Deepak Chopra and Sadhguru on Crafting a Conscious Planet

Sadhguru: Namaskaram Deepak. Wonderful to be talking to you. This is almost, I don’t know if it’s three
years since we met and spoke , twoand a half years…Deepak Chopra: That’s right. Sadhguru: Wonderful ,. . Deepak Chopra: That’s right. It’s always a privilege, always an honor. Sadhguru: Please tell me, you’re the doctor. You’re the boss here . Deepak Chopra: No, it’s always a privilege
to be in your presence and I’ve, lookingat your initiative for a conscious planet
and you can count on any support from me andfrom the Chopra Foundation. Our goal has always been to reach a critical
mass for a more peaceful, just, sustainable,healthier and joyful world. And obviously, we can’t do that unless we
take care of our own ecology which is inseparablefrom the ecology of the world. Sadhguru: It is but because I’m a horribly
pragmatic person ,. Deepak Chopra: It’s true, you are pragmatic. Sadhguru: I’m just looking at, you know, right
now when we… because I would definitelynot approach ecology as something separate
from myself, in my life, in my experiencenor with people around me but in the larger
world. . . I think because the situation is so dire,
because the biodiversity is collapsing, theway it is collapsing. If we want next few generations to see, what
I see is, I don’t believe the planet is inany kind of danger or anything. That’s all our imagination, but human life
will suffer immensely in the next three, fourgenerations if we don’t make the corrections. Even if you made the corrections for all you
know, you may be only postponing the suffering. Maybe you don’t want to give it your children
and grandchildren but you don’t mind fivegenerations later they getting it. We don’t know that’s not in our hands. Our plan is at least for the next generation
we must leave a better space than the waywe made it right now. In that context, what I saw was, I’ve been
looking at these various, you know, data fromUnited Nations from various universities and
everything. What I see is, this is all PhD stuff. On the… on the ground, if you really ask
people, if they have water shortage todayin Chennai, they know there is water shortage,
but they don’t think that’s an ecologicalproblem. They think that’s a political problem. They think it’s a social and political problem. They don’t think it’s an ecological problem. So in that context, people are aware, to some
extent, there is water shortage, there isthis, that, there is pollution in the city. If you give them enough water and give clean
air in the city, they don’t care a damn theentire world is burning up, they don’t care
a damn, that’s where people are. So in my opinion, tell me if I’m wrong, I
believe only one to two percent of the populationis reasonably conscious about what’s happening
in terms of the damage we’re causing to theworld. Rest of the people either don’t know or don’t
care. Another two, three percent are only conscious
about air pollution in the city, water shortage,this, that; things that directly affect them,
not things that are happening, which are seriouslydamaging to the planet. And when I say damaging to the planet, I’m
not somebody who thinks planet needs to besaved by us. If we just sleep for twenty-five years, everything
will be back to normal, okay . That’s all it is. So in… not in that context but as a fundamental
responsibility to at least leave everythingas it was given to us, when we were born how
it was, at least to that level of ecologicalcleanliness we must bring… that much biodiversity
we must put back, because particularly themaximum damage has happened in the last fifty
years. In terms of loss of biodiversity, seventy
percent of the vertebrate population is gonein last fifty years, which is crazy. And one in five of the species which are on
the planet right now are under some kind ofthreat. So with all this happening, I thought taking
the world in segments of latitudes like equatorialclimate, tropical climate, subtropical and
temperate, like this, all the nations whichare in that band of latitude, at least sixty
percent of the population should know whatare the five things that must happen in our
country; what are the two to three thingsthat should never happen in our country. I’m saying everybody who is walking on the
street should be conscious of it. Only when that happens, because nearly ninety
percent of the nations are in some way democraticin their own style of democracy. They are in some way democratic. Democratic process means about today… about
5. 26 billion people have franchise that meansthey can elect their governments. Among these 5. 26, I’m… my aim is at least
three billion people, if they… if you canmake them conscious – what are the five
things that must happen in their nation – ifthey see anywhere on the street they must
know this is not happening. What are the things that should never happen
in their country – they must know this. That means it will become an election issue. So I am looking at all the top three political
parties in all the nations in the world. We want to approach them and make sure; see
they will not make ecology the number oneagenda in their manifestos. In their election manifesto, at least number
two item must be ecological concern. So only when this happens, budgets will get
invested, government machinery will be behindit. Without this, what I do, what you do, what
somebody else does, is all patchwork for amassive issue. Because unless it happens globally, ecological
regeneration doesn’t happen in local bitsand pieces, it needs to happen at a much larger
scale. That will only happen when governments invest
their budgets. No government… democratically elected governments
are unwilling or hesitant to invest in ecologicalconcerns, mainly because these kind of things
will yield results only in fifteen to twentyor twenty-five years, long term investment
but their lifetime is only four to six years. So they are only thinking what they can do
within those four to six years. Nobody is willing to invest in something long
term, unless a majority of the populationstands strongly behind that and says, “This
is what we want. ”If that comes from the people only it will
become part of the policy. Once it is policy, there will be budgets and
there will be government machinery that iswhen real things happen, otherwise organizations
and foundations can do as much as they want. But ye…I’m not saying it’s useless, it is very, very
nominal, it’s not really phenomenal. If something phenomenal has to happen, I feel
in the next three to four years it must comeinto the policy of every nation, at least,
if economy is number one item, number twoitem must be ecology. Deepak Chopra: Sadhguru, as you said, you
are a practical man, you are a pragmatistand this is the most practical thing I’ve
heard with reference to ecological sustainability. So count my support, count the support of
our foundation and our network – we arehappy to serve in any way. You did mention the PhDs but even the PhDs
are wrong because they’re not seeing the issuewhich is directly at hand, which is our health,
is directly connected to ecology and the healthof future generations; now we know a lot about
what is called ‘epigenetics’ and how genemodification occurs as a result of environmental
damage. Even the COVID-19 mutation is a result of
damage to the ecology. So, as we can see right now, it’s becoming
obvious by the way, that as we have been sequesteredin our homes, the ecology is repairing itself. The birds are singing, the fish are returning
to their dead lakes, even the canals of Veniceare seeing fish, you can see the stars at
night in polluted cities and it’s also becomingobvious
that an oil-free economy is possible , we are seeing that, when the when
the price of petroleum goes down to less thanzero, you know something is happening. So the COVID-19 is a message from the planet
–“Human beings, unless you fix yourselves,you are in danger. ”As you said, the planet will take care of
itself. Every eco…ecological expert that I have
spoken to says that, “If humans disappearedfrom the planet, life would flourish on this
planet in five years. If insects and bacteria and viruses disappeared
from this planet, life would stop in fiveyears. ”Sadhguru: Life will end , life will
completely end. Deepak Chopra: So our health, our economy,
social unrest, social unrest, social justice,economic justice, economy, peace, conflict
resolution are directly linked to what youare saying. If we don’t do it,
we are doomed. Sadhguru: No, the greatest conflict that is
happening right now is what we call as oureconomic engine. Deepak Chopra: That’s right. Sadhguru: Which is… which is a bulldozer
engine, which is bulldozing everything. And if you really look at it, you know, I
have been talking to lots of business groupsand other things. I’ve been just reminding them, see, this is
not just blaming anyone person, all of us,every one of us, the way we’ve been driving,
we are drivers without steering wheel in ourhands. We don’t know where we are going. We simply throttle on, no steering. We don’t know where we are going, we are just
going. It takes a microorganism for you to stop,
you don’t have brakes. You don’t have brakes, you don’t have steering
wheel, you are just driving. Does anybody know where are we planning to
go as humanity, as economy as nations?What are we trying to do?There’s really no plan, we are only hand to
mouth. We did all this science, technology, everything
thinking we will live, long term well-beingbut we are still living hand to mouth; every
day stock market will tell whether we willsurvive or not survive , it is like
a barometer going up and down every day creatinganxiety for thousands of people all over the
world. So, in many ways this is a reminder, yes,
but the important thing is, see this virusright now because I have so much communication,
television, internet, everything, virus hasbecome larger than life. Otherwise many times this could have happened
in the past and nobody even noticed. It happened, some people got fever, some people
died, some people went on and life went on,on this planet. It could have happened a thousand times but
now because of communication, we are seeingan enlarged version of the virus which is
coming like a wrecker ball towards us ,with thorns in it. So, it is looking like hugely, hugely magnified. I am not trying to belittle the danger attached
to it, already unfortunately more than 400,000people are estimated to have died and many,
many others are in hospitals, _____ you know, at risk. I am not trying to say it is nothing but it
is mainly because one thing is concentrationof human populations, another thing is our
ability to move from any place to any placewithin a day – I can be in United States
or another place. So whatever happened in Wuhan, within probably
weeks it’s all over the place. So this would have never happened five hundred
years ago – if it happened in Wuhan, thereonly it would… ten people will die and the
rest will recover and whatever will happen,that’s all it would be. So in many ways, it’s our lifestyle and even
now, as far as you should know better butfrom whatever I have got from various doctors
and scientists, they are saying every dayon an average one-hundred-and-twenty-eight
scientific papers are being published aboutthe virus, about a microorganism hundred-and-twenty-eight
papers per day, for last two months it’s happening , that means we are breaking the microorganism’s
characteristics into that many parts and studyingit in so many little, little parts . That means actually we know nothing about
it. The only way we have done some successful
control of this is by controlling human behavior. We’ve done nothing about the virus. Fanciful talk about, what is this, vaccine
is happening. But if we come up with a good treatment protocol
that itself is a miracle. If we have a good treatment protocol, “If
I get the virus, I will not die, I can recoverwith a few days of treatment,” – if that
much assurance comes, people will go aboutdoing their business. Right now we’re talking about how to completely
eliminate the virus, do this, do that?I don’t think so, we should eliminate the
virus because what benefits it has withinitself we are yet to realize; we’re only seeing
that it’s uprooting some lives. Yes, it is tragic for those who have lost
their loved ones and those who have lost theirlives. It’s not a joke, but we don’t know what it
is hiding within its process because, as youknow, and almost every other medical personnel
and today because of internet, almost everybodyknows a large part of us, is virus, bacteria,
microorganisms. A large part of us, there is more of them
than us, compared to the cells which havemultiplied from our parentage and the number
of viruses and bacteria’s and microorganismswe have, is much, much more. So, they are, they are living with us, they
are us, in many ways. You cannot say there is something that is
me and there is something that is microorganism,it’s all mixed up. So without them we cannot exist, but without
us they can exist. So, what great things they will do for us,
we don’t know. There is some research telling us that hundred
million years ago, this whole human placentacame mainly because of a virus infection. So it is a virus which gave us this placenta,
which gave us the possibility of reproducingsuccessfully and the mother’s womb what happens. All those complex creation process that happens
in our mother’s wombs is mainly, was instigatedby a virus. So we don’t know what this virus will bring,
maybe we will grow horns or a tail or wings,I don’t know what , let’s see, you
must tell me you are the doctor . Deepak Chopra: Well, our current science as
you said; first of all, you said somethingvery important. The virus is a very small bit of genetic information. That’s what it is. It’s a very small bit of genetic information,
which has now devastated everything from economy,to health, to politics, to international relationships,
etc. This little bit of genetic information has
devastated the world. You also said some of this alarm may be exaggerated
because of the way, you know, we communicateand it’s so easy now to get the information…Sadhguru: Some of the television channels
in India, the virus is coming like this, likea wrecker ball at you . Deepak Chopra: That’s right…That’s right. But here’s the advantage of this – just
because we can communicate and we’re doingso right now, we actually, through technology
are rewiring the global brain, the planetarybrain, through technology and this communication
is very important. And these actions are very important because
without this conversation, we would only bein a panic mode. But with this conversation, we are seeing
possible solutions and you are offering avery practical solution. Here’s the important thing to remember when
we go for practical solutions is, even aswe take the practical solutions we have to
see the direct connection between the geneticinformation in our body and again, you used
another word, maximum diversity of geneticinformation. The genetic information in our body, ninety-nine
percent is actually bacteria and microorganisms,ninety-nine percent, maybe ninety-five percent. Sadhguru: You’re making… you are making
me feel like a virus huh!Deepak Chopra: Well we are, you (Sadhguru
Laughs), Sadhguru you and I are the awakeningof bacterial and virus consciousness (Sadhguru
Laughs). One day, the viruses and bacteria said, “You
know, let’s use this organism, Homo sapiens,as our host, and then we can survive. ”So we are actually the host for… for the
genetic diversity of the planet, we are thehost. If we ruin it, we ruin ourselves because we
depend on this genetic entanglement of geneticinformation, all life on this planet, not
just human life, plant life, animal life,all life. You said, in the mother’s womb, we were shaped
by these microorganisms. But actually, as we journeyed out into the
world we absorbed everything. In fact, these days when people do smart…
smart obstetricians, when they do caesareansection, they actually take all the secretions
of the mother and they put them on the baby’sbody. They put them in the mouth, in the nose so
that the baby can inhale these microorganisms,can smell it, can swallow it and be covered
by it because our lungs and our intestine,our entire body depends on it. Sadhguru: So is that being done as a standard
practice?Deepak Chopra: Say that?Sadhguru: Is that being done as a standard
medical practice?Deepak Chopra: Among the smart obstetricians,
yes. Sadhguru: Oh…Deepak Chopra: Right now they are recognizing
that in urban cities, thirty percent of themicrobiome has disappeared. So if I’m bo… if somebody lives in New York
City or Chicago or Delhi, for that matter,thirty percent of their microbial genetic
information has disappeared and it is disappearing. And this is directly linked to chronic diseases
like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension,strokes, indirectly to cancer, autoimmune
illness, and propensity to premature agingand all kinds of human problems. Ninety percent…ninety percent of chronic
illness is dysbiosis which means dysfunctionalbiodiversity of genetic information in our
body, and the people who are getting sickby the way, the people who are even now young
people who are getting sick, they have whatare called acute inflammatory storms in the
body. So inflammation goes out of control in the
body because they are panicking. They are panicking, they are stressed, they
are agitated, they are worried about money,they are worried about their jobs, the death
and morbidity and we have published on this– I’m happy to send you papers. The mortality and morbidity of this virus
is directly linked to stress, panic, sympatheticoverdrive and agitated minds. And that’s why we need more than just a simple,
simplistic vaccine solution because if wehave a vaccine, a year from now there’ll be
another mutation, the vaccine doesn’t do anything . It doesn’t look at the problem. Sadhguru: See that is very… very clearly
demonstrated in India, that of all the caseswe have, over sixty percent of the cases and
over eighty percent of the deaths are onlyin five cities. Deepak Chopra: There you are. Sadhguru: In that villages where we are here,
not a single case in all these villages aroundus but only in Chennai, Mumbai, Ahmedabad,
Delhi and one more city …Deepak Chopra: Bangalore?Sadhguru: Bangalore, not much, Bangalore they’ve
controlled well because of door-to-door management. Deepak Chopra: I think it’s obvious now with
this that, you know, ecology is the main issueof our times, the air is our breath, the…
the oceans and waters and the rivers are ourcirculation. The earth is recycling as our body. Even the atoms in our body were forged in
the crucible of stars. So, you know, you have a personal body, you
have an extended body, they are both yours. The planet is your body!It’s recycling as the ecology and the genetic
information and the micro-diversity of theseorganisms and we are not looking at that,
we are looking only at vaccine. Sadhguru: You know, there is… there is something
little more basic than this genetic information,even pre-that is the elemental stuff in the
world. So the entire yogic system, the basis of yogic
system is called Bhuta Shuddhi that is takingcharge of the five elements of air, water,
earth, fire and space. So these Pancha Bhutas are five elements,
taking charge of that is the entire yogicsystem. It’s funny because today I had asked everybody
to, you know, our… our traveling group whichis normally referred to as Ishangas, who go
out and teach and spread the thing. They are all here now for last two months,
so I told them to do sadhana, their morningsadhana outdoors, they were all doing outdoor,
in front of the Adiyogi statue but in thelast few days the monsoon winds have picked
up, it’s very heavy here. Like it will touch fifty kilometers per hour,
sometimes up to seventy kilometers per hourin gusts and also mildly raining, anytime
it will rain. We are very close to the mountains. So by today morning I went to see, how are
they doing their sadhana in this wind andrain but only a small number were there. I asked, “What happened?”They said, “Too much wind. ”So I put them up now that from tomorrow, I’m,
I’m praying to the rain gods that every daymorning five to eight it must rain and all
of you must be doing your sadhana in the rain. It’s very important. This is not a boot camp to harass you or something. Because if you distance yourself from the
elements, you are gone. You may be alive but you are gone because
life doesn’t throb in you, no realizationwill be possible. Because if you want to touch the peaks of
your consciousness, everything must be on. Right now, if survival itself becomes a challenge
for you, what peaks will you touch?You will not even be interested. When survival is in question, nobody is interested
in anything. So it’s very important that your survival
is not even a concern. If you sit here, everything is going on. If this is happening, then only you will want
to explore different dimensions of life. So from tomorrow on, everybody is there in
full rain and heavy winds doingtheir morning… Deepak Chopra: That’s beautiful, that’s
beautiful. After all that’s the meaning of yoga, right?To be in touch with the source of all existence. And you’re right, you know, the Pancha Bhutas
precede all genetic information and that alsocomes from one undifferentiated consciousness. And if we want to, we want to be intimate
with that consciousness, then Yoga is theonly way. Yoga is the only way, in all its dimensions. Sadhguru: We are …we’re doing everything
possible. You must also join hands with us to change
the image of Yoga. Because I know in California, maybe I don’t
know how it’s in San Diego, at least in LosAngeles, Yoga means lulu lemon pants and you
know, one day is my cycling day, another dayis my jogging day, one day is my Yoga say,
that kind of stuff. So we are seeing how to change the image of
Yoga, that Yoga is a comprehensive scienceand a process to bring this unity because
the very fundamental is unity. What you are talking, all this time, is just
that, that there is no separation. But separation has happened mainly because,
you know, it’s the magnanimity of the cosmos. It’s the magnanimity of the creation that
it gave you an individual experience thoughyou’re as small as a virus compared to the
cosmos. What virus is to you, you’re just that, a
speck of dust but to this speck an individualexperience has been given. This is not something that you did. It is just the magnanimity of creation that
we can sit here and feel like an individualexperiencing all these things. But once we take this individuality rather
too seriously, suddenly we will get imprisonedin our own individuality. Individualism is imprisonment. This imprisonment is not just creating mental
structures and emotional turmoils. This is destroying body’s ability to live
strong. Living strong is not happening to most people
simply because they have become cubicles oftheir own that their individuality has become
too strong. And people, unfortunately, largely I’m sorry
if I say something wrong. Medical fraternity has not recognized that
what you do with your mind and emotion willinevitably draw… build a cocoon around yourself
and a cocoon is not a protection, a cocoonis a coffin. Deepak Chopra: Well, I have nothing more to
add, you’ve said everything. Just one phrase encapsulates everything, “Yogasth
Kuru Karmani” established in yoga, performaction. This is the call of the moment and thank you
for leading it Sadhguru, thank you.

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