Sadhguru is an Indian yogi and mystic.

Sadhguru is an Indian yogi-atmanirvana


Sadhguru, Jaggi Vasudev is an Indian yogi and mystic who founded the Isha Foundation, a non-profit organization which offers yoga programs around the world. A multi-faceted personality, he is also an author, motivational speaker, and philanthropist along with being a spiritual master. Born as the son of an ophthalmologist who worked with the Indian Railways, he was used to frequent moves from one city to another and this kindled in him a love for travel, adventure and a curiosity to explore the unknown. As a child he became fascinated with nature and would often escape to the jungle near his home and spend hours—even days—at a stretch there. He also developed a life-long love for snakes and reptiles as a result of his childhood experiences. As a youngster he fell in love with motorcycles and travelled to various places in the country on his motorcycle. Along with being a fun-loving youth he was also a bright young man who matured into a successful businessman. A spiritual experience at the age of 25 made him rethink his life’s purpose and eventually he realized that his calling was to become a yoga teacher. He went on to open the Isha Foundation to teach yoga and the foundation also became involved in various social and community development activities with time.

 Childhood & Early Life

  • He was born as Jagadish Vasudev on 3 September 1957 in Mysore, Karnataka, to Susheela and Dr. Vasudev. He has one brother and two sisters. His father was an ophthalmologist with the Indian Railways and the family used to move frequently due to his father’s job.

  • He was an active, curious and intelligent child who developed an early love for nature and adventure. As a little boy he often used to venture into the nearby jungles and spend hours there, observing the wildlife and catching snakes.

  • He became acquainted with Malladihalli Sri Raghavendra Swamiji, a prominent yoga teacher, when he was 11 years old. Swamiji taught him a set of simple yoga asanas, which he regularly practiced without even a single day’s break.

  • After completing his schooling he enrolled at the University of Mysore, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. While in college he also became interested in motorcycles and travelled a lot with his friends.


  • After completing his college education Jaggi Vasudev embarked on a career as a businessman. Smart, intelligent and hard working, he soon opened several businesses, including a poultry farm, a brickworks and a construction business. He was a successful businessman by the time he was in his mid-twenties.

  • His life changed completely on the afternoon of September 23, 1982 when he had a spiritual experience that made him realize that he had to re-evaluate his life and priorities. He was sitting on a rock in Chamundi Hill when he had a very intense spiritual experience that lasted about four-and-a-half-hours.

  • Within weeks of this experience, he left his business to his friend and embarked on an extensive travel in order to gain insight into his mystical experience. After a period of about one year, the realization dawned on him that he should teach yoga to share his inner experience.

  • He started conducting yoga classes in Mysore in 1983; there were just seven participants in his first class. Over the course of time he began conducting yoga classes across Karnataka and Hyderabad. He refused payment for the classes and managed his expenses from the proceeds he received from his poultry farm.

  • In 1992, he founded Isha Foundation, a non-profit, spiritual organization for offering yoga programs under the name Isha Yoga. Founded near Coimbatore, the organization became very popular over the years and today offers yoga programs not only in India, but also in countries like United States, England, Lebanon, Singapore, Canada, Malaysia, Uganda, China, Nepal and Australia.

  • The Isha Foundation is also involved in various social and community development activities. In 2003, it established Action For Rural Rejuvenation (ARR) a multi-phased program aimed towards improving the overall health and quality of life of the rural poor. The program aims to benefit 70 million people in 54,000 villages across Tamil Nadu, South India.

  • The foundation also established the Project Green Hands (PGH), a grassroots ecological initiative in Tamil Nadu in 2004. The aim of the project is to plant 114 million trees throughout Tamil Nadu as soon as possible and increase the forest cover in the state to 33 percent.

  • Jaggi Vasudev is an internationally renowned figure and has spoken at the United Nations Millennium World Peace Summit in 2000. His speaking engagements take him around the world and he also addressed the World Economic Forum in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

  • A prolific author, he has penned over 100 titles in eight different languages. He is also a talented poet who loves to compose poems in his leisure time.

Major Works

He founded the Isha Foundation through which he conducts all his yoga related programs and establishes social and community initiatives. With over five million volunteers, the organization works in tandem with international bodies like the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, and has its presence felt in several countries across the world.

Achievements & Awards

  • His Project Green Hands (PGH) was awarded the Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar, by the Government of India in June 2010.

  • He was voted among the 100 most powerful Indians for his contribution in the field of environmental protection and for encouraging public participation in ecological issues in 2012.

Personal Life

Jaggi Vasudev married Vijaykumari in 1984 and has a daughter, Radhe. His wife died in 1996.



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