhyanalinga to be his life's mission commanded by his guru. Vijji was intensely involved in the Dhyanalinga work.
This is what Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev said related to Vijji's death and Dhyanalinga:
In the month of July in 1996, we were consecrating the Dhyanalinga. Vijji had decided that once the linga was complete, she would leave her body. She announced that she would leave on a particular full moon day, and she started working towards that. I tried to talk to her, “It’s not necessary now, wait for some time.” But she said, “Right now, my life is perfect, inside of me and outside of me. This is the time for me. I don’t know if another time like this will come for me.”
After 2 years of first talk, in 1996, the stone edifice of linga, 13 feet and 9 inches in size, arrived in ashram. It took three years to construct the dhyanalinga in the form of 76 feet tall dome, constructed by only bricks and stabilized mud mortar.
As Vijji had already decided to leave her body after dhyanalinga completion, the delay in the construction did not let her complete that decision.
This is what Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev had to say about Vijji's death:
For some reason we could not complete the consecration at that time. So on that full moon day, she sat with a group of people, meditating. Eight minutes later, she left, without any effort and with a big smile on her face. She was at the peak of her health, just thirty-three years of age. It is not easy to leave like this without causing any damage to the body. Just walking out of your body like you drop your clothes and go is not an ordinary thing. When a person has reached that point in his life when he feels everything that he needs is fulfilled, and there is nothing more to see in his life, he drops his body, willfully. If there is any struggle or injury, it means suicide. When there is no struggle, when somebody just walks out like he walks out of a room, that’s Mahasamadhi.
Once a person leaves like this, that person is no more. When somebody dies, you say they are no more, but that’s not true. They are “no more” the way you know them, that’s all. But once a person leaves in full awareness, shedding the body without causing any injury or damage to the body, that person is truly no more. That person doesn’t exist as a being anymore. They have just melted away, the game is up, completely.
Dhyanalinga was opened to the public on 23rd November 1999. On the entrance is Sarva Dharma Sthamba, symbolizing the singularity in religions. It has engravings of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Buddhism, and Shinto's religious symbol.
The Yogic outlook of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev:
Below are the typical activities he initiates as part of his outlook to the societ:
- Teaching Isha Yoga
- Conducting Mahasathsangs
- Annual trips to mount kailash and Himalyas
- All-night mahashivratri annual celebrations
Social Initiatives by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
Action for Rural Rejuvenation (ARR) in 2003:
Action for Rural Rejuvenation is an initiative of the Isha Foundation that aims to improve the overall health and quality of life of the rural poor. ARR was established by Jaggi Vasudev in 2003 and seeks to benefit 70 million people in 54,000 villages across South India. As of 2010, ARR has reached over 4,200 villages and a population of over 7 million people. He has also been involved with agricultural and farmers' associations to work towards resolving issues faced by Indian farmers
Project Greenhands in 2004:
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev founded Project GreenHands in 2004. The initiative is formed as charitable trust with count of more than 300,000 volunteers. The initiative aims to plant 114 million trees throughout Tamil Nadu as soon as possible and increase the forest cover in the state to 33 percent.
The conception of Project GreenHands can be infered from Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev's interview on National Geographic:
In the year 1998, certain experts [...] made a prediction, by 2025, 60% of Tamil Nadu will be a desert. [...] I decided to drive across Tamil Nadu and see for myself if this is true. [...] I realized they were completely wrong because it wouldn't go to 2025, it would happen much faster according to me. [...] So from '98 to 2003, 2004, I went about planting trees in people's minds. And since 2004, we [have been] transplanting those trees back to the ground.
Isha Vidhya in 2006:
Isha Vidhya is an educational initiative, founded by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev as chatitable trust under the umbrella of isha Foundation, aiming to raise the level of education and improve literacy in rural India. There are seven schools in operation which educate around 3,000 students. The foundation has also "adopted" 26 government schools to reach out to students from financially constrained backgrounds, and aims to adopt up to 3,000 schools.
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev Books
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has authored numerous books in multiple languages (English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada). We have tried to compile complete list of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev's books.
If you are a book lover or looking to know more about Sadhguru and his initiatives please go through the below post detailing his books.
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev Videos
We have compiled a list of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev's short videos which are easy to digest by mind. These videos are part of bigger sessions which happened either as question and answer sessions between Sadhguru and devotees or as monologues, dialogues, interviews and debates of Sadhguru.
All videos deals with a subject and tries to answer that briefly. Browse the list by clicking the link below and look for the video which suits your curiosity.
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev Talks
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has conversed with some of the popular people in India like Anupam Kher, Juhi Chawla, manisha Koirala and also abroad with David Letterman and in Oxford too.
Visit the below post to check the list of talks by Sadhguru:
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev Interviews
- Sadhguru's interview with Arnab Goswami
- Sadhguru's interview with Shilpa Reddy
- Sadhguru's interview with Barkha Dutt
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev Debates
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