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Somewhere in the back of our heads, we all wish we had a perfect family, though a reality check proves
there is no such thing. While a certain amount of conflict is normal in any kind of social structure,
ongoing, serious conflict, especially with near and dear ones, can badly affect us. What to do if we
feel hopelessly trapped in an impasse, and that too, apparently for life? In our Lead Article, “Family
Conflict,” Sadhguru presents a solution that goes far beyond common family counseling strategies.
In a diverse country like India, conflict between different religions, ethnicities, and communities is
a latent threat to the nation. Reason enough for Sadhguru and prominent social activist Kiran Bedi
to meet and discuss what makes (or breaks) a nation. In the second excerpt of their conversation,
Sadhguru comes forward with a revolutionary proposal. Find out in the article “Bharat – The Power of
a Name” how a seemingly small change can impact the way we perceive ourselves and strengthen
the fabric of a nation.
Back to the smallest social entity – in a recent sathsang, Sadhguru delivered a crushing assessment
of the energy situation in most people’s homes. Coherence is key, Sadhguru maintains, and he has
therefore devised sacred processes to establish the right kind of energy in our living spaces. Our
article “Creating Coherence” has the background of why coherence is important, different ways to
achieve it, and even how you can bring it to others!
In this month’s Leela article, “From Action to Yoga,” Sadhguru explains a verse of the Bhagavat Gita
that deals with the question at what point of the spiritual journey action is vital, and when it becomes
Also in this issue: Why you should not talk while practicing hatha yoga (see “Shut up and Practice!”),
how thousands of meditators celebrated Guru Pournami at the Isha Yoga Center and witnessed
Adiyogi’s first appearance, how you can get your guests to eat less (see “Sour against Hunger”) or
treat them to a delicious “Pumpkin Chana Masala.”
Enjoy the read!
The Editorial Team
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ISHA FOREST FLOWER
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Sadhguru on Turning a Battle into a Training Ground
In Conversation with the Mystic
Bharat – The Power of a Name
Kiran Bedi in Conversation with Sadhguru
The path of the playful – part LIX:
From Action to Yoga
Sour against Hunger
Sadhguru on the Effect of Amla
Sadhguru on the Punya Pooja and other Sacred Processes
Isha Hatha Yoga
Part 9: Shut up and Practice!
News & Events
Guru Pournami 2014 –
Adiyogi Makes His Grand Appearance
Upcoming Programs and Events
Isha Yoga – Program Highlights
This Month: Pumpkin Chana Masala
Three Pounds of Flax
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Sadhguru on Turning a Battle
into a Training Ground
The following is an excerpt from a sathsang with
Sadhguru in London, UK, on 8 June 2014.
Questioner: Namaste, Sadhguru. My question is,
when there is conflict and discord in the immediate
family – with one’s parents or siblings for example –
irrespective of what the reasons may be, how does
one arrive at some harmony?
Sadhguru: Among the various social structures,
family is the smallest unit. Once we have a
problem with even the smallest unit of two, three,
four or five people – whatever you have chosen –
you can imagine the larger problems between
communities, nations, religions, and races. Since
you said parents and siblings, you have one excuse –
you did not choose these people. If it was
about husband and wife, there was a choice –
you could not blame it on someone else.
Family is a good training ground for you to know
your limitations. You are cocooned with a certain
number of people – which means every day,
whatever you do, you have to step on each other’s
toes. There are things they do that you hate, but still
you have to be with them. It is not like with your
Facebook family of 10,000 – if there is someone you
don’t like, you click him out. There is no challenge
in that. But with your real family, even if you do not
like them, you still have to be there.
Family is a beautiful place for you to grow beyond
your likes and dislikes. Your likes and dislikes are
the basis of compulsiveness within you. When you
are stuck up with likes and dislikes, consciousness
is out of question. The moment you like or dislike
something, you naturally behave compulsively –
favorably compulsively to what you like, in a
reactive way compulsively to what you do not like.
Family is a cocoon where whether you like it or
not, you have to be with these people for a certain
period of time. Either you make this a bitter
experience, or you learn to transcend your likes
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and dislikes. Let’s say there are certain aspects
about your husband that you hate. If after some
time, you say, “He’s like that – it’s okay,” he has
not changed, but you transcended your dislike for
a particular type of behavior or whatever else it
was that bothered you about him. If you become
bitter or you resign, in the sense of “There is no
other way – I have to put up with them,” all the
pain and struggle of being with people will be
wasted. But if you say, “Yes, this is how they are,
but it is okay with me. Let me go on with these
people joyfully,” you consciously transcend.
When you transcend your likes and dislikes,
unknowingly, you become conscious. Unknowingly,
you turn spiritual, which is the best way to turn
spiritual. Not by saying, “I am going to take a spiritual
path” but because as a life, you became conscious
enough to transcend your limitations, likes and
dislikes and you turned spiritual, without attaching
the word “spiritual” to it. The best way to become
spiritual is to consciously evolve to a point where
you are not compulsorily reactive anymore. Family
is a good place for you to train yourself towards that.
You are not trapped in this forever. Whatever kind
of family you live in, it is only for a certain period of
time. You must use this period of time to transcend
your likes and dislikes.
If people around you do not agree with you, you
are in a very good place. I always tell people in the
ashram, “Choose someone that you cannot stand
and learn to work with them, joyfully. It will do
wonders to you.” If you choose to be with someone
you like, you will become compulsive to be only
with those sorts of people. Therefore, family is not
the problem. Your wanting to be with what you
like is the problem. Don’t choose what you like.
See how to make what is there wonderful. What
comes up to you is not your business. What you
make out of it is your business.
People say things like, “Oh, it’s a gorgeous day”
or “It’s a bad day,” depending on the weather.
Just because there are clouds, it is not a bad day.
Leave the weather to nature. One day sun, another
day clouds; one day rain, another day snow – it’s
all right. If it’s sunny, you go bare-chested; if it’s
raining, you go with a raincoat; if it’s snowing, you
go with a snowboard. No matter what, it is up to you
to make it a good day.
Similarly, do not bother about who is sitting around
you right now. You make this a wonderful process
of sitting with this person. This does not mean you
have to sit with them forever. Everyone comes and
goes. Either they come and go, or you come and
go. Whoever is here, whatever is here – make the
best out of it for now. If you have other choices,
you can change, but the important thing is that you
joyfully change. It should happen out of conscious
choice, not out of compulsion, that because you
cannot be here, you have to jump somewhere else.
If you leave in such a state, wherever you go, you
will be the same.
If you do not know how to make it here, you do
not know how to make it anywhere. And how will
you know whether this whole spiritual process is
working or not? Only by results. If with the same
people, you can wake up a little more joyful; you
are a little more at ease; they do not irritate you
anymore as they used to do – that means you are
progressing. Everywhere, progress is measured by
results – here too.
It happened one day – there was a queue at the gates
of heaven. Saint Peter was checking everyone’s
accounts before admitting them. There was an
Italian taxi driver from Vegas in a shiny polka dot
shirt and aviator glasses, cigarette dangling. Right
behind him was a bishop. He looked at the man in
distaste, “Why is he even in this line to heaven, first
of all?” But you know, strange are the ways of God.
When the taxi driver’s time came, he said, resigned
to his fate, “Okay, wherever you send me… What’s
the problem.” As a taxi driver, he is used to that –
wherever the customer wants to go, he goes; he does
not choose his destination. All his accounts were
checked. Then Peter welcomed him with a big smile
and gave him a nice silken robe. Two very pretty
angels came and took him into heaven.
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The bishop was looking at this in amazement.
When his turn came, they looked at his books,
welcomed him, gave him workman’s overalls and
a mopping stick, and said, “You go and clean
corridor No. 127.” The bishop was distraught,
“What is this? That Italian taxi driver comes from
Sin City – I don’t even want to utter the name –
where he must have driven all kinds of people,
pimps, and prostitutes – and you gave him
silken robes and angels, and he went to heaven.
Me, I am a bishop – I’ve been in the service
of God. And for me – workman’s overalls,
mopping stick and corridor 127 – I know how
long it is. Why?” Peter looked at him and said,
“Please listen. This is not like church – this is
heaven. Here, we go by results. When you gave
your sermons, people generally slept. But when
that guy drove his taxi, everyone said, “Oh my
God! Oh my God! Oh my God!”
You must also go by results. To know whether
your spiritual process is working or not, just see,
whatever the outside situation, are you in conflict
within yourself or not? If there is conflict within
you, you need to work. People do all kinds of things.
Physically, they have not beaten you up, so what
is the problem. All they do is say things. Whatever
they know best, they do. What you know best, you
must do. If you know best, you will keep yourself
well. If you keep yourself well, you may transform
them too, but I would not go that far with you right
now. It does not matter if someone is shouting at
you or abusing you. If you want, you can write a
new dictionary for yourself. You can translate all
the abuses into nice, sweet things. In any case, you
must know they are doing their best. Unfortunately,
their best may be garbage – what to do. You can
only have sympathy for such people.
Right now, you have to be there. So many times, not
just you – every one of us is trapped with people and
situations we definitely do not want to be in. Where
we are is never entirely our choice. But what we
make out of it is entirely our choice. Exercise it. If
you exercise it, the outside will also slowly become
a choice. Over a period of time, you will see that
naturally, situations will arrange around yourself in
a most beautiful way.
My experience of the world is too fantastic.
Wherever I go, people are in tears of love and joy.
What more do I want? I know that is not the reality
for the whole world, but the world arranges itself
like that around me. This is because I have taken
time to arrange myself in such a way that no matter
where I am, I am like this only. Slowly, the world is
imitating what I am. You also do this. Do not worry
whether the world arranges itself in a certain way or
not – it will invariably happen over a period of time.
The first thing is you arrange yourself in such a way
that you are a beautiful human being. How someone
else sees it is their business.
Right now, they want to walk in the gutter – let
them walk for some time, till they get tired of it.
Live in such a way that when they look at you, even
the gutter people see at some point that it is worth
being the way you are. It will not elude them. They
are bitter because their experience of life is bitter
and unfulfilled, and this bitterness comes out in the
form of conflict. Set an example for them that there
is a way to live differently. In yoga, one of the most
enduring symbols has always been that of a lotus
flower, because a lotus flower grows best wherever
the slush is thick – the filthier, the better. Such filth
transforms into such ethereal beauty and fragrance.
This is spiritual process. Getting allergic to slush is
not spiritual process. Becoming a part of the slush
is not spiritual process. Transforming the slush into
fragrance is spiritual process.
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Bharat – The Power of a Name
Kiran Bedi in Conversation with Sadhguru
In a recent edition of the “In Conversation with the Mystic” series, Sadhguru met with
social activist and retired Indian Police Service officer Kiran Bedi for a session under
the theme “Making of a Nation” on 6 June 2014 in Delhi. Here is the second excerpt
of their conversation.
Sadhguru: Good evening everyone – Madam Sir
Kiran Bedi: Sadhguru, I have two thank-you’s for
you. My first thank-you is for bringing me here
to be in conversation with you about a subject –
“The Making of the Nation” – that is a part of
my DNA. Otherwise, I would not have joined the
Indian Police Service in 1972 and worn a uniform,
and I would not have set up two foundations that
help build the nation by bringing education to the
poorest of the poor.
My second thank-you is because ever since I
connected with you and started reading a lot about
you, there was an urge to know more, particularly
about Inner Engineering, before having this
conversation with you. I want to thank the Delhi
center of the Isha Foundation for having facilitated
a program for Navjyoti India Foundation and the
India Vision Foundation. We all – from a driver
to somebody who manages and cleans the office
to a Project Director and the Directors of the
Foundation – did the course collectively. It
has brought us in alignment and made a huge
difference. These are the two thank-you’s I wanted
to begin with.
To my first question – why do we call our country
Mataram, not Patram? Why is it “motherland,” not
“fatherland,” or both?
Sadhguru: Because though essentially a nation is
the people, the boundaries and the definition of
a nation come from a land. We have always seen
land or earth as a mother, because if we sow a
seed, life grows. Almost everywhere in the world,
except in certain very martial cultures, a nation
has always been seen as a woman or a mother,
because in a certain sense, a nation is defined by
an aspect of geography.
Kiran Bedi: Is that the only reason? When did it
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Sadhguru: I would say it began with this nation
because this is the oldest nation on the planet. It
defies today’s concept of a nation. Modern nations
are made based on language, religion, race,
ethnicity, maybe ideology – essentially, it is the
sameness of people that makes a nation. But in
this nation, which we have known as Bharatvarsh
for thousands of years – we have never defined
ourselves by sameness. If you drive 50 kilometers,
people look different, wear different clothes, eat
differently, speak different languages – everything
When the Europeans came here, they did not
understand how this could be one nation if there
is nothing binding it. But for over 8000 to 10,000
years, within this subcontinent and also in the
remaining part of the known world of those days,
people referred to this as one nation, though at some
points, we were over 200 political entities. What is
it that makes this nation? This is something that the
leadership and the people of this country must really
look at. It is not language. It is not religion. It is not
race. Nationhood predates all religion. When there
was no religion, this nation was. We called the land
between Himalayas and the Indusarovar1 Hindustan
only as a geographical description – not to represent
a particular religion.
This is not a religious identity – this is a
geographical and cultural identity. What kept
us together longer than any other nation on the
planet is that essentially, we have always been a
land of seekers – seekers of truth and liberation.
In this seeking, we found oneness. When we look
for sameness, we try to become a land of believers.
This seeking is not something that we invented.
It is the nature of human intelligence to want to
know, realize, and liberate itself.
This nation was based on this foundation that we are
seekers. As a seeker, you are not aligned to a particular
thing on the outside but to the life process within
you, and that never goes wrong. No matter how
badly you contaminate human beings with belief
systems and brainwash them, once their survival
is taken care of, they always want to know the
nature of their existence and of everything around
them. Whether you call it science, spiritual process,
inquiry, or quest, essentially, human intelligence
wants to transcend its present limitations, wants
to liberate itself from the fetters in which we exist
right now. We built our nation on this longing,
this seeking. Our nationhood cannot be destroyed
as long as we keep this seeking alive. If we do not
try to transform ourselves towards sameness, we
will always be one.
Kiran Bedi: Earlier, it was known as Bharat?
Sadhguru: Yes. Bharat comes from bha – ra – ta.
Bhava means sensation. Seeing, hearing, smelling,
tasting, and touching are different types of
sensations. Your whole experience of life is sensory
right now. Or in other words, sensations are the
basis of your experience. Bha means sensation, out
of which emotion arises. Ra means raga or the tune.
The tune is not yours – existence has already set
it. Now you have to find the rhythm, which is the
tala. If you find the right rhythm, you are a fantastic
human being. If you miss the rhythm, you get
crushed by the process of life.
We called this nation Bha-ra-ta, and the first of the
great kings of the past was also known as Bharata.
People say the country is named after him, but
actually, he was named after the country. There are
so many Bharats and Bharatis in this country – they
are named after this nation. King Bharata had nine
sons, but when the time to hand over the empire
came, he gave it to Bhumanyu, who was the son
of the sage Bharadwaj. This boy grew up in the
forest. When he came to the court one day, the king
looked at him and said, “This boy must become the
king – not my sons.” People were shocked because
the emperor’s sons, nine of them, were waiting in
a queue – probably fighting with each other over
who would become the king. People argued, “Who
is he – he has grown up in the forest.” Emperor
Bharata said, “I see an enormous intelligence in
his eyes and a raging fire in his heart. He is ablebodied and stable. He should be the king.” This
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was the first demonstration of democracy in this
nation, thousands of years ago. I hope we follow this
Kiran Bedi: Did we make a mistake by converting
our name from Bharat to India?
Sadhguru: A serious mistake. We need to
understand, whenever conquering forces take over
a nation, the first thing they will do is change
your name. This is a strategy of dominance and
enslavement. If you look at African-American
history for example, when African people were
brought to America, first they were given some
silly new names.
That is what was done to us too. Thiruvananthapuram
became Trivandrum. Chennai became Mad-ras – we
don’t know whether we are mad or we are rascals.
[Laughter] Similarly “India” – it does not mean
anything. If I give you a meaningless name, you will
become a meaningless, stupid person in front of me –
in the sense, “I have a meaningful name. I have a
tradition. I have a culture. You have nothing.” This
is how we have become India. The concept of a
nation must sink into everyone’s mind. A nation
is just an idea. When this idea burns through your
mind and sinks into your heart, and your passion
for it rises, then you have a real nation. Otherwise,
the nation is just on paper, which is the unfortunate
reality for us right now.
When the British left in 1947, the first thing we
should have done is change the name in such a
way that it resonates in everyone’s mind. Now
you use an English name for an Indian nation.
Hardly two, three percent of the people in this
country can speak English properly – all others
are essentially left out. I think this is one thing I
would like to request the present Prime Minister –
we must rename this country in a way that it
reverberates in everyone’s heart.
Kiran Bedi: Wow, wow, wow!
Sadhguru: A whole lot of intellectuals will say,
“What is in a name?” Whether you utter your name
or anything else for that matter – fundamentally,
it is a sound. The meaning is only a psychological
and social thing. If I say “Kiran,” the meaning is
psychological and social – the sound is existential,
and it has power. “Bharat” has power. This power
has to reverberate through everyone’s heart in
this country. The fundamental concept of what
it means to be an Indian must come across to
everyone. Unless every human being who lives
in this country has the same aspiration as the
national aspiration, you don’t have a nation – you
only have a name.
Kiran Bedi: I have a question. If we had continued
to call India “Bharata,” would a woman have felt
more secure than in India today? You know what
is happening with women, particularly in the rural
and weaker sections of society.
Sadhguru: It is not that the name will do everything,
but the name has to inspire passion for the nation.
Right now, they only have hormonal passions –
there is no passion for the nation. That is why these
things are happening to women. “Why can’t we
think about the whole world?” As a spiritual being,
I am not a nationalistic person. I would like to look
at every human being and every creature on the
planet in the same way – that is how I am. But a
nation is the largest piece of humanity that you are
able to be committed to right now. When you are
committed to this nation and its wellbeing, if not to
7.2 billion people, at least you are committed to 1.24
billion people, which is a great step forward from
being committed to your own personal wellbeing.
A nation is important because you expand the scope
of your passion, involvement, and concern beyond
your own likes and dislikes.
Kiran Bedi: I think in the last ten days 2, Hindi has
returned much more. We might hear “bharatvasi” 3
and “bharatiya” 4 much more.
Refers to the recent change of government with Narendra Modi as the new Prime Minister of India
Hindi for “Indian” (noun)
Hindi for “of or relating to India”
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