A vision for India

One thing about India is, it is a kind of nation where the sense of loyalty is very big.

The beauty of this nation is, it is resilient. A large percentage of the Indian population is self-employed. That means everyone is an entrepreneur by himself. There is a difference between taking up a job and being an entrepreneur, even if you are just selling peanuts on the street. You still need to understand where is the cheapest resource, where is the market good, what is the right kind of marketing to do, what is the thing to say according to the season. There is a whole lot of mind-set involved, even in selling a heap of peanuts. However small an entrepreneur he is, he has a certain active intellect going on within him. He is a small entrepreneur only because of the situations in which he exists, not because of his capabilities. If you just give him an opportunity, if he finds the necessary exposure, he will propel himself. When such an effervescent intellect is there, we must harness it. If you just create a conducive atmosphere, people will do incredible things.

One thing about India is, it is a kind of nation where the sense of loyalty is very big. If you do something for them they always stay with you. Another thing I always see is that an average Indian crowd is intellectually much more effervescent than most people on the planet. I have spoken in all kinds of groups, to the highest level of academics, scientists and economic leaders. There are brilliant people, no question about it, but there is a certain level of intellect in the general population in India. This is the effect of thousands of years of culture. And it has to be harnessed. If you leave it unharnessed for too long it will dive down and become static. Right now it is still an effervescent intellect. If you give a person a little support, he will climb.

Today, India is on the threshold of an economic upsurge. Various things that we did not even dream were possible for a larger segment of the population could be possible in the next few years – if we handle things right. Large segments of population could hugely benefit. We are right on the threshold, it depends on how we handle it.

People want predictions, “Sadhguru, can you predict what will happen to India? In fifty years will we be a superpower?” If we handle the situation smartly, we can be a tremendous power because we are a population of 1.2 billion. A population of 1.2 billion with the necessary intellect, is as good as anything can be.

Power does not mean, “Will we have the biggest army in the world?” Power means everyone looks at you for guidance in the world. If they want to live well, they look at you for guidance – this is power. This culture has always had this power. People always looked east when they thought of living well. So this is not empty talk. This was there but the culture has fallen. But one must understand, this happens to all cultures. There will be peaks and there will be downtrends. If we as a generation have any sense, we have to pull it up. It does not happen free of cost, everyone has to work for it, only then it will happen.

Too much empty talk is going on around the nation. It is not time to talk; it is time to do something. It is time to work. Every individual, whatever sphere of life one is in, whatever responsibility one holds or influence one has, has to stand up and make that happen in their area. The governments cannot do this, some other leader cannot do it. Every human being has to do it.

Right now, what people need is at least reasonably decent levels of living. So the most important thing is nourishment, which must happen. Today, sixty percent of the Indian population is considered malnourished – even the reasonably well-to-do – because their skeletal systems are not growing to full size. If your body does not grow to full size, your brain will also not grow to full size. We are producing an underdeveloped humanity, which is a very great risk for the future. If you have 1.2 billion people, healthy, active, focused and trained for something, you can make a miracle out of it. But if have 1.2 billion people unhealthy, un-nourished, uneducated, unfocused and uninspired, you have a major disaster on your hands.

Are we going to turn this population – which is the youngest population on the planet in terms of nations – into a possibility or are we going to turn this into a disaster? We are going to determine that in the next ten to fifteen years’ time. And every human being who breathes on this land has to participate in making this happen in whichever way he can do it. That is my vision: to draw as many people as possible to actively participate in this, in whichever way possible because if this time passes, it may be too late. If you sit on the threshold for too long, you will be run over by someone.

-Sadhguru, Isha Foundation
Ranked amongst the fifty most influential people in India, Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and a New York Times bestselling author Sadhguru has been conferred the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India in 2017, the highest annual civilian award, accorded for exceptional and distinguished service.