Who does not want joy? It is, after all, the "basic fabric" of life, the "natural choice" of every human being. And yet, it is only an "occasional visitor" in most of our lives. This is because, says world-renowned spiritual master Sadhguru, our bodies and minds are not taking instructions from us. But there's a way out -- and the way out is in.
"Essentially, happiness or joy is just a certain state of pleasantness which every human being is seeking within himself or herself. Do not look at joy as some kind of an attainment or an achievement. It is the basic, fundamental fabric of life," Sadhguru told IANS in an interview.
"Joy is the natural choice for every human being. If there was a choice between being pleasant and unpleasant within yourself, I'm sure everyone will choose pleasantness. You don't need any guru or teaching or scripture to tell you -- please choose joy; don't choose misery.
"But still, for most people, joy is only an occasional visitor in their lives. This is simply because their interiority is not happening the way they want it -- their bodies and minds are not taking instructions from them. Inner Engineering is about taking charge of this. If your mind is doing what you want it to do, you will definitely make sure you are joyful," he explained.
A yogi and mystic, Sadhguru has been a lead speaker at the UN General Assembly, a regular at the World Economic Forum and a special invitee at the Australian Leadership Retreat, Indian Economic Summit and TED.
"Your joy, your misery, your love, your agony, your bliss, lies in your hands. There is a way out. And the way out is in. It is only by turning inward that we can truly create a world of love, light, and laughter," he contended.
His latest book "Inner Engineering" is dubbed a yogi's guide to joy.
"The inner dimension is uncharted terrain; it's sensible to take directions. A guru is a live roadmap. GPS: Guru Pathfinding System! That's what a guru is. Is he a must? Not necessarily. If you have to find your own way, you can do it, but it may take forever. What is so simple and within yourself, may take forever because you may go around the world trying to find it," he said.
In the new book, Sadhguru distills his own experiences with spirituality and yoga and introduces the "transformational" concept of Inner Engineering. Developed by him over several years, this powerful practice claims to "align the mind and the body with energies around and within", creating a world of limitless power and possibilities.
So what is the role of a guru in one's life?
"A guru is concerned with life -- the mechanism of your life. He does not propound philosophies, but offers methods or technologies. A technology is about learning how to make something work. If it works, it's contemporary. So a guru is always relevant," he said.
In recent times, however, spirituality and yoga have also become some sort of a fashion as well as an entrepreneurial venture for many. When asked to comment on this aspect, he said: "Something that starts as a fashion can be transformed into life's passion. It does not matter through which door you enter as long as you find your way to your inner temple.
"What may start as a fad can be turned into a dimension-profound; it all depends upon from what source it is being transmitted. If there is purity and power at the source, there is no fear of consequences as what is transmitted is beyond distortion," he argued.
Sadhguru's grasp of world affairs, as well as his unerringly scientific approach to human well-being have had a transformative influence at establishments such as the World Bank, the House of Lords, the World Presidents' Organisation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the London Business School, Google and Microsoft, to name just a few.
Elaborating, he said that "there will always be enterprises around whatever becomes reasonably popular. We shouldn't be distracted or disturbed by these. Are they teaching it properly? There are question marks about it. Some of them are teaching it properly, some are not. These manifestations are a result of the commercial process. But it is only on the surface that these distortions are happening here and there. The core of yoga is not disturbed in any way."
With a celebratory engagement with life on all levels, Sadhguru's areas of active involvement encompasses fields as diverse as architecture and visual design, poetry and painting, ecology and horticulture, sports and music.
On his expectations from the readers of the book, he said that his life has been dedicated to empowering human beings to take charge of their own destinies and bringing them to a state of joyful inclusiveness so that the possibility that we are does not pass us by as a generation.
"This book could be a doorway to that world. Let us make it happen," he said.