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Talebani, Talib-e-Elm and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
In India, the Hindu holy books exhort devotees to seek the company of saints and sadhus. A Sadhu is most often a wandering ascetic aka mendicant who has often left a stable family and worked life to seek a state of godly bliss. The word Sadhu means 'good man' or 'saint'.

"These spiritual messengers walk the streets, they sit by the temples, camp under sacred trees, dwell in ashrams and akhara (ascetic camps) that are found everywhere. They are noticeable, available and approachable. They are called Babas meaning Father. One goes to the temple to pray to a God and calls upon a sadhu to associate with God.

A believer endeavours to attend to living examples of holiness, request advice, ask for an opinion, to ponder on what lies further than beyond. Often they are seen telling that a Sadhu has no past and it is really difficult for the law enforcement authorities to distinguish between a genuine ascetic and someone who had escaped from the long arms of law.

The contemporary spiritual galaxy of India can boast a copious reverend team of Babas, Yogis, Sants, Sadhwis and other spiritual Matas who are more popular with masses than the rock stars of material world.

One such Sadhu is Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, the founder of the Isha Foundation. A lot of ink has already been spilled over to perorate his past and that is unnecessary to reproduce here.

However, there is a story that had never left him chasing around. It is said that about 7 months after the death of his beloved wife Vijaykumari, the New Indian Express newspaper had reported that a case had been filed in the Bangalore police station against Sadhguru, accusing him of causing the death of his wife. The case was transferred to the Coimbatore Police. However, 8 months later, a news report notes that the case was closed after investigation by police, who found no wrongdoing and concluded that there was no case for further investigation. Sadhguru's wife is said to have attained 'Mahasamadhi' in the year 1997.

In the yogic culture, "Mahasamadhi" is an act of intentionally and consciously leaving your body. The Oriental culture has seen many Tibetan, Hindu and Zen Masters such as this graceful exit from this world. This is seen as the ultimate and a feat that requires utmost dedication and determination in one's yoga Sadhana.

May her soul live rest in peace!

It is another story that Jagadish Vasudev aka Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev aka Jaggi has been accused by his own father-in-law of killing his daughter either by strangulation or by poisoning, in 1997. Mrs Vijaya Kumari was 31 years old then with a 6 year old daughter. Jaggi had escaped saying that she went into mahasamadhi.

Now, it is still a moot question which law and court accepts 'mahasamadhi' and acquits an accused of murder?

If it was not a case of wilful abandonment of one's wife, it was but a great step of Moksha Prapti by the wife of herself in the prime of her life. 

Such a person is to be looked upon with reverence for the feat. 

Since then Jaggi Baba had been acting as a dignified mouthpiece of belligerent cultural nationalism aka Hindutva. Though he claims to be non-political but his track record distinctly reflects that he is squarely political. He had been launching regularly the moribund philosophies laced with diatribes against the opponents of Nagpur Syndrome. Public has now become well convergent with his histrionic and hypnotic illusions.   

Very recently, Jaggi Baba had a close shave with a loud overseas controversy that he is well versed. He had referred to a Muslim student as a 'Proper Talibani' at the London School of Economics while he was visiting the institute as part of his Youth and Truth series.  He had been invited to institutes across the world to engage with students on religious and philosophical topics. At LSE, a student of Pakistani origin Bilal Bin Saqib engaged him. Bilal was one of the hosts of 'Unplug with Sadhguru' event. 

In a conversation recorded between the two off the stage, Bilal tells Jaggi Vasudev about how he views life and stress. He says, "The night you are meant to spend in the grave, you won't be spending it outside anyways." 

To this Jaggi Vasudev (jokingly) responds, 'This guy is a proper Taliban here.' 

When Bilal immediately asks what 'Talibaniya' is, Jaggi Vasudev says, "Taliban, Taliban."

The LSE Student Union (LSESU) had a video recording of this private conversation from March 27 in the institute's premises and stated that it was 'deeply disappointed in Sadhguru's comments and views them as Islamophobic'. 

Sathguru Jaggi was forced to issue a clarification on Tuesday to the Student Union of the London School of Economics. The student union rejected Jaggi Vasudev's clarification that the word 'Taliban' was used in the context of 'over-enthusiastic' in India. The Taliban is Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement which is currently waging war within Afghanistan. It is a terrorist group notorious for explosive violence. 

Following these comments the LSESU demanded that Jaggi Vasudev release a formal apology for the islamophobic comments against a student. 

"The LSESU confirms that such comments do not have a place on campus and are to be condemned. If the comments were made in jest, this does not lessen their impact - the words still offend. Such incidents, if not duly denounced, aggregate to create a culture where casual Islamophobia becomes acceptable and, as such, we implore Sadhguru to release a formal apology to the student body with regards to the statements made," the LSESU post read. 

Following this, Jaggi Vasudev issued a clarification on his statement and alleged that the video had been 'mischievously edited. "I would like to tell all those concerned that the word 'Taliban' in Arabic means an 'ardent student', which Bilal definitely is, as also the other two students are. This term is always used in India in relation to someone who is over enthusiastic. It is in that context that I was joking with Bilal, it is very unfortunate that it has been projected this way," said Jaggi Vasudev in his video and written clarification. "If this has in anyway offended or insulted anybody, this was not the intent. This private conversation was mischievously edited, with what intent, I am unable to fathom. I wish to anyway apologize to the London School of Economics and the Students Union, if it offended any of you in some way." 

But the Union responded that "LSESU" stands firmly on our above stance and deem the comments to be Islamophobic. We do not believe the video was "mischievously edited" and have heard no reports supporting the common use of 'Taliban' in India as meaning over-enthusiastic." 

I don't want to be a participant on either side of Jaggi-Talebani dialogue. However, to help Baba, I would like to tell him that Taleban has become a much maligned word and connnotes NEGATIVITY. The correct term in a civilized oration the present context is Talib-e-Elm' which means 'Seeker of Truth.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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