Sadhguru, the yoga master turned social media celebrity with over 8.6 million Instagram followers, says his philosophy is to always feel “blissed out” — adding that adopting this mindset might change your feelings about needing a luxurious lifestyle.
“If you misunderstand your lifestyle for life you will always suffer because someone else will always have a better lifestyle than you maybe, or a more exuberant or extravagant lifestyle, and you will always think you are less than them. So life is important, lifestyle doesn’t matter,” the mystic told CNBC’s Dan Murphy.
He believes that too many people confuse the two — but that it is important to realize that someone’s lifestyle can change at any time and what lifestyle we have is often out of our control.
“It doesn’t matter what’s the lifestyle. Life is the most precious thing you have, it’s the only thing you have,” he said. “Whether you wear fine clothes or rags, what does it matter if you are joyful.”
Detaching happiness from luxury and wealth is one of the guru’s major teachings which he often repeats. Last year, he shared his thoughts around this message on social media, tweeting: “People are dedicated to their lifestyle, not to their life. Once you are dedicated to your lifestyle, you get enslaved to how much you earn.”
Sadhguru’s philosophy of bliss and contentment also protects him again against failure, he told CNBC.
“I have no such thing as failure in my life, ever. Because I don’t suffer anything. Some things we do it well, some things we don’t do it well but I am the same within myself,” he said.
“I’m a little blissed out all the time so I am OK.”
“How I am, within myself, is determined by me, not by what I’m doing, not even the result of what I am doing,” Sadhguru said.
Millions follow Sadhguru’s teachings
The 64-year-old, who is also known as Jagadish “Jaggi” Vasudev, started teaching yoga in India 40 years ago and has since amassed millions of followers around the world.
They turn to him for guidance on spirituality, meditation and the so-called “realm of mysticism.” This concept is linked to the ancient yogic idea of the “third eye” that represents enhanced perception and awareness beyond what is physically visible and a state of heightened consciousness.
His fans include celebrities like actor Will Smith, who revealed that he has followed the guru for years as a result of his bestselling self-help book “Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy” and football star Tom Brady, whose podcast once featured Sadhguru. Both Smith and Brady have also featured on Sadhguru’s social media and endorsed his work, including his books.
Sadhguru says his teachings and philosophies are solely based on himself and his understanding of his “piece of life,” but his followers often think he is talking about them. He believes this is because everyone is built in the same way.
“Fortunately every piece of life, and the whole universe in some way, is the same replica design. Only complexity and sophistication multiplies, but essentially it’s the same design.”
In 1992, Sadhguru founded the Isha Foundation which runs and supports spiritual, physical and mental wellbeing and environmental initiatives and centers around the world. It has no religious affiliation, in part because the guru associates religion with the search for meaning.
‘There is no meaning to anything’
But under his philosophy, “there is no meaning to anything in the universe.” Those looking for meaning are not experiencing life, he believes.
“If you experience life for what it is, in a moment of joy, in a moment of love, in a moment of ecstatic experiences you don’t look for meaning. Isn’t it only when you’re depressed you look for meanings, when you’re unhappy you look for meanings,” Sadhguru told CNBC.
“So I never look for meanings because I am blissed out all the time,” he added, relating it back to his approach to life.