Sadhguru Answers Question On Success, Intelligence And Politics

Sadhguru Answers Question On Success, Intelligence And Politics

In his Ask Sadhguru column, the spiritual leader talks about intelligence being important to live life sensibly

SadhguruUpdated: Thursday, February 01, 2024, 08:32 PM IST
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Question: Not all successful people are intelligent, and not all intelligent people are successful. Why is this the case?

Sadhguru: First, what is your idea of success? Maybe by current Indian standards, you think if you have 10 crore rupees, it means you are very successful. Somewhere else, 10 crore rupees may not be a big success. Your great-grandfather may have had only one thousand rupees, but he was the most successful man in your village or town.

Today, someone who has one thousand rupees is not considered successful.Social and financial success is subject to various chances and situations and is definitely not decided by one’s intelligence. But success in terms of life – how successful you are within yourself and outside of yourself – is definitely decided by one’s intelligence. There is no question of success without intelligence.

It takes a certain amount of intelligence to live a life of fulfillment. Intelligence does not mean education or accumulated knowledge. Intelligence essentially means that your intellect is sharp enough to see life the way it is. Unless you do that, you cannot act sensibly – you will only act by chance. So, intelligence is of paramount importance to live life sensibly and with clarity because without intelligence, there is no clarity.

Question: I am really interested in taking up politics when I finish my education. According to you, what are the characteristics of a politician?

Sadhguru: What are the characteristics of a politician? When you give them a microphone, they never sit down. Anyway, enough with the jokes. When someone does something selfish, people may say, “He is doing politics,” but that is not what politics is.

Politics is about making policies. The purpose of policies is to make the complex web of human transactions happen smoothly.

Earlier, the tax system in India was so complex that no one, including people who were running major businesses and even policy makers probably did not understand it in its entirety. People broke the law because no one knew it in full detail. With the introduction of the GST or Goods and Services Tax, the taxation process got simplified, and there is much less confusion now.

This is a major policy change, and an enormous amount of thought went into creating a structure that will work for everyone. This is what a politician is supposed to do: make policies for the nation to function smoothly, and craft global policies for international situations to happen smoothly. This is serious business – something that determines the life of millions of people.

When such a tremendous privilege and responsibility is placed in your hands – that every thought, every emotion, every action you take affects millions of people’s lives – it is very important that you are in the best possible place within yourself.

For example, if you are doing gardening, you need not worry whether your hands are clean or not because if your hands are dirty, plants know how to benefit from that. If you are doing a surgery on someone, we really want your hands to be super-clean. The deeper the access you have to life, the cleaner your hands should become. A politician has the responsibility and privilege to shape the direction of our lives. If such a privilege gets placed in your hands, you must ensure you are in the highest possible way a human being can be.

Janaka – the enlightened king

There is a beautiful story about king Janaka. He had a burning passion to get enlightened. So he gathered a great number of scholars in his court, but nothing happened. Then Ashtavakra came, and under his guidance, Janaka attained. When Janaka got enlightened, he told Ashtavakra, “This is it. I no longer want this empire, palace, family, or any of the other trappings of being a king. I will live with you in the ashram.” Ashtavakra said, “Nothing doing. You have to go back to your palace and your kingdom.” Janaka said, “But the only thing I want to do is sit at your feet.” Ashtavakra said, “It is not a question of what you want. The people deserve an enlightened king; you must go back,” and Janaka returned.

The people of this nation and every nation need enlightened politicians, or at least politicians who are inclusive. This is very important. So if you want to become a politician, you should come and spend a year with us and get reasonably enlightened because being a politician is a tremendous responsibility.

(Sadhguru is a Yogi, mystic, visionary and a New York Times bestselling author. He is also the founder of Conscious Planet – Save Soil)

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