In conversation with

Kangana Ranaut

Kangana Ranaut

17 Questions


Kangana Ranaut is a Padma Shri award winner Indian actress and filmmaker who works in Hindi films. Known for her versatility and portrayal of strong women in female-centric films, she has been described in the media as one of India's highest-paid actresses. Watch this captivating discussion where Kangana questioned, explored, and enquired Sadhguru on ...


5:19 min

Why does everyone judge people who are on the spiritual path?


When I first heard about you many years ago, I rolled my eyes and I muttered something about guru types. And until a few months ago, when my sister gave me your book, Inner Engineering, which happens to be a New York Times bestseller, it changed my perspective. And when I was working on this interaction, I came across a few interviews of yours. One of them being a senior writer from my field. And, he was vehemently attacking you. He was trying to frame you for being a fake. And he himself is accused of plagiarism. So my question is, why does a person connected to spirituality on its path, why does everyone feel entitled to judge them? And honestly, if it wasn’t a New York Times bestseller book, I would’ve not read it. What is it about this West stem, that we can’t do without it? I mean there are so many books. And unless Americans don’t approve of it, it just doesn’t make sense. Why is that?

4:10 min

What has yoga and spirituality given us as a country?


That brings me to a question about our roots ingrained in yoga, and spirituality. But where has it got us? As a nation. As a country. As a continent. What has it given us? I know what you say about karma bondage and I quote you, if somebody breaks your leg, don’t go after that person’s leg. Fix your leg and go your way. I understand, that sounds fantastic. But, if somebody breaks your leg and you go your way, somebody again comes and breaks your leg. What do you do? No, you’re literally taking it. But tell me, don’t we have a history of thousand years of invasion after invasion. And didn't we grow up hearing this from our mothers, that if somebody rubs you the wrong way, the only thing that they say is, bhagvan dekh raha hai. What? I mean, we as a land, I don’t know much about history, but this much I know that we as a land, we’ve not. And thanks to our spiritual education, we have never gone to invade a continent or gone for a conquest like that. But where has it got us? Where has it landed us? So why not imitate the West?

8:15 min

Is it dangerous to strongly identify with your country?


So, Sadhguru, talking about spirituality and like I questioned how practical is it in today’s world? Where as like the whole philosophy of spirituality. I know yoga is the ultimate union and everything that we do in yoga is supposed to make us inclusive. So it is supposed to make us inclusive of our environment, and then further expanding that, our country, our countrymen, and then the planet, and then the cosmos, and it goes on. But, my question is, I want to present an example. I was in London, you know what happens to you when you’re in a beautiful city with good infrastructure, you’re with a couple of friends. And, Indian friends, they’re always cursing India. This is so great, where we live is a piece of garbage. You know, with all that I felt so overwhelmed. I couldn’t wait to get to my room and when I got there, I was crying. I found myself crying. And I was muttering something that what do you expect? And why don’t they have sympathy for their own land? And then I realized that identifying like that, with your country, today I’m crying, tomorrow I might just punch somebody. And everybody will behave in their own way. So, this kind of identification with your environment, with your country, with your religion, with your family, is the root cause of all atrocities. So isn’t that kind of dangerous? Now, don’t tell me, be inclusive, but still not be inclusive. How can you be inclusive and yet not be inclusive. If you’re inclusive, you’re inclusive. Or you don’t be inclusive.

3:02 min

What do you have to say about the way society is handling things?


The way society has also been handling things is not great. It’s not really the best thing. We can’t rely on a system like that. You mean, we’re largely being organized by society, but that’s not the most appropriate way. I mean, authority isn’t either. But, there’s a set of rules there. With society, more money you’ve got, you can literally get away with anything. So that’s not the best way to go forward. What do you have to say about that?

9:23 min

What can bind the citizens of India together?


But, we have such diversity in our country. There are different languages, traditions, religions, and food and all sorts of diversity which is beautiful. Like what you said about difference and discrimination. Differences are beautiful. You know, like how a man is different from a woman. And flowers are different, and so on and so forth. There is a difference which is beautiful. But, don’t you think there should be one spirit? There should be something that could bind us together. I don’t see anything. The only common factor between us is definitely our motherland. Because you’re from the South, and I’m from the North. And if we didn’t have the history of slavery to connect us, we would never know what we’re talking about. So don’t you think we should have something that can bind us together? Don’t you think it’s so easy to play us as people, as a nation? I can think of only one thing that can bind us and that’s nationalism, the most infamous word in today’s time. So what can bind us together?

9:47 min

Liberals versus Skeptics


I personally feel that this whole dichotomy of what’s happening in today’s society and today’s world, that we are individuals and we need to be organized as well. But what we face everyday is something completely different. I mean, I’ll tell you, for me it’s very conflicting. Like I’m working on a martyr’s biopic, where there is a scene, the protagonist, Laxmi Bai, she goes and she saves a calf. So my crew had a huge discussion. We halted the shoot and we’re like, she can’t save a calf. It has to be a lamb because we don’t want to look like cow savers. So my point is that when such a prejudice strikes, as a person you feel very protective of who you are and what your values are. And you want to save all animals, why just cows? But you definitely want to save the cow for sure because the prejudice is really agonizing. But, a lynching for cow takes place and you look like an idiot. And then you jump to the other side which has always been criticizing and never wants to be protecting cows. And you’re like, these people look sensible and these are so called liberals. The literal meaning, the dictionary meaning of liberals is people who have acceptance for people, opinions, thoughts. So these liberals, they will not take you in their group unless you hate the same people as they do. So, one thing it’s fine. If it’s for the betterment of the country, you don’t mind hating BJP. You don’t mind believing that everything that has been done by Amit Shah is fine. But, what I don’t get is, what is their agenda and plan of action for bringing this country out of the pit? So, when a war breaks, liberals are the one to say, from my industry people say, why should we be bothered by war, we’re artists. To demotivate an army man who is on the border protecting you. Rape takes place in Kashmir and they say, Hindustan raped our daughter. To be pointing fingers at each other when the country is so vulnerable, and trying to break a civil war? Is that what liberals do? And you’re like, wait a minute, the most sensible thing is to be a sceptic. But a sceptic is nothing but us face the dead. So right now, we need a definite direction to go in. We cannot be stuck in the unfortunate loop of, to be or not to be, to be or not to be. So what to do?

3:07 min

Should criminals be associated to religions?


I'm Rajput myself, and when the whole Padmavat episode took place, you know cutting one of my contemporary’s nose. I was embarrassed. And also when the rape took place in Kashmir, to be pointing out things. But criminals are not religions. Criminals cannot be associated with religions.

6:20 min

Why is it that Indians are doing so well but India isn’t?


Indians are doing so well. Whether it’s the CEO of Google, Microsoft, MasterCard, Nokia, you know the list goes on. So Indians are doing so well all over the world, but India is not doing well. Why is that?

6:52 min

What should be done about refugees?


These days, the common discussion which is going on is about the refugees. And we being celebrities, we get these questions asked. And this is the most conflicting question ever. Because as a nation, being a part of this country, and knowing so many of us don’t even have access to food, education, electricity. Absorbing more people into our population clearly isn’t a good idea, but denying those people seems even worse. So again, where does spirituality come here? What part does it play? And what happens to inclusiveness when such a thing happens? I clearly know that this is the worst thing to do. Because they’re coming in millions and millions and millions where our own are starving. So it’s like saying that I let my own child die but I save the neighbour’s. So what sort of negotiation is that?

9:27 min

Sadhguru, why are you obsessed with Adiyogi?


We’ll move to your favourite topic. Now we move to Shiva. So Shiva is what I got from reading and doing my practices and spending time with you, Shiva is not somebody sitting up there and looking at us. Shiva is a dimension. It is, what they say in science, a black hole. Where nothing seems to be the origin of the universe. Where everything seems to be coming out of nothingness and swallowed into nothingness. That nothingness is Shiva. So anybody who accesses that dimension, if you access it you become Shiva. If I tap into that I can become Shiva. But, tell me, Adiyogi, the first yogi, was somebody who has access to that dimension. So why is it that you are obsessed with Adiyogi? Isn’t it like making it about the container and not the contained? Isn’t it like that? You only talk about Adiyogi. It’s like Adiyogi is the container.

14:00 min

Are we operated by outside beings?


So all the enlightened people. I’ve heard about many. Like you know, say Krishna, or Mohammed, or Ram, or Christ, Buddha. You know, all the enlightened people, who’ve been on this planet, there’s some sort of mention of their birth or death. But, when it comes to Shiva, like you say, and I’ve read, that he was self created. And, I often ask you this question, that did he disappear into thin air? And apparently, something like that happened. He couldn’t even have biological children with any of the women he was married to. There is a theory that Shiva is alien. There is this theory that everything that humans encounter, whether it’s an idea, it’s a thought, it’s anything. Anything that they encounter, it’s been transmitted into them through an outer space, an outer being. My favourite director, Christopher Nolan, made this film Interstellar, which is one of my favourite films. Where they are constantly referring to certain beings as ‘they’. They are communicating, they are talking to us, they are doing this, but they never really clarified who ‘they’ were. Were they aliens? Were they gods? Who were they? And, I’ve felt it. When any creative idea comes to me, it has absolutely no intellectual grounds where I can go back and track it down. It’s like mail dropped in my head. It seems like it’s from outside space. I know it’s a confession, but is it that we’re operated by outside beings? Is it that?

3:28 min

Are we stuck in time?


Einstein said that time doesn’t exist. But, somehow we’re stuck in it. And you say that space took a cyclic turn and that’s how we’re stuck in time. Is it only our bodies or our mind? What is it exactly like?

1:32 min

Is it pompous of us to think that we can do something for others?


Now my question is, do you think, like you said in the scheme of things, going round and round in this cosmos. Somebody like me, I sometimes feel the things that I want to do and the things that I feel for, is it pompous of us to think that we can do something for others?

24:26 min

Why don’t we talk about death?


I personally have read a lot of books about spirituality. And I’ve been following Swami Vivekanand from the age of 17. And I never really felt the need of a guru. Until I was faced with mortality. I lost a friend at the age of 25 and since then I just feel that everything that I’ve done in my life, or every situation I’ve been into, or I’ve walked into, I’ve always held my head very high and always been prepared for it, as much as I could. I just can’t wrap my head around it. And when I read your book, I didn’t instantly feel that I would be seeing this day. I felt okay, I’ve read Buddha, you’re one of those enlightened people. I wasn’t impressed. But then I read More Than A Life, and there was this mention of the yogi, Swami Nirmalananda, who waited for you all his life and apparently you were supposed to guide him to Mahasamadhi. Now Mahasamadhi is something that I’ve only heard of in stories and in myths. Where you willingly walk out of your body because you think that’s the best thing to do at that point of time. Now that seems too fantastic. And looking at how our society is, that euthanasia has been made legal now. And when your wife heard about the process, she showed extreme desire to adapt to that. And she acquired Mahasamadhi in the middle of thousands of people. It’s written elaborately in the book. And Swami Nirmalananda was opposed by the government, you know, he was not allowed to take Mahasamadhi. Apparently they were like, you can’t take Mahasamadhi. So don’t you think we as people, we have stopped to discuss death? Because shouldn’t we be prepared for that day? Since then I realized maybe you can help me. Someday, I’m not saying now, but someday. But when the time comes, don’t you think I should be ready for it? I should be dressed like this and be like, come, let’s go. Why is it pushed under the carpet? Why don’t we talk about death?

7:14 min

Why are so many youngsters committing suicide?


My last question is about our youth. Apparently the statistics say that every one hour, actually less than an hour, one person below 25 is committing suicide. Why is that? I mean there’s a time to die and you can utilize Mahasamadhi for that. But why die before 25?

5:31 min

I don’t know where I am


Namaskaram Sadhguru. I would like to bow down with all my knowledge and all my ignorance and how much you mean to me. So my question is very simple. Whenever I go to watch a movie, I’m given a place and I can see the screen in front of me and the voice coming from somewhere and I understand where I am. But when it comes to my life, I don’t know where I see things, where I hear things. Every night when I go to sleep, I don’t know where I vanish, where I come back from. Something within me is seeing past all these experiences that I have in my life. Having seen it, I can’t figure out where I am. I can’t understand what’s happening. I can see everything, I can feel everything. Whenever my hands get burnt, I understand this feeling, but I don’t understand where it happens. Whenever I do my practices, I can’t figure out where I am Sadhguru.

7:47 min

How do we break away from a negative pattern and attract a positive one?


My question is that we often tend to attract patterns in our life. The pattern can be good or bad. It can be abusive relationships, it can be successes, it can be failures. So how do we break away from a negative pattern and attract a positive one?