Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is a vegan

A guru in Kreuzberg : Sadhguru meditates in the tempodrome

Sadhguru smiles at the passing cars at the Jannowitzbrücke, he looks gently at the strollers in the Alte Schönhauser and even on the subway he is in a good mood. His picture sticks to walls, transformer houses and advertising pillars in the city, thanks to the guerrilla billboarders, a group of Sadhguru volunteers who are preparing Berlin for his visit. “Make it happen” is their slogan.

Sadhguru, whose real name is Jaggi Vasudev, 58 years old, is a yogi, esotericist, author; a spiritual master whose yoga programs are practiced all over the world. This Sunday he comes to the Tempodrom to - yes, what actually?

Getting an interview date with him is a hassle. The Isha Foundation, the foundation he founded that organizes the Sadhguru phenomenon, is strict, professional and not keen on every interview. You are the bad cop, Sadhguru the good cop: "We don't have to accept any interview request," they say. But at some point it works, and Sadhguru's voice can be heard on the phone in this wonderful Indian sing-song. His message: Berlin as a symbol of overcoming walls, should become an example for Europe and the whole world.

A mixture of lecture and meditation

The visitors should then be different people, no less than that is the goal for the event, which has to be imagined as a mixture of lecture and common meditation. He calls this self-transformation. His tool for this is logically comprehensible and scientifically verifiable.

Sadhguru talks a lot and likes to talk, you can also hear that on the phone. So tear down walls, he says in a firm voice. "We have developed so many concepts that separate us from ourselves and everything else: the concept of our identity as humans, the concept of gender, racism, religion, God, greed, ethnicity ..." All of these identities, he says , we would have invented Brexit ourselves! “We have surrounded ourselves with walls: We have to transform this world into a world of inclusion. At the moment everyone is afraid to take in other people. That doesn't mean that you have to let other people live in your home. Inclusion means that there is no prejudice in the heart. "

But for all the seriousness of the subject, Sadhguru can also be pretty silly. “No, I'm not a“ mistake ”, he replies when asked if he is a mystic. Then he laughs a chuckling, contagious laugh, the play on words "Mystic" and "Mistake" just occurred to him. He likes to joke, in interviews, but also in his lectures, which are seen by millions of people on YouTube videos worldwide. “When I was in Africa the other day, I couldn't believe it. Regardless of the airport, I was approached by people everywhere: 'Hey, I know you from the videos! ‘"

In India he is a media star, thanks to his free spirit a welcome guest on television. Many become Sadhguru followers because they found his opinion to be the only defensible one in the Indian rape incidents of the past few years, as well as those on topics of health policy, social economy and the myth of yoga.

Sadhguru was honored with the Indira Gandhi Medal

Since the beginning of the 1990s, Sadhguru has been involved in India with the help of his five million followers: he planted 8.2 million trees in arid Tamil Nadu, gives yoga classes for Indian prison inmates and builds schools in rural areas with the Montessori approach. For this he has received, among other things, the Indira Gandhi Medal.

Does he speak differently with the people in the villages, with the politicians, with the Africans, on television? Does he use other images, does he tell other jokes? There is silence on the other end of the line for a moment. Then he laughs. "Usually my head is empty, I speak to people when they are in front of me," he says. “And then I make sure that they understand what I'm telling them.” After all, that's the point of language: you should understand each other. So he doesn't have a strategy, doesn't have to impress anyone. "No. All I know is that when one life meets another life in a very deep way, it makes an impression. So I'm curious to see if I can set the Berliners on fire. ”He laughs again.

The man with the long beard also has invitations to lectures at the World Economic Forum in Davos or at the UN in New York. First he speaks on the stage, in the evening he dances barefoot with the mighty after dinner. Why does he, as a spiritual leader, meet with those from politics and business? His answer comes quickly: “In order for people to develop internally, to find inner happiness, the external factors have to be right. If we don't take economic and social growth seriously, if nobody is helped, then nobody is interested in spirituality and life becomes a struggle for survival. "

Sadhguru's concern is to give people a method for inner well-being. To do this, he uses the Internet and describes himself as the first spiritual teacher to make full use of it. Youtube videos, the Sadhguru mobile app and a column in the Huffington Post - more than a million Facebook fans are streaming the message of the ubiquitous guru. India is not just yoga and mysticism, but also Bangalore and computers. "I see every device, every technological invention as a wonderful gift," says Sadhguru. “Unfortunately, many people use the technology incorrectly and screw up their lives with it.” A lot of negative and disturbing things are communicated on the Internet. He tries to use the technology effectively. “I firmly believe that people long for a spiritual experience.” His dream is that every person can transform himself without the help of a guru, organization or any other authority. "Just like almost everyone nowadays has a toothbrush to do their oral hygiene." And the Internet gives them the opportunity to reach more people at the same time than ever before.

Spirituality 2.0. so. Fits quite well in the start-up city of Berlin.

Sadhguru is this Sunday, 3 p.m., in the Tempodrom, Möckernstraße 10, Kreuzberg, tickets from 50 euros.

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