Questioner: So, Sadhguru going back to what you were saying that you need to be part of the solution and going back to what Daniel was saying that mental health is such a problem here. At U of T we are constantly challenged by new ideas by some of the greatest minds in the world. And in such a competitive environment, which I sometimes describe as a roller coaster ride we got on to, knowingly or unknowingly – I find myself and a lot of people in the audience would echo to this that, I’m juggling between dealing with stress and finding internal happiness. I want to understand how do you live in the moment? How do I cherish my victories or my failures before I move on to the next task in life?
Sadhguru: That’s many questions in one. That’s a very typical Indian question. She left India only a year ago.
So, to address the basic aspect of your question – which is how do you live in the moment? I’m asking you, please live somewhere else and show me, for once. Can you? Can you live somewhere else? Then why such a question?
Questioner: But you’re mentally somewhere else?
Sadhguru: No, no mentally you’re not somewhere else. You’re here and thinking about something.
Sadhguru: So, you need to understand this. It took millions of years of evolution to get you to this level of cerebral activity. Now you’re suffering your cerebral activity. Somebody is teaching you, don’t think about yesterday, don’t think about tomorrow, just be here in the moment. What they’re telling you is, rewind the evolutionary process, become like an earthworm. Yes, of course an earthworm is eco-friendly creature, which human beings are not, unfortunately. But it took millions of years of evolutionary work.
I want you to just imagine, from a single-celled amoeba to you, the most complex creature on this planet, taken enormous amount of work, isn’t it? You think it was all wrong? Hello? You think it was all wrong? So, the problem is just this, you have a very sophisticated machine, in the form of human mechanism. The simple question is, have you read the user’s manual? User’s Manual?
Sadhguru: No? How’s that? When will you read it? When you’re eighty years of age? I know it’s a long way for you. But when will you read it? You must make up your mind. See, suppose you buy a phone, do you want to read the user’s manual within the first three days after you bought it, or after three years when you discarding the phone? When you want to read it? The very beginning, at the earliest possible time, isn’t it?
So, right now the problem is just this. This [self] is a very sophisticated machine. You have made no effort to know this. Without knowing this, you want to live in this and drive through the world in this, so it’s a disaster. All right. You want to know everything about the universe. You don’t want to know anything about this [self]. So, you’re paying the price. You know where galaxy number sixty-four is, but you don’t know where the hell you are. You are asking, “How can I be in the moment”?
Simply information is very deceptive. Information is very deceptive. You have information about that galaxy, this galaxy, you think, you know it. No, we don’t know it. We just read it in the book, all right. But this [self] is reality, existentially you’re true, isn’t it? You must know everything about this because this is you. You don’t know that galaxy, that’s another matter – if you wish you can know. But you must know this [self] because everything that you experience, you experience through this, isn’t it?
Do you see me right now? Where? Right here. No, this light is falling upon me reflecting, going through your lenses, inverted image in the retina, you know the whole story. Where do you see me right now? Within yourself? Where you hear me right now? Within yourself? Suppose suddenly I become blurry and hazy, you think something wrong with me or with your vision.
So, right now, this is all the problem with the world – your vision is blurry, and you think there’s something wrong with everything in the universe. No, no, it’s your question of your perception, your ability to think, your ability to emote, your ability to hold your balance. This is yours. This is not the world’s business. Hello? This is not the world’s business. Somebody freaks there, you freak within yourself, whose business is it? It’s your business. If you do not take charge of this one [self], everything in the universe is a problem just know this. Not one thing, everything.
And especially, when you’re a student in a university – well, I was not much of a student, maybe you are better students than me. But when I was a student – should I share uninspiring stories? It is not good for students.
So, when I went to the University – when I finished my school, I decided not to go to the university. And being an educated family – this is not like today, that you can take a year sabbatical, such things did not exist. You finish school, you must go to the university. This is a time in India, seventies, if you miss out one year, that means maybe you will be on the street. That’s only two options. Either you’re well educated or you’re on the street – there is no in between other options. That’s the mindset at least.
So, I said, “I don’t want to go to the university. I will educate myself.” Because anyway, I didn’t like what they were saying in the school. So higher level of that in the university I won’t like. So, I said, “I’ll educate myself.” And you won’t believe – I thought people who supposed to be my friends, my parents, my loved ones, everybody started looking at me, “I have done something, some crime.” It’s like I’ve done something against them. I only said, “I’ll educate myself.” Suddenly, everything became different, suddenly everybody is looking at me like I’m some strange creature, who is not doing whatever he’s supposed to do.
So, this one year I spent in the Mysore University library. Every day library opens at 9:00 AM. I was the first customer. It closes at 8:00 PM, I was the last one to leave. I was a – why am I telling you all this!
Questioner: We’re in the moment Sadhguru.
Sadhguru: In the moment. So, I was – I know these days, this generation can’t eat a full stomach. But I would normally eat two times of what anybody eats. But I never put on weight, there was so much activity. Every day I’m cycling forty, fifty kilometers, I’m swimming, I’m climbing trees, I’m doing things. Whatever I eat, I’m always hungry. So, I’m a big eater. This one year – you won’t understand this unless you know how voracious I was. One whole year I didn’t eat lunch, which was a huge achievement for me. I would stuff myself with as much breakfast as possible, and entire day in the library. Eight o’clock, I come home and then eat.
This may look funny today, because today I have only one meal a day. At that time, it was such a big thing because however big the breakfast is, by 10:30, eleven I am hungry. I remain hungry till 8:00 PM, which was a huge thing for me. Today it’s very simple for me to be without food. So, I read all kinds of things, from Homer to Kalidasa, to Popular Mechanics, to National Geographic, this that, all kinds of things. Nothing in particular, simply literature, philosophy. Geography – Geography always fascinated me, it’s a lot about the world and the planet. One year went by like this.
When the next academic year started coming, drama started at home. You know, initially your father tries to put his pressure, it doesn’t work and then the final armor is mother – tears will come. Then you don’t know what to do. You have no weapons against that one. So, I said, “Okay, I will join the college but only if it’s English literature.” They said, “What will you do reading poetry? What will you do?”
My father being a physician said, “I’ve got the seat ready for you, get into medical college, you’ll do well.” I said no, doctor, no. Then he says, “Okay do engineering”. I said, “This is not right. When I said no to doctor if you had told me become a veterinary doctor, ayurvedic doctor, this doctor, witch doctor, something – I would look at it. I say no to doctor, you say engineering.” This doesn’t go well with me. So, I said, “No, literature or I’m going back to the library”. So, they said, “Okay.”
So, I went there, joined the Mysore University. Teachers come with huge notes. Generally handwritten notes, and they’re reading it and ask everybody to write down. Entire class is writing – those days it’s fountain pens, they make noise kar, kar, kar, kar, kar. Thirty, forty people writing – kar, kar, kar, kar, just irritates me. I said, “This is not it.” See that notes whoever gave you that notes, you give it to us, we will photocopy it and give it back to you. We don’t have to come, you don’t have to come.
So, but I have a billion questions. Is somebody going to answer damn questions that I have? I have a cloud of questions walking with me wherever I go. Whoever I find, if I think this guy can answer, I’ll throw ten questions at him. So, I want to ask somebody questions that I have. But no, no they thought this questions are too much trouble. Then I made a deal with them, that they will give me my attendance, and I will stay out and not ask questions.
So, I generally parked myself in the university garden, we had a huge garden. I planted myself under a tree. Then to my amazement, I found people started coming to me – Education problems, money problems, boyfriend, girlfriend problems – all kinds of problems. Then I discovered everybody had a problem. I was the only ‘freako’ who didn’t have a problem. I was trying to think up a problem for myself, “What is my problem”? It’s not that everything is going fantastic, but I never saw them as problems, but everybody labels ordinary situations as problems. Simply situations – some situations we know how to handle, some situations we don’t know how to handle. So, what the hell about it. But every situation they cannot handle they give it a problem title. And that problem festers and multiplies, in their mind.
So, people coming to me with all kinds of problems. I heard variety of problems for these three years, I spent in the garden. And I made a check, once a month I went and checked if they are keeping their end of the deal with the attendance.
So, why I’m saying this to you is – we are making a problem out of everything. See, never before materially physically, life has been as good as it is today. Hello? But this generation has become the most whining generation ever on the planet! Small things, big things, everything whining. Simply because they’re taking such strong positions on everything. Youth means you must be open, you have not taken any position in your life yet.
The best thing about youth being youthful is, you’re not yet too conceited. You’ve not taken a position, you don’t belong to this or that. You’re open. That is the best part of being youthful. But today I see people have taken strong positions about everything in the world. Once you take such positions, you will naturally create huge problems in your mind. What for are you taking such positions. This is a time to explore. This is a time to learn, this is a time to come to a broader level of understanding and perception. This is not a time to take positions. I am this or that. They’ve even, you know, by the time they’re eighteen they belong to some political party. It should not be so. Till you get out and find your way in the world, till then you must just soak up as much life as possible. Just see tomorrow, what really works and you support that – what works for you and for everybody around you.
Taking strong positions – the moment you take strong positions, the openness of your mind is lost. Once your mind is not open, suffering is inevitable. How else it will be?