Jaggi Vasudev, fondly known by his devotees as 'Sadhguru', was born in Mysore, Karnataka on September 3rd, 1957 to a Telugu-speaking family.
As a child, Sadhguru was intelligent, curious, and drawn to nature. He spent much of his youth trekking and wandering in the forest, just observing as life around him went on. Academically, Sadhguru holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Mysore.
From Jaggi Vasudev to Sadhguru – The Journey
As a young man, Sadhguru quit education after his bachelor's in favour of business. His first business was a poultry farm in Mysore, which he set up with borrowed money. While still in the midst of constructing his farm, he also ventured into construction with a company named Buildaids. His poultry farm soon turned profitable, allowing Sadhguru to focus his time on his other activities like writing poetry, reading, swimming, and relaxing. Although a practitioner of yoga asanas and pranayama, it was during his time at the poultry farm that he began meditating in an established way.
At the age of 25, deeply immersed in yoga and meditation, he rented his business to his friend and spent time travelling for a year. Sadhguru’s spiritual awakening came around the same time while meditating on Chamundi Hills in Mysore. In the year 1983, Sadhguru began teaching yoga with his first class in Mysore with seven participants. He continued teaching yoga by travelling across Karnataka and Hyderabad.
He rose to fame through his teachings and public speeches. He frequently speaks in public forums and has been invited to address many prestigious forums and conferences across the globe, like the United Nations’ Millennium World Peace Summit, the British House of Lords, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the International Institute for Management Development. Sadhguru has also spoken at the World Economic Forum thrice—in 2007, 2017, and 2020.
He has written several books, including Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy, Karma: A Yogi’s Guide to Crafting Your Destiny, Mystic's Musings, and Death: An Inside Story.
The Isha Foundation
The Isha Foundation is Sadhguru’s brainchild. It is a non-profit organisation, registered as Isha Foundation Inc., in the United States of America. In India, it was founded in 1992 and is located at the foothills of the Velliangiri mountains, 40 km away from the city of Coimbatore in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
The Isha Foundation hosts the Isha Yoga Centre, which offers yoga programs under the name Isha Yoga. The foundation is almost entirely run by volunteers. It is a platform for Sadhguru’s spiritual, environmental, and educational activities.
The foundation aims at improving the quality of education in rural India through an initiative known as ‘Isha Vidhya.' Over the years, the Isha Foundation has launched various projects and campaigns that are focused on environmental conservation and protection, including Project Green Hands, Rally for Rivers, Cauvery Calling, and Save Soil. In a bid to raise awareness about his Save Soil campaign, Sadhguru recently completed his motorbike journey from London to India.
Sadhguru's Ways and Means of Earning
The Isha Yoga Center
As with any other business, the various services that Isha Foundation offers under the umbrella of Isha Yoga Centre carry a monetary value. The most well-known program offered by The Isha Yoga Centre is "Inner Engineering." In addition, the centre offers various other yogic programs that are focused on specific prana energies like Shoonya Meditation, Chit Shakti, Bhava Spandana, Bhairavi Sadhana, Sadhanapada, etc. There are special programs focused on children like Children’s Hatha Yoga, Nature Awareness, Isha Yoga for Children, etc. All these programs carry a certain fee for participation. The centre also offers residential programs that focus on health and wellness.
The Online / Offline Store
The Foundation has also added items like clothing, home décor, body care, food items, and various temple and consecrated items to its online shopping website. These items are also available at the centre itself.
Events & Donations
Various health and wellness events that are carried out globally also carry a charge for participation. Apart from this, most of its earnings come through financial donations, which carry taxation benefits. According to a report, Sadhguru’s net worth in 2021 was USD 25 million.
However, the Isha Foundation carries on its work towards education, empowerment, and enrichment in rural India free of cost. By all accounts, the money that comes in is spent on their various upliftment and enrichment projects and campaigns that work towards bettering the condition of our planet.
Of Contradictions and Controversies
Sadhguru and his Isha Foundation have faced their own fair share of controversies over the years. With his rising fame, sprang reports of the foundation’s expansion encroaching on forest land. It was also hinted that one of Sadhguru’s initial projects – Project Green Hands – had been funded by George Soros. George Soros was a name that leaked in the Panama Leaks alongside Davos. There have been questions raised about the fate of all the donation money that was collected to plant trees alongside the Cauvery basin. There have been demands raised for Sadhguru to reveal the total donation amount that has been collected for the ‘Save Soil’ campaign.
Sadhguru has, a few times, retaliated with the assertion of innocence and a challenge for producing proof of the various allegations made against him and the foundation. As of now, there is no proof of any wrongdoing.
Who is Sadhguru?
Jagadish Vasudev, aka Sadhguru, is an Indian yoga guru who is also a spiritual leader, philanthropist, author, and motivational speaker. He is famous for his brainchild, the Isha Foundation, through which he spreads knowledge about yoga and the overall well-being of people.
What does Isha Foundation do?
The Isha Foundation is a non-profit spiritual organisation founded by Sadhguru. The foundation helps people with the integration of body, mind, and spirit for their overall development by conducting various public well-being programs.
What are the ways and means of earning for Sadhguru?
The ways and means of earning for Sadhguru are:
- The Isha Yoga Centre
- The Online / Offline Store (Isha Life)
- Events & Donations