I just wanted to say that your article is definitely biased (Opinion: The disturbing irrationalism of Jaggi Vasudev). What is the problem with highlighting the ancient wisdom of a region? – Ramchandra Khatri
Exercising my right to freedom of speech, I can assert that this writer is a certified Jawaharlal Nehru University-type liberal. The article is devoid of logic and reason, which anyway one can’t expect it from sepoys of the tukde-tukde gang. Not only does it display a clear ignorance of India but also eulogises India’s occupation by Muslim invaders and the British.
An article not worthy of being even toilet paper, if printed. May forces like you divide and become extinct. – Amit Chaurasia
The writer Girish Shahane is well advised to watch his steps. He is undermining Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev who knows what he speaks. Science is not perfect and scientists are prepared to correct themselves if a better perspective comes into the picture. There are more things we educated illiterates do not understand about Hinduism. Everything about Hinduism is not superstition. For lack of faith, Shahane has lost a kingdom. – Athmanathan Seetharaman
Well written article about Jaggi Vasudev. Some of his writings about his visualisations of spirits hanging upside down – as if in Vikram and Vetal stories – through his extra-sensory powers are disturbing. It is worth reading and listening to J Krishnamurti’s talks instead. We can be proud of him Indians. – Bindu Govindan
If right extremism is wrong, so is left. Your opinion is biased and not researched well. All examples that you point are not understood by you. For example, the lingam in Konya is with reference to the shape and the significance of geometry in the cosmos. A temple does not mean Hindu temple but a place of worship. Anyway, an extremist is closed to others’ opinions, be it right, left or Islamist. – Sujatha Shetty
Blind faith is what you have in Aristotle and Kant because you never criticise them. Vasudev does not want you to believe in anything unless you trust him – and I do not trust him fully – but, the caveat is you that must experience it.
This incidentally is the message I got from Faqir Dayak, a guru. I was an arrogant Marxist-Leninist: denigrating oriental philosophy without knowing that Hegel had plagiarised the Buddhist dialectic and made it Christian, but you would have no knowledge of that. India is in dire need to study the inductive knowledge of Samkhya Nyaya Vaisesika Jain and Buddhist logic as the west has no inductive logic save Popper’s law of falsifiability.
Lies come from you. After the Islamic invasion, mathematics died in North India. The only type of yoga left was Bhakti yoga. All research possibilities stopped. Tell me, how many universities did the Muslims build?
I am surprised that your worship of the white man has led you to believe that Hinduism, like its Abrahamic counterparts, has no backing of epistemology. Everything in the West is a miracle. The Greek miracle, the Christian miracle, the American miracle – nothing is rational and you abide by the Western narrative. Of course, you will never debate this with someone who knows.
You have no guts to criticise the theology of Islam and Christianity as they have no epistemology. But Santana dharma is fair game for so-called real thinkers like you, Bertrand Russel and British empiricists. If you have the guts set up a debate with me. I live in Los Angeles but will be happy to fly to India to debate you.
Remember Plato was the last great western thinker and Aristotle killed him. You live in your own chimaera and will not debate, so what is the point? – Arun Jetli
I read the opinion piece by Girish Shahane on Jaggi Vasudev and absolutely loved it. I’ve always been astonished by his lack of reason and rationality and more astonished by the fact that it’s never been called out. Kudos to Girish and Scroll.in for calling it out! Great work.
I’ve been critical of Sadhguru on my Instagram stories for months now. I’ve highlighted everything mentioned in the opinion piece and more. In one of his more recent videos, he explicitly claims that “Both zero and infinity came from India,” and gets a roar of applause from the audience. A simple google search would tell you that infinity wasn’t invented in India and even the zero has many origins apart from just Aryabhatta.
In another video, he reduces the greatness of Swami Vivekananda to a purported supernatural ability to read books by not opening them. He talks about how Vivekananda used to keep books between his hands and sit there for an hour absorbing what’s inside it. It’s extremely stupid and rather cringe-worthy to watch.
Vasudev has a huge fan following and so it isn’t surprising to see him pop up at Columbia, Harvard and MIT. I’m delighted that Scroll.in has taken the effort and initiative to call his bluff.
Sadhguru is going to be talking at the United Nations in Geneva on June 27 with Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the Chief Scientist at the World Health Organisation. She’s an extremely rational and logical person who has openly discredited homoeopathy. I do hope she calls out Sadhguru on his pseudoscience and his unscientific claims. – Aaditya Menon
I am not an ardent fan of the guru, but I feel that calling someone a fraud has to be supported by very strong evidence. Many respectable scientists agree that there are miracles in science as well and we can never be too sure despite the sureness of science. Science is evolving and while we have to respect evidence-based practices, one cannot discount the esoteric science of the unknown world. Some space has to be left free.
I believe that we can take points from various minds and dismiss what we find unworthy. True personal growth is when we can see that we are not infallible.
To end, I counter the view that the scientific information Shahane cites to denounce Sadhguru is the end all and be all of the discussion. It is but part of the ever-evolving field that science is and has to remain so. – Dr Sunil Narain
Throughout it appears that the author, with whatever intention, has written to portray Jaggi Vasudev and his theories in a negative light. It is surprising that the author does not find anything positive in Jaggi Vasudev or his theories. Well, Vasudev is convincing – even the author must accept this, for if he were not, then the author wouldn’t have gone to such lengths to dissect him.
By the logic that you have applied to say that Jaggi Vasudev supports Hindutva, it can be concluded that the author and Scroll.in are supporting anti-Hindu philosophy. The Padma Bhushan has been awarded to many people in the past by the Government of India. So when you say it’s been conferred on Jaggi Vasudev by the Bharatiya Janata Party government because of his support, you are striking off every earlier recipient. That is an insult to them all.
Last year when Jaggi Vasudev conducted his Youth n Truth program it appeared that the anti-Hindutva lobby had planted their questions in the audience. It was obvious. I wonder who is getting threatened by Vasudev’s popularity and his influence on masses within and outside India. Only Scroll.in will know. – Vijayaa Balarishnan
Such people are most dangerous to others. In the guise of modernity, scientific approach and so-called truths, Vasudev is twisting every known fact. He is crediting them all to our old Hindu Vedic scholars.
I wonder what would be his views when it comes to the failure of our so-called Vedic scholars to prevent infant death, death of women at childbirth, preventing plague, smallpox – even today women gods or Shakti Devis are appeased to cure smallpox! – lack of knowledge of family planning, in-vitro fertilisation, implants, transplants and so on.
Every single modern day scientific discovery was supposed to have been known to our scholars and seems to have happened only during the Mahabharata. Queens would get children through pre-sanctioned men other than their husbands. It’s disgusting to see Jaggi’s oratory skills blatantly used to foster unscientific and blind faith – Geetha Prasad
I have found glaring problems in the opinion piece about Jaggi Vasudev.
First, the article critiques the Yoga guru quoting a University of California study about his meditation technique Shambavi Mahamudra. I searched the term “University of California Shambavi Mahamudra” and found this paper as the second or third result on the first page. Why did the author commit this error? I mean if it is the second or third research article that shows up why did the author say he found nothing?
Further, the author goes on to quote the same article as I mentioned above and says that it has been done by Deepak Chopra, one of Sadhguru’s followers or sympathisers. The first author is Christine Tara Peterson who has a PhD and works at the University of California. She is not related to Sadhguru in anyways other than the article
I also found the link of the article the author claims he did not find the article on the website of the Isha Foundation. What kind of journalism is this? You say that you did not find the University of California study and then state the University of California study and say that it is done by Deepak Chopra when there are two other names before him. One of them holds a PhD.
Furthermore, you have said Vasudev’s comments that the cows are emotional beings who cry is absurd and has a logical fallacy. Here are some articles showcasing the same things as mentioned by Sadhguru about the emotions of a cow and its shedding of tears not just because of dryness of eyes [One, two, three]
I was under the impression that journalists conduct their research but apparently not. I am disgusted by the amount of lies peddled by this article in plain sight. Not agreeing with someone is one thing and blatantly lying is another. – Ojaswi Talwar
A few years ago, I came across an article titled, “Girish Shahane’s myth-busting explodes in his own face”. The writer of the article ended it by saying that, “Shahane’s entire piece was an elaborate exercise in stating blatant untruths. Or at best, unverifiable assertions about Indian history, expecting the reader to swallow them uncritically.” And now I come across another article that makes me suspect that Shahane is making a habit of drawing hasty conclusions as an opinion writer.
This time, he’s picked on the wisdom of an enlightened Indian yogi and mystic, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and questioned his rationality. Shahane has somehow found it uplifting to highlight Sadhguru’s words spoken in much larger and deeper contexts and render them down to sensational writing. If Shahane were to take care to not callously tear out words of an enlightened being’s discourses to make a point, he would save himself some credibility.
By supplying counter explanations on subjects like life after death, eclipses and Darwin’s theory, Shahane has displayed a somewhat amateurish approach to enlightened wisdom. Published research on the Shambhavi Mahamudra practice had been removed as. The practice, which has to be done under proper guidance, had been described in detail in the published research. It is still available online if one uses proper search words.
By dismissing millions of discerning followers of Sadhguru’s wisdom as blind and deeply insightful individuals like Deepak Chopra as Sadhguru’s sympathisers, Shahane has either underestimated the intelligence of others or overestimated his own. In yoga, there is a word called ignorance. It is not the opposite of education or scholarship. It is closer to seeing things with limited perception and missing the point. – Pallavi Guptaa
So to start off, I’m not associated with Sadhguru or the Isha foundation and any other related organisation. This is simply a note of a few of the objections and questions that have arisen in my mind after I read this piece.
Firstly, the author lacks a basic understanding of semantics, which is surprising for someone lecturing on rationalism and science. Hindutva is not a philosophy. Quite simply, it is Hindu-ness. A quick glance over the article will reveal to even an extremely naive person, that the agenda is to attack the pro-Hindu movement and the ruling party under the garb of a pro-rationalistic rebuttal of Sadhguru and his statements.
Second, the author misses out on a number of points. One of them being the Eclipse issue. It is an observed phenomenon that animals and plants behave strangely when there’s an eclipse, owing to the sudden drastic reduction in solar intensity and its associated effects, including a rapid drop in the ambient temperature in some areas.
Lastly, the article has blunt attacks on the Pro-Hindu discourse, with the author often going off into hyperbole with barely any solid ground to hold him up.
This is no complaint, so I’m sorry if it appears so. I would love to debate with the author on these issues, but I reckon I’m way too much of a pedestrian and much less erudite to deserve the posting of my own rebuttal on Scroll.in. – Hansatanu Roy
I read your recent article about Sadhguru and was really saddened about the fact that you dismissed all of his teachings without even practising or experiencing them. It sickens me to see that certain sections of media can’t review anything without their biased lens. First of all, his teachings don’t have anything to do with any of the religion, as quite apparent from his videos. But even if it is remotely connected to Hinduism, why does that disturb you? If one political party misuses the tag, then does that make the entire religion bad? That is like calling all doctors bad, just because of a few fakes.
About the content of the article, did you at least once try practising the sadhana on your own? How can we dismiss the taste of fruit if we haven’t even tasted it? It has worked wonders for me so my suggestion is that you try it at least once.
Nor do I see any mention of his famous campaigns such as Rally for Rivers, Youth & Truth and Project Greenhand [in the article]. You clearly only picked topics, which most people don’t have much idea about & can be distorted with words.
I request you to kindly experience Sadhguru at least once without any bias. If it doesn’t work for you then, by all means, write about it. But until then please don’t spread propaganda and simply dismiss it. Let’s work towards a better world! – Rohit Singhal
I can understand your confusion about Jaggi Vasudev. I would be the same as you if I hadn’t touched the truth myself. I don’t know about all his ideas, but, according to what I have witnessed, he is entirely right.
To get to this level of understanding, you need to open your consciousness a bit wider. Don’t be frustrated because you haven’t made it yet. To get here, you’ll need to stay alone for some time so that your thoughts are not disturbed by outside interferences. Try to understand and don’t be like this. Don’t throw your frustration on others.
I don’t know if he is perfect, but, I know he is closer to the truth than you could ever be. Be patient and openminded and you’ll have access to better understanding.
As for your use of Charles Darwin, I say sarcastically, good job! As I discovered it myself, as Einstein noticed himself, “There is no such thing as matter.” Matter is just a tiny part of this universe. You’ll have to be ready to change your mind on things quite a few times. I can’t explain in words what an infinite universe is. You’ll have to experience it for yourself. I promise you, it’s wonderful.
Jaggi Vasudev is a man who can change the world for the better. Why would you miss that? – Rouffilange Charles
If Jaggi Vasudev seems irrational to you, please keep it to yourself. People are not dumb. If they did not get some positive output, Jaggi wouldn’t get so much support and appreciation from all around the world. I am not against or in favour of anybody but this man stands for yogic and spiritual value rather than religion.
We are living in the information age. Those people who know and understand reality prefer to shut their mouths and go on with work. Nobody takes the pain to teach a fool about intelligence.
Positive criticism is appreciated. But writing for the sake of writing to prove somebody wrong makes no sense. – Pinkal Tewari
It was good to see someone coming up with rational and practical arguments regarding Jaggi Vasudev’s not so practical and in-comprehendible assertions and claims. I don’t know how scientific and how practical Jaggi Vasudev’s claims are, but he does try to bring some sense to people’s life by going this extraordinary way. I personally have great respect the writer for his courage in writing this well-articulated article.
But I do recommend he kindly read some books on Yogis of India written by many other experts, Yogis and mystics. One that I recommend is An Autobiography of Yogi. It’s all about the different experiences one gets by following certain Sadhna and Yoga. Let there be unreasonableness if it’s helping people to get to their senses.
You will acknowledge that too much rationality and logic binds human perception too. After all, we are not machines. It’s all up to us to what degree and in which channel we access that intelligence.
But again thanks for bringing the practical side, it does help in seeing things more holistically. – Ankit Bazad.
Your analysis is commendable. You have really given a befitting explanation of Sadguru’s thought and wisdom. It’s normal for a journalist to critically comment on social issues. But Sadguru is a spiritually enlightened person and is helping thousands of people lift up from the clutches of mind and its evil application.
He is also helping the nation in various ways like education and environment awareness. Recently his Save the Rivers movement was accepted by the central government for implementation. Being a Hindu his love for his religion is obvious but he doesn’t defame other religious beliefs. He believes his culture and religion is the best and that is normal.
Vasudev talks spirituality and a material man may not understand his perceptions and his feelings of life and its dynamics. So don’t write anything just because you have the power to do so. Go, meet him, perceive him. Then give your critical comment. By the way, I am not associated with Sadguru or to Isha foundation. – Gurudatta Maharana
Excellent write up on Jaggi Vasudev. I was thinking the same. And you did invest a lot of time to analyse the thinking and doing of Sadguru. Great piece of work. Keep up the good work. – Shiv Chaudhary
Why did you write an article for all the logical doubts you have about Sadhguru’s activities? You could have simply visited an Isha yoga centre, had a direct word with Sadguru and clarified your so-called logical doubts.
Can anyone show physically what the mind looks like? The mind is all about the experience of the outside world from childhood to the end of life. Just because we cannot see the mind physically, can you declare there is no mind anywhere in the world?
There are many things on this planet which you cannot understand with your logical mind which are being explored and explained by Yogis of the past and their solutions are working reasonably well.
You lack the knowledge of what Isha is all about. Its flagship programs are not run by paid employees or journalists or business. Its meditation programs are run by volunteers who voluntarily come from all over the world to make the program successful.
Please go through at least one program conducted by Shambavi Mahamudra to understand what is offered there. Without that experience don’t just scribble something using your logical thinking. Life and the cosmos are beyond logical thinking. Logic can only help you fill your belly. It will never bring wellbeing and fulfilment to one’s life. If this is not the case, you wouldn’t have seen hospitals in the corner of every road in most Indian cities.
There are thousands of people who are declared uncurable of chronic illnesses who were cured by simply being in the presence of dhyanalingam and by practising highly energetic yoga which is designed and offered by Sadguru and his trained teachers.
Regarding your solar and lunar eclipse concept, it purely depends on how sensitive and receptive, you are to nature and the external environment. People who develop insensitive eating habits and have never had any experience of a dimension beyond the physical one will find it difficult to understand what Sadguru is saying.
I suggest you meet Sadguru and clear your doubts. Otherwise, you have all the chances of getting a wrong idea about Sadguru and his Isha Foundation and Hindutva as well, which is never prescribed by Sadguru. Isha doesn’t lose anything from this but you are missing a beautiful experience of being with an enlightened being. Don’t stop until you know what is the truth. You just need few sessions with Sadguru and then everything will be clarified.
A yogi doesn’t believe anything until he experiences it himself with all the hardships needed to experience it. Once again I suggest please speak to Sadhguru once. It’s difficult to get an appointment with him, but you please try – it’s for your own wellbeing and clarity that I am suggesting this. – Nicklok Lok
Whoever this Girish Shahane is, whatever is his research on this yogi, two things that I definitely infer are:
Shahane has great patience to spend all this time to analyse someone’s preachings. In my view, I am not a believer but I have values which make sure that I am good to all around me, honest and dedicated to certain positive things in life and focused. Girish can also adopt this approach and stay away from unwarranted research and time spent on analysing something about someone while trying to be diplomatic and politically correct. Shahane is against the perspective of Hindutva being attached to certain preachings.
He needs to chill and avoid such baseless inferences. This doesn’t mean that I am in favour of Sadhguru. That’s his business and his livelihood and his style of advising the masses who are seeking advice from his third-party institution and all is fine as long as the person is only advising good and positive thoughts.
Shahane’s assumptions about animals not crying – that only humans use their tear glands to cry is absolutely baseless and over-biological. I have handled and been with various pets. They also have emotions. Whether they cry or not is irrelevant but they have emotions and feelings and many of us have personally experienced this. May he be blessed with more insight. – Suresh Subramaniam
Keep publishing like his and make him more popular. Have you not learnt, even now, after the decimation of the secular ideology that one-way criticism without an objective counterpoint only leads to the downfall of the media. Be balanced. For example, this article believes science to be the ultimate truth when scientists like me know that we know very little. Even our hypothesis and theories change when new evidence is found. So the author is just another believer who believes in science. – Askme Young
It is a well-researched article. – Surjit Singh