Questioner: Sadhguru, I have a personal question.
Sadhguru: Is there a girl called Mohini in this, hmm?
Questioner: Thankfully, no.
Questioner: So, I consider myself very against littering…
Questioner: Littering, throwing trash outside. So, what I do is I generally take all my trash and I put it in my bag. At the end of the day go to the trash can and I dump it there. And it hurts me when I see someone else littering. In this case, I am taking a selfless effort to make the world a better place. And that effort is made worthless because of one selfish person.
And on a more personal note, I’ve always placed my friends and their needs in front of my own. And this leads to people trying to take advantage of me or trying to take me for granted. So my question is this – in this world, the way the world’s going right now, is it better to be selfish or is it better to be selfless?
Sadhguru: Ohh. I think these three people have made a deal, every question we ask, please applaud. Hmm? Okay. See, do you want your atmosphere, surroundings around you clean?
Sadhguru: Then you’re selfish. Where did selflessness come from? You are selfish. I want you selfish. I want you more selfish and more and more selfish, limitlessly selfish. Right now the problem is your selfishness is constipated. Your selfishness should become like this – not just my surroundings, I want the whole damn planet clean and wonderful. That’s really selfish. I’m like that, I’m fully selfish. You are little selfish. Why are you Kanjus? Why are you Kanjus on your selfishness? It doesn’t cost anything. Hello?
Don’t bring all this big thing about selfless and all this, where is such a thing. You’re doing something that matters to you. Hello? Do it, and your friends are littering, if they didn’t litter what would you pick up in your bag? No, no, no. Now don’t get encouraged by this.
The thing is this – see we want something to happen. You want, for some reason you got this idea, living in Chennai you are getting this idea is not a strange idea. Because when we were children, we came to Chennai for the first time in 1969. There was a Expo, World Expo, some industrial Expo. So my father wanted to bring all his children to see this international Expo because we had never seen anything like that. In those days, it was not so common, it was one time happening, probably the first time happening.
So we came and we landed in Chennai central, we couldn’t [bear the smell]. We said, “We don’t want to go into this Expo, we don’t want the city, we want to go back to Mysore.” He said, “No, no, no Expo you must see…” We know, all four of us siblings [can’t bear the smell]. We said, “We don’t want this city, we want to go back.” I still wonder how you guys live. Here you’re outside, its okay.
Otherwise that whatever, what is that Buckingham Palace, hmm? I’m sorry, Buckingham canal, okay I am sorry. What kind of man wants to put his name on that canal? What a stinker he must have been, I don’t know. How can a city live like this? I don’t know, if you’re living there all the time you may not feel it. All of you have smelled it or no? Hey, how come nobody does anything? I made an elaborate plan and gave it to two successive governments, in early 2000. Saying that, you know, you give me this Buckingham canal, I will create a wonderful garden and purify this water and do everything. And they say, “No, no, no, we know what to do. We don’t need you.” I said, “Okay.” But you cannot go in the part of the city, simply.
And once I stayed with some family right next to this damn canal. You know the programs, our programs used to be thirteen days at that time. After three days I said please, I cannot, I’m just suffocating in this damn smell. And the Mosquitoes are not biting you anymore, they’re trying to take you. Is anybody living in that area next to that damn canal? Is it little better today? I don’t know. Is it little better? So I’m saying, how is it that a whole city full of people, don’t do anything about it? For all kinds of silly things, they’ll come out and fight on the streets. Something that’s affecting your life, your children’s life, your health and your wellbeing, and above all the basic quality of your life – how come Chennai citizens never stand up and do anything?
I appreciate this little you carry a little plastic bag and gather other people’s litter. I appreciate that. Is it enough?
Questioner: No, without a doubt no.
Sadhguru: All of you are engineers or going to be. Why don’t you at least ten, fifteen of you form an alliance. That you can pick up this damn project after you engineering is over, engineer something fantastic for the city. Why not? I’ll pitch with you. Well, is it going to happen day after tomorrow, immediately are they going to welcome you with red carpets and say, “Do it!” No that’s not how life works. That’s not how life works.
You must understand this. In terms of my ability to do things, I’ve been the same for last thirty-eight years, all right? But every door in the world was closed, because I made it very important for myself, that I will not go with a qualification anywhere. If you see the quality, you open the door. Otherwise, we will see how to knock it down sometime later. Every door was closed in the world, every door. Nowhere they want you, simply because the way I look, and the color of my skin is not right. Yes, this is a serious problem. Don’t think it’s a small problem.
When you travel internationally, the color of your skin is such a huge problem. You know, especially when you want to do some work. If you just want to find employment and serve them they’re okay. When you want to do something which is transformative, the color of your skin is such a huge barrier. And above all I look like this. I am as Indian as it can be, okay, which is insulting for lots of people, including a whole lot of Indians unfortunately. But today, you won’t believe, there is no place on the planet, which is just waiting – they’re willing to change, I’m talking about major international events, they’re willing to change their annual events to my schedule. I’m not even able to take two percent of the invites that come to me. I’m not saying this to boast, but I’m saying it takes relentless work. You understand ?
So, if you want to really bring about major transformation in any field of life, what is needed is if you think this is the right thing to do, you need relentless application. You’re not somebody who’s going to get disappointed, frustrated, depressed with what other people do. They’ll do what they do. What are they doing, they are doing what they know best. What do you know? That’s what you must do, isn’t it?
So cleaning up this city is not such a big phenomena. It can be done. It can be done, hello? If you get all the engineering colleges in this city together, you got social media, right? Contact all of them and once a month – how many engineering students could be there in Chennai? At least one lakh? Okay, hundred thousand plus or maybe 200,000. 200,000 young people, once a month, if you walk the streets of Chennai, in one year’s time Chennai will be clean – do it. First three months, you want me to walk with you, I will walk with you. I’m not an engineer though.