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Leadership – A Sacrifice

Leadership is not dominance, it is a certain sacrifice. Leadership is not a question of ruling somebody, it is a question of making somebody‘s life.   Leadership essentially means that you are capable of creating the necessary atmosphere, where people can go beyond the limitations that they have set for themselves. In the presence of the leader, people are able to do things that they would not have done by themselves, that they would not have imagined they could do.

The very fundamentals of leadership are that you aspire to achieve certain things, and take people with you towards the goal. And, if it does not happen, for whatever reason, you don‘t become a bundle of frustrations, you only see how to make it happen. These qualities are most essential for leadership. If you have your own issues, your own concerns, your own tensions and fears, you will never function to your full capacity. So, it is extremely important that the leadership in the world is functioning on a full-brain process, not a half-brain process.

When I say leadership, it is not just a question of Presidents and Prime Ministers. Whatever sphere we are in, whether spiritual, political, economic or social, or even within the family, everybody is a leader in some capacity; it is only a question of scale. Whether you are managing and leading two people or one billion people, everybody is some kind of a leader. Any leader, if he does not feel a deep sense of inclusion, if he does not feel that people around him are a part of him and grasp the fundamentals of who they are, not just in understanding or as an intellectual process, but experientially if he does not feel a certain sense of oneness and inclusiveness with the people around him, he cannot be a genuine leader. He can only manipulate situations for a little betterment or worse.

A non-religious spiritual process can play a phenomenal role in this. A spiritual process is about going deeper into life, not living on the surface of life but wanting to know the depth of life. This is very essential for a leader because a leader faces constant challenges. Above all, it is most important that a leader is functioning at his optimal or highest level of potential. If you are experiencing tension, anxiety, stress or anger, your body, mind and emotions will not function properly. When you are peaceful and joyful, everything functions well. This is an experiential fact. It is also a medical reality today. Every doctor will tell you this is true. When this is a fact, it is extremely important that we provide our people with a leadership which is of a certain quality, people who are in a certain state within themselves so that they function at their optimal level.

Many thousand years ago, there was a king in India whose name was Janaka. Janaka aspired for his spiritual growth and then he found his Guru, Ashtavakra. After much sadhana he attained to his highest enlightenment. When he attained, he was so blissful and ecstatic. He followed Ashtavakra everywhere and went to his Guru‘s hermitage and wanted to live there. Ashtavakra said, “Nothing doing. You be a king.” Janaka said, “What is the point? These pleasures, the power of being a king, the palace – all these things mean nothing to me. All I want to do is just to sit at your feet.” Ashtavakra said, “What you want is no longer important. You have found what you want within yourself. Now the people deserve an enlightened king. That is important.”

Every nation needs a focused and enlightened leadership, not a confused leadership. There was a time when in a society, a few people were spiritual and the rest of the people just went to them for blessings and sustained their lives. Today, with the tools of science and technology, we have brought ourselves to a self-threatening situation that everybody in the society needs to turn spiritual. Otherwise there is no survival for this world. With the kind of equipment, and capabilities that we have, it just takes one fool to blow it up. And there any number of those fools standing in the queue to get to the top.

So spirituality is no longer a fancy pursuit. It is an absolute necessity for our own survival and the planet‘s survival that every human being brings in the spiritual dimension into his life. Unless some sense of oneness touches the people, especially in the leadership in the planet, self-destruction is a live threat.

Skeptics are quick to ask, “Is such a thing possible?” I want to tell them, do not think of the future of the world on the basis of existing realities. Existing realities on the planet could be changed in a moment, because existing realities do not take into consideration people‘s will and commitment, they do not take into consideration the love in their hearts. Existing realities are just looking at the number of people that were slaughtered today or the number of bombs that exist on the planet. But statistics cannot consider what is beating in the human heart. If only we can stoke that, if only we can stir up what is happening in individual hearts, miracles are possible.


SadhguruSadhguru is a yogi, mystic and visionary, and a prominent spiritual leader. An author, poet, and internationally-renowned speaker, Sadhguru‘s wit and piercing logic provoke and widen our perception of life.  isha.sadhguru.org

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