Dr. Ben Doolittle in Conversation with Sadhguru at Yale School of Medicine
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Dr. Ben Doolittle in Conversation with Sadhguru at Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Sadhguru, welcome to Yale! Sadhguru: Thank you (Laughs). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: What a delight, what a joy to have you here. You are among friends and it seems (Sadhguru laughs) that there are many who know of your work and there are many who don’t. Sadhguru: You are a highly educated man and I’m… but I’m devoid of education, so you have to (Laughter)… Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Well, you know, as… Sadhguru: …make some allowances for me. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: That’s lovely of you to say. I was so well educated, I have rediscovered a joyful curiosity. And while it is true I have many degrees after my name, as I’ve lost my hair and become more wrinkly (Sadhguru laughs), I’ve so enjoyed the spirit of joyful curiosity. So in the spirit of hospitality, in the spirit of joyful curiosity and coming together across traditions, I would love to hear your thoughts on a number of topics. The one that is near and dear to my heart, as an educator and as a physician and a pastor, is this area of wellness and burnout. Physicians today a big study came out – fifty-four percent of physicians in America meet criteria for burnout. And nurses are in the same boat. And you’re here at a medical school and we’re looking for answers and we’re looking for hope. And so, to those fifty-four percent of physicians who are burned out, and the nurses and PAs and nurse practitioners, all of us in healthcare, what would you say to them? Sadhguru: If we have to bring health, either to ourselves or to others, one fundamental thing is, you bring a very profound sense of wholeness into you – the various dimensions of life that we are, all of it is in sync and functioning well. It’s sad to hear that physicians are in a state of burnout. How would they cause health? They could sell more medicine, but they cannot cause health if they are in a state of burnout. Now we’re seeing, as modern medicine progresses, comes out with miracle after miracle, research, all kinds of things, but people are not getting healthy. More people are getting sick than ever before. A country like United States, which is the most affluent country on the planet, which essentially means you have a choice of nourishments, every human being has a choice of nourishment. Most of the ailment that you see in other parts of the world are nourishment related in some way because the needed nourishment is not there at the right time for a whole lot of people on this planet. But in a country where there is a choice of nourishment – I would say an excessive choice of nourishment – a nation is spending three trillion dollars on healthcare. This is bigger than the budgets of major nations in the world. India’s economy is around three trillion dollars. You’re spending that much on healthcare of a quarter-million people. This shows somewhere we have missed health. Maybe we have an industry going but we have missed health. Well, we can explain it in so many ways but doctors being under burnout everybody thinks their profession is the most difficult one, If… If any individual human being is creating something that they really care for, there would be never any kind of burnout. Myself and a whole lot of people around me, we are seven days of the week, twenty hours a day, three-hundred-and-sixty-five days, this’s our schedule. You will not see me burned out. Maybe sometimes I’ll get physically exhausted. Maybe I’ll die of exhaustion one day, but definitely not of burnout or boredom. Those two things will never happen to me. Why I’m saying this is, the fundamental reason why this is happening is – particularly the physicians because there’re various kinds of professions, but particularly when people go to a doctor, in some way they’re placing their life in his hands. So when somebody is willing to place their life in your hands, you must treat it as a sacred duty. It’s not just a job. It’s not just a business. It is a… When somebody is willing to place their life in your hands I’m telling you, even people who live with you, your own wife and children or husband, is not willing to place their life in your hands completely (Laughter). But somebody, an unknown person comes and places his life in your hands, I think it’s a greatest privilege that somebody trusts you at that level, that they’re willing to trust you with life. You could do right things or wrong things, knowingly or unknowingly. Because nobody has figured the human body absolutely, all right? We know it to some extent. So you may do any number of wrong things. But they placed their life into your hands. I think Traditionally, it was said like this in India, “In any given society, if education, medicine and spiritual process, if it gets commercialized, that society will go down the drain.” I think we’re doing this to the entire modern world, all three are becoming commercialized. There’s nothing wrong with commerce. Commerce is a… a transaction of give and take. You give me this, I’ll give you that. But there are some things, which cannot be handled as just give and take. If you bring this aspect of transaction into spiritual process, into education and into medicine, then it turns ugly. And that ugliness will definitely burn you out one way or the other. Above all, what people are experiencing as burnout is – first of all, they’re doing something that they don’t care for. If they were genuinely doing something that they truly care for, there would be no burnout. The more opportunity you get to do it, the better it would be, isn’t it? Everything is towards a certain end. The joy of doing what you’re doing is not there in one’s life. This is not just for any one profession, it’s for all professions, but particularly in a profession like this, where it’s a question of life and death for somebody else. When it’s a question of life and death for the person who is sitting in front of you, it can’t be a transaction for you. Well, there is a business end to everything because to make anything sustainable, there has to be a business end to it. We are not against the business end of it. But within yourself, if you don’t do it as a great offering to the person who is sitting in front of you – of course, they will pay their fee, but within yourself, if you are not like this – definitely you will burnout doing this kind of work. Otherwise, every day if you helped a person, if in some way you made somebody’s life… their life better, by the end of the day, should you be ballooned into a joyful state, or should be in a state of burnout at the end of the day? It should not be a burnout if you genuinely experienced you have enhanced many lives around you. This is not about service, this is not about ideas of “I served this, I did this” – no. There is a joy within a human being when they’re able to touch another life. Why you are holding a few people dear to you as family is because you believe you can touch their life in some way. You can make a difference. That is what is most important for a human being. In every activity that we perform, whatever the nature of the activity, how profoundly we can touch someone else, this is what makes the big difference. If you make a movie, you don’t want to make a movie which nobody wants to watch, would you? You want people to watch this movie and come to tears, isn’t it? You don’t want to build a house that nobody wants to live in. You don’t want to cook something that nobody wants to eat. These things you can do only because in some way you are able to touch another life through your activity. This is most fundamental need within the human being. And as a physician, you have a phenomenal opportunity of touching lives like very other… very few other professions can do. And this should not lead to burnout but this is happening so because we’re trying to treat it like a transaction. And the most fundamental thing that we have not understood in this process is that human experience is caused from within, not from outside. Your joy and misery, your pain and pleasure, your agony and ecstasy, even light and darkness right now is happening only within you. It never happens around you. What happens within you, if you try to fix it by fixing what is around you, you will go bonkers in no time. I am surprised why only fifty-four percent (Laughter). Because if you don’t understand human experience is caused from within Especially medical professionals, who in some way have delved into the nature of human physiology and I believe to some extent the mind, we must know that every aspect of human experience comes from within. And today, modern medicine especially, unlike the traditional medicine, is entirely chemical fixes for everything. So you understand that both health and illness is happening because of chemistry. Joy and misery is a certain chemistry, different types of chemistry. Ecstasy and agony are different types of chemistry. Or in other words, we are a chemical soup. The question is only, are you a great soup or a lousy soup (Laughter)? Now if I give soup-making ingredients to all of you, do you believe all of you will come with the same kind of soup? Hmm? You will come with hundred different varieties of soups. So there is something called as the skill of soup-making. All of us have come with the same fundamental ingredients of life, see in how many ways we have become. And only fifty-four percent are getting burnt out. Handling life so wrong, hundred percent should be burnt out. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: So let’s talk about making soup (Laughter). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: So… Sadhguru: No, don’t go into this area, I’m a very good cook (Laughter). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Okay. We’ll talk So, this soup of life, if you will So, you know, tonight, there is a nurse or a physician, who has come home and they told a family member that their loved one just died, or they treated a child who’s undergoing chemotherapy, or they were in a clinic where they’re taking care of someone who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover that medication. And so those good folks have come home and their spirits are broken. And they love what they do. I think burned-out physicians love what they do – they do. And I like that metaphor of soup-making. What can we do? And so what can we do (Sadhguru laughs)? What can that nurse, that physician assistant, that doc, what… Saturday morning comes around, they wake up, what should they do? Sadhguru: I… I can teach you a way of making your chemistry into a blissful chemistry. That means you’re blissful by your own nature, not because of something that happened around you. This is exactly what I’m saying. What this question implies is, what happens around you determines what happens within you. The significance of being human is this, that, “What happens within me, I can create around me. If what happens around me makes me, I am still in animal nature.” A human being means, “I do all the same things that the animal does but I can do all of it consciously”, that is the big part of being human. Well, you are born like any other creature, you grow up, you eat, you sleep, maybe you reproduce and you die one day. This is what every creature does. This is what you and me do. But we can do it consciously, which includes your thought, your emotion, everything. To put this very simply, it amazes me that people are twenty, thirty, fifty, sixty years of age, they still do not know how to handle their thought and how to handle their emotion. This is a huge disability in the world (Laughs). If you don’t know how to use your hands, would you call that a disability? If you don’t know how to manage your thought, how to manage your emotion, is it not a disability? Just because everybody is in the same condition, it does not become normal (Laughter). So, essentially, you are… you have made a choice of dealing with people, who are sick or dying. It is a choice. And it is a privilege that those who are unwell – being unwell means you are no more hundred percent on your feet, you need somebody’s help – such people and those who are dying in some way, they’re willing to trust you and put their life into your hands. It’s a great privilege. Well, in this, there are many things to do. As you gave examples, that you have to convey something unpleasant to somebody, sometimes you are not able to treat them because either you have no time, or they have no money or whatever. These are there, I’m not questioning this. But the most important aspect of this is, if you want to bring well-being to somebody, you must know how to be well, isn’t it? Otherwise, how would you do it, I’m asking? How? How would you create well-being to someone when you do not know how to be well? What this implies is, “If I have to be well, the world has to be perfect.” Well, you’re not going to be well (Laughter). Because even if you’re just two people in the family, not everything happens the way you think it should happen, isn’t it? Hello? You can tell me, it’s okay (Laughter). Even if you’re just two people, not everything will ever happen to you hundred percent the way you want it. Fifty-one percent if it’s happening your way, you have the controlling stake (Laughter). Anything more if you expect, you’ll have a divorce (Laughter). Yes? So, outside will never happen hundred percent the way you want it. Or in other words, if you expect the outside to be hundred percent the way you want it, you’re just not equipped to live here in this world. Yes or no? If you’re expecting the external situations to go hundred percent my way, obviously I’m not equipped to live in this world. You know we are a volunteer organization, over 4000 full-time volunteers, over three-million part-time volunteers. Every day somebody is coming up to me and saying, “Sadhguru, I can’t take her anymore, I can’t take it. This person, I can’t work with this person. This man is like this, this woman is like that.” I tell them, “See, this is the kind of people that exist in the world. If you think what you’re doing is very significant, you’ve got to work with these people, however they are. If you want to work with ideal people, you must go to heaven, and today” (Laughter). These are our realities. If you truly see, genuinely see that “what I’m doing is significant”, it’s of significant… it’s significant enough to make difference in lives around me, now you have to do that work. The problem is not of the nature of your work. You just ask anybody, from the topmost job down to the most menial job, everybody complains about stress. So stress is not about your job. I must tell you this. A few years ago, many years ago, when I first came to United States, wherever I went, people were talking about stress management. I couldn’t understand this because in my understanding, we manage whatever is precious to us, our family, our wealth, our business, our money. Why would anybody want to manage stress (Laughter)? It took me a while to understand, people have concluded that stress is a part of their life. Stress is not a part of your life, it’s just your inability to manage your own thought, your own emotion, your own energies and your own body. If you knew… If your mind took instructions from you, would you live in stress or in bliss? Please tell me. Participants: Bliss. Sadhguru: What’s your choice? Yes. Such a simple thing is not happening because your mind is not even taking instructions from you. If your intelligence turns against you, who the hell can save you (Laughter)? So this anxiety, this stress is not about the job, it is just that our education systems are such, they are telling you how to conquer the world, you know, how to break an invisible atom, how to go beyond space, but they’re not telling you a thing about this one (Referring to oneself). This (Referring to oneself) is the most complex – if you want to call it a human mechanism – this (Referring to oneself) is the most complex and sophisticated mechanism you have seen. Yes? Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Yes. Sadhguru: As a doctor, you know. But I’m asking, even the doctors, have they read the user’s manual (Few laugh), how to use this (Referring to oneself)? No? Just by accident, something. When you live by accident, anxiety is natural. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: So I was really interested in the title of your book – Inner Engineering (Sadhguru laughs) – A Yogi’s Guide to Joy. And those are some words that you don’t usually see often so close together. I’m thinking about engineering… Sadhguru: And joy (Laughter). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: …and joy… Sadhguru: …and a yogi. And a yogi (Laughter). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: And a yogi, right. Engineering, yogi, you know. And I like that word engineering. You need to know, there are some really… some of the top engineers at the University are in the audience tonight. Sadhguru: Yesterday was the engineer’s… Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: They’re right there… Sadhguru: Yesterday was the World Engineer’s Day (Laughs). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Yeah, so what’s the… what’s the theme of… What would you say is the message of this? I mean, I think you’re getting at that. Inner Engineering (Sadhguru laughs) – A Yogi’s Guide to Joy. What does that mean? Sadhguru: See, if you… if you and me were here let’s say a hundred years ago or two hundred years ago, how the world was and how it is today, it is almost another world. It’s not the same world. You wouldn’t have recognized it, that’s how much it has changed. What changed this? Our ability to engineer external situations the way we want it. We could sit outside and do this but now we’re sitting in this building because this is engineered for our comfort. Now, engineering essentially means making something just the way we want it. We made everything in the world the way we want it, but now fifty-four percent burnout (Laughter) because we did not make this one thing (Referring to oneself) the way we want it. If we made this one thing (Referring to oneself) the way we want it, again the same question – would you live blissfully or miserably? If you made this (Referring to oneself) the way you want it, you would definitely make this blissful, highest level of pleasantness for yourself. What you want for your neighbor may be debatable (Laughter) but what you want for yourself is very clear, isn’t it? So, this is not happening because we have never approached inner well-being in a scientific manner. We are thinking something else from somewhere is going to fix this. If we want to be well, we looked up. In India, they call this uparwala. That means the one above. I’m saying, is it true that you are living on a round planet? Hello? Is it a round planet that we are living on? Sadhguru: And on top of it, it’s spinning. If you look up, you’re invariably looking up in the wrong direction, isn’t it (Laughter)? I’m (Laughter) You must go to Australia (Laughter) to look up the right way. So I’m saying we are simply even incapable of knowing what is up and down in this universe. Is it somewhere marked in this cosmos – this side up (Laughter)? We not only do not know, we cannot know, isn’t it? So we don’t even know which is up, which is down. We do not know what is forward, what is backward. We really do not know what is east, what is west. For convenience, we made up things. But there is one thing that you can know. Right now, there is a perspective, there is inward and there is outward. We have been just busy fixing the outside. You fix the outside as much as you want, all you will get is comfort and convenience, you will not get well-being. If well-being has to happen, you have to engineer your interiority the way you want it. Only when this (Referring to oneself) becomes the way you want, now this will be joyful. “If outside becomes the way I want, there will be comfort.” You have to admit this – never before in the history of humanity, any other generation knew the kind of comforts and convenience that you and me are enjoying right now. Yes or no? Hmm? Participants: Yes. Sadhguru: We are the most comfortable generation ever, but we are whining like crazy (Laughter). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Let’s talk about the inner life and the outer life. One thing that strikes me as so powerful about your mission in the world is that you seem to successfully broker both of those worlds… Sadhguru: Oh, bro… you must take off the word broker (Laughter). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: I guess… How to say… You successfully pursue both of those worlds, if you will. The Isha Foundation educates the young and plants trees. And then you also teach people about Inner Engineering. And I think that could be a challenge for “we” in the West. We in the West perhaps love the outer world and maybe at the expense of the inner world. But I’d love to hear your perspective on that. Sadhguru: See all these massive projects of health, education and ecology that we’re doing in southern India have mainly happened only because of an inner experience. There’re millions of people who had a powerful inner experience. It’s out of that we are able to generate this action. Because these massive projects are all completely done by a volunteer force. Volunteers means (Laughs) nobody’s trained for the job (Laughter). And (Laughs) And you cannot fire them for inefficiency (Laughter) because they’re volunteers (Applause). At the same time, even if they’re holding a key position, at any time without notice they can just vanish (Laughter). You manage an organization like this, you will go crazy in no time. That’s my job (Laughter). So (Laughs) having described my job, which is a sure route to madness (Laughter), if I was not as well established as I am within myself, it would have driven me bonkers. Because I’ve managed businesses before and at that time, I used to wield my authority on people to get things going. And the main thing was, they were on my you know, I was doing the payment for them. That was the main control. Now I don’t make any payment for anybody, everybody is not paid, nobody is paid. In fact, they spend their own money and come and do everything. To keep them going is essentially the inner engineering. Because there is a powerful experience within, which drives them to do all this work. It is… It is unfortunate that people always trying to divide the world. You must understand this, that the very basic nature of human intellect is this Human intellect – you know, all of you – the sharper it is, the better it is. Isn’t it so? You should agree with me (Laughter). The sharper it is, the better it is, I think, intellect. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: I actually wanna talk about being a prophet. Sadhguru: Hey, don’t go that far, let’s finish the project (Laughter). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Let’s go there. So, because one of the things about sort of be mindful of the inner life… Sadhguru: Mhmm (Indicating negation). You cannot be mindful of the inner life. Now you talked about being a prophet, now I can say no (Laughter). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: So I don’t think… I wouldn’t say you’re a prophet, I’m talking about the Judeo-Christian tradition of prophecy… Sadhguru: Oh! Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: …so in the Hebrew Bible, in the Old Testament, there is the role of those who speak truth to power, who speak out against injustice, who sacrifice themselves for a cause because of injustice. And there in that narrative, there is anger and there is rage. And there are significant groups of people in the world, in our country, who have due cause to be angry about the world – the refugee, the ethnic minority, the poor. And one thing about inner engineering and sort of finding peace within oneself, the other side of that coin is, you know what, is there ever a time to be angry, to march, to be enraged at the injustice of the world? What would you say to that? Sadhguru: You know Che? I know you… This is not a popular name in America. Che Guevara said, “If you are in rage, you are one of us.” I said, “If you are out of rage, you’re one of us” (Laughs). If you’re really out of rage, you’re definitely one of us. Because you think there is a reason for your anger, which is a wrong perception. If you look at it, people get terribly angry with their loved ones. There’s a whole lot violence within the homes because they get terribly angry with their loved ones, somebody that they’re living with. And they have a good reason to get angry. Because she did not cook the breakfast properly. Or the dog peed where it’s not supposed to pee. Or I have seen people yelling and screaming and breaking their clubs on a golf course, where they’re just having a good time (Laughter). So I’m saying everybody has a reason to be angry. Anger means just this. When you’re angry As a doctor, you know today that when you’re angry, literally you’re generating poison in the system – literally. If you are poisoning yourself internally And when you’re angry, you know you do the most idiotic things in your life. When you turn back and see, you can’t believe you did it. But most idiotic things happen when you’re angry. So I’m asking, is it… is anger an intelligent expression of human life or an idiotic expression of human life? Hello? Idiotic. So that’s all you need to know (Laughter). The next time you’re angry, you just know you’re stupid (Laughter) because you’re turning against yourself. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: So… Sadhguru: But… I will tell you. The reason why this anger has been eulogized is, in a moment of anger, some people who were sleeping all their life propelled themselves into action and that action produced some results. Yes, that can happen. It may so happen, you know, that if I throw a stone at you, instead of hitting you, it hit the apple in the tree and the apple fell into your hands. But that’s by accident. Generally, if I throw a stone, your head will crack. That’s what is supposed to happen. Yes? So I got angry and something got done, so I think anger is a great way of doing things. So when you’re angry, you yell and fume at somebody. I’m asking all of you, how many of you enjoy being yelled at and fumed by somebody else? Whether it’s your boss, or your husband, or your wife, or your parents or anybody, you really thoroughly enjoyed this (Laughter). Hello? Did you? Participants: No. Sadhguru: No. And what makes you think somebody else enjoys it? They endure you, they don’t enjoy you. And when they’re done, they’re done (Laughs). So, it doesn’t matter whether the anger happened to a man that you call as a prophet, because we have a way of eulogizing everything which… with which we have a distance of time. Suddenly anything which is over 1000 years becomes sacred in most people’s mind. But whatever is happening right now, however great it is, they don’t have the intelligence to recognize this. People are saying the past things are great simply because everybody else is saying it, not because they truly recognize. But we are coming to a time, if you don’t do it, your children will do this, that is, a time is coming in the world, where unless it makes sense It doesn’t come… it doesn’t matter from what source it comes from, even if god comes and speaks here, the next generation will reject it unless it makes sense to them. This is a good development because instead of authority being the truth, truth is becoming the authority. It’s a good way to go. But once this happens, questions are going to rise – all kinds of questions. With all due respect to every religious tradition on the planet I come from a land, which has immense traditions, unbelievable. Most… Most people in the world, most Indians are not even conscious of this, how many traditions, how many ways are there in that land. When Mark Twain came to India, he said, “Anything that can ever be done either by man or god has been done in this land” because the exploration is so incredible. But with all due respect to all of them, I say this, that if you raise three fundamental questions, ninety percent of the scriptural knowledge on the planet will collapse. I’m sorry, but this is the truth. If you ask three pertinent questions, you will see ninety percent of the scriptural knowledge on the planet will just collapse, it can’t stand scrutiny. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: So what are the three questions (Laughter)? Sadhguru: You are not a scripture, so why should I (Laughs)…? Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Oh no, you said ask three questions. Sadhguru: Yes, the fundamental questions. If you ask, simply… You… See, the fundamental thing is this – you don’t know where you came from, you don’t know where you will go. You can believe. If we work hard enough on you, we can make you believe anything. You must know this. I was just talking to a group of people in Nashville, Tennessee, where our center is. I was just telling them a joke. In the joke, I referred to god as him. Immediately, a few ladies stood up and said, “Do you believe god is a man?” I said, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!” I know what I’ve gotten into, you know (Laughs). I said, “I was just telling you a joke.” They said, “It doesn’t matter, you said him.” Now this is a debate in America – is god a man or a woman? I think this time in the election they’re trying to settle that issue (Laughter/Applause). But where we come from, we have no such issue. We have a man god, we have a woman god, we have a cow god, we have an elephant god, we have a snake god, we have a bird god, we have a dog god, we have every kind. Crawling ones, creeping ones, flying ones, all kinds (Laughter). Because we are a very wise culture, we foresaw all the future problems that may arise (Laughter). And there is also a debate, which in the last election they tried to settle, but it did not settle, I think. People are debating in southern churches – is god black or white? It’s a big serious debate happening. People really debating about this – is god white or black? Well, you know Idi Amin, the Uganda man. Idi Amin declared, “God is black.” I agree with him because if a white man can have a white god, why can’t a black man have a black god? But you know, these people do not know, because in these parts of the world, only messiahs, prophets, sons, others came. They don’t know. In India, we know god is brown (Laughter/Applause). Yes? Because god himself visited India nine times. Are you aware of this (Laughter)? You didn’t know? God visited India nine times, himself. Indians are very proud of this (Laughter) because god visited us himself nine times and he sent his son and messenger and others and others to other places (Laughter). I keep reminding them, that’s because god wanted to do the job hands on with Indians (Laughter), he couldn’t trust anybody else with Indians (Laughter). He came nine times and he failed (Laughter/Applause). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Let’s… Let’s talk about… Sadhguru: No, coming to belief (Laughter), I’m saying we can make people believe anything if you work upon them from their childhood – anything, believe me. You just have to work hard enough and make them believe this, that, everything. Belief gives you a confidence without clarity. Confidence without clarity is a disaster on this planet. There is no substitute for clarity. There is no substitute for clarity. But if you have confidence, you can just do something just like that. Sometimes it works. Even if you’re not clear, you can simply do something and it’ll work. Can I tell you a joke? Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Please. Sadhguru: This happened in New York City, tch. Late afternoon, a eight-year-old boy came back from school. He had a very progressive mother. Obviously she was single (Laughter). I’m saying they couldn’t… nobody catch up with her (Laughter). He came home and he asked, “Momma, is god man or woman?” She thought about all the gender issues and the coming election and everything and then she thought about it for a while and she said, “Both.” The boy went into deep thought. After a little while, the boy came back and asked, “Momma, is god black or white?” Again she thought about all the racial issues in the country and after considering this at length, she said, “Both.” The boy went into very deep thought. Then after some time, he came back and asked, “Momma, is god straight or gay?” She again thought about it and then she said, “Both.” The boy jumped in joy, “I got it! I got it! It’s Michael Jackson” (Laughter)! So how… how we arrived at our belief has cultural backing. Every culture has made up their own stuff. But I’m asking, do we genuinely know where we came from and where we’re going? If you’re so clear where you’re going, that is for an appointment with the Creator, I don’t think you should postpone the appointment, you must take it today, isn’t it? But that’s not true. If death is next moment, you don’t want to go. If you are so sure Only that fanatic who blows himself up seems to be sure. Everybody else has a doubt, isn’t it? Every s… working intelligence has a doubt. Yes or no? If you have frozen your intelligence with overriding belief systems, then you’re going (Laughs). Every other working intelligence, if death is next moment, there is hesitation or no? For sure, isn’t it? Because you really don’t know where you’re going. You can believe what you want, but you really do not know. Belief is of social significance, to some extent of psychological significance, but existentially it means nothing. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Can I ask your thoughts on this? In some ways, in many ways, we are the inheritors of our traditions and they can… and they do influence us and shape us. Is there a positive role for the traditions from whence we come? For example, if I’m gonna try to inner engineer my inner life and try to get some direction and meaning and faith and hope and values, I can’t do it alone. And there are rich traditions, Hindu traditions, Judeo-Christian traditions, Muslim traditions that give some context, some meaning, some structure upon which to anchor my life. What do you think about that? Do we throw away all the traditions and inner engineer our lives or can we use these traditions? Sadhguru: As you said, to anchor our lives. Now that is… that is the decision that every human being has to make. Do you want to be anchored or do you want to set sail? That is a decision that everybody has to make. If you’re looking for confidence, if you’re looking for stability, then you have to anchor yourself to something. If you’re looking to go far, then anchoring will not help. Traditions, all traditions – with all due respect to all of them – particularly traditions that are coming from India and also elsewhere – I’m… I’m not in any way an expert on… to make a comment on the traditions that you’re talking about but essentially, tradition means this – what somebody did yesterday is today’s culture and tradition, what you do today is tomorrow’s culture and tradition. I’m asking you, how much of what we’re doing today in this world and in this country is consciously cultured? But all the rubbish that we do, will become tomorrow’s culture and tradition of this land, isn’t it so? Hello? Participants: Yes. Sadhguru: I’m saying, do you believe that people who lived here 1000 years ago were such super human beings, they did everything perfectly and you’re doing everything wrong? It’s not so. They were also just people like you. We have a way of eulogizing everything with which we have a certain distance of time. but are they of no value? Not true. There’re a whole lot of things, whole lot of things that we as human beings simply know today, which is thanks to the traditions in which we have grown up. We cannot say no. But if you want to know this life, which is myself, no tradition is… Tradition can inspire you, tradition can put you in a direction, tradition cannot take you there, because this has to happen now, to you, only then it’s a living reality for you. Otherwise you will read in a book and believe it. But how do you know this works? I’m saying it should work. People ask me, “Sadhguru, how do we know whether we have met a real teacher or a guru or not?” I just tell them, “Look at his face, whether it’s worked for him, what he’s talking (Laughter).” Has it worked for him? That’s all the question. If it’s worked for him, it doesn’t matter what it is, you must go with him because it’s worked for him. If it’s not worked for him, what is the point? Dead tradition. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: So one of the traditions here in a medical school, in a Western medical school, is the tradition of the evidence – show me! In this tradition, which is only really maybe two or three hundred years old, the randomized controlled trial, the cohort study, the… all of that. And it’s good, that’s how we’ve gotten cures for pneumonia and drugs to help alleviate pain and it’s all been done through this pursuit of the evidence. The evidence… and also I’m a pastor and I fully embrace the life of the spirit and the truth that we find in our faith traditions, and I love that tradition. But I do recognize a tension, if you will, between the truth that we discover in the lab and the truth that we discover in our spirit. And I love that tension, I think that’s a great way to live in a way, that sort of loving and joyful pursuit that is both the truth that I see around me and the love that grows in my heart. But I do recognize the tension. What is your perception of that? Sadhguru: See, when we talk about the evidence-based approach, it is not a tradition. When it happened, when the Renaissance happened, it was breaking of all traditions. Till then, because it was written in a book, because a certain authority was espousing it, we said, “This is it.” When medical science evolved from Jenner (Referring to Edward Jenner, an English physician and scientist who was the pioneer of smallpox vaccine, the world’s first vaccine) to others, the fundamental thing was they broke all tradition. So now if that is becoming a tradition, I’m very sorry. Because this was an exploration. An exploration cannot be traditional. An exploration means you’re constantly trying to step into new terrain. That’s what an exploration is. But if that has become traditional, then we are treading the same track and thinking it’s exploration. This evidence based approach has done wonders to many many things No question but this entire process is dependent upon human intellect. This is what, we are just coming into we went off little bit human intellect by nature I am just asking you would you like it sharp or blunt if you want sharp If you have a sharp instrument let’s say you have a knife in your hand what could you do to this flower with a knife? you could cut it finely if you want but you can cut into pieces that’s exactly what the intelligence does whatever you give it it will cut it open and try to see the way of evidence based science is disection fundamentally Well, even in the medical school, I’m sure we’re in the pathology labs we are opening up, fortunately the dead (Few laugh). But if you really want to know somebody, someone whom you love very much, if you really want to know them, I think you should dissect them to know them. Would it work like that? No, obviously. So, there is one dimension of life, which is physical in nature, where dissection will work. But what is physical about you, the body that you carry, is an accumulation that you gathered over a period of time. It’s just the food that you’ve eaten. It is actually a piece of the planet. Most people don’t get this when they’re walking, but the countless number of people who walked on this planet before you and me, they are all topsoil today. You and me also will be topsoil, unless your friends choose to bury you real deep (Laughter), fearing that you may raise from the dead (Laughter). This is just the soil, isn’t it? Hello? Tch, this is just the soil that you walk upon. So this is an accumulation. What you gather, what you accumulate, you can claim, “It is mine”, you cannot say, “It’s me”, isn’t it? Right now, as I’m speaking, I say, “This is my glass.” You will think, “Oh, Sadhguru seems to have a problem (Few laugh). But let’s listen, everybody says he’s wise” (Few laugh). After some time I’ll say, “This is me.” Then you will say, “Let’s go home” (Laughter). Because if I claim this is me, you know it is… it qualifies for madness, isn’t it? Whatever you acquire, you can say, “This is mine.” But if you say, “This is me”, this is madness. Yes or no? Are there any psychiatrists? Do I… Do this… Does this qualify (Laughter)? It does. So, every day you’re doing this. Food appeared on your plate, you said, “This is my food.” You ate it and then you say, “It’s me.” This is madness. But you have enormous company (Laughter). And we believe in democracy. Whatever the majority says must be right. So, it is going on. But the moment you believe something that is not you as yourself, you kind of lost it. You’re derailed from life. So, turning inward does not mean dissection, turning inward does not mean contemplation because the content of your body and the content of your mind is an accumulated substance, isn’t it? You gathered it from outside. What you gather from outside can be yours but can never ever be you. So, we’re talking about Inner Engineering, not as twisting and turning the body, not about taking on new attitudes of love or generosity, compassion. Whatever great values and emotions that a human being can have, I see all that as a consequence of a certain way of being, rather than looking at it as a means to get somewhere. Everywhere, people are talking about whatever… See, if you deprive somebody of something for a period of time, simply qualities will raise to heaven. Today, anywhere you go, people are talking, “Peace of mind is the ultimate goal of human life.” Why? Because they’re freaked out in their minds (Laughter). Why would peace be the highest goal? Because you’re talking about Judeo-Christian thing, the origin of where it came from I happened to be in Tel Aviv. I am to… I was to get there that morning and speak at 6:30 in the evening. I was flying in from Atlanta. Because of some delays in the flights, I landed there at 6:00 in the evening. So, I’m quickly changing in the airport because in these thirty-five years, I’ve not been late to a single appointment. I don’t want to break that, so I’m rushing. And I am famished because I’m traveling an American airline and there’s nothing edible on the plane (Laughter). I’m super hungry and I rush to the venue. And to my joy, I find the talk is in a fine restaurant. life can’t get better (Laughs). So as I went in, people are greeting me and one man comes up and says, “Shalom.” I ask him, “What does it mean?” He says, “This is the highest way of greeting.” I said, “Well, that’s your opinion, but what does it mean?” He said, “No, this is the highest way of greeting.” I said, “That’s all right, but what does the word mean?” He said, “It means peace.” I said, “Why would peace be the highest way of greeting, unless you’re born in Middle East” (Laughter)? In South India, you come up to me in the morning and say, “Peace!” I’ll say, “What’s wrong with you” (Laughter)? Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: I’d like to get back to the practice of medicine just for a question really. I tell my gang, whom I adore My residents, my students are close to my heart, I adore them. Sadhguru: All gangs are like that (Laughter). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: And I say… I say medicine is easy. Medicine is easy but healing is hard because in medicine, we have our potions and if we don’t know an answer, we do a test and if we don’t know the… what the test means, we consult somebody. And so medicine, in some ways, we can distill it down, we can make it easy. But healing, healing is really where the art of medicine lies. And healing is where the spirit and the love and the suffering and the treatments and the surgery, that’s where it all comes together. How would you propose that we adopt a healing attitude? How do we bring the spirit of healing into the experience of the bedside? Sadhguru: Please, all of you, don’t be offended by what I say but you must look at this properly. If I… I… I don’t, but if at any time, if it becomes necessary I must go to a hospital, I just want efficient treatment, I don’t want love (Few laugh) because I’m not deprived like that. Now unfortunately, we are creating a population where everywhere people are talking about love. We are deprived like this because early age deprivation of love will tell right through your life. It is very important, we need to understand that there is something more to this life (Referring to oneself) than the acquired body. We have a body, which we acquired. There’s something more. There is a whole tradition in India Unfortunately, it’s rapidly vanishing because of variety of changes that are happening in the society. Otherwise, how a mother should deal with a child till the child is four-and-a-half years of age. In the… In the vernacular languages, it says that she should wrap herself around the child, in every possible way. Not Because the food that you give the child, the milk that you give the child is not the only nourishment. The child needs to be wrapped with motherhood, then only this child will grow as a full-fledged child. Otherwise, it will grow as a deprived child. But modern societies, we are going to a place, which is almost impossible to deliver this. It’s simply not possible. In the way we have structured our families, it’s simply not possible to do that. So, having said that, when people come to a hospital, they should just look forward to efficient treatment. Now we’re looking for love. We should have found it somewhere else. At least we should have bought a dog (Laughter), if you couldn’t find anybody. Dog is… You know, if you get yourself a dog, twelve years guaranteed love affair (Laughter) guaranteed. Doesn’t matter how badly behaved you are, still it’s guaranteed. It’ll not work with any human being (Laughter). There’s a whole lot of management to do with human beings. If you get a dog, however badly behaved you are, you are a drunk, you behave badly, you beat him, do what you do, but the dog still loves you guaranteed love affair. So, those of you who are looking for love wherever you go, dog is a good solution (Laughter). When you go to a hospital, you don’t expect your doctor to love you, just do what he has to do (Laughs). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: So that is fascinating (Sadhguru laughs) because I think patients come to their doctors… Sadhguru: This… This is the unfortunate This is the unfortunate reality, that’s what I’m saying. People come to a hospital and looking for love – wrong place (Laughter). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: So when I was a when I was a medical student, I was the pastor of a church here in town and I would write my sermons on hospital notepaper. This was before EMRs (Referring to Electronic Medical Record, which is a digital version of a paper chart that contains all of a patient’s medical history). So I’m writing my sermon at the nurse’s station and my attending physician came up to me and he said, “Doolittle, physicians are the priests of today.” I said, “What? What do you mean? That’s offensi…” I wasn’t sure what… Was he joking was he serious. And he was serious (Sadhguru laughs), in the sense that people come to their doctor and they have pain and maybe it’s back pain, may be it’s pain in their hearts and I think people come to their physician and they look for absolution acceptance, forgiveness. They look to feel well again. And perhaps the critique of modern medicine is that we are trained to give a pill but people want more. And it’s interesting that you bring this up that in modern medicine the expectation should be efficient care, safe care. And that’s what we’re trying to do too. But I do think… Sadhguru: There is a healing Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Maybe the world is becoming more secular and they don’t know where to turn and so people look to their healthcare provider for all of it. What do you think? Sadhguru: See, it’s not about being secular or non-secular, a whole lot of human beings are feeling lonely. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Yes. Sadhguru: Right from their childhood, they’ve suffered loneliness. For variety of reasons, changes have happened in family structure, changes have happened in the social structure, the communities of the past have broken. So, there is a certain loneliness, where even if they go to a… their car mechanic, they want to be loved (Laughter). You must go to your physician just the way you went to a car mechanic, somebody who knows how to fix the car. That’s important. Whether he loves you or not is not your business. But when you talk about healing, there’s another dimension. We’re preparing people like this, I’m bringing up hundreds of people, where we have identified in the yogic culture I mean, in the yogic science – the fundamental life energy manifests itself in five different ways, five fundamental ways. These five Out of these five… This is called as prana vayu, samana vayu, apana, udhana and vyana. In this, there is one dimension called samana vayu, which is very healing. So, before we introduce any kind of medical knowledge to a person, we put them on very serious inner work to generate a certain level of samana vayu, where a physician develops such a level of vitality, if he walks into the room, everything should light up. This is very important. Physicians are walking into the patient’s room with a grave face. Grave is one thing that you should not point at when somebody is sick (Laughter). Grave is one thing that you don’t show a patient. A physician should generate such a level of vitality and life and healthfulness about themselves, anything they touch will get better, naturally not because of love, not because of compassion. People… You know, yesterday I was being interviewed by a young lady and she said, “Sadhguru, we must… You know, everything should happen out of compassion.” I asked her, “Are you married?” She said, “Yes, my husband is waiting in the reception.” I said, “Suppose when you go there after this interview, you realize that your husband married you on a compassionate basis (Laughter), would you like it?” She said “No.” “ Then why do you want it for me (Laughter)? I don’t need it too.” Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: So can I ask you with… So for the Isha Foundation, with the thousands of full-time volunteers and the millions of part-time volunteers, why do you think they come? Sadhguru: Tools of transformation. The tools are subjective in nature. See, right now, we as human beings are dominating this world only because of our ability to use tools. Otherwise, a pack of dogs would take care of you. Forget about the tigers and the lions poor tigers and poor lions, who need to be saved right now. Only because of our ability to use tools, isn’t it? And all the tools that we developed are… Now as a doctor, maybe you’re using a microscope. We have a microscope, only because we are ability… our ability to see, to enhance that we have a scope. We have a telescope only to enhance our vision in some other way. We have a telephone because we can hear. We have a microphone because we can speak. We have a bicycle because we can walk. If we were made like trees, would we have invented a bicycle, I’m asking? Every tool that we created is only in… to enhance the already existing faculties to a higher level, isn’t it? Everything. Everything that we invented is just this, all the tools. The tools are very important. When I refer to the spiritual dimension as tools, some of our people will feel offended around me and say, “Sadhguru, don’t say it, it is more than our life. Don’t use the word tool.” Then I tell them, “You come to the Yoga Center. Three days I will give you plumbing job, no spanner, no wrench, no nothing. You do it with your hands. You can use your teeth (Laughter). You will see all your ten nails will be gone, then a few teeth will be gone after three days, then you come to me, I will give you a spanner. Will you worship the spanner or no?” I’m asking you. Will you worship the spanner or no? It is the tools. Similarly, to turn inward, to extend dimensions which you’re you’re Every one of you have known peace in your life at some moment? Hello? You must tell me yes or no. Sadhguru: You have known joy in your life? Sadhguru: You have known bliss in your life? Sadhguru: You have known ecstasy in your life, love in your life? You are capable of all these things, only thing is it’s not sustainable. One moment there, one moment here, one moment there, one moment here – this is the only problem, isn’t it? Suppose I gave you a tool, subjective tool with which you can remain blissful every moment of your life, is it of great value to you, I’m asking? Sadhguru: So, these millions of people, they have tasted the tools of transformation. One thing I have done to them is (Laughs), I have confused the hell out of them (Laughter). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: So what is that tool of transformation? How would you describe that? Sadhguru: This is the first tool. First thing is, you must get confused (Laughter). Yes. Because you are talking about anchoring, that’s why I’m saying this. Confusion means you realize that you do not know, isn’t it? I’m asking, with all this exploration of science, do we know even one single atom in its entirety? Hello? Do we? No. Then what’s our problem in saying we don’t know? “I do not know” is an immense possibility. Now, you’re trying to destroy “I do not know” with all kinds of beliefs. Why don’t you say, “I do not know”? If you truly realize “I do not know”, your intelligence will be in a active and super alert state every moment of your life. The moment you believe, it sleeps. It lets you sleep. But people are not willing to go through this. They want something. Tell them something, they want to believe and say, “I’m fine, I want to sleep tonight.” No. “I do not know…” If you see “I do not know,” the longing to know, the wanting to know, the seeking to know will happen to you. Everything that you do not know, you just believe because somebody said so. Even if it is true Right now, I’m going to tell you what is the truth, but it’s not in your experience. So what is the options that you have? You can believe me or you can disbelieve me, isn’t it? If you believe me, you will not get any closer to truth. If you disbelieve me, you will not get any closer to truth. It is just that if you believe me, you will have a positive story to tell. If you disbelieve me, you will have a negative story to tell. But you will not move an inch existentially. Psychologically, it will give you comfort. So this is something you must decide. Are you looking for solace, or are you looking for a solution? If you’re looking for solution, then you need tools to turn inward. If you’re looking for solace, believe something. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: So if the first step is “I don’t know”, what do you do then? What happens after that (Sadhguru laughs)? Sadhguru: See, this happened to me when I was just four, four-and-a-half years of age. Suddenly one day, I realized I don’t know a thing. I was only about four-and-a-half years of age. If somebody gave me a glass of water, I would just sit like this for three-four hours at a stretch because I wouldn’t know what is water. I’m telling you, even today you don’t know what is water. It is the only substance, which is in all the three states on the planet. Two-thirds of your body is water, two-thirds of the planet is water. But you don’t know what it is. We know how to use it but we don’t know what it is. Isn’t it so? We know how to use this water in so many ways but we do not know what it really is, because we do not know what really anything is for that matter. So if I found a leaf, I would simply sit like this for six-seven hours. If I sat up in the bed, entire night I would be staring at the darkness. My dear father, who is a physician (Laughter), started thinking I need psychiatric evaluation He started saying, “This boy has lost it. He’s just staring at something all the time.” My problem is, I look at this and I don’t know this. I’m not able to shift my attention to that. I’m just looking here still. He thought he could educate me. He tried. So, there is a rule, strict rule in the house between 7:00 in the evening to 9:00, dinner time, you… all the children, four of us siblings, we have to sit and read some textbook. I open my textbook like this (Laughs), I find a little speck on the paper, I just look at the paper (Gestures) (Laughter). This speck keeps me engaged for two hours. I sit like this, absolutely total attention, without reading a word. I went through school like this. I was very consistent. I always got six zeros in every test (Laughter). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: So if… if it’s not shalom, or compassion or love (Sadhguru laughs)… Sadhguru: It is just life. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: …it’s just… what would you… is that what you say the meaning of… Sadhguru: It’s just life. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: …the meaning, the purpose… Sadhguru: No, no… Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: …your purpose of life (Sadhguru laughs) is life, what would you say? Sadhguru: The purpose of life is life itself. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Yeah. Sadhguru: Is… Life itself is a large enough phenomena it doesn’t need another meaning. Only because human beings have not experienced life, they’re just a bundle of thoughts, emotions, ideas, opinions, identities and prejudices. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Sadhguru… Sadhguru: Because of this, they’re looking for a meaning because they’re psychological scape has overshadowed the existential life that they are. Right now, all that they’re experiencing is a minimalistic mind, not life. If you look at life, what is the nature of life? As you sit there, we are breathing for sure. Hello? Sadhguru: Those who are not will need medical attention (Laughter). We’re breathing. Breathing means in some way, this life (Referring to oneself) is in communication with the entire atmosphere. In fact, this… this green… you know, Project Greenhands of planting trees, the entire movement was instigated like this by me. I took a bunch of people, about 3-4000 people came. I said, “All of you should come.” They came. I arranged a meeting in a village. There was a big tree, a rain tree, a few… three, four trees were there, large trees. But I arranged the meeting around eleven o’clock in the hot sun in southern India. So I stood there and I am speaking to them. They are all .. sitting like this. Slowly as the sun gets hotter, hotter, they’re just wilting away. And I’m speaking and speaking something, telling them stories and I’m watching how they’re just wilting away. See, walking in the sun is one thing. If you simply sit there, it’ll just burn you down. They’re just thinking, “What’s happened to Sadhguru? He’s become like this, heartless” (Laughter). Then after about an hour-and-a-half, when they’re really going down, then I say, “Get up all of you” and i… then I walk them under the shade of the tree. “Ahh!” You know what a tree is only if you sit in the sun, in hot sun, for an hour-and-a-half, two, then walk under the tree, it feels like paradise. They all – “Hahh!” I made them sit down and said, “See, what you exhale, the trees are inhaling, what the trees exhale, you are inhaling. Look at this. One part of your lung is hanging out there.” And I created a process with which they could experience this. They just sat there like this with tears in their eyes and that is it, Project Greenhands, twenty-seven million trees they have planted. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Yeah, very nice. Sadhguru: Now you can’t stop them (Sadhguru laughs). They’re planting and planting because now they see it’s a part of them. Is it not true that you exist here as a part of everything else? It is just that it’s a privilege, though you are a speck in the universe, less than a speck, still we are given an intellect, we have been given senses of perception, we can experience this like an individual. But in reality, if you observe yourself, you cannot exist by yourself even for a… a nanosecond, isn’t it? The entire universe is supporting you. So the only way life can happen is an inclusive way. So yoga means just this. The word yoga means union. Union means the boundaries of what is inward and outward, you took it away. There is no such thing as you and the other. If you sit here… We can do an experiment actually. I don’t know if time allows. If you sit here and suppose for one moment, you experienced all these people here as a part of yourself, like you experience the five fingers of your hand. How is that possible? Well, what is this body today, yesterday it was not your body, isn’t it? It was food. Today it’s become body. So something that is not you, became you, how? Right now, there is water, this is not you. If I drink it, does it become me? Definitely does. So what is it that I have done? I included it into the boundaries of my sensations. What is within my boundaries of sensation, I experience as myself. What is outside of my boundaries of sensation is not me. Now, the yogic system, we developed a way that if you keep your energies in a certain level of exuberance, now you will see your sensory body will expand. If your sensory body became as large as this hall and you experienced all these people as yourself, after that do I have to tell you, “Love them, don’t hate them, don’t kill them, don’t harm them, be compassionate.” Would teachings be necessary for you? If you experience something as a part of yourself, after that you don’t need any morality, you don’t need any ethic, you don’t need any values. What is you, you will always handle it right. What is you, it is of the highest concern to you. If you experienced everyone and everything as yourself, this is what yoga means. If one is in such a state of union, then you call him a yogi. If you turn and twist your body and hang upside down, you are not a yogi, you are just doing circus (Laughter). Yes, unfortunately, people think by turning and twisting they’re doing yoga. No, yoga means you sat here, you experience the entire universe as yourself – not as a hallucination but as a living experience, not in the firmament of your mind but existentially you know this is you. Now you don’t need any policy, you don’t need any morality, you don’t need any scripture, you don’t need any guidance from anywhere. You will conduct this (Referring to oneself) sensibly to the best of your intelligence and capability. And that’s all a human being can do. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Sadhguru (Applause) So we’ve reached… Questioner: My question is touching back to the point which you brought up about the belief. Can you tell a little bit more about what’s the difference between belief and faith (Sadhguru laughs)? Sadhguru: You’re trying to gather more information (Laughter). Questioner: As much as I can in one hour. Sadhguru: That is the biggest problem. You can gather as much as you want. You could If you gather a lot, you’ll become fat. But you will not feel enhanced. The only thing that every life is seeking is to enhance itself to its fullest possible level. Whether you take a worm, or an insect, or a bird or a tree, all of them want to become full-fledged life. Only problem is, we know what is a full-fledged worm, we know what is a full-fledged insect, we know what is a full-fledged tree, but we don’t know what is a full-fledged human being. Now you think by acquiring more and more… I don’t know what information you gathered, but by acquiring more and more, you will not become more. It has not happened, isn’t it? People thought by acquiring money, by acquiring wealth, by acquiring knowledge they will become more. They have not become more. They’re still hankering for the same things. So, by acquiring more information, you will not become enhanced. It is just that if you approach information sensibly, you will become more hungry. If you approach information as a way of projecting yourself as better than somebody else, then you will think you have attained to something. This is what happens by acquiring information. Only in comparison, it’s valuable. If you have certain level of information, you need somebody around you who doesn’t know it for you to be looking smart. Yes (Laughs)? Today, it’s become a fashion. Before they go to a dinner party, they will Google out that galaxy Z67, how many million light years is it? So when you go to a dinner party, just like that casually you throw around (Laughter), “You know the galaxy Z67? It is you know how many light years? This many light years.” Who the hell cares (Laughter)? Because we don’t even know in our experience what is a light year (Laughs). It is only a mathematical calculation, it is not really anybody’s experience. There is no human being on this planet, past or present, who’s ever experienced a light year. There’s no such thing. It is only a mathematic calculation to somehow come to terms with the immeasurable dimensions of the existence. We’re trying to somehow quantify it, so that it comes into our understanding. But nothing comes into our understanding. As science explores more and more, it is only getting more confounded. The only reason why science is surviving is because it’s throwing out useful technologies on the side. If that was not there, science is far more confused in hundred years of exploration than it ever was before. But that’s a good sign. If they had made stupid conclusions, they would be a one more religion. Science is confounded today. The top physicists in the world are saying, “We not only do not know, we know we will never know. ” This is a good sign because this means your intelligence will remain on an explorative mode all the time – on an active mode, not in a sleep mode. So, when when the top scientists declare, “We will not know”, it is not a hopeless situation. It is a great situation that people have come to this, that they understand if you go through physical means, it doesn’t matter how much you explore, it’ll go on endlessly. How much information you have, you will not get any better, you will get only more burdened by this. Things will happen on the side, technologies will come, iPhone will become seven, eight, twelve, all right? But still, the way you talk to people is not going to change (Laughs). What you say will not change. Your relationships will not change. Technology can go through the ceiling but nothing of you will be enhanced. So, more information, more information is not going to help. All I want you to take – the takeaway for you because you want to take away something (Laughter) – the takeaway for you is if you truly, genuinely – it’s not simply a thought – allow this to sink into you in the next few days, that if you pay attention to anything, a leaf, a flower, water, people, dog, animals, anything, anything, if you pay enough attention to anything around you, even the closest people around you, if you pay enough attention to them, you will see you don’t know a damn thing about anything. On the surface, you seem to know everything. But if you pay sufficient attention, you don’t know a thing about anything. Knowledge is a very limited sphere of life, ignorance is boundless. Enjoy that (Laughter). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: So, in the spirit of boundless ignorance, does anyone else have any questions? There’s a lot. Maybe someone Sadhguru: She has the microphone, yeah (Laughs). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Yeah, you got the mike, go ahead. Questioner: Hello. Thank you very much for a wonderful lecture and you’re definitely very smart man (Laughter). My question is… Sadhguru: That’s the worst insult anybody has thrown at me (Laughter). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: He started by saying he doesn’t know anything. That was his whole (Laughter) Questioner: Maybe this is the main sign of a smart person. So my question is that you mentioned before that just belief without clarity is not a good thing. And I’m absolutely impressed by amount of volunteers, like millions of the volunteers. I cannot even imagine how many people come flown in and not volunteer and so it’s a lot. Do you think they are all driven by clarity and search for clarity? Or they believe that once they will do Inner Engineering, they will work on the process of gaining joy and eventually they will have a positive story with you or the positive story, as you mentioned before? Thank you. Sadhguru: See, if… For any human being to do something, either it should have worked for them, or it should have worked for somebody around them. If you want to buy a car, either you will test drive it and see whether it works for you or you’ll ask the opinion of your friend who is driving that particular car, “Is this been good for you?” Yes or no? So I must tell you, a… as a rule, for the first twenty, twenty-one years of my existence as a teacher, as a rule, I never appeared in the media – never once (Laughs) – to a point, where media started writing about me, “He’s running some kind of a secret school” (Laughs) because I refused to meet the media, no advertisement, no any kind of posters, not even a brochure. Only by word-of-mouth, millions of people came. Because once it works for somebody, they want it to work for their family, their friends and things. That’s how it happened. In the last fifteen years or sixteen years now – fifteen actually – from 2001 is when you have heard about me all over because we’re making a lot of noise in the last fifteen years, because these projects, which we started as small endeavors in the local area, caught on so well and they became such major projects of planting trees, education, health We are active in 53,000 villages. So, it needs enormous support, otherwise this can’t be done. For a… a non-religious movement, which doesn’t offer any miracles like this Never before, as I know, in the last two hundred, three hundred years, never before, a spiritual movement has caught on this kind of following, where no ticket to heaven, no miracles, no any kind of stuff. Only thing I’m telling them is, badgering them that you are the source of all your troubles (Laughs), nobody else but you. But millions are gathering, which is very (Laughs) fantastic because I must tell you this. About thirty years ago, when I conducted programs, over eighty-five percent of the people came because of health reasons – physical, mental ailments. Today, on an average, only about twelve percent of the people are coming for health reasons. The rest are coming because they’re seeking. They want to know. They want to experience. They want their lives to be touched in a deeper way than the way it is touched right now. This is a phenomenal change that you’re seeing in the world. It’s never before, I think. Only twelve percent are coming for health reasons. But at one time, over eighty percent were coming for health reasons, which is a big shift. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Any other question? Maybe someone from up above there. You’re right there in the front, can you shout your question out? Questioner: I was wondering if physical ailments or health-related physical ailments can be cured by or at least helped by yoga? Sadhguru: There are… We must understand, there are two kinds of ailments. In the yogic system, we look at health issues as two ways. One is caused by external organisms, which I think modern medicine has handled in a phenomenal way. In fact, the birth of modern medicine happened mainly because of the epidemics and pandemics, which were happening at that time, where it would wipe out populations. It is that which inspired people to experiment and do the things that they did. And when they found solutions, that is when suddenly the… the trust of the population shifted from one to another, simply because they could eliminate epidemics and these were caused by external organisms. But seventy percent of human ailments are on self-help. That is, they cause it to themselves in so many ways. For whatever reasons, knowingly, unknowingly, they do it to themselves. This seventy percent of ailments that people cause to themselves can be undone from within. But if you have an infection, you must go to the doctor. If you have pneumonia, you must immediately go to the doctor (Laughter). Don’t try to do yoga (Laughter). Now, are there instances? We have thousands and thousands of people. I would say hundreds and thousands of people, who walked out of their ailments without ever being treated for them. We don’t treat people for yoga. I must tell you this because we are in a medical institution. A bunch of doctors from United States came to our Yoga Center. We were… We have a yogic hospital. So, about twelve of them, largely from this Michigan area, and they came and stayed for three days. And on the fourth day, they were very upset and they wanted to leave. I was very busy, I couldn’t meet them and somebody came and told me, “Sadhguru, all these doctors are very upset, they want to go.” I said, “What happened?” “They are just very upset that there is no yogic hospital here. You told them there is yogic hospital, they think there is no yogic hospital.” Then I said, “Okay, let me see them” (Laughs). Then I saw them. They were really upset. They were angry, they were f… They felt cheated that there is no yogic hospital here, where are the patients, where are the uniformed nurses and doctors walking up and down? I said, “See…” At that time, on that day, maybe there were over seventy patients. But I said, “I thought I’ll put them to good use and I was making them work in the gardens” (Laughter). Nobody should ever understand sickness is a reward. They must want to get out of it as quickly as possible. Right now, we’re treating patients in such a way, people would want to be sick whenever they want attention. Not just that, one important part of the yogic treatment is, what is called as Bhuta Shuddhi. This means syncing and purifying the elements within you. Water… Earth, water, air, fire and space. These five dimensions you can work on, this is the fundamentals of yoga. So one of the most important thing is, I want them barefoot, with open hands, to work in the garden, to just get in touch with the earth. Be outside, get in touch with the air, water, earth. Half their ailments are gone. Treatment is there little bit, rest is all just connection with the world around because this (Referring to oneself) is a composite of all these things. You remove yourself and keep yourself in a completely alien atmosphere, where you’re not in touch, you’re four inches above the ground all the time (Laughs). You will lose contact with what makes your life. It’s the very soil, which you’re carrying as your body. Is it not important that it needs to be touched with its origins? No, you’re looking up. No, your life happens from this planet. There are other dimensions to it, of course. But physical health and the physical nature around you are very closely related. If you don’t connect them, health is an accident for most people. Today, I see America probably has the highest incidents of allergies Is that so? Am I right? Very high. This is mainly because they’re removed from everything that’s natural. They’re not in touch with anything that is natural. Everything is tampered with. Those who are living in the open, even in America, I’m sure they have no allergy, they have no issue of any kind, they’re doing fine. I think the homeless people are the most healthy people in the end (Laughter). They’re enduring all kinds of you know, variations in weather and still managing pretty well without healthcare (Laughs). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: We probably have time for one more question. In the back, right there, shout it out! Questioner: How to look for internal peace? Sadhguru: How to? Questioner: How to look for internal peace? Sadhguru: Whoa, whoa! You just came in (Laughter)? . Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Sorry, was that internal peace or eternal peace? Sadhguru: Internal. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Internal peace. Sadhguru: Okay. Now (Laughter)… We… We’ve gone through this. Anyway, whether it’s peace, or happiness, or joy, or love or whatever, it can only be internal. It can’t be external. Now, there are many ways to address this. But one simple way is just this – you just have to learn where the keyboard is for this big computer of your mind. Right now, you don’t know where the keyboard is, you’re punching it somehow (Gestures) (Laughter), something works. No. If you know where the keyboard is, you would type out the right things, isn’t it? Fundamentally, it’s just that your mind is not taking instructions from you. Don’t ask for peace, don’t ask for joy, don’t ask for love. Just you have to understand the mechanics of how this body and this mind works, and then you cause whatever you want. If you like turmoil, cause it. If you want love, cause it. If you want hate, cause it. That’s up to you. But I trust you, that if you are capable of causing pleasantness or unpleasantness within you, you will choose the highest form of pleasantness for yourself. I trust you on that one. Now that… You know, it started with this fifty-four percent of doctors suffering, which is unfortunate. Doctors, all said and done, are rendering a very key aspect of service to any given society. It’s very important that they are well. I… I would like to make this offering, that the doctors who are interested in this, we would like to offer them the tools of Inner Engineering, so that they go out as truly healthy, joyful life which is full of vitality, that their very presence is an inspiration for health, for everybody who comes in touch with them. This must happen. Otherwise, what are we talking about health? We’re talking medicine. Medicine is a business. Health is an aspiration for every human being. If this fundamental aspiration is not fulfilled, you cannot lead a human being to any other aspiration. Right now, there is some trouble in your body, I will talk about enlightenment, are you interested, I’m asking? No. Your back is aching, I will talk enlightenment, you’re not interested. “Will my backache go?” That’s the only question, isn’t it? Because body has this power. Unless you keep your body in such a way that you don’t know whether it is here or not… This is what yoga means that your body becomes like breeze. If you sit here, you don’t know whether your body is here or not. Otherwise, if you sit here for one-and-a-half hours, your body says, “I must go to the bathroom”, your body says, “I must drink”, your body says, “I must do something” because it is in a state of compulsive needs. If you bring it to ease on all levels, you will not know whether body is here or not. If you are in such a state, you’re not even conscious whether it’s here or not, you have no gender issues, you don’t care whether you’re a man or a woman right now. Yes? It should not matter, I’m saying. There’re only two places, where your gender should matter – bathrooms and bedrooms (Laughter), nowhere else. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: And some people even debate that, which… you go to which bathroom (Laughter). It doesn’t matter which bathroom, so just it’s the bedroom (Sadhguru laughs). Sadhguru: Everything is under debate (Laughter). But I’m saying, to move the body from compulsive needs to a place where it is like a stepping stone, not an impediment for your life Right now, the compulsiveness of the body is making people do all kinds of things in the world. People are not able to raise to a place, where they can do something other than the compulsive things that every other creature does, simply because they’ve not kept their body as it should be kept. This body can be upgraded to a place, where it will function like an antenna, which will download the cosmos. Even if that doesn’t happen to you right now, the physicians of the world, at least they must become an embodiment of health and vitality. This must happen. Whatever is needed from our end, we’re willing to do for Yale and you sir, Doolittle. Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: Thank you so much. Sadhguru: And I am Dr. Do-nothing (Laughter). Dr. Benjamin R. Doolittle: So thank… Everybody, let’s thank Sadhguru for his visit with us (Applause). Thank you so much, what a great joy, wonderful to have you.

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44 thoughts on “Dr. Ben Doolittle in Conversation with Sadhguru at Yale School of Medicine

  1. I really enjoyed when we Doolittle takes it away after referring to ignorance is boundless and play it all along cause it made reverent sense

  2. And the problem is till we come to you even and if remain more self-centered and less exploratory and do not take the great paths that Buddha and Swami Vivekananda preached thru ages of great learnings – the path i term as Bushido – Way of the Warrior, we would have missed in real terms what all of you great people are try to convey here…The Divinity of man as an ideal to be manifested in every day life to the extent possible

  3. I don't know why I am having a vision that one day continent like Atlantis will rise up and there will be lots of spiritual teachers and necessary environment for spiritual growth.

  4. In any given society, if Education, Medicine and Spiritual processes are commercialised, that society is go down the drain. I think we are doing all these three to the Modern World. All three are becoming commercialized. #Sadhguru

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