Sarika Salil Jha
Having hopped to Vanaprastha ashram 10 years too early, I reassured myself-even diabetes and hypertension caught up with our generation a decade earlier than it did with our parents! It is with this rumination that I entered the ‘Front Lawns' at Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 to listen to ‘Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’.
Packed Hall and rapt audience - Sadguru in con with Sanjoy K Roy
I expected a listless discourse like the one we were forced to listen to at the local temple in Lajpat Nagar, Delhi, by our grandmother. The greed of prashad at the end, made forced us to sit through it. Cut to 'front Lawns'- I saw a lot of youngsters sitting there and I wondered “Why?” I got my answer soon.
A mentally and spiritually mesmerising spectacle unfolded as the session began. The Yogi, Sadhguru as he is lovingly called by everyone, bore no resemblance to our local pandit ji back home. I saw a rockstar in white robes and when he started speaking the whole tent resonated with his divine baritone. I thought this is my ‘Eureka’ moment. Now I will get to hear a lot of ‘positive’ things and my life would alter but what followed was not only spiritually elevating but also very entertaining. It was what I would call a comic (witty)- spiritual session where the human angst and it’s remedies were discussed using loads of humour.
He started with his passion for biking as a youngster especially to Chamundi Hills, a local picnic spot. The whole tent roared with laughter when he talked about the fascination of Mysore with Chamundi Hills and I quote “When we were happy we went to Chamundi Hills. when we were sad we went to Chamundi Hills. when we were in love or heartbroken, we went to Chamundi Hills.”
He later revealed that he got enlightenment also at the Chamundi. Sadhguru had his audience in splits when he described how family and friends reacted to this metaphysical experience. The family thought he needed medication and friends wanted to cure the ‘malady’ with drinks.
Sadhguru cracked a series of jokes and most of them were on us but surprisingly no one was complaining. I could see a smile pasted on everyone’s face as he said that little human suffering is caused by external factors most of it is “self help” or is self inflicted. Suddenly, he had everyone upbeat as he praised the human mind which is aware of what causes agony but not before puncturing bloated egos - “but the mind needs a yogi to kick his butt realize it.” The Yogi further added that humans evolved too quickly from the apes, “a few more years would have made us perfectly evolved beings.” :) What differentiates Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev from the other spiritual gurus whom I have heard before, is that he did not think we are in Kalyuga or bad times as he said that “This is our time in the world!” and “We are living in the best of times.” This was greeted with a loud applause. And as I left the tent, I was glad that my family was not orphaned. I felt rejuvenated and ready to stay in the 'Grihastha' ashram much longer!