What Sets Human Beings Apart?

Feb 14, 2015

Juhi Chawla with Sadhguru: What Sets Human Beings Apart?

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Sadhguru answers a question from Juhi Chawla, and explains what sets human beings apart from other life on the planet. He looks at how most human beings have turned these possibilities into problems.

Full Transcript:

Juhi Chawla: Okay, Sadhguruji when you said about the common person and the special person, I know some teachers have always told us and why your own parents always tell you that you know – you are special, each one of us is unique and each one of us is special…

Sadhguru: No. No, my parents told me you’re freaky (Laughter). See, they never said, I’m special.

Juhi Chawla: We’ll come back to our parents now and… and I remember… I remember this part, I am not sure whether I heard it at your discourse or on a DVD of yours, where you said… It was about you know people being special and us always thinking that God knows of us. And you said something like, “Do you know all the grasshoppers in your garden?” So, of course all of us have said, “No”. So, you said something like, “So, how does God know each one of you then?” And I was devastated because I always thought somebody up there knows me, cares about me and I’m special.

Sadhguru: You thought… you thought you’re number o…. you thought you were number one in his books, is it?

Juhi Chawla: Well, I’ve been told since I was kid, you’re special, you’re unique and God cares about you.

Sadhguru: Let me tell… See, if when somebody says you’re unique, it’s an insult (Juhi Laughs). You know… It’s like this – in this vast cosmos, this solar system is just a speck. Tomorrow morning if the whole solar system disappears, vanishes, evaporates, nobody will even notice it. Maybe it’s not even in the accounts books of creation, it’s so small. In this speck of a solar system, planet earth is a super speck. In that, Mumbai is a micro super speck. In that, you are a big man or a woman (Laughter). It’s a hilarious problem. This is a very immense existential problem, you know. This is because we have lost perspective as to who we are, what we are, our psychological realities have become bigger than the cosmo… than the cosmic reality. That is a big problem. It’s time you step out of your cinema… I‘m… I’m not talking about the Hindi cinema, I’m talking about the cinema that everybody’s playing in their own minds. See, a cine… See right now they darkened this whole hall because it works best that way. This is the basic technology of a cinema, if you do not darken the cinema hall, if you light it up and play a nice cinema, it’s not going to work. You have to darken it. So, I’m saying, a cinema of your mind because it’s a dark space. Every thought is enlarged, playing out bigger than the cosmic space. Today, everything in the cosmos is happening perfectly well, but you have one nasty thought crawling in your head and it feels like a bad day, isn’t it?

Juhi Chawla: Yes. Yes.

Sadhguru: So, that’s because your psychological realities, your petty creation has become larger than the creator’s creation. You lost perspective of life. That is the fundamental basis of all this confusion and suffering. If you see who you are, the micro speck that you are, you wouldn’t imagine that God is made in your own image and he looks like you and whatever. Okay, if… if we were all buffalos, we would definitely think God is a big buffalo (Laughter).

Juhi Chawla: Okay. Okay, so what is it really? Please tell us the… Please define it for us, what is it? What is going on – this life, this love. All these emotions that we go through in our lives, all these thoughts that we create for ourselves, what is going on?

Sadhguru: See… These are all human possibilities and capabilities. Every possibility becomes a problem for those who do not explore the possibility in it’s right perspective. Thought is a tremendous possibility. An ant cannot think like you, he can work better than you, he’s more disciplined, he betters main… better traffic rules than you, there’s no traffic jam out there (Laughter), okay but he cannot think like you.

Juhi Chawla: Yes.

Sadhguru: That sets up apart. This is a possibility. But now, this possibility has become a problem for ninety percent of the humanity. Now they’re freaking because they can think and they’re thinking all the wrong things. Their thoughts have become nasty; if they were pleasant they would have enjoyed their thought process. Because it’s become nasty, it’s becoming a (an?) ailment, isn’t it? People are suffering their thoughts immensely. Because, they do not know how to keep it pleasant, nothing has been done towards it. So, what is a possibility always becomes a problem if you do not explore it in a right perspective. So your thought and emotion has become a problem, now love affair is a problem, you’re making all kinds of things out of it, which are all coming from this misunderstanding, not understanding this thought and emotion is generated by me, I can generate it whichever way I want. If nastiness is what you like, you do it. I don’t care if that’s what you like but you’re suffering it. If you’re suffering it, you shouldn’t be doing it.

I am not telling you, be loving. What is your choice – pleasantness or unpleasantness? If unpleasantness is your choice, you enjoy it and do it, what’s my problem? You want to drink poison, what is my problem? I am just telling you this is poison, this is this – drink whatever you want, but by choice. Don’t drink unconsciously, that’s stupid. That’s not befitting of a human being, a human being means we are far more conscious than every other creature on this planet – that’s what sets up apart. Every other creature eats but we can eat consciously. So our eating becomes, so many things. Every creature has sexual drives, they go and fulfill it whichever way. We can do it consciously. So, we become something something. We’re doing the same things but we’re doing it consciously, suddenly there is a magic about it, not because sex is magic, food is magic, no. Because we can do it consciously, every basic act like eating and copulating becomes magical because we can do it consciously.

If you leave that one thing, if you exclude that one thing from your life that you are not conscious about the way you think, the way you feel, the way you act, the way you move your body – if you’re not conscious about it everything can turn ugly, everything can become nasty. So it is this which sets you apart from every other creature. So, a dog is walking on the street, if you show it a biscuit it will wag its tail, if you do this (Gestures), grrr it will do. If this is what you are that if somebody is nice it you, you will wag your whatever, if somebody’s not nice to you, you will bite them. I’m saying what… where is evolution in you? Forget about civilization, I’m, talking about evolution. Where’s the evolution, where’s the sign of evolution I’m asking? (Applause)



The Beauty of Being Human

Oct 31, 2014

The Beauty of Being Human

Juhi Chawla and Sadhguru discuss the nature of the human being.

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Juhi Chawla and Sadhguru discuss the nature of the human being. Sadhguru looks at how society today seeks to mold human beings into a fixed format, where as a human being is supposed to blossom by his own nature.

Full Transcript:

Juhi Chawla: Sadhguruji, I want to say, I have attended your Inner Engineering program, I have seen some DVDs, I have read your books. And everywhere there are your brilliant views on various issues. It could be from the making of a nation to the making of a toy car, from the running of a household to the running of parliament. You have brilliant views on every issue that one can ever question. Yet I know very little about you and it… You know here’s a brilliant mind with an… for lack of better words, I would say ‘out-of-the-Box’ thinking – so different, so refreshing, so enlightening. I am fascinated and I want to know about your life. And I’d like to know that… I mean, were you just born brilliant (Laughter)? Did it begin from that very moment?

Sadhguru: I… I… I was a normal birth. I didn’t come in a box (Laughter). My mother had a normal child.

Juhi Chawla: No, I’m really fascinated, intrigued that we’re all here… but you know, the way you think, we wait to hear what you have to say. We’ve all been little children and we’ve all grown up but we’ve grown up and been educated in schools and… but I find our way of thinking, our way of being very conditioned, like almost systematized. Whereas, so where…where did it all begin?

Sadhguru So, what is… I mean the question that you’re asking is, do people grow up and blossom or are they brought up by somebody? You will see the general expression is, “I was brought up in this place, I was brought up in that way.” Especially in the West, you will see, “I was brought up Christian”, “I was brought up Jewish” – these are very common words. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous and humiliating that a human being has to be brought up. You bring up cattle, okay? You don’t bring up a human being. A human being is supposed to blossom by his own nature. That is why he’s on the top of the pile, at least on this planet, in the evolutionary scale. And most human beings don’t seem to understand that or they are not allowed to understand that by a whole lot of people and they need to be brought up. Bringing up means somebody is molding you. Molding means it’s a predetermined shape. And no flower that blossoms is the same way as another one, which blossomed yesterday. But a mold means it’s always going to be the same. If you make a mold, the idea of making a mold is that we want to have the same form, again and again and again.

Right now, generally that seems to be the work unfortunately of the current education system, the so-called religions that are operating in the world and of course the family. They want you to be in a certain mold, they don’t want you to blossom like a wild flower because they’re afraid of anything fresh happening among them. They want something that is familiar. They don’t want something unfamiliar to be born among them. So, if you have succumbed to that system, then yes, you’ve been molded into a certain form. If you allow your humanity to blossom, then you will see, you don’t belong to any mold. This is the beauty of being human that there is no a particular way to be. If you were a dog you would be one way, if you were cattle you would be one way, if you were a sheep you would be another way, if you’re bird – another way, a grass… a grasshopper – another way. But to be human means there is no particular way.

What is human is not defined, nor described, it is… it is just that for every other creature on this planet, nature drew two lines; within that they have to play their game. For a human being, only the bottom line is drawn, there is no top line. But socially, people are trying to draw a top line for themselves. But nature has not drawn a top line for you, it’s a limitless possibility and this is what is freaking human beings right now. Because they can’t decide what they can (Laughs)… need to be. They’re trying to be like somebody else. Only bottom line is set, top line has been removed – this is evolution.

Juhi Chawla: But wait, we still didn’t quite get to… So, having said all that, we’ve… I still didn’t quite get it that… So how was it when you were a child, were you… were you put into a school to go the systematic way where you learnt your Maths and Hindi… sorry, Maths and language and you know and did you keep up with it…

Sadhguru: Do I… Do I look that edu… educated? Don’t insult me like that (Laughter). Actually you know, when I go and stand in the line… in the immigration lines, in particularly in America, they look at me and say, “Can you speak English?” I say (Nods his head affirmatively) (Laughter) because I have that uneducated look, it’s not easy (Laughter). Do you know… Do you know what it takes to remain uneducated? Education is just twenty years of going somewhere and getting one certificate. To remain uneducated, it’s very difficult because from the day you’re born, your parents, every other adult, the school, the damn thing – everybody is trying to educate you…

Juhi Chawla: Yes.

Sadhguru: …about something that’s not worked in their life (Laughter & Applause).

Juhi Chawla: And then did you also, like we all went through these confused teenage years of not really knowing where we’re going, I mean did you clearly know your path?

Sadhguru: Not at all. I was, right from three or four years of age, I was always a million questions hanging in… in my head. I have (had?) a question about everything – everything to everything. Questions means, very fundamental questions about existence itself, my own existence

So, when I was three, four years of age, suddenly I realized I know nothing. Know nothing means – somebody gives me a glass of water, I do not know what is water. I know how to use it, I know if I drink it, it will quench my thirst and so many other ways of using it but I do not know what is water. I’m saying even today, you do not know what is water. It’s the only thing available in all three states on the planet. Three… two thirds of the planet is water, two thirds of your body is water. If we think life, we think water. But do you know what it is? With all the scientific exploration, we do not even know a single atom in its entirety. Today, our idea of science is, learning how to use everything. Yes? We know how to use an atom, we know how to break it, we know how to fuse it but we really do not know what it is. Any one thing, tiniest thing in the creation, we do not know in its entirety, this is the fact of life.

Juhi Chawla: Well even something simple as what you started with, saying that looking at water. I mean, straight away I was taught water – H2O and what it can do and it… you can mix it with colors and it becomes that. You can drink it and it quenches your thirst. But I never looked at it and said you know, “I don’t really know what is water.”

Sadhguru: Because nobody looks at anything. See, everybody is looking like this, nobody has any attention for a piece of life here. They’re like this (Gestures). If you pay attention to one life, one blade of grass, one grasshopper, one human being, something else will happen. That’s why we said ‘life and love’ because if you pay attention to one human being, some love will happen within you, okay? If you miss life, at least some emotion in that direction must happen to you. That will happen only if you pay attention to one. If you’re looking at like this (Gestures) …These days it’s become a fashion because you’re in love on Facebook. You love the whole humanity. To love one human being… if you want to love one human being, it costs life. To love the whole humanity, it doesn’t cost anything. It’s even better to love God because it’s always easy to love somebody who is not here now (Juhi Laughs), it’s so easy.

But if you have to love somebody who is sitting next to you right now, it costs life. You know how difficult it is to love someone who is next to you right now, how easy it is to love someone who is dead or who is in heaven? Isn’t it so? Let’s face it. Because if you have to love one, one thing is you have to pay attention. Without attention, it will not happen. And above all, you have to give up something that is you, to accommodate another, otherwise it will not happen. The English expression, it’s very good – “You must fall in love.” You cannot rise in love, you cannot stand in love, you cannot fly in love, you have to fall. Something of you should fall, otherwise it will not work. You will not know it. So, you want to have a fake sense of life, then you don’t pay attention to anything, everything is information. Nothing is a living experience. Everything is from the textbook or from the cinema or from the internet. Nothing is from life’s experience.

The 5 Elements of Chinese Cosmology

By Karma Weather – June 24, 2015

The 5 Elements – Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood Symbolize the Cyclic Energies of the Universe in Chinese Cosmology




The 5 elements of Chinese Cosmology (Wu Xing) are important components of traditional Chinese astrology, in relation with your Chinese zodiac sign.




What’s my Chinese zodiac sign?

5 ELEMENTS-01Each element has Yin and Yang components. The 5 elements (or movements) are in constant interaction and relationship; they follow, oppose and give birth to one another. Contrary and opposite forces are equally connected with complementary forces,  summarized below in our illustration of the combined creative and destructive cycles of the 5 elements.

Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood are also used in Feng Shui (home and office interior design, logo design), Ba Gua, Chinese medicine, art, music, cooking, acupuncture, military strategy and martial arts.


Traditionally, Yang is associated with the day, even numbers, white color, masculinity and an extraverted temperament, while Yin is associated with the night, odd numbers, black, femininity, and an introverted temperament.

The element of your year of birth is attached to one of the 5 elements. Below, you will find the specific characteristics of each of the 5 elements of Chinese cosmology, and what is the element of your Chinese zodiac sign, in correspondance with your date of birth.



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 The Wood Element

5 ELEMENTS-01-WOODWood is the element of birth, creativity, longevity and wisdom. The people whose element Wood is predominant in their Chinese astrological chart have a generous and animated nature.

They are persons of integrity and honesty, whose great moral value is only equaled by their strength of conviction. Innovation is second nature to them, and their creative talent often exceeds the average. Nature lovers and great pet friends, Wood Individuals appreciate quiet places that allow them to find their inner balance.

The vitality and open-mindedness of Wood people often lead them to practice several activities at once, because their interests are manifold. Even though Wood individuals tend to develop many projects with great enthusiasm during their youth, without necessarily reaching the end of things, it nevertheless improves with age and maturity.

In their work, Wood individuals are organized, ingenious and inventive. In business, they are more productive when teamwork is well planned and serene. Nothing is more counter-productive for a Wood individual than to be confronted in his daily life with a petty project manager, expert in micro-management, who will only succeed in bringing down the quality of his work and make him flee elsewhere.

If Wood individuals love the fun of life, they have the unfortunate tendency to sometimes let themselves go a little adrift. It can’t be said either that they’re naturally elegant or well-cared for, unless they’re born a year of the Rooster or a year of the Pig.

Naturally open to the world, tolerant, faithful and protective in love, the Wood individual has on the other hand difficulty in conforming to the norms and traditional customs of societies where moral judgment is omnipresent.

If the Wood individual feels frustrated in his actions, or if an obstacle gets in his way, risking to jeopardize the realization of his ambitions, he can then be carried away by great memorable angers. As long as no one tries to appropriate for oneself the work of the Wood individual, success and progress can be at the rendezvous.

The Fire Element

5 ELEMENTS-01-FIREIndividuals whose element Fire is predominant in their Chinese astral chart are courageous, open-minded and open to others.

They are often funny and passionate beings, looking great and brimming with vitality. Generous, adventurous and enthusiastic, Fire individuals are charismatic leaders, gifted for communication. They’re generally focused on action, while their ambition and thirst for success seems limitless.

Positive, dynamic and dominating, Fire individuals are natural leaders who spontaneously encourage confidence. Yet, while they seem open to dialogue, deep down within themselves, they only trust their own perception of things.

One of their specific talent is to start, improve or give new life to ambitious projects. On the other hand, they can also be stubborn, and throw themselves headlong into activities requiring sustained and intense work, while neglecting the details essential to the success of their business.

For if they are good and persuasive speakers, Fire individuals are always bubbling with ideas, and their thirst for innovation is so great that they often take unreasonable risks, to the point of endangering their own well-being. Their need for recognition being almost unlimited, even if they suffer several failures as a result, Fire individuals always find the strength to start afresh.

Their tendency to impose their ideas at all costs, combined with their unwavering determination, can sometimes exasperate their entourage. But in spite of everything, their unwavering enthusiasm always succeeds in making the most rigid of oppositions fold.

In a negative aspect, the people marked by the Fire element may be violent, or at least show authoritarian tendencies. Indeed, in moments of conflict, they can either indulge in destructive anger, or else leave the stage after having lit it, leaving room for a darkness and a consternating cold.

The Earth Element

5 ELEMENTS-01-EARTHIndividuals marked by the Earth element are generally more receptive and sensitive to their environment. The Earth is the element of solidity, stability, and nourishing support essential to fertility.The Earth is a dense and deep receptacle, which also symbolizes seriousness and introspection. Created by the element Fire, the element Earth signifies, in its negative aspect, cumbersomeness, obstination and materialism.

The Earth, thanks to its balanced and stable characteristics, brings to the Earth individual his qualities of insight, reasoning and foresight.

Pragmatic, the individual whose Chinese astral theme is dominated by the Earth element is endowed with remarkable strength and unparalleled strength of character. Reassuring his entourage by his wisdom, the Earth individual tends however to be conservative, and he doesn’t like to be bumped into his habits.

Sure of himself in his choices, the Earth individual is nevertheless a real timid. He acts and progresses in life through a series of reasoned instructions that he fixes himself and follows to the letter, which generally enables him to achieve his goals. Interested above all by concrete actions realizable in the long term, one can sometimes suspect, often wrongly, the Earth individual of possessing a stubborn or obstinate spirit.

Among his qualities, foresight, combined with perseverance, make the Earth personality either very generous and directed towards spirituality, or on the contrary a very miserly and materialistic being, according to the other elements that accompany his date of birth. Moreover, since anxiety is his second nature, it may be noted that he will tend to express an exaggerated pessimism in difficult times. The Earth individual has a calculating mind, is surprisingly gifted for organization and has the memory of an elephant.

The Metal Element

5 ELEMENTS-01-METALMetal, the material of the protective shield and the sharp sword, is the representative element of solidity, brilliance, loyalty, but also rigidity.

Metal individuals are meticulous and precise in their discourse, they have a purposeful and calculating mind, and they’re never reluctant to carry out actions requiring a long term investment. When they have a goal in mind, they tend to act without hesitation, according to their own plan of action, refusing any concessions or compromises. The Metal individuals are generally dominated by a quasi-instinctual psychic force, which makes them tend towards action.

Whatever the sign of the Chinese zodiac to which they are attached, Metal individuals are ambitious beings who love money and the power that is associated with it. Their ideas are decided, and they only understand concrete actions. Tireless, they struggle to moderate their efforts, but also their language in conflictual situations.

Much more individual than collective, Metal people seldom solicit the help of others, preferring to solve their problems on their own. Lucid, determined and sometimes radical, they generally prefer to trust their own judgment and personal analysis. They may also be subject to a constant back and forth between a moderate mistrust, which is naturally part of their temperament, and an acute paranoia of others, which is quite difficult to live for their loved ones.

The Water Element

5 ELEMENTS-01-WATERPeople whose Chinese astral theme is dominated by the Water element have a sensitive and intuitive temperament. Their great ability to listen and analyze others allows them to develop extraordinary communication gifts. Water individuals can flourish in writing rather than business, as they’re not at all made for competition.

Of a great sociability, the Water people have a penetrating and clairvoyant spirit, supported by a gift of observation which makes them sometimes able to anticipate the events before they are realized. It’s also the reason why they’re very gifted in the trades which accompany others in a choice of life or a professional field, such as the professions of therapist, psychologist, or counselor in Human resources.

Water individuals also have an inclined mind to influence others indirectly, especially when it comes to applying their analysis and vision.

Of a serene sweetness in their affective relationships when all goes well, wear and patience are their assets in case of conflict. Their discretion and sense of diplomacy allows them to easily interfere with the source of the problems they face, in order to better solve them. It’s their way of preparing the ground, while waiting for the right moment and the right place before taking action.

Yet, like water that sleeps, passive, never in direct confrontation and with remarkable adaptability, Water individuals sometimes tend to be too tolerant with their surroundings, to the point of sometimes being overcome by the situation. Water being otherwise of a secret and enigmatic nature, the Water individual also has a propensity to depression. He may also be inconstant and lack firmness and determination, especially when an unexpected and disturbing event disrupts his mental tranquility.

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Feeling Worthless? Sadhguru on Usefulness in Life

Jan 30, 2017

Feeling Worthless?

Sadhguru on Usefulness in Life

Have you ever felt worthless or like you can’t do anything right? Sadhguru explains that the value of life is not in its usefulness, but in its beauty, exuberance and intensity.

Q: Namaskaram, Sadhguru. “Somehow I feel that I can’t do anything right and that I’m a liability to others. What can I do about that?”

Sadhguru: You need to constantly hold your attention on what you want to do, without diverting it for a moment. Start by trying to commit your attention on something for an hour, then a day. If you maintain your attention and there is enough intensity to it, every door in the universe will open to you. The ultimate possibility will become a reality for you if only you make it the single top priority. The problem is that right now, you have many priorities. This does not mean you must give up your life, or that you should do a particular thing. What you do is immaterial. But there should be only one priority. If you keep it that way, why should you be a liability?

In Tamil Nadu, there is a much valued tree called pungai maram (Indian Beech). It does not bear any edible fruits. Nor can you brush your teeth with its twigs, unlike the neem tree. But it is hugely valued, simply because it quietly does its own thing. It is said that this tree is most loved by the singing birds of southern India. There are scientific claims that certain trees generate more oxygen than others, and that they therefore draw more life towards themselves than others. I do not want to go that way, but if you sit under a pungai maram tree, the coolness that it exudes when you sit under its shade is very different from that of any other tree. We could go into reasons, but by dissection, you will only know physical aspects – you will not know the essence.

Life’s Value is Not in Usefulness

We value life for its beauty, exuberance and intensity, not for its usefulness. So, do not try to be an asset, or else someone may want to buy you. Just keep yourself exuberant, joyful and beautiful within. Hungry people will look for fruits in the tree. Joyful people will look for flowers in the tree. When we started the ashram, there were only three trees in the entire land. When volunteers and residents came together to plant trees here, there was a segment of people who only wanted fruit trees and vegetables. But I insisted on planting flowering trees.


Flowers are useless and so fragile. But if you come to the ashram, especially those of you who live in big cities, who have to take in stink on a daily basis, you must enjoy the fragrance of this place, which is happening because of these useless flowers. So do not try to be an asset. Just be life – full-fledged, in every way. Everyone loves to be around a full-fledged life. If you are a constipated life, slowly, the stink will rise to your head. Purity is not a quality – it is the absence of filth. If you want to become a wonderful human being, you do not need additions – you need subtractions. If you drop certain things, you will be wonderful.

A Complete Life

You do not need any add-ons, because this life is complete by itself, and it is beautiful by itself. Just look at yourself – for your system to function the way it does, you must be a complete life. If you do not feel complete right now, it is because you do not know how to use your brain. Either you should learn to use it for your wellbeing, or you should learn to keep it aside for a while. Do not look at yourself or others as assets or liabilities. I do not value life for its usefulness but for its quality and exuberance.

The castrated bullock that is drawing the cart looks at the rampaging bull elephant in the jungle and thinks, “What a useless life!” That is what happens when you are castrated and only think of the usefulness of life. What is useful about you being born and dying one day? What is the use of the human race? What is the use of this life? There is no use to life. It is just that if you hit the right pitch, life is fantastic.