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Fortunate Misfortunes

By Sadhguru Email By Sadhguru
October 2017
Fortunate Misfortunes

If so-called misfortunes strike, you must learn to take them in your stride, because there may be a deeper intelligence to these misfortunes. What is fortune and what is misfortune is a social thing. But in terms of life, what is fortune and misfortune is of a completely different nature.

Harvest Time
After I got into teaching yoga, I spent all my money, traveling and organizing programs. In those days, whatever nominal fee was collected, at the end of the program, we would donate any surplus to organizations like orphanages or old age homes. After about three-and-a-half years, I had finished up my savings, so I had to make a living. I decided to grow cabbage because it was doing great in the market at that time. A friend gave me a few acres on his farm, and I gave myself ninety days to grow the crop, including preparation and harvesting.

Hybrid cabbage seeds are expensive, so I first grew them in a tray inside the house. After they all came up, I took each one of them and transplanted them. If you plant them in the day, their survival rate is low. So, after sunset, I would sit and work till 1 AM, planting with a torch light. I did all this backbreaking work, and in about 12 to 15 days, tiny little cabbages were forming. I would just sit there in the morning mist waiting to see the first light fall on these cabbages. It was the most incredible scene. It almost felt like delivering 10,000 babies. Every day, each one of them was getting bigger. The cabbages all sized up nicely and I was counting money in my head.

When the time to harvest came, vegetable prices crashed. It wasn’t worth harvesting and loading them on a truck because the sale price wouldn’t even cover the transport costs. So I just told the villagers, “Come and take five cabbages per family.” Still there were plenty. So I left them to the cattle. When I saw the cattle eating the cabbage, initially I thought about all the time and money that had gone into the cabbages. Then I saw the cattle were so happy. They had not eaten anything so juicy in their life. So I thought, “Okay!”

When you are harvesting something for the market, sometimes it can become a bitter experience. For most people, they might have enjoyed their college time, but the final phase of going to the examination is when they are most tense and bitter. That is because they are harvesting for the market. We are harvesting to get somebody’s approval either in terms of money or marks or whatever else. If that is not the issue, then harvest is great.

When it is time to harvest, you must just gather what comes. What a great thing that the market fell on that day because the way I was then, if the market had worked, I would have become a very rich cabbage farmer! How fortunate the market crashed and it all got washed out.

What is fortune, what is misfortune?
The spiritual process is not about causing a particular event. It is about causing a certain way of being that whatever the situation, it turns into a fortune. Those who look at certain situations as fortune and certain other situations as misfortune are the unfortunate people on the planet, because then you are a slave of those situations.

Once you are beginning to touch another dimension of energy, intelligence, and possibility, you should learn to count your fortune and misfortune in a completely different way. “Where are my cabbages, where are my cabbages?” That is not the way to look at it. The cabbages were eaten by the cows, but what a fortune it was that they were eaten by the cows.

If you keep counting your fortunes and misfortunes by the same old social standards as you have been trained to do for a lifetime, you will continuously count in misfortune when there is no misfortune. The greatest misfortune for a human being is when even if fortune falls upon him, he thinks it is a misfortune. And that is happening to too many people.


Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, and visionary, and a prominent spiritual leader. An author, poet, and internationally renowned speaker, Sadhguru is the founder of Isha Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to human wellbeing. (www.isha.sadhguru.org)


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