Digitization, Entrepreneurship and Ecology – In Conversation with the Mystic

One of our close customers, GoDaddy has been associated with Sadhguru’s Isha Foundation since a long time. This cricket season, GoDaddy VP Nikhil Arora found the chance to have a conversation with the revered Indian mystic on the current hot topics of digitisation and entrepreneurship. Sadhguru responded to each of the questions with a twist of his own spiritual wisdom and presented the current world situation in a never-before seen perspective. The interview was conducted in Birmingham, amidst the ICC Cricket World Cup fever. A cricket fan himself, Sadhguru was present for India vs England match in the Edgbaston Stadium on 30th June. Before the start of the match, a high-spirited Sadhguru was spotted outside the stadium dancing the traditional Punjabi Bhangra dance to the beat of some dhols along with some fellow Indians. Post the match, Last Eleven documented the grateful conversation of Sadhguru with Nikhil Arora.

The rapid digitisation of every aspect of human lives is a topic no more novel. Himself an ardent user of the internet, Sadhguru spoke about digitisation and its benefits. He narrated an incident a decade ago, where he was talking to a person who was some sort of an expert on internet affairs. “I asked him, ‘what are people looking for really?’ He told me very casually, that 70% of the data is pornography. I got shocked. ‘70%? It can’t be!’ I cross-checked and found that the real data was somewhere around that,” revealed Sadhguru. Expressing similar concerns over the ill-use of the internet by humanity, the spiritual guru pointed out that over 1.5 to 1.6 million children below the age of 15 are being sold online. “I think that as a society, as a generation of people, once we start selling our children, this means we’ve hit the bottom, there’s no further place to go down. When a technology like this happens, where sitting in your chair, you can communicate with an entire generation of people, is this really how we use the technology? This really picked me. Then I decided that we must go online, big time,” commented Sadhguru.

Sadhguru is very well known for his podcasts and social media channels, which have huge followings. He is a strong believer in the internet and its use to better the world. He expressed, “A lot of extraordinary humans have come on this planet. And look at their plight – they travelled from village to village, town to town, trying to transmit what they saw as valuable. But what was their reach each day? 25 – 50 people was all they could speak to. But today, you can sit in a chair and speak to four billion people straight away. In this generation, if we do not transform humanity, that means we have no intent to transform.”

Apart from views over the right usage of the internet, Sadhguru spoke on the role which entrepreneurs can play in helping environmental causes. Sadhguru expressed, “The concern over ecology has risen to some extent over the past 25-30 years in the world population. Still, a lot of people think that economy is today’s problem and ecology is tomorrow’s problem. No. Ecology is today’s problem.” Sadhguru added that another dimension to the problem is that ecological activists have brought about a culture that if one stands up for ecology, he must be against economic progress. “This fundamental I’m trying to change. If you pin economy against ecology, economy will win hands down. Ecology will get washed out because human aspirations are as such at the moment. It is therefore extremely important that economy and ecology work hand in hand. We have to look at economic structures which are ecologically sensitive. So, it is very important for both entrepreneurs and established businesses to see how they can craft their businesses to be ecologically sensitive,” was what Sadhguru recommends to businesses.

Post the serious discussion, Nikhil Arora made it easier for all of us who often struggle with a frequent thought when he asked Sadhguru a basic, yet important question on finding the balance in life. “Finding mental, spiritual and physical balance is on top in everyone’s list, but the last one to be executed. Any words of advice?” asked Nikhil. Sadhguru answered this with a parable. He narrated, “Let’s say a lot of people are trying to win a race. If you only want to win a race, your desire is not going to get you there, since everybody desires. You need a machine which will win the race. If you have a beat-up, lousy car and go on the F1 track, your four wheels will fly in four different directions. You must have an appropriate machine. If you want to do a certain amount of speed with life, is it not important that you first make this machine competent?”

He added that if one tries to up his activity without upgrading the machine, even his success freaks him out. He mentioned that successful human beings are all suffering immensely. “Right now, successful people carry out the most stressed out faces on the planet. In a way, they are sending out a message to the next generation that success is suffering. It is not a good message to send because success is the sweetest thing in human life. If the next generation does not seek success, then the society is gone,” asserted Sadhguru. He added that regardless of whether one does small work or big work, the most important thing is that one must upgrade the human being, then activity will naturally get upgraded. “This is what spiritual process means – that you are upgrading the machine. Activity is a natural outcome of that,” remarked Sadhguru as a final piece of advice.

Post this heavy discussion of ecology and balance, we at Last Eleven too felt that some fundamentals within our thought process are a bit off. Everyone aims for profits, but no one ever asks the planet if the planet is benefiting from us or any of our activities. We need to upgrade our machines, yes, but at what cost? Ignoring the ecology is clearly not an option anymore, given the current environmental crisis surrounding us 24X7. What we need is a continental shift at the root of our thought process, be it regarding entrepreneurship, businesses or our daily lives. What do you think?

Featured Image Courtesy: Isha Foundation