Youth & Truth @

Columbia University

Columbia University

14 Questions


Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 as King's College on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution ...


7:59 min

How do we find purpose in this world?


There are two different buckets. One is about the self, and the other is self's context within the society. Between those two, there is a very common theme of figuring out what our purpose is, within self and society. I think, this is something that a lot of our generation faces, dubbed as millenial existential crisis. Something that I have been through myself. So, to start of today, we wanted to figure out. When it comes to purpose, what has defined what your purpose is in this world? As it has led to you being here at Columbia Business School in the youth and truth program. But, as well as if you have any words for other people in the audience or just me, would be fine as well. Around, how do we find purpose in this world?  

10:47 min

Why is the pursuit of happiness so elusive?


So, on the note of purpose. One thing that I think, I am constantly chasing is, and I don't know when I have reached it, is the pursuit of happiness. I think, everyone in this room at some point, maybe now you are asking yourself [...] pursuit of happiness and why it can be elusive? For me, happiness stems, like I think of my family. Because they’re such a critical piece to my love and happiness. But oftentimes I feel like I lose sight of it. When I’m in this room, when I’m at Columbia Business School, when I’m at work. Because I’m trying to get to that next level. Ultimately to help my family. But, how do we keep track of what’s most important? And that purpose for me being my family, and the pursuit of happiness.  

7:55 min

How can we bring people together in such a divided world?


You touched on a lot of things that are quite pressing for us at Columbia, in the US, in the world at large. You went around the issue, but I think, I'll kind of bring it in. Politics. In America, we are more and more divided than before, quote polarised. For me, this is something that troubles me. As someone in this commiunity, that has some less than popular opinions sometimes - I am conscious of how I am recieved. Because people who are 'passionate' of these identities, that they like to defend, to use your words. How can I and others that share, I guess, my desire to bring people together in a divided world, divided community, even a divided street. How can we kind of be individual actors to get people to focus on everything you just said? What we have in common, and not what sets us apart.  

7:48 min

As business leaders, what role can we play to unite this world?


What role can we play, when people aren’t as enlightened as I guess the people in this room? We can’t really make the same connections as you because we do have agency. Right, we are people that want to make a difference and are willing to kind of have the courage to, I guess, have compassion or pity, right, depending on the mood we’re in. How do we do this? Because that’s something I genuinely want to play a big role in, if I can be honest. I think it’s something that I, at least, would like my life’s purpose to do something with that.  

3:33 min

Do you see religion playing a role in justice?


I think, it's a very related question, but really targeted towards organized religion. Something that I have struggled with. So, I understand, you know, the pursuit of freedom, justice, but often times, what I have struggled with regards to religion. I grew up Catholic, I’m Catholic, is it’s view and limited acceptance of the LGBTQ community. And the fact that I am lgbtq, and just trying to understand how I fit in. And oftentimes I was not accepted. It depended on how progressive a church was. But, how do you see religion playing a role in justice? In being more tolerable, compassionate towards people from different sexuality.  

14:56 min

What are good eating habits?


So, I think we are about to wrap up our questions, and we are going to open up questions to the audience. So, we have the two questions - before we get there, my favorite topic. Rohan mentioned food. You cook yourself. I believe Isha has also published a cookbook. Can you talk a little bit about food from the yogic diet perspective? Or what are things that we should be actively doing on a daily basis when it comes to food? What are tenets of the diet that we should be looking at? And, if you have a favourite recipe to share.  

5:28 min

What is the solution for drug addiction?


So, on the note of what we are consuming, and putting in our bodies. One of the things that I would like to know the truth about is the increase in addition. I would say in the US, is the lens I'm looking at, it’s something that has personally touched a lot of the loved ones in my family and friends. And I see it as a growing trend amongst my generation and the younger generation using it as a coping mechanism. Why do you think people are doing this? Looking to drugs to solve their problems, and what is an organic way for them to solve that?  

1:21 min

How do you reconcile conflict between your own and your loved ones goals?


Changing here slightly, I have a question submitted by the prolific anonymous. How do you, Sadhguru, decide between your principles / goals / priorities versus the person you like the most? The goals and principles both come from the same mind / heart. Anonymous used the word - like, but we can also use the word - love. But, I guess the question is, how do you reconcile your own goals and principles vs a person you like or love.  

12:46 min

Why is there so much disparity & strife in the world?


Namaskar Sadhguru. My name is Radha Kulkarni, and I am a Columbia alum. And studied policy here, and not business. And I work at the United Nations now. But before I get to my question, your talks are both inspiring and grounding at the same time - and that's a difficult balance. So, thank you so much for coming to Columbia, and speaking with us. Much appreciated. So, my question to you Sadhguru is that, there is so much suffering in the world. Like, when I travel for work, or otherwise, one observes that on the one hand there is lack of even basic peace or there is so much violence, and on the other hand there is even lack of basic resources, and abject poverty. So, I would be curious to hear your perspective on why does every single person have such different starting points in life. Which would mean, like a child based in Africa, doesn't even have water and perhaps will die of malnutrition - has a very different starting point than say, a billionaires child who is perhaps sitting somewhere in the middle of North America. So, Why this disparity? And then, how and where it sits in the larger scheme of things or in the cycle of cosmos or life, if that’s what we call it? And also then, that gets me to the question, then who are we?  

7:44 min

How can we expand our identities to help less privileged people?


Thank you so much for having this event. My name is Prem. I am a sophomore student studying History. And, my question is about this idea of cosmic or global identity. I think its no secret that many of us here, no matter where we came from before this, we now have a certain level of privilege for being at a place like Columbia. And I think, I am confused as to whether this notion of a global or cosmic identity almost is predicated on a sense of privilege, and that certain people in this world don't necessarily have the privilege like being able to look beyond their most immediate surroundings. Whether it is because of discrimination, racism, sexism and so on. So how can we as people, that maybe do have more privilege, leverage that to make that global identity mean something more than us talking about it here?  

6:15 min

What advice do you give to someone who has healing powers and can help people?


So, Sadhguru, thank you for being here. What advice would you give someone with healing gifts? Someone who can help people create miracles in their lives to grow in service to the world.  

3:25 min

If I detach from my biological identity, where do I start if I want to help?


Sadhguru, thank you for being here. My name is Mathaan, I am a first year MBA student. My question is also about identity. Youve spoken about the need or the benefit of detaching from a biological identity. And, I am curious, and I think there are lot of people in the room, and this question came up again and again, If somebody wants to act positively in society, there’s an instinct to start from the biological community, from the people that you identify with biologically. And since you’ve spoken about that need to detach from that identity, where do you suggest like, what’s the alternative to starting from that biological community? And maybe I’ve understood you the wrong way, because I see you shaking your head.  

3:27 min

What worries you the most about the youth of tomorrow?


The last thing that we are going to close with, this Youth & Truth. What worries you the most about the youth of tomorrow?  

8:43 min

How do you work towards your passions without losing sight of your goal?


One other question by Sumeet. How do you stop taking yourself seriously and start enjoying the process without losing the passion for your goal?