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Born Jagadish Vasudev
3 September 1957 (1957-09-03) (age 66)
Mysore, Mysore State, India
Alma mater University of Mysore (BA)
Organization Isha Foundation
Notable works
  • Inner Engineering
  • Dhyanalinga
  • Rally for Rivers
  • Linga Bhairavi
  • Adiyogi: The Source of Yoga
  • Mystic's Musings
  • Cauvery Calling
Vijaya Kumari
(m. Template:Tooltip; died Template:Tooltip)
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Children 1

Jagadish "Jaggi" Vasudev (born 3 September 1957), known by the honorific title Sadhguru, is an Indian yoga guru and proponent of spirituality.

He has been teaching yoga in southern India since 1982. In 1992, he established the Isha Foundation near Coimbatore, which operates an ashram and yoga centre that carry out educational activities.

Vasudev is the author of several books and a frequent speaker at international forums.

In 2017, he received the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian award, for his contributions to social welfare.

Early life and education

Jagadish Vasudev was born on 3 September 1957 in Mysore, Karnataka, India. He is the youngest of the five children of Susheela Vasudev, a homemaker, and B.V. Vasudev, a physician at the Mysuru Railway Hospital.[2]

Defying his parents' wishes, he refused to pursue a post-graduate course and took to business instead.[3]



Vasudev's first business was a poultry farm in a remote part of Mysore[4] that he set up with borrowed money.[5] During the process of constructing his farm, he also entered into the construction business with a company named Buildaids.[5]

At the age of 25, he rented his businesses to his friend and travelled for about a year.[3]

In 1983, he taught his first yoga class in Mysore. Over time, he began conducting yoga classes across Karnataka and Hyderabad travelling on his motorcycle, subsisting on the produce of his poultry farm rental and donating the collections received from his students.[3]


At the age of 25, on 23 September 1982, he went up Chamundi Hill and sat on a rock, where he had a "spiritual experience".[3] Six weeks later, he left his business to his friend and travelled extensively in an effort to gain insight into his mystical experience.[3] After about a year of meditation and travel, he decided to teach yoga to share his inner experience.[3]

In 1983, he taught his first yoga class with seven participants in Mysore. Over time, he began conducting yoga classes across Karnataka and Hyderabad, travelling on his motorcycle, subsisting on the produce of his poultry farm rental and donating the collections received from his students to a local charity on the last day of the class.[3]

Business and travels

One of his favourite haunts was the Chamundi Hills.[5] Besides riding his motorcycle in and around Mysore, he also rode across India, before being stopped at the border because he had no passport.[6]

His first business was a poultry farm in a remote part of Mysore.[7] He chose poultry because the sector was on the rise in the region at the time. He set up his farm with borrowed money.[5] Though his family did not approve of his choice of business and thought it was a waste of time,[5] the farm soon turned profitable. Operating his businesses occupied four hours of Vasudev's time each day. The rest of his time was spent writing poetry, reading, swimming, and relaxing. Vasudev says that though he was practicing asanas and pranayama from the age of thirteen, it was during his time at the poultry farm that he began to meditate in an established way.[8]

His third business was a construction company named Buildaids. Vasudev entered the construction industry in response to the constant questions from his relatives about why he was involved in the poultry business. He started the company in partnership with a friend who was a qualified civil engineer. Though Vasudev had no formal engineering training, he used the experience gained from building his poultry farm in his new company.[5]

Isha Foundation

In 1992, Vasudev established the Isha Foundation, an organisation headquartered near the city of Coimbatore,[9] as a platform for his spiritual, environmental, and educational activities.[10][11][12] He remains its head until now. The organisation offers yoga programmes under the name "Isha Yoga" and is run "almost entirely" by volunteers.[13][14] The foundation aims to improve the quality of education in rural India through an initiative called Isha Vidhya.[15] It has also launched projects and campaigns focused on environmental conservation and protection, including Project GreenHands, Rally for Rivers, Cauvery Calling, and Save Soil.[16][17][18][19] Vasudev recently completed a journey on his motorbike from London to India to raise awareness about the Save Soil campaign.[19]

Speeches and writings

Vasudev has authored several books, including Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy[8] and Karma: A Yogi's Guide to Crafting Your Destiny; both have made it to The New York Times Best Seller list.[20][21][22][23] Vasudev is also the author of Mystic's Musings[24] and Death: An Inside Story.[25][26]

Vasudev is a frequent public speaker who has been invited to address many prestigious forums and conferences across the globe, such as the United Nation's Millennium World Peace Summit, the British House of Lords, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the International Institute for Management Development.[27] He has also spoken at the annual World Economic Forum in 2007,[28] 2017 and 2020.[29][30]


Vasudev and Kumari's daughter is a trained bharatanatyam dancer.[31] She married Chennai-based classical vocalist Sandeep Narayan in 2014.[32]

Honours and awards

Vasudev received the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award from the Government of India, in 2017 in recognition of his contribution to the field of spirituality.[33][34] He stood 92nd in The Indian Express' list of 100 most powerful Indians in 2012 and 40th in India Today's list of 50 most powerful Indians in 2019.[35][36]


Vasudev has received attention from celebrities, political leaders, intergovernmental organizations, and members of the public interested in his social and environmental campaigns and spiritual teachings.[37] He has engaged with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification to advocate for the Save Soil campaign.[38][39] Trevor Noah hosted Vasudev on The Daily Show to discuss Save Soil, and similarly, Joe Rogan has spoken with Vasudev on his podcast.[19][37] On World Environment Day, Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, attended an event with Vasudev to discuss efforts to improve soil health.[40]


  1. "Family Matters - Sadhguru Speaks About His Family". Isha Foundation. 
  2. "Jaggi Vasudev's father passes away" (in en-US). 2019-11-09. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Simone, Cheryl (2008). Midnights with the Mystic. Hampton Roads Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-57174-561-3. 
  4. An, Shelly; December 27, New Delhi; January 4, 2020 ISSUE DATE; December 28, 2021UPDATED; Ist, 2020 16:14. "Suddenly, I did not know what was me and what was not me: Sadhguru" (in en). 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Chopra, Shaili (2014). When I Was 25: The Leaders Look Back. Random House Publishers India Pvt. Limited. ISBN 9788184006773. 
  6. Dobhal, Shailesh (March 18, 2015). "Lunch with BS: Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev". 
  7. An, Shelly; December 27, New Delhi; January 4, 2020 ISSUE DATE; December 28, 2021UPDATED; Ist, 2020 16:14. "Suddenly, I did not know what was me and what was not me: Sadhguru" (in en). 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Don't vote as part of a tribe, Jaggi Vasudev tells Americans". Business Standard (IANS). 16 October 2016. 
  9. Berghella 2018, p. 69
  10. "The most powerful Indians in 2009: 80–84". The Indian Express. 9 March 2009. 
  11. "After Gujarat, Rajasthan govt inks MoU with Sadhguru's Isha Outreach to 'save soil'" (in en). 2022-06-04. 
  12. "Isha hails government's announcement on rejuvenation of 13 rivers" (in en-IN). The Hindu. 2022-03-16. ISSN 0971-751X. 
  13. Award for Project Green Hands Archived May 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., The Hindu, 8 June 2010, retrieved on 8 June 2010
  14. "'Special Consultative Status' for Isha Foundation". The Hindu. 12 September 2007. 
  15. "Edtech firm BYJU's partners with NGO Isha Vidhya to educate children in rural areas". 
  16. "Award for Project Green Hands". 2011-05-21. 
  17. "Isha Yoga launches 'Rally for Rivers' campaign in city" (in en). September 15, 2017. 
  18. "Cauvery Calling Movement plants 2.1 crore trees" (in en-IN). The Hindu. 2022-01-29. ISSN 0971-751X. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 "Indian mystic Sadhguru on 100-day motorbike mission to save soil" (in en). 2022-03-19. 
  20. "Health". The New York Times. 
  21. "Religion, Spirituality and Faith". The New York Times. 
  22. "New York Times Bestsellers - Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous: New this week INNER ENGINEERING". The New York Times. 2016-10-09. 
  23. "Books - Best Sellers: Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous". The New York Times (New York). 2021-05-16. ISSN 0362-4331. 
  24. "Tantra between the covers" (in en-IN). The Hindu. 2005-07-15. ISSN 0971-751X. 
  25. "Spiritual leader Sadhguru's new book to demystify death". 
  26. "Maha Shivratri 2020: VP Venkaiah Naidu joins Sadhguru in celebrations at Isha Foundation" (in en). 
  27. Hudson & Hudson 2017, p. 2
  28. Chandrasekhar, Anand. "Indian gurus and their Swiss watches: a history" (in en). SWI 
  29. "Sadhguru to Deliver Keynote, Conduct Meditation Session at Davos Summit". 20 January 2020. 
  30. "Golf with the Guru" (in en-IN). The Hindu. 2009-03-15. ISSN 0971-751X. 
  31. Naidu, Jaywant (2017-11-26). "When beauty comes to life". Deccan Chronicle. 
  32. Sangeetha, P (2014-10-24). "Sadhguru's daughter gets married in Kovai". The Times of India. 
  33. "Jaggi Vasudev, Mariyappan among Padma award winners". The Hindu. 26 January 2017. 
  34. "Padma Vibhushan award for Sharad Pawar and Jaggi Vasudev" (in en). 26 January 2017. 
  35. "The most powerful Indians in 2012: No. 91-100 - Indian Express". 
  36. "Top 50 power people | The High & Mighty Part-4" (in en). 26 July 2019. 
  37. 37.0 37.1 Paul, Sonia (2022-07-18). "Sadhguru, the spiritual leader with ties to Will Smith and Modi, explained" (in en). 
  38. "'Save Soil' campaign: Sadhguru to address leaders from 195 nations at UNCCD" (in en). 2022-05-05. 
  39. "Save Soil campaign comes to Bonn" (in en). 
  40. Bureau, The Hindu (2022-06-05). "PM Modi calls for protection of soil health" (in en-IN). The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. 


External links