Question: Why is it important to introduce spirituality to the leadership?
Sadhguru: In the last 5000 years, in this country, we have produced incredible yogis of enormous power and capability. And yet, you have not even heard of most of them. All of them made a tremendous difference to the small groups of people who were around them and in terms of spiritual wellbeing, everything that needed to be done was done. They invested their energies in so many different ways and various miraculous things have been done – things that most people cannot even imagine.
Still, when it comes to social realities and to transforming social situations, Gautama the Buddha sticks out. It is not that he was more enlightened than anybody else. No. He was not even as colourful or flamboyant, either in his lifestyle, speech or spiritual teaching; he was very straight and simple – on the track. But why did this one man cause such a big wave – a wave that is still on? It is because Emperor Ashoka and his family became his disciples, so the whole mechanism of the empire became an instrument to spread a spiritual process.
Spiritual capability is one thing, social reality is another thing – the physicality of the world needs to be worked at differently. If you want something to happen in the world, if you sit here and meditate, yes, your quality will definitely change and because of that, the quality of the world will change. But if you really want something to happen in your lifetime, if you want some dramatic change in the world, something about the leadership must change.
Right now, whether it is political, military or economic leadership, they are only thinking of conquest. Everybody is trying to conquer somebody. As more people get empowered with technology, you will produce more Alexanders. That was only one idiot and that idiot killed I don’t know how many thousands of people and caused untold suffering on this planet. They even called him Alexander the Great! I would like to add a third name to him – Alexander the Great Idiot, because he was one person who wasted life; his life and other people’s lives. At the age of sixteen he started fighting. For another sixteen years he fought non-stop, killing thousands of people on his way. He died at the age 32, in a most miserable condition because he had managed to conquer only one half of the world, the other half was still left. Only an utter idiot can fight for 16 years like this.
Today, technology empowers all kinds of fools and if you produce a hundred Alexander the Greats, just imagine! And it is not far away because anybody can become powerful with just a laptop in his hand. You don’t need guns. With just one instrument you can become super powerful if you just know how to use it.
When this is the technological reality, it is very important that some shift happens in the leadership. If you do not strive for it, the whole world will pay in a very big way and we are already paying. If you look at the climate change that is happening and the projections that are being made, if you look at the way things are developing, smaller countries are going for world-destroying arms. It will not be long before people who are using fire bombs will have nuclear bombs, and you cannot control it by force forever.
Whether these things will happen or not is not the point. Do you have to live in this kind of confusion and threat all the time? Maybe at the last moment some diplomatic nonsense will save it and it will be avoided, but that is not the point. Is this the way you want to live? Whether the disaster is going to happen or not, disastrous people are handling the world.
If a spiritual element enters into the leadership – political, economic or otherwise – on the planet, then the need for war could be taken away to a large extent. It may not be an absolute insurance but it could ensure to a large extent that the world is not run on somebody’s ideology, belief system or holy book, but rather on the simple sense of what is needed for humanity to exist here. If the world is run out of human intelligence, love and compassion, the need for war could be taken away to a large extent.
It is time we understood that unless a spiritual element enters into people, the need for endless conquest is always there. As long as it is there, war is just a question of consequence and opportunity.
Sadhguru. Named one of India’s 50 most influential people, Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, a bestselling author & poet. Sadhguru has been conferred the “Padma Vibhushan” by the Government of India in 2017, the highest civilian award of the year, accorded for exceptional and distinguished service.