In conversation with

Sabyasachi Mukherjee

Sabyasachi Mukherjee

20 Questions



10:49 min

What is beauty?


I thought I’ll just start with a very basic question. A simple question. It’s a question that I’m often asked at poetry readings, poetry workshops. Poetry being primarily what I practice. And the question is, what is a good poem? And the answer really is, if the poem is a form of verbal design, or verbal choreography, what is design? And is beauty implicit in that notion? If so, what is beauty to you?

1:40 min

Is inefficiency beautiful?


Is inefficiency beautiful? Can that be beautiful?

12:13 min

How can one be Indian and global?


I think we all know that in this country we’ve had quite a magnificent heritage of design. The visual arts, the plastic arts, the performing arts. And, somehow, modern India doesn’t seem to necessarily access a particular heritage with the ease that it ought to have been able to, for various historical reasons. How would you respond to that? And what do you think one can do? What is your own engagement with reviving certain traditions but making them alive without turning insular in some way? How can one be Indian and global, which is something that you mentioned in your design statement.

5:50 min

What does it take to create design?


I’m wondering, Sabyasachi, you would like to also talk a little about that, because you’ve talked about common sense. But, clearly there’s something like a creative common sense that you’ve worked with. Because in order to create design, what does it really take? What have been the sources of inspiration for you?

8:31 min

How is our body similar to the cosmos?


I remember when I came to the ashram, Sadhguru, many years ago for the first time, it struck me how beautiful the place was. I didn’t expect it because I thought ashrams had to follow a very dreary kind of aesthetic. So it took me by surprise. And it’s only later in conversations with you that I’ve understood that you talk about the individual. The atomic and the cosmic, sharing the same fundamental design structure. And you say, you even talked of the capacity of the body to download the cosmos. Is this because we share the same structure? Can you say more about this because it’s an exciting image and an exciting idea. For us, still an idea. For you, an experiential reality.

3:29 min

Is imperfection an integral part of design?


You’ve talked of imperfection as a very integral part of your design. Would you say more about that?

3:57 min

How to balance between individual needs and market demands?


Given that the creative impulse also entails following a very individual imperative. And then making that meet market demands. How does one walk that very fine line?

7:26 min

Chaos and design


You know this idea of creativity is so linked to the notion of repetition as well. Isn’t it Sadhguru? The two seem to be separate but they’re not. They seem to also go together. So we sometimes think of repetition only as something that happens in a mass produced scenario. But it’s also true that the repetition of the same thing, that also fuels creativity. Not in a mechanised way, in a mechanistic way. But I think every artist also knows that rias and rasa come together really, don’t they? I’m wondering if you could say more Sadhguru, because it also interested me because you mentioned it yesterday. Chaos as a kind of creativity. Would you say more about repetition and creativity? Chaos and design?

2:18 min

Sadhguru, who designs your clothes?


I find him an impeccably well dressed man. So I wanted to ask you, who designs your clothes for you?

3:30 min



Sadhguru, I think if you said more about this notion of chaos, it would interest us.

8:39 min

Is there chaos in yoga?


But Sadhguru, yoga often feels like a very rigorous discipline. Where does chaos fit into that?

3:37 min

Is death a design failure?


It’s a design failure right? Eventually that’s what death is.

5:29 min

What are the perceptions of Indian fashion in the west?


You know we’ve been talking, Sadhguru has a book that’s coming out in the US. And in the process of making that, you know, some of the conversations we’ve had have been about perceptions of yoga in the west. And I wondered what perceptions are of Indian design and fashion in the west? Is it still just the exotic element or is there more? Is it being taken more seriously than that?

8:30 min

What is art?


Namaskaram Sadhguru ji. Namaste Sabyasachi ji. Namaste moderator ji. I’m Satish Panchedar and I’ve come from Kuwait to seek your blessing sir. My question is, is art an expression of selflessness, selfishness, or self centeredness?

5:21 min

How should art be appreciated or criticized?


Namaskaram. My question is about art, mainly architecture and design, or even a painting. And how people perceive or achieve that purpose. In terms of describing a piece of art or a piece of work as good or bad. Whereas in art you should always differentiate between a subjective and an objective criticism about art. For example, there is a study about a beautiful sketch of Leonardo Da Vinci of an old man, with all the wrinkles and things. And most of the people, they hated the painting because it was really true. So, in reality, appreciating art is that the artist knew how to send you the message. And this also, I think, happens in fashion design or even in my field, interior architecture. Sometimes you have to give a statement on a certain topic or a certain project. So most people receive it in a very subjective way. So what do you think, Sadhguru? How to differentiate or how people should differentiate between appreciating art or criticizing art from a very objective way.

4:08 min

What are your views on making your clothes available to more people?


Namaskaram everyone. My name is Manasi. And my question is to Sabyasachi. And please forgive me if this is a politically incorrect question. So all of us, a lot of us, I’m sure, like unique clothing and clothing that we won’t be worried we’ll find somebody else wearing. But while your designs are great and I’m a big fan of them, the truth also is that they’re accessible to a limited set of people, being the Indian film industry. Actors and actresses from the Indian film industry and of course, people who are privileged enough to afford them. So what are your views on possibly, you know I understand there’s a lot of effort that goes into customized clothes so there are reasons that it can’t be made mass and it shouldn’t be. But what are your views on making them available to more women who like your designs but today can’t think of wearing them.

9:26 min

How many clothes should one own?


Hello. Namaskaram. Hi, my name is Alex and I’m from Brazil. Sadhguru mentioned as a suggestion that everybody should have 10% of their wardrobe with handmade, organic clothes. So when we think about clothes, a lot of people open their wardrobes and say, I have nothing to wear. So, having that in mind, when we think about clothes, often it brings my mind to natural resources and raw materials. And the way we assemble it, brings us fashion. And fashion brings us to expression, art, as well as perception of egocentrism. So knowing that we are 7 billion in the world, how to balance consumerism, art and nature in a way that we keep this balance. So for both of you, what is your recommendation? How many clothes should a human being consume? How much should we buy to keep this balance positive in harmony with nature?

0:59 min

Plastic surgery


It’s about plastic surgery and yoga. So what I wanted to find out was, my cousin said that with the type of cesarean I had, to do plastic surgery in order to cut off the excess fat. For me, I just thought, I’m on the path of yoga, it doesn’t matter. And I wanted to find out from you, what do you think of plastic surgery, cutting off skin? And how that impacts yoga?

4:07 min

Sabyasachi, have you ever faced criticism?


Namaskaram Sadhguru, namaskaram Sabyasachi. I yet have to meet anyone I know who does not like your designs. But yet I would like to ask you, have you faced criticism? And what was that? And how did you handle it?

4:21 min

Sabyasachi, have you considered doing a yoga clothing line?


Namaskaram. Have you heard of LuluLemon? I’m from Canada. In North American have you heard of the LuluLemon, the yoga brand? Okay, so it’s all about sex appeal. Anyone who knows what LuluLemon is, will understand if not check it out. We really need an alternative because it’s such a turn off with yoga. And I’m just wondering if you’ve considered doing a yoga clothing line. That’s fashionable kurtas and pyjamas that are suited for doing yoga that are made of organic cotton. And I did the Hatha Yoga teacher training in 2015 and I would’ve never ever considered doing yoga in a kurta and pyjama when I was at home. But now I can’t do it in spandex and tight fabrics anymore. And I totally understand why Sadhguru says about not doing yoga in tight clothing. And it’s profound, the experience of it. And so I’m wondering if you can create that in North America?