Monday, April 03, 2006

A Guru On The Radio

File under: The Siddhi of PR

A few days back we came across this transcript of a radio interview with Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, founder of the Isha Foundation and Isha Yoga. We finally read it today and were pleasantly surprised by the clarity we found... including the fact that his teaching didn't appear to involve anything supernatural, like Amma's hugging or the Kracki's deeksha.

But then we saw this big picture on his homepage, making it seem much like just another fame seeking guru's attempt to promote himself, eclipsing (for us) his message and the appearance of his efforts to bring the truth to others.

But maybe it's not as bad a sign as we think.

Living in the West means pretty much everything is about marketing. A guru with the truth... or just a desire to get rich are the same in that they must make a presentation of themselves to the world. Where is the line between just getting your name out and self-aggrandizement with enrichment? We thought we knew... but now we realize that we may need to consider this a little bit more.

This has cast Paramahamsa Nithyananda in a different light as well, our primary objection to him being mostly about his online presentation. We'll go back to the drawing board until we believe we can draw a cleaner line between the authentic and the fame seeking for you.

13 Comments:

At 4/04/2006 5:14 AM, Blogger A.J.Anto said...

At the cost of sounding like i am marketing Sadhguru, i find him to be the most logical spiritual master i have ever seen. Meeting him was simply one of the best things that happened to me...

 
At 4/04/2006 10:29 AM, Blogger facedog said...

I feel the same about my guru. Having spent a number of years knowing him personally, I find my guru to be an exceptional human being: far more patient, kind, and with a better sense of humor than the average person. He makes no claims of specialness, other than he knows the Self He does not pretend to work miracles. When "good "things happen he gives credit to God or his own guru. But it is certain that he feels that he has been given a mission to serve humanity by teaching meditation, encouraging others that they can know the Self as he does. He teaches to clear away doubts and superstitions, etc. To do this there is a website. There are tours, talks and posters with his picture displayed. Human beings are attracted to personalities. The guru becomes a focus of devotion, which gives some enough faith that they do the recommended sadhana. So there is some promotion.

I have also seen cases where devotees promote my guru in ways he doesn't feel good about. Some try to make him a god, even print brochures, etc without his knowledge or permission. This occurs primarily in Asia. Many times it doesn't matter what the guru actually teaches, people just do what they want to do and many want to worship human gods with the idea that they will get money, perfect health and good mates. Some have just read Autobiography of a Yogi or similar books and are inflamed with story book beliefs that even the guru cannot dislodge.

The thought that there is a "mission" is suspect to some but many times, as in the case of my guru, this is an obligation agreed to in advance, ie the guru's guru has asked this in the beginning of their relationship. That relationship is very heartfelt and tender and even when Self realization reduces the attachment to any personality, the promise remains.

So I think it's good to go easy on gurus until they have made flagrant errors of self promotion, misused power, or are revealed as just fakes, as Jody has done very well with this blog. When Jody has possibly made a mistake or spoken too soon, he says so. I respect that.

 
At 4/04/2006 10:32 AM, Blogger jody said...

When Jody has possibly made a mistake or spoken too soon, he says so. I respect that.

Thanks, FD.

 
At 4/04/2006 5:45 PM, Blogger facedog said...

I hope I didn't give the impression that this guru in question is my guru. He is not.

 
At 4/05/2006 6:34 AM, Blogger jacflash said...

"Parmahamsa" Nit still loses a lot of points in my book for the "Babaji gave me my title" thing.

 
At 4/05/2006 9:15 AM, Blogger jody said...

"Parmahamsa" Nit still loses a lot of points in my book for the "Babaji gave me my title" thing.

Me too, jacflash. However, I'm hearing interesting things about him. I'm hoping to meet him one day. I'll ask him about the Babaji business if I do get to meet him and get back to you all.

 
At 5/05/2007 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are on to something when you stumbled on the big picture. Never ever be fooled by the packaging. These days even simplicity, and forthrighness is a means of deceipt and a form of packaging. The content may just be the same. Personally, I'd never trust gurus who parlay spiritualism but do so only in the decadent, materialistic West. We do not find these gurus doing their mite for the downtrodden in Darfur, Iraq, or Afganistan where people really need any kind of support. Instead they choose to 'help' the populations of the rich countries. Wonder why?

 
At 7/08/2007 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an Isha meditator and volunteer. The programs conducted in the US only charge for the cost of expenses. No other spiritual teacher gives you a five or seven day program for approx. $275 US.

Do the practices work? Yes. Are they health-promoting? Yes, but there are no promises of this. Is Jaggi Vasudev genuine? I believe so.

 
At 10/13/2007 11:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the isha meditator: You mention that no other spiritual teacher gives a 5 or 7 day program for $275. Now, a spiritual teacher is not supposed to be in the business of charging money right? Also, I understand that the whole Isha process is run by volunteers some of whom are known to have dedicated their entire lives to the 'cause'. Some have sacrificed their family members to the movement. So of course the spiritual teacher can charge less. The overheads are nominal, and the classes get bigger and bigger in number with each session.

 
At 9/17/2008 10:15 AM, Blogger Pete said...

I don't know much about the Isha Foundation and their guru. But I do know they are not in the business of helping poor people in the US. The took my home, a place where 3 generations of my family lived, to build their campus in Tennessee. Rather than buying 810 acres of land, they convinced the owner to throw me out so they could also have the the extra 5 acres I lived on because it already had electricity and water hookups. Then they demanded we move within 30 days even though the lease was for six more months.

Compassionate? Concerned about the poor? Yeah right.

 
At 3/21/2013 9:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isha claims to have made a lingam out of mercury that is "powerful" etc. He claims to have the knowledge to do this. my guess is that he does not have that knowledge because that kind of knowledge is closely guarded by shilpis (the guys who do the carving). It is a very special knowledge which is not easily gotten and takes years to get. I also am aware of a book he has written which he tells several stories which I know for a fact are not true. I have a lot of doubts about this person.

 
At 3/21/2013 10:06 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

I have very little doubt that a mercury lingam and its "powers" are the products of a superstitious folk tale.

 
At 8/05/2013 1:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the "Anonymous" who posted on 3/21/2013 , could you give clear examples of the stories which you think are false and why you think they are false.

Please note that I have no agenda and I am merely researching ,albeit idly, this "guru".

 

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