A Yogi’s Guide to Joy
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Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is a famous Indian mystic and yogi. He travels the world, giving talks about inner development and transformation. Sadhguru has also spoken at the United Nations.
He was named one of India’s 50 most influential people. In 2017, the Government of India awarded him with one of the highest annual civilian awards for exceptional and distinguished service.
Sadhguru has a unique ability to make the ancient yogic sciences relevant to contemporary minds. His approach does not ascribe to any belief system but offers powerful and proven methods for self-transformation.
A wholesome and joyful life is more important to him than asceticism and philosophy. He is also the founder of a charitable organization in India that works to combat poverty.
Listen to Inner Engineering Summary
Introduction to Inner Engineering
Inner Engineering by Sadhguru is a New York Times bestselling book that focuses on the body, mind, and energy. He discusses how we can improve ourselves by tapping into our inner energy. We may not be able to go deep within ourselves, but the methods outlined here help us control our mind and body.
Sadhguru also discusses self-awareness, contentment, compassion, tolerance, and yoga. He urges us to seek answers within, not outside. He also advises us to regulate our emotions and dig deep to find our true life purpose.
Western society regards yoga as a series of postures and breathing. The postures/asanas are only one of eight branches in the ancient yogic system. In this book, you’ll learn about the rest and how each branch works in the body. This will prepare you to evolve as a spiritual being and see the path ahead. Beginners must focus on the inside experience, not the outside world.
A guru may light up the underlying nature of what it means to be a human being. They don’t have the responsibility to push their own opinions on you. They can simply be a guide to help you explore your own self and take action. On the other hand, you should rely on your personal experiences instead of other people’s opinions.
You can use the book to align your ideas and feelings with the universe. It explains that happiness is an internal experience. These storyshots will introduce you to spiritual wisdom that will help you live a happier and more fulfilled life.
Who Should Read Inner Engineering?
- People who want to live a more meaningful life
- Entrepreneurs with high ambitions who are dissatisfied despite their successes
- Atheists who intend to explore spirituality
StoryShot #1: You Can Achieve Enlightenment Only When Your Body, Mind, And Energy Work In Harmony
The underlying cause of despair, anxiety, and mental illness is an imbalance of the mind, body, and energy. They become your masters when you let them.
In times of grief, anguish, or suffering, the only thing you have to repair is yourself.
You should listen to your body. This is easier to do because the body is the only part you can see and touch. You must take good care of your body and five senses if you want them to function correctly. That will influence your cognition. As a result, our bodies can tell us exactly what they need in terms of diet, sleep, and exercise.
To maximize productivity, you need to channel your energy appropriately. If you properly direct your energy, you’ll reap the rewards. This energy is called “Karma.” You receive what you give. Good deeds are reciprocated, and bad deeds are repaid. But misusing it can be devastating and lead to exhaustion over time. Karma is like a wheel. When it’s properly aligned, you can move forward smoothly and effortlessly. But if it’s misaligned, the wheel will shake, and you’ll feel the effects.
StoryShot #2: Don’t Talk About Things You Haven’t Seen Or Done Yourself
Professors are feeding you theories about something you haven’t experienced. People speak confidently about gods, heavens, spirits, and souls. But is this a reference to anything they’ve seen?
Even though Sadhguru occasionally discusses metaphysical and spiritual topics like reincarnation, he discourages people from talking about things they haven’t experienced. This includes things that have not been part of their existence yet (e.g., God and the afterlife). He thinks discussing them leads to delusions rather than knowledge and experience.
Keep an open mind and don’t believe or disbelieve until you’ve experienced it. In other words, don’t put your faith in someone. Say “I don’t know” and move on.
Doing the same thing repeatedly can’t produce any different results. In the same way, blaming bad luck when things don’t go according to plan is vain. Self-awareness should start at this stage instead.
Self-awareness is a sadhana. It’s a daily spiritual practice that we must incorporate into our lives. We may learn to manage our ideas, behaviors, and emotions in doing so.
Self-awareness ensures that whatever happens outside does not cause internal instability and anguish. As your self-awareness grows, so does your ability to respond. Because there are always options available, you may select the best one for yourself.
Consider the term responsibility. It is derived from response-ability. Therefore, responsibility means the ability to respond consciously. It opposes reactions based on unconscious impulses.
For example, suppose a family member causes you to become angry. There are several ways to respond. A natural impulse is to shout. Yet, as your response-ability increases, you see other options. You can ignore them, speak nicely to them, or change the topic of discussion.
Responsibility is liberation, whereas reactivity is slavery. Anger often leads to irrational behavior and is ultimately self-destructive.
StoryShot #4: Happiness Is A State Of Mind, Not A State Of Being
Many people strive to change their surroundings to improve life satisfaction or happiness. Yet, many fail to identify the real problem because they think it is so ordinary that it is difficult to notice at first glance.
If you’re unhappy with your current position, look for a new job. Are you tired of loneliness? Use dating apps. Buy a new outfit or go to a gym if you’re unhappy with your appearance.
Most of us receive this type of advice all our lives. Thus, we have assumed that certain elements are required for happiness. That may include success at work, finding a decent mate, or looking like a magazine cover model.
This is a form of mental illness. Our constant focus on the external thwarts our pursuit of happiness. All our views of the world around us are happening inside us. When it comes to finding happiness, we need to start within ourselves.
Insights from yoga philosophy may help you create your desired internal state. This state is independent of what is going on externally. Sadhguru goes through each of the traditional yoga’s eight branches or categories. For example, one area that deals with self-exploration is called Raja Yoga. This branch helps you discover your inherent strengths and abilities so that you can use them to your advantage in life.
StoryShot #5: Being Overly Rational May Prevent You From Truly Experiencing Life
Humans are usually proud of their intelligence. After all, our ability to think and synthesize has led to the current state of civilization.
But our brains have intrinsic limits that prevent us from experiencing life. There is no need for an individual to be rational at all times. Logic isn’t always right, and we shouldn’t always believe it.
Simply put, our intellect may impede us from enjoying life. If you want to enjoy life, you should not always be rational.
We should be humble. Since we are so small compared to the universe, we cannot possibly know everything about it. But, we shouldn’t let this deter us from fully immersing ourselves at the moment.
That doesn’t require much brainpower. Instead, you may concentrate on tuning in to your own experience. Recognize that you are connected to the rest of the universe to some degree.
One of the major criticisms of the book is that it’s difficult to sum it up. The reason is that it’s both excellent and bad simultaneously.
You can use this guide if you’re a total newbie. It does a good job explaining a few topics.
Even so, the difficulty is that it continues veering off course. Moreover, it gives stories that some may find a little too haphazard. Neither the thoughts nor the conclusions have been completed. Not because it is poorly written—but because it lacks a system. Some think you might need to be of Indian descent to understand the book’s context.
At best, it’s a motivational tool. Yet, a single reading of Inner Engineering will not suffice. One may find it a complete mess with information overload. You have to read it repeatedly to understand its message well.
We rate Inner Engineering 4.2 / 5.
How would you rate Sadhguru’s book?
Editor’s Note: This article was first published on Dec 22, 2021. It was updated on Feb 5, 2022.
Disclaimer: This article is an unofficial summary and analysis.
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