Question: Dear Sadhguru, everything here, the experience of these three days [Insight DNA of Success 2013] has been simply immaculate and fantastic, and I think a lot of organizations would aspire to this kind of service delivery. How does Isha run itself? How have you built this organization from the ground up?
Sadhguru: Right from my early youth I’ve always been resistant to all organizations. I avoided building an organization for quite some time. But when too many people gathered, and it became inevitable we had to build something. Otherwise, I really enjoyed my physical freedom of moving from one part of the country to another and setting fire to a bunch of people and moving away; and they don’t know where I am for the next few months until I appear back again. I lived that life for quite some time, more than a decade. It would be a misnomer to refer to Isha as an organization because, you know in our tradition some of the yogis are described like this, “that he is a thousand-handed man”.
When I started getting busy, trying to transmit whatever happened within me, all I was trying to do and still doing is just that, a dimension which touched me within myself and which transformed everything about me, just everything in a matter of few hours, just trying to rub that experience off on people. While I successfully did with a certain amount of people then I saw the number of people who want it and the number of hands that I have, these two were simply inadequate, so I decided to grow more hands. This is just a few million hands that I have grown.
This is more an organism than an organization. That is why it functions out of its own intelligence but never against the basic organism. Your hand never punched you, such a thing never happens. Just by chance sometimes you might have tripped on your own feet, but that is rare, of the millions and millions of steps you’ve taken you can remember probably a couple of times that you might’ve tripped on your own feet. That is sustainable, you know, it doesn’t kill you! This is a large organism, initially multi-handed, slowly we are trying to make it multi-headed, we are definitely moving into that direction very effectively.
Making it multi-headed is a little more of a challenge than making it multi-handed. All the hands took instruction from one head, now making it multi-headed we are going through that with a certain care and very successfully. Today, if I am not here for six months, nothing in the Yoga Center or the large activity that is happening around dips in any way. I’m needed only when new things have to happen. With the existing things, I’m just simply not needed. People come and tell me, they attend one of our programs with our teachers, many of them in their early twenties or so; they say, “Sadhguru, my teacher, the person who taught me, he or she is so good, they are even better than you.” This is it! They must be better than me because they were trained by me but nobody trained me! So, as an organism, it is functioning, if hundreds of people or thousands of people have to function as one, you have to include them as one otherwise it will not happen so. It is not a business trick. It is not driven by what we can extract from people. It is only here I use these ugly words of talent, market this and that, otherwise, in my life I never utter such words, because treating human beings as market in my perception is vulgar. I’m ok sitting in a business meeting and saying market; otherwise in my life I never ever utter that word, because I don’t even see a vegetable as a product. I don’t see the water that I drink, the food that I eat or the earth that I walk upon as material. I see all, in my experience not in my thought; in my experience I see all this as life-making material. The earth that you are walking upon, the food that you eat, the water that you drink, the air that you breathe these are not physical material, these are life-making ingredients without which one moment you cannot exist. So, bringing people in some way, even to a little bit of that experience is the basis of what Isha is.
Everybody here is fired up not by a purpose but by an experience. They will still be the same way if we drop all the projects and all the stuff that we are doing and simply sit here. Still the same thing, because they are not fired up by a purpose as we have been talking in the last few days, which is good for a business, but they are fired up by an inner experience for which there is no comparison.