Is Humanity Headed For Crisis? Is Yoga The Solution?
Summary: Yoga essentially means to start relaxing your boundaries, to become inclusive. Right now, the biggest irony is, that the two wonderful instruments that a human being is endowed with, body and mind - have turned against your own wellbeing! Through yoga, this can be reversed and they can work for you. The current generation, unlike the previous generations, puts every aspect of their life on social media. When they are so willing, this is an opportune time for transformation. But this window will last only for the next 15-20 years. And this is absolutely essential, otherwise, it is estimated that with nothing to do, more than 90% of the population will go on chemicals; in another 70 years of time, 50% of the population may commit suicide!
article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org
The Next 15 to 30 Years are Crucial for Humanity
Sadhguru: As human beings, we can do so many different activities. But whatever the nature of our activity, in today’s world, even hard-nosed businessmen are talking about impact, not profit. “Impact” is a crude way of saying, “We want to touch someone’s life.” Whether business people are talking about impact, or you are forming a personal relationship with someone, essentially, somewhere, you want to break the boundaries with someone for some time.
To be a yogi means to be determined to obliterate the boundaries of your individuality. In some way, you want to erase the lines that separate you from the rest of the universe. Yoga means to approach it in a scientific way. You do not have to do any great amount of activity; you do not have to indulge in sexuality; you do not have to get entangled in anything. If you consciously erase your boundaries, simply sitting here, you can experience a trillion times more than with any activity, and it is just fantastic. Yoga means to obliterate your boundaries.
All the human nonsense that you see on the planet is only because of concretized boundaries. They have concretized their boundaries so rigidly that if two people meet, they will clash. Yoga does not mean twisting and turning; it is not a weight loss program or stress relief program. It means you understood the stupidity of “me versus the universe.” It is absolutely idiotic to be in competition with that which is the source of your life. When you realize that, you are moving towards yoga.
To be a yogi means to be determined to obliterate the boundaries of your individuality.
It does not matter how you do it. You can call it impact, you can call it service, you can call it whatever you want. Essentially, when you realize this me vs. the rest of the universe is a stupid competition to get into, you start relaxing your boundaries – this is yoga. That means approaching it in a fail-safe way. When two people fall in love or get married, they think they are in yoga, they broke their boundaries, but after some time, you will see it is not fail-safe.
Because you broke the boundaries for a period of time, revenge will come. Not necessarily do two people have to turn against each other after some time. Maybe comfort will happen. In rare moments, they might have erased boundaries. The rest of the time, it is a mutual benefit scheme. Whatever form it is, yoga essentially means this: the first thing is you are interested in erasing your own boundaries. And if you know the joy of what it means, then you want it to happen all around you.
The Irony of Life
The fundamental irony of life is – the very instruments of life turn against us. Without this body, we do not know how to live here. Without this mind, we do not know how to live here. Body and mind are the two most basic instruments of life, but it is these two which have turned against people. You can call it suffering, misery, disease, or any number of names. Essentially, two basic instruments of life have turned against you.
Keeping these two things for you, not against you, is our most basic responsibility. If body and mind turn against us, human potential will not be realized. Let us say you have a headache; nothing big, no cancer – just a headache will ruin your life. Or let us say your nostrils are stuffed all the time – nothing big, just a cold. First you will say, “What’s the big deal?” But suppose it lasts for a few years, you will see, life is lost. Not because of cancer, not because your heart broke, just a cold – life is lost. If this body, if this mind turns against you, then you cannot explore the full depth and dimension of what it means to be human.
Making Everything Work for You
Some people have this issue – the very universe is against them, simply because of the way they exist. When you have that kind of opposition, you cannot live. Yoga means to keep everything – body, mind, existence – working with us; or better, we are working with it. Now, if something happens, it is wonderful; if nothing happens, it is too fantastic. Something important to do today – wonderful! Nothing to do – fantastic! But for most people, if something happens, it is a problem; if nothing happens, it is a super problem.
Yoga means you become a part of everything. You still have an individual existence, but with open, porous boundaries. Because of this, in some way, we have become everything, and we are okay with anything. If you really open up your boundaries, and existence and its source are working with you, what needs to happen will happen. This is what yoga means – to be in tune with everything, simply because you loosened your boundaries. You make the boundaries porous, so that life seeps in, so you are not a prisoner in your own body and your mind.
Most people are prisoners of their own body and mind. Instead of your body and mind being platforms upon which life is housed, they become the prison walls for the life within. You always have to keep it up, to feel like it is worth living; and not just you, you expect a few other people to cooperate. Yogis just stayed alone, not because they did not care, but simply because they were just fine by themselves. If the society of the times had shown the right kind of interest, they probably would have stepped in.
The Belly-Up Generation
Today, we are at a certain time in history where we are a belly-up generation. For example, in my father’s generation, whatever personal things were happening in their lives, they never spoke about it to anyone; they just managed it within themselves, and carried on with their life. Then my generation came. When I was in university, I just sat outside in the garden. Every day, someone came and told their whole life story to me. Not an interesting life, but they want to tell. All stupid stuff – how they suffered their parents, their education, their poverty, their girlfriend or boyfriend – endlessly. At that time, I just heard all these things – everyone had a problem. It looked like I was some kind of a freak because I did not have any problem.
My father’s generation used to write journals. Even in my generation, a lot of people wrote journals, about all aspects of their life, and they didn’t want anyone to see it. If anyone ever opened as much as a cover page, they would be terribly upset. “Without me knowing, you opened my journal” – it was like a crime. But today’s generation puts every aspect of their life on Facebook, and they will be terribly upset if no one sees it. Like, “I’m eating my breakfast,” – picture! “I’m licking my ice cream” – picture. Just anything and everything…
In a way, this is a belly-up generation. When a generation is belly-up like this, it is time for transformation – the best time. There are various things that I cannot articulate right now. If we really have to transform human beings on this planet, they are available to you in a big way only for another fifteen to maximum thirty years. After that, it will be very hard to touch them. Of course, there will always be people who are willing and others who are not willing, but generally, the larger population will be super-willing for these fifteen to thirty years. Beyond that, it will be difficult, for a variety of reasons.
A Possibility for a Limited Time Only
So, we are here at an appropriate time. If we do the right things, we can touch the maximum number of people. But if time passes, if this generation passes, and once they are off Facebook and everything, it will be difficult. Above all, if we do not impart yoga strongly enough in the world, in another twenty-five to thirty years, more than ninety percent of the world’s population will be on some kind of chemical. Once they are on chemicals, you cannot talk to them. The world is rapidly getting there. If you do not show them another way to take away the boundary simply sitting here, they will get there in a way that is not for keeps. It is only for a few minutes or a few hours – afterwards, it will get them.
This is the right time, and it is our time on the planet. If we are committed and determined, we can make this the best time ever in the history of humanity, because we are empowered like never before. Survival is taken care of like never before – for the human beings, at least; not for the other creatures, unfortunately. Never before did human beings have so much comfort and convenience. If we do not do the right things now, later, it will be too late; because later, situations will be very different. It is being estimated that with the rise of Artificial Intelligence, probably in seventy years’ time, anywhere between forty to fifty percent of the population may commit suicide. Simply because if there is nothing to do, they will see no worth in their life.
Yoga: Transformative Catalyst
So imparting yoga is not just another chore that we are doing in the world – it is a very significant activity. Everyone may not understand this right now. But if we all do the right thing, with enough intensity, in another five to seven years’ time, you will see how important yoga will become in the world. Already the demand has become significantly more today than it was five years ago. The only thing is, when something is in so much demand, all of a sudden, all kinds of spurious stuff will come up, because there is a market. If there is no quality product, people make up and do all kinds of things.
The classical system of yoga is unique. Maybe it is not as entertaining as doing Zumba or something else, but if people give themselves to the yogic process, it will do things that they have not imagined possible. Yoga is a phenomenal process – it can change the composition of who you are. When I started practicing simple aspects of yoga at the age of twelve, it changed everything about me, physiologically. It just depends on the intensity with which you go at it.
Imparting Yoga: The Who and How
The science of yoga is always there, but who carries it and how makes a world of difference. Apart from imparting yoga in an instructional way, there are other ways of imparting it. In the sense, if you have been at Dhyanalinga – there, a yogi sits; he has everything that is worth knowing about yoga. He cannot speak, but that does not mean he is any less effective.
I have all the energy I need to do whatever I want, but sometimes the body is lacking. If you are willing to stand up and do something beyond yourself, especially young people, these possibilities are there. Those of you who wish to go in that direction, you must express your intention. We will see what to do.