Monday, July 1, 2013

Sadhguru - More Than A Life - Arundhathi Subramaniam

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is a well-known mystic, known famously for his unconventional and contemporary approach to spiritualism. Arundhathi Subramaniam writes about Jaggi Vasudev's journey from a rebellious,wild and carefree young man into a revered sadhguru, the spiritual head of the Isha Foundation which has many centres worldwide and thousands of devotees.
Penguin, Rs.499, 242 p

It is a tale worth reading. Arundhathi Subramaniam is an accomplished writer, a poet who authored three books of poetry, and writes well and dispassionately. Jaggi Vasudev's life is stuff that most fiction writers cannot imagine. It's a potent combination. Born of Telugu speaking parents who had settled down in Mysore, Jaggi is one of the four children of Dr. Vasudev, an opthalmologist with the Railways, and Susheela. From his school days Jaggi was known to question everything and play truant (because he felt that the teachers were only spouting what they read and not what they experienced). Jaggi's first experience of meditation probably happened when he bunked classes at school and climbed up to the highest branches of a tree on the school compound, which swayed all through the day, until the final bell rang, upon which he would descend and go home. He had these ways with nature, with snakes (and that earned him money right form his childhood). His way with snakes is attributed to his past lives, coming down from Bilva, a tribal to a Telugu saint Sadhguru Sri Brahma.

Jaggi (Jagdish) completed his education, graduating in English Literature from Mysore University with distinction. He bought some land and did poultry farming and poetry writing, mostly built and tended to by himself, on the outskirts of Mysore. He entered the real estate business and made a successful business out of it. His dalliance with communism and Che Guevara, possibly led to his love for motorbikes and cross country road trips, right up to the Himalayas. Between snakes, motorbikes, a fast forward life, he also found the time to love and marry Vijji, with whom he embarked on many more adventures on the road and off it.

But Jaggi Vasudev's life underwent a change after a walk up into the Chamundi Hills in Mysore and he found his life purpose - the consecration of the Dhyana Linga, an unfulfilled dream of many lifetimes gone by.  The T short and jean clad yogi began taking his yoga classes and later on workshops which found acceptance in and around and soon his popularity spread. Jaggi followed his vision to set up the Isha commune outside Coimbatore and conducted the first 9 day Wholeness progam in tumultous weather.  From that base of disciples grew the Isha Foundation and spread far and wide. Meanwhile the co-conspirtors of Jaggi from his previous lifetimes also appeared, Bharathi for one, and the dream of consecrating the Dhyana Linga at Isha Foundation, Coimbatore grew bigger and bigger. How much the dream finally consumes is revealed in the book.

Your guru must ask you for your very life, says Jaggi. I like that. And so many more liberating and revolutionary thoughts.

Jaggi Vasudev, the mystic who enjoys his golf, his cricket, his motorcycle riding, his fast driving in cars, his unconventional but authentic brand of spiritualism is undoubtedly an incredible person. He is as spontaneous as anyone ever desires to be, lived his life on the edge and probably still does, is totally unpredictable, completely focussed and has the kindness, love and compassion to seal it all. He is definitely someone we'd all love to be. Having read the book I do wish to see the Dhyana Linga, the purpose of Sadhguru's life and the Isha Foundation someday soon. And perhaps if I am lucky, see the motorcycle riding mystic perhaps.

1 comment:

Rajendra said...

I have been to the Dhyana linga while on a visit to Coimbatore. Nice place to be.