Isha Institute of Inner Sciences
| Dolphins and money|
| Drink the Kool-Aid|
|But you WANT to stay|
The Isha Institute of Inner Sciences, headed by Jaggi Vasudev (called Sadhguru or "The Mystic"), is described as:
"an exploitative cult and The Mystic deserves his fair share of atheist vitriol. He makes his members swear to secrecy, charges a small fortune for their enlightenment, brainwashes them and dupes them into free work under the guise of volunteerism. One follower described being forced to work ten hours a day, seven days a week, given nothing but a straw mat to sleep on. Which sounds neither spiritually enlightening or particularly legal."
The Isha Foundation runs paid ads for its "Inner Engineering" course on the enlightened path of YouTube. As of August 2016, the Isha YouTube channel had over 17k subscribers and 3.0m views and the Isha Facebook had over 600k likes.
Clickbait or inner peace?
The YouTube channel regularly features videos like:
- "Beyond Physical Intelligence" (non-materialist neuroscience rocks!)
- "We are just a Minuscule of Data" (the universe is big, you are small, doesn't that make you wish you had a soul?)
- "Science and Mysticism" (science is "a slave of technology" and scientists just want money)
- "What is the Third Eye?" (third eye nonsense)
- "Eastern Wisdom and the Intelligence within Us" (appeal to tradition much)
If you were looking for 11 minutes of advertisement-grade pictures in a glorified slideshow with vaguely uplifting music in the background, just watch the channel introduction.
One particularly wonderful video, entitled "Yoga is E=mc2", Sadhguru
mouths a string of gibberish states:
The very word yoga means just this: When you experience everything as yourself, you're in yoga, because the word yoga means union. When you and the other has disappeared, when only you exist, it's yoga. And yogi means one who has experienced this union or oneness of the existence. So this parable is just to trying to tell you how a human being could experience the whole existence as a part of himself. Logically, everybody can understand that I am a part of the existence,[sic] but the truth is, the existence is also a part of you — as a drop is a part of the ocean, the ocean is also a part of the drop.
Aside from that particular word salad being so spicy as to put Deepak Chopra to shame, it's worth pointing out — since the good guru himself decided to bring up logic — that: saying that the drop is a part of the ocean while the ocean is also part of the drop violates both the law of identity and the first postulates of set theory.
What is Inner Science?
IshaYoga.org happily explains:
Inner Engineering is offered as an intensive program for personal growth. The program and its environment establish the possibility to explore the higher dimensions of life and offer tools to engineer oneself through the inner science of yoga. Using these, people can optimize all aspects of health, inner growth and success. For those seeking professional and personal excellence, this program offers keys for meaningful and fulfilling relationships at work, home, community, and most importantly, within one's self. Inner Engineering can be thought of as a synthesis of holistic sciences. It helps participants establish an inner foundation and vision for all dimensions of life and find the necessary balance between the challenges of a hectic career and the inner longing for peace and wellbeing. The approach is a modern antidote to stress, and presents simple but powerful processes from yogic science to purify the system and increase health and inner wellbeing. The program includes guided meditations and transmission of the sacred Shambhavi Mahamudra, which, once learnt, can be practiced regularly at home.
If you read that and still don't know what Inner Engineering is, don't worry — it's just standard babble about how meditating (and buying Sadhguru's course) will fix all your problems. Listed health benefits include:
- "Prevent chronic diseases like asthma, allergies, sinusitis, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, rheumatism, arthritis, epilepsy, back pain, skin and eye ailments, migraine"
- "Reduce stress"
- "Increase ability to handle stressful situations"
- "Generate inner peace and fulfillment"
If that sounds like promises to cure incurable diseases plus vague promises of improved mental state, then you're absolutely right.
- Channel at YouTube
- Account on Facebook
- Wikipedia's pages are both blandly positive and barely informative:
- In this account