Coverage by Bhat Dittakavi of Variance.AI on “Intelligence of Ignorance” by Sadhguru of Isha Foundation on 19th Feb 2018 at NASSCOM India Leadership Forum in Hyderabad
-This moment is not an idea. Only a reality.
-Time is not money. Time is life.
-If you take charge of your mind, all negative emotions will vanish.
–Mind is society’s garbage bin. Every passerby leaves something in it.
–The care with which you eat food will decide how your body would be.
-Your body is just a scoop of earth. Carry it with grace.
–Doubt is good. Suspicion is sick.
-Seeker of truth refuses to make assumptions about the unknown.
-A spouse is not destination but a fellow traveler.
I couldn’t take my eyes off of these quotes on the slides. Each of them is a nugget of truth told in simplistic terms by Sadhguru. I glanced away for a moment from the sliding quotes and I noticed Sadhguru walking in with a gracious smile and wished namaste to the audience. He arrived few minutes in advance. It was my first time meeting Sadhguru.
I walked up to him and wished him. As he is a modern mystic, I asked for a selfie. He declined it indirectly with a soft spoken voice, but accepted a photo with him.
Raman Roy, Chairman of NASSCOM
Sadhguru, one of the 50 most influential people in India, an awardee of Padma Vibhushan, is a mystic and author. I am stuck by his simplicity with which he delivers complex messages. After a session, I went to him and asked him not to give up his humor and I could see a glint in his eye with a smile like a kid.
Yoga and meditation are core of his teachings. He is pragmatic in solving modern day problems. His Isha institute attracts people from all around the world.
“We have technology to address every human problem now. Only thing missing is consciousness. We started a mass campaign on planting trees in people’s heads. Now planting trees has become easier.” –Sadhguru
“Action for rural rejuvenation is for rejuvenation of human spirit. English and computer skills are needed to bring the kids out of economic pit. Whatever the nature of your business, ultimately it is all about human well-being. If you want to know about well being, in is the only out. How can you love one and hate other when the same divine exists in every one. Spiritual process is about turning inward.” -Sadhguru
“Sadhguru made yogis out of common man.” -Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India.
When a host asked Sadhguru to describe himself in one word, he responded right back, “would you consider wild life as two words or one word?”
Being my first time, I observed him with all the attention and curiosity as he got on to the dias. He took out his left sandal and tucked his left leg underneath him in half vajraasan pose. He started with a short prayer and jumped straight into the topic of “Intelligence of ignorance”.
The worst of all evils is ignorance only if you are not conscious that you are ignorant. We don’t know that we don’t know. This is the difference between enlightened and ignorant. Enlightened knows he is ignorant. You are even dead serious about ignorance? What is it 🙂
I realized I don’t know anything. You really do not know what is what. Two third of of our body is water and same is the case with this planet. Do you know what is water? We know how to use and abuse it. With all the scientific advances we don’t know what an atom is. An empty head means ignorance. 99% of cosmos is ignorant as it is empty. What we are is a speck. We are ignorant of that. When we read a book we may know but when you walk on the road, we don’t know. When you are serious, you get knowledge.
Little over 400 people at Princeton University got extra long faces. I thought it could be the weight of their knowledge. I told them a joke and they agreed with me! When I asked what is wrong and one lady said they are all married. If marriage is about multiplication of misery then there got to be a law. Marriage is about joy. Isn’t it?
Why are you Serious?
In India, we say “my grandmother is serious.”. It means that she is on her way out. If you are serious, you are way out too 🙂 In vast cosmos, solar system is just a speck. If it vanishes tomorrow, No one bothers. Planet earth is just a micro speck within which we are a nano speck in Hyderabad and within Hyderabad you are a big man.
This lack of perspective will definitely put you in trouble. Raman told me makers of 80% of $186 billion in Indian IT exports are here. Number 186 got its value from zeroes. Zero means ignorance. What we know is only this much. What we don’t know is the possibility and we have a lot of terrain we need to cover.
During my childhood In my childhood, I stared at water or tree all night. My father thought I needed a psychological valuation. When I look at something, I couldn’t able to shift attention. How can I move if I don’t figure out what object it is. I was sent to school. I paid attention on my teacher. He got attention from me that he never got for life time. 🙂 If you don’t know English language, all you hear is sound. I just heard the sounds of teachers one after the other. It became amusing though they weren’t amused. This went on. I went through school with maximum value of zeros in my school. In all six zeros and only one was missing and I was that one. 🙂
The school where I studied 45 years ago invited me for their 125 year anniversary. I told them “don’t call me as I wouldn’t be an inspiration.” They said our school produced sport stars and politicians but you are the only mystic. So you just come. I looked at that classroom of mine. When I was 12, one teacher wanted a response from me. By then I graduated to not even hearing my teacher. He asked me a question in many different ways. There are days I never uttered a word. I didn’t say anything. After 35 minutes, he got so mad and shook me violently and said you must be either divine or devil. He said I would be later. I wasn’t bothered. I was a cloud of billion questions. Then I looked at my body and questioned whether it is divine or devil. Then I was scared and closed my eyes. The more I realized I don’t know, my intelligence shoots up. In a pitch dark light for three days, in yogic transformation, we don’t even see or realize our body. We only see breath and not body. My meditation went on hours and days.
I realized if you don’t make conclusions, what happens? every other creature realized what to eat except humans. If you pay enough attention on an ant, you understand you don’t know it’s mechanics. Attention being absolute, there is no door in the world that you can’t open. Accumulation burdens you and attention opens all the doors.
If you are interested in segmenting a day, you need a wrist watch. Is that what you want? Right now the IT industry in India is in the survival mode of enjoying the inexpensive human resources. Put your mind to use. Use upper part of human being. I don’t mean the hair here. Investments of beauty and other products applied to hair are 70 times more than investments in neurosciences. Isn’t it irony?
In 1910, there was a man called Topiwala. He was going from village to village, selling hats. On the middle of day, he sat under a tree for shade. He dozed off. When he woke up he found his stack of hats missing. No sign of them anywhere. He looked up. There he saw a bunch of monkeys playing with his hats. He shouted at them and they shouted back in their own language. He threw an object at them and they did the same.
In 2018, same story repeated. This topiwala fell asleep. He looked straight up. Now he got the knowledge. He got up and kicked. Monkeys followed. When he was done with fun, he put his hat down. A baboon came and took that hat and slapped him. It said “do you think only you have grandfather” 🙂 There is scientific evidence that monkeys are evolving. There is no evidence that humans are evolving 🙂
Ignorance versus Intelligence
If you are conscious, it is not a slogan but an awareness of ignorance. That ignorance makes you alert. Your intelligence makes you alert. A room full of darkness makes you alert and intelligent. The moment there is light, you assume you know. Then you don’t see anything in your way. If you walk from one end to the other end of this hall, there are 500 things to sense and most don’t even notice five things. Ignorance is a tremendous possibility. This is when you know you are ignorant. Awareness of ignorance makes you alert. When you are alert, intelligence will be at work.
You are not as talented as animals in nature but you can pay attention to everything in the universe and realize that you don’t know everything.
Information: Plain Mirror
On this information age, you are in ignorance. If you know nothing, your mind is like a plain mirror without any distortion. Say your mirror at home had memory. If it is the case, it will show everthing but reality. Isn’t it? That is happening. Information also means your body carries more information than your mind. Your body remembers the nose of your grandparents. Body is ignorant. Your mind has to be ignorant so it is a plain mirror to conduct anything sensible. Then you see everything the way it is. Then you will do the right thing.
Information VS Intelligence of Ignorance
It is not about information but about exploring human intelligence. Information amounts to accumulation. All accumulation gets trashed. Machines can carry the information. Human beings need not. Keep the intelligence on full time. You need to come to a place that you do not know. Did you figure out yourself? If you gather information and think you know, it leads to repetitiveness. It means death in your industry.
Every one sees the same thing in their own way with the information they see. If everyone sees it with ignorance as absolute, all of them see the same. Over time we have evolved to be successful. Now at least a segment of you, brain, time and money, has to invest in ignorance and you may call it R&D. Invest in ignorance and things we don’t know. Have the courage to do it. Else you would be outdated as information gets outdated very fast.
Q) How do you measure ignorance?
Sadhguru) How do you measure zero? Our knowledge is miniscule. Ignorance is boundless.
Q) People see a mentor or a friend in you. I see a happy manager in you. Also you have time for the discourses and you are happy. What is the secret of your happiness?
Sadhguru) Laugh can be expression of your joy. In pursuit of happiness, you are pushing and kicking the cannon and running behind it. When you are five year old, you were happy. At that time someone got to make you unhappy and now someone has to make you happy. If you were happy at 5, by the time you are 30, you shall become ecstatic. Isn’t it!
Sadhguru concluded few minutes ahead of the time. He walked away with the same smile and namaste that he walked in with.