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Jaggi Vasudev

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Sadhguru Jaggī Vāsudeva
Born (1957-09-03) 3 September 1957 (age 62)
OrganizationIsha Foundation
Notable work
  • Inner Engineering
  • Dhyanalinga
  • Rally for Rivers
  • Linga Bhairavi
  • Adiyogi: The Source of Yoga
  • Mystic's Musings
  • Kaveri Calling
Vijaya Kumari (Vijji) (m. 1984)
HonorsPadma Vibhushan
Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar
Pranab Mukherjee presenting the Padma Vibhushan to Vasudev at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on April 13, 2017

Jaggi Vasudev[2] (born 3 September 1957), often referred to as simply Sadhguru,[2][a] is an Indian yogi, mystic,[5] and author. He founded the Isha Foundation, a non-profit organization which offers Yoga programs around the world[6] and is involved in social outreach,[7] education[8] and environmental initiatives.[9][10] His books have appeared in The New York Times Best Seller list in multiple categories like "Health",[11] "Religion, Spirituality and Faith",[12] and "Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous".[13] Jaggi Vasudev has given speeches at places such as the Headquarters of the United Nations, World Economic Forum and at educational institutions and technology companies.[14][15][16] Sadhguru was conferred the Padma Vibhushan civilian award by the Government of India in 2017 in recognition of his contribution to the field of spirituality.[17][18]

Early life[edit]

Born in Mysore, Karnataka, India, in a Telugu speaking family,[19] Jaggi Vasudev was the youngest of four children – two boys and two girls. His mother was a homemaker[20] and father was an ophthalmologist with the Indian Railways. Due to the nature of his father's job, the family moved frequently. At the age of 12,[20] he came in contact with Malladihalli Sri Raghavendra Swamiji who taught him a set of simple yoga asanas, the practice of which he regularly maintained.[21] He states that "without a single day's break, this simple yoga that was taught to me kept happening and led to a much deeper experience later."[22]:39

After his schooling at Demonstration School and Mahajana Pre-University College, Mysore in 1973, he graduated from the University of Mysore with a bachelor's degree in English literature.[23] During his college years, he developed an interest in travel and motorcycles.[24] Motivated by his desire for "purposeless travel", Sadhguru tried his hand at poultry farming to make some money. Later, he ventured into construction business on his father's insistence that he do something more socially estimable with his life. Both his business ventures were successful, leading to a sense of fulfilment.[citation needed]

Spiritual life[edit]

As a child, Sadhguru was inclined to view the world around him with wonder and was disinterested in the conventional forms of knowledge seeking. He skipped school to explore nature, and posed questions to his teachers that left them speechless. He unknowingly discovered meditation due to his intense fascination with the swaying action of the trees, and was intrigued by questions pertaining to God and existence.[20] At the age of 25 on 23 September 1982,[25] he rode up Chamundi Hill and sat on a rock, where he had a spiritual experience. He describes his experience as follows:

Till that moment in my life I always thought this is me and that's somebody else and something else. But for the first time I did not know which is me and which is not me. Suddenly, what was me was just all over the place. The very rock on which I was sitting, the air that I breathe, the very atmosphere around me, I had just exploded into everything. That sounds like utter insanity. This, I thought it lasted for ten to fifteen minutes but when I came back to my normal consciousness, it was about four-and-a-half-hours I was sitting there, fully conscious, eyes open, but time had just flipped.[26]:04:04

The spiritual experience kept returning to Sadhguru in the coming days with prolonged time periods (from hours to thirteen days on one occasion). He describes these experiences as flipping of time, "overwhelming and indescribable stillness and ecstasy",and an enhanced awareness of everything except his sense of self. During these spells he would sit rooted to a spot and would stop eating or sleeping. Sadhguru describes these experiences as a dimensional shift and a deepening understanding of human life and existence. He recalls a transformative change in his physical appearance during this time.[20] Six weeks after his first spiritual experience, he left his business to his friend and travelled extensively in an effort to gain insight into his mystical experience. After about a year of meditation and travel, he decided to teach yoga to share his inner experience.[25]

In 1983, he conducted his first yoga class with seven participants in Mysore. Over time, he began conducting yoga classes across Karnataka and Hyderabad traveling from class to class on his motorcycle. He lived off the produce of his poultry farm rental and refused payment for the classes. A usual practice of his was to donate the collections received from participants to a local charity on the last day of the class.[25]

Isha Foundation[edit]

Jaggi Vasudev established the Isha Foundation, a nonreligious, non-profit organisation entirely run by volunteers. Isha Yoga Center near Coimbatore was founded in 1993, and hosts a series of programs to heighten self-awareness through Yoga. The foundation works in tandem with International bodies like the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.[27]

Yoga programs and other consecrations[edit]

Jaggi Vasudev conducting the Inner Engineering Program at the Bombay Stock Exchange, Mumbai.

After the establishment of the ashram, Jaggi Vasudev began conducting regular yoga programs at the Isha Yoga Center, including a course for the Indian Hockey team in 1996.[28][29] In 1997, he began conducting classes in the United States[30][31] and in 1998, he began conducting yoga classes for life-term prisoners in Tamil Nadu prisons.[32] From 2011, he began conducting programs with large-scale participation of up to 10,000 and 15,000 participants at once.

The programs are offered under the umbrella of Isha Yoga. The word Isha means "the formless divine".[33] Isha yoga's flagship program is 'Inner Engineering', which introduces people to some simple Yoga practices and the Shambhavi Mahamudra.[34] He also conducts yoga classes for corporate leadership to introduce them to what he calls "inclusive economics", which he says introduces a sense of compassion and inclusiveness into today's economic scenario.[35][36]

He also regularly conducts Mahasathsangs in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Here he gives talks, teaches meditation, and holds question and answer sessions with the audience. These Mahasathsangs are also used as platforms to encourage tree-planting activities as well.[37] He also takes spiritual aspirants on annual yatras to Mount Kailash and the Himalayas. The Kailash Yatra led by him is among the largest groups to make the trip to Kailash, with 514 pilgrims attending the journey in 2010.[38][39]

Jaggi Vasudev organises all-night Mahashivarathri celebrations every year at the Isha Yoga Center. It is estimated that these celebrations were attended by as many as 800,000 people in 2013.[40][41][42] The night includes music, dance, and guided meditation. In 2013, performers included Carnatic singer Aruna Sairam, dancer Anita Ratnam, and the band The Raghu Dixit Project.[42]

In March 2005, construction of the Isha Institute of Inner-sciences (III) in McMinnville, Tennessee, USA was begun and was completed 6 months later. Jaggi Vasudev had decided to establish III as a Center for spiritual growth in the Western Hemisphere. On 7 November 2008, he consecrated the Mahima Hall, a 39,000 square foot, free-standing meditation hall at the III. Mahima Hall is the largest meditation hall in the Western Hemisphere.[43] On 30 January 2010, he consecrated the Linga Bhairavi, a representation of the feminine aspects of the divine at the Isha Yoga Center.[22]


In 1994, Jaggi Vasudev conducted the first program in the premises of the newly established Isha Yoga Center, described the Dhyanalinga. The Dhyanalinga is a yogic temple and a space for meditation, the consecration of which, Jaggi Vasudev stated was his life's mission entrusted to him by his guru.[25] In 1998, the stone edifice of the linga was ordered and arrived at the ashram. After three years of work, the Dhyanalinga was completed on 23 June 1999[44] and opened to the public on 23 November.[45]

The Dhyanalinga offers a meditative space that does not ascribe to any particular faith or belief system.[46] It is defined as a Meditation Machine, "Just sitting in the sphere of Dhyanalinga with your eyes closed for some time can make a person meditative". A 76-foot dome, constructed using bricks and stabilised mud mortar without steel or concrete,[47] covers the sanctum sanctorum. The lingam is 13 feet and 9 inches in height and made of black granite. The Sarva Dharma Sthamba, located at the front entrance, functions as an icon of singularity, with the sculptural reliefs and symbols of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Buddhism, and Shinto inscribed as a universal welcome.[48]

On 23 June 2013, he conducted a multi-religious session titled, "Interfaith Deliberations on the Universality of Religions" at the Isha Yoga Center, which was attended by representatives of various religions, and coincided with the fourteenth anniversary celebrations of the Dhyanalinga.[49]

Adiyogi Shiva statue[edit]

Adiyogi Shiva statue, which Jaggi Vasudev said, the statue is for inspiring and promoting yoga, and is named Adiyogi, which means "the first yogi", because Shiva is known as the originator of yoga.

Jaggi Vasudev designed the 112-foot Adiyogi Shiva statue, which is located at the Isha Yoga Center. It was inaugurated on Mahashivaratri, 24 February 2017, by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.[50] The Adiyogi statue depicts Shiva as the first yogi or Adiyogi, and first Guru or Adi Guru, who first propounded the science of Yoga to humanity, he is the first one who to put this idea into two human beings that, "In is the only way Out" The statue was built by the Isha Foundation using 20,000 individual iron plates supplied by the Steel Authority of India[51] and weighs around 500 tonnes (490 long tons; 550 short tons). The Adiyogi Shiva Statue has been recognized as the "Largest Bust Sculpture" by Guinness World Records.[52] A consecrated Shivalinga called "Yogeshwar Linga" is placed in front of the Adiyogi Shiva statue.[53]


Jaggi Vasudev is the author of several books, including Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy.[54] They have been translated into a number of other languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada.

  • Adiyogi: The Source of Yoga,[55] ISBN 9352643925
  • Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy, ISBN 0-8129-9780-8, 9780812997804
  • Encounter the Enlightened, ISBN 81-86685-60-X
  • Mystic's Musings, ISBN 81-86685-59-6
  • Joy 24x7, ISBN 978-81-7992-914-8
  • Pebbles of Wisdom, ISBN 978-81-7992-952-0
  • The Mystic Eye, ISBN 81-7992-883-7
  • Essential Wisdom from a Spiritual Master, ISBN 81-7992-882-9
  • Flowers on the Path, ISBN 81-87910-05-4
  • Himalayan Lust, ISBN 978-81-8495-076-2
  • Eternal Echoes: The Sacred Sounds Through the Mystic, ISBN 81-87910-02-X
  • Dhyanalinga: The Silent Revolution, ISBN 81-87910-00-3
  • Dhyanalinga: The Eternal Form
  • Circus of The Mind, ISBN 81-87910-10-0
  • Unleashing The Mind, ISBN 81-87910-08-9
  • Good And Bad Divides The World, ISBN 81-87910-07-0
  • Enlightenment: What It Is, ISBN 81-87910-06-2
  • Sacred Space For Self-transformation, ISBN 81-87910-09-7
  • Ancient Technology For The Modern Mind, ISBN 81-87910-11-9
  • Three Truths of Well Being, ISBN 978-0-670-08706-8
  • Midnights with the Mystic, ISBN 978-1-57174-561-3
  • A Guru Always takes you for a Ride, ISBN 978-81-87910-53-4
  • Ancient Technology For The Modern Mind, ISBN 978-81-87910-11-4
  • Don't Polish Your may shine, ISBN 978-81-8495-200-1
  • Of Mystics & Mistakes, ISBN 978-81-8495-308-4
  • Body - The Greatest Gadget/Mind Is Your Business, ISBN 978-93-5083-360-5
  • Emotion The Juice Of Life : Compulsiveness To Consciousness, ISBN 978-93-5083-362-9
  • Encounter the Enlightened, ISBN 978-81-86685-60-0
  • Sadhguru Biography-More Than A Life, ISBN 978-0-670-08512-5

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sadhguru", also spelt "Sadguru",[3] means real or true guru. In Hindu meaning, it is a superlative and does not have any exclusive connotations.[4]


  1. ^ "Family Matters - Sadhguru Speaks About His Family". Isha Foundation. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b Waghorne 2013, p. 297; Foreword by Pat MacEnulty in Simone & Sadhguru 2008, p. 10
  3. ^ Sanghvi, Rajesh D (2018), Going Beyond My Guru's for Human Welfare, Notion Press, p. 30, ISBN 978-1-64429-901-2
  4. ^ Cornille, Catherine (1992), The Guru in Indian Catholicism: Ambiguity of Opportunity of Inculturation?, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, p. 103, ISBN 978-0-8028-0566-9
  5. ^ IANS (9 October 2016). "Don't vote as part of a tribe, Jaggi Vasudev tells Americans". Business Standard India. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  6. ^ "The most powerful Indians in 2009: 80–84". Indian Express. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  7. ^ "Jaggi Vasudev in city on May 7". Times of India. 21 April 2009. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Isha Vidhya to extend support to 3,000 govt. schools in Chittoor". The Hindu. 4 March 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Green initiatives mark World Environment Day". The Hindu. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Next step, the making of a river rejuvenation policy". Times of India. 3 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Health". The New York Times.
  12. ^ "Religion, Spirituality and Faith". The New York Times.
  13. ^ "New York Times Bestsellers - Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous: New this week INNER ENGINEERING". New York Times. 9 October 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  14. ^ gbs17. "Sadhguru – Global Investors, Business & Leadership Summit 2019". Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Authors". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  16. ^ S, Pangambam (17 January 2018). "Sadhguru: Developing an Inclusive Consciousness @ Talks At Google (Transcript)". The Singju Post. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  17. ^ "Jaggi Vasudev, Mariyappan among Padma award winners". The Hindu. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  18. ^ "Padma Vibhushan award for Sharad Pawar and Jaggi Vasudev". Deccan Chronicle. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  19. ^ "isha foundation - Sadhguru: My mother tongue is Telugu".
  20. ^ a b c d Sadhguru (2016). Inner Engineering A Yogi's guide to joy. New York: Spiegel & Grau. pp. 14–21. ISBN 9780812997804.
  21. ^ "Uncommon Wisdom". India Today. 26 April 2007.
  22. ^ a b Subramaniam, Arundhathi (2010). Jaggi Vasudev More Than A Life. Penguin Group. ISBN 978-0-670-08512-5. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  23. ^ "'I have not read the Vedas or the Upanishads. I confess I haven't read the Gita'". Indian Express. 10 March 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  24. ^ "Man and Machine: Sadhguru and Automobiles". Isha Foundation. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  25. ^ a b c d Simone, Cheryl (2008). Midnights with the Mystic. Hampton Roads Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-57174-561-3.
  26. ^ Jaggi Vasudev (2009). TED India 2009 (YouTube). Mysore: TED India.
  27. ^ "'Quadrennial reports for the period 2011-2014 submitted by non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council through the Secretary-General pursuant to Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31" (PDF). 24 February 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  28. ^ "Morale-Booster says Bhaskaran". Indian Express. 26 November 1996.
  29. ^ "Refreshed Team Begins Final Preparation". The Hindu. 2 December 1996.
  30. ^ "Yoga guru touts peace, not religion". The Tennessean. 15 October 1997.
  31. ^ "It doesn't take a guru to know which way the stress flows". Dayton Daily News. 17 March 1998.
  32. ^ "Yoga Brings 'Freedom' to Prisoners". The Hindu. 16 February 1998.
  33. ^ "Sadhguru – Exploring the unlimited". Life Positive. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  34. ^ "In pursuit of peace of mind". Daily News and Analysis. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  35. ^ "The route to 'dharmacracy'". Business Today. 27 November 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  36. ^ "Inclusive Economics: Enabling the World'". Huffington Post. 17 May 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  37. ^ "Isha's Green Salem goes on stream". The Hindu. 14 December 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  38. ^ "Isha shows the way". Indian Express. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  39. ^ "Mansarovar is beyond words". Daily News and Analysis. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  40. ^ Zakaria, Namrata (June 2013). "The Lure of Isha" (PDF). Harpers Bazaar. pp. 106–108. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  41. ^ Zakaria, Namrata (14 March 2013). "Fashion label to 'yogi': Donna Karan on an Indian holiday". The Indian Express. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  42. ^ a b Vyas, Sheetal (1 April 2013). "Holy Days". Outlook. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  43. ^ "A 39,000 square-foot meditation facility". AtlantaDunia. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  44. ^ "Dhyanalingam installed". Indian Express. 26 July 1999.
  45. ^ "A multi religious temple". The Hindu. 19 November 1999.
  46. ^ Rangaswamy, Sudhakshina (25 July 2003). "Transformation of the inner Self". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  47. ^ "Auroville Earth Institute, training courses, workshops on Vaults, Arches, Domes(VAD), stabilized rammed earth walls, compressed earth blocks, vaulted structures, compressed stabilised earth blocks, rammed earth".
  48. ^ Ganapathy, T.K. (28 September 2001). "Haven for the spiritually inclined". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  49. ^ "Anniversary celebrations at Isha". The Hindu. 24 June 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  50. ^ "PM Narendra Modi unveils first 112-foot tall Shiva statue in Coimbatore". The Financial Express. 24 February 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  51. ^ "Gigantic statue of first yoga guru Adiyogi to be unveiled by PM". The Covai Post. 8 February 2017.
  52. ^ "Largest bust (sculpture)". Guinness World Records.
  53. ^ "Yogeshwar: A Heartless Yogi". Isha Foundation. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  54. ^ "Don't vote as part of a tribe, Jaggi Vasudev tells Americans". Business Standard. IANS. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  55. ^ "Adiyogi: The Source of Yoga" by Jaggi Vasudev, Harper Elements


External links[edit]