Sadhguru answers a question during a recent interview about why Isha programs are not offered free.

Interviewer: Why doesn’t God come for free?

Sadhguru: Who said there is a charge? There is no charge for the spiritual process.

Interviewer: What about spiritual courses?

Sadhguru: Why the program costs is because right now if you sit here, the lights are burning, the electricity is on. Everything costs to sit and stand here. Who has to pay it? So your idea is if somebody pays for it, you are spiritual. If you pay for it, it’s not spiritual. No, that’s not my idea. I think that’s a dastardly idea.

Seventy percent of our activity is in rural India and all this is 100% free. Spiritual programs are free, schools are free, hospitals are free, all social events that we conduct in rural areas are free. In the city, it costs. Even here if you don’t want to pay, if I do it in a slum, will you come and attend the program? No. You want it in a star hotel, but you want it free. If you want a certain level of comfort, if you want lunches and dinners and all these other services, you pay for it. The spiritual process is free because you are not paying me nor are you paying anybody who is teaching. All of them are 100% volunteers. You are only paying for the services.

At one time we did offer the programs free, but then people were walking in and out with total disregard for the whole thing. Most people unfortunately don’t value their word as much as they value their money. If they say, “I am coming,” it doesn’t mean anything. They have to make a down payment.

When we saw it didn’t work for free, we said you must pay 20% of your monthly income. Then we found people were coming to us the way they go to the income tax department – full of lies; we were starting the program with lies. Then we decided for different societies we would fix different kinds of prices. In the cities it costs something, in the smaller towns it costs less, in the remoter rural areas it’s free.

The higher programs are free of cost. When you come to Samyama, people who come there are absolutely committed, so there is no money involved there. 1000 people attending the Samyama for eight days costs phenomenally, but it’s free of cost. People just support the program whichever way they can. But when we open a program to the public, without money it will become ridiculous. If people don’t have that commitment, they walk in and walk out whenever they want. The only way to tie them down is money unfortunately.

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POSTED IN:Yoga & Meditation, Demystifying Yoga
TAGS: Inner Engineering, Spirituality, Yoga Program
  • Dipika Vijaykumar

    Very true, its very sad that we people are in this state of mind.

  • Rama Vidya Sagar Maganti

    Spot on Sadhguru. I am totally with you.

  • Sushant Jaiswal

    It is greatness of my master otherwise it must charge your whole income of lifetime or 1 child from every home just to listen his words forget about teachings…

  • Babu Subramanian

    Today, somewhere else i red in a site stating that IE is a fake and ppl are beliving that their kundalini is rising, but it will be only those who follow/worship will understand the effect of that. Here is the ans fm the guru why he is charging and if you go to higher lvl it will be only performance and almost no money is involved. Sadhguru told many times that IE is only a door to spiritual path, and you need to go miles to understand. What a pyramid our guru has in training method, great !

    • Krishna Raman

      yes, no one believes anything, the essence of Isha’s work is that none believes nor disbelieves what is not in his/her experience yet. just be with what happens to oneself. moreover, the word ‘kundalini’ is not used at all in the IE programme.

      • Cibi Singaravel S

        Very true, this is what making isha yoga unique !!

        Sadhguru said it has been kept as a rule that worlds which are not under normal understandable sense like kundalini, re birth, even concept/belief of god, etc should not be spoken in isha.

        our meditators neither believes nor dis believes any thing. everything is attributed to their inner experience !

  • Amit Kumar Thakur

    Spot on every word as always Sadhguru. Thank you.

  • Krishna Raman

    I have experienced this personally. no one remains committed or realizes the value if s’thing is given for free.

  • Sathya Prabhu

    You are right Sadhguru, People value their money more than their words. Pity on those. I have done this several times to satisfy people for the time.

  • Jay

    With due respect, I have to disagree that it is not possible to run the programs without charging for them. Look at the Vipassana Foundation run by Goenkaji or any Buddhist Meditation techniques. These are all offered free and have survived for centuries in the gift economy. The facilities and comfort offered by Vipassana centers in India and abroad are amazing and they are for 10 days usually including food and stay. When people are touched, they will give plentifully. I really believe in human goodness and compassion and have seen that when people pay they are in a “consumption” mindset – not the best state of mind for continued spiritual upliftment. I have great respect for your words and work and my pranams to you despite the minor disagreement on this point.

    • Suhas Pinnaka

      No one is saying it is not possible. But why should people hesitate to pay for something that they are receiving? It is a much better way to spend your money than on almost anything else. If vipassana and buddhist meditation techniques are offered free, it obviously means someone else is paying for you.

  • Prashant kaul

    Point,! And ironic. I feel you charge the right amount of fee, for example the inner engineering program which held here in Delhi last month. I attended the program and I got a flat 40% discount because of being a student and having the student I.D. So i must admit your system is worth of what you charge.Therefore, later i was allowed to correct my practice and take part in a 7 day program as a volunteer(Off course for free). I mean what else do you want? Being a student i spend money like this and that. So what’s wrong spending it for the right cause, at least i know i ll be blissful and chilled out after attending your programs.

  • KannanR

    Time is money. People spend so much time watching TV, gossiping and many other useless stuff. Nobody wonders why they spend their time uselessly. Very few people in the world volunteers or does any form of selfless service. But they will criticize the people who do it.
    We have to understand that the Indian media is a not a neutral media. For the Indian media any Guru is fake any Swami is Sex Swami.
    The only way out is to involve the people from Media domain in spiritual practice. This must be offered to them and make them realize the value of it.
    Unfortunately the modern English education in India devalues anything indigenous like Bhagavad Gita, Yoga, Shiva etc
    Also part of the problem is with us. As much as people read Bible and Quran very few of us read Gita, Yoga sutra, Upanishad or any spiritual book neither does the general Indian population do any Spiritual Practice.
    I read somewhere that the total number of yogis/yoginis in Los Angeles is more than the entire Indian population put together. Long way to go.

  • P Sharma

    I am attending the IE programme at Hyderabad since yesterday and I can tell you that if Isha actually charged the true cost for the incredible organisation that makes this amazing experience possible, then each individual would have to pay unimaginable amounts. The meticulous planning, the incredible number of volunteers who are everywhere and the clockwork precision with which the programme is conducted would shame government departments (ask me, I work in one) or even large corporates. They could easily double the fee and still find queues that line up every morning.

    • Omkar Narayan

      Any cost for the infinite is zero. Any number is zero against the Infinite. The question is what’s one’s priority?

  • Suhas Pinnaka

    People who are asking for free spiritual programs should evaluate their priorities in life. They would spend hundreds and thousands of rupees on movies, cigarettes, alcohol and other stuff but ask for free programs? This does not make sense.

  • Suhas Pinnaka

    Are you kidding. You mean to say you cannot spend 1500 rupees for something that would change your life for the better?

  • Suhas Pinnaka

    Is Rs/- 1500 that high?

  • vs

    Actually, angular momentum and gravity make the world go round.

  • vs

    Try Isha Kriya.
    It’s free.

  • sumitra

    1500 is not un-affordable by city standards. In any case, if you are in a situation where you are genuinely unable to make the amount, they will see what they can do for you. You don’t need to miss the chance.

  • Nikole

    the concept of how money is spent is really up to the person’s priority. it is no wonder how people spend so much money on vices while some who choose a simpler life wish to spend it on things they see as important. on the other hand, i have to agree with one of the people who said in the comments how people who do good things are questioned about money. nonetheless, Sadhguru has made a clear explanation for this.

  • ravisra

    Unless people come out of their money mind, these questions will arise often….The attitude behind this question is that they should get everything in life for free or at a damn cheap price, but at the same time they should be paid a hefty sum even if they walk one step or even simply sit without doing anything.

  • ravisra

    If you are proposing an idea of anybody occupying any seat irrespective of the donation they make, are you ready to take the following resposibilities (a) no stampede or quarrel or fight should happen a bit among participants while occupying seats (b) pay the entire differential cost (actual cost incurred minus donations received) of the program. It is easy to comment about anything and let us do not that without knowing the reason behind every action. Thank you

  • YOGI

    Sir I have Registered for IE at Hyderabad ,i wonder about your volunteers they called me 12 times to Register myself and after i was after them calling 20 times to take my ID card this is one thing and next the High light is that even after paying so much money They did not allowed me to attend the complete program as i came just one hour late due to un avoidable situation .They said that you attend the program next time and will charge you again a penalty on the same and its going happen in APril Month .if ISHA really wants only money .why you people who are stating as volunteers come on to streets and Beg for money instead of making the Us Fools ………………………..Answer my question … uncommited volunteers .You have wasted both my money and time also…….

  • piyush kulkarni

    I have been watching sadhgurus talks on youtube….I find same respect in me for sadhguru as for Osho…I am interested to take meditaion classes, can anybody plases tell me names of villages (better if its near chennai) where methods are taught for free??

  • Rajah2000

    The goal of his programs is mukti – liberation – the experiential knowledge of one’s own Self. You cannot put a price or value on it because it is one’s own Self – you are gaining nothing, you are only losing the rubbish that mask’s it. The traditions in India from which he has drawn his teachings including the school of Yoga have traditionally offered their knowledge for free(no monetary value) from Guru to disciple. The only price the Guru extracted from his disciples was sincerity and dedication to the subject taught. The ways of the world in terms of monetary exchange and “value” exchange as you put it were completely out of the equation when it came to spirituality. Even Kings with vast amounts of wealth gained such knowledge for free in ancient India from Gurus. What is the price that the seven rishis paid to the AdiGuru for the first program? Your post reflects the capitalist societies of today that are trapped in the money for something mentality. As for your example of the trees producing value by taking value from the soil and so on, the ultimate value is what is extracted from the sun without which no value can be created on this planet. So what is the flow of value back to the sun from the planet if your monetary exchange of value theory holds true? The sun provides everything for us for free – this has been taken up in the shastras that likens the Guru to the Sun – shining unconditionally and providing sustenance to the soul of the disciple for FREE.
    That said, I agree with this blog of the Sadguru’s interview, but not your worldly, capitalist rant.

    • Chintan Dave

      Kindly understand that with the passage of time, some scenario gets changed. I’m glad that you’ve good research on ancient yogic school system of India but back then the wealth was decentralized.

      As per current situation in India, rural people are not even getting basic necessities of life such as Pure Drinking Water, Medical Facilities, Education and so on. To help them with out any business interest or fees/charges, you have to have an Income Source. Basic reason behind Inner Engineering Course fees is the same. Imagine that whatever you’re paying for IE, you’re actually donating for the food towards starving people of Rural India… How about this? Hope at least you’ll pay once in your life for your betterment along with a great kindness towards humanity.

      Are we so much reserved or closed that we can spend thousands of dollars/rupees behind our own materialistic desires and can’t pay even few hundred for a noble cause???

  • Guruvu Sirisha

    Very true Sadhguru. Unfortunately the binding material has become money these days. But once the participant experiences the course they have gone through – they have least thought regarding the payment that has been made by them.

  • Yogi1980

    No situation is unavoidable, it is you who chooses to make one situation ‘avoidable’ and another ‘unavoidable’. Where have you reached late, and yet been accommodated with others, who have had the commitment to reach on time? If you are incapable of valuing the commitment of others, volunteers included, then you only fit for raving and ranting on a website.

  • cn

    why can’t IE be published online for free in youtube

  • sachin

    When you are good at something.. Never do it for free..!!
    ~Joker (The Dark knight) :D

  • Badri

    You are talking about 2.5 days Inner Engineering Program conducted by sadhguru personally and others are talking about 7 days Inner Engineering Program but his physical presence won’t be there and this program charge is Rs 1500

  • Dr Gurudatta H K

    I am not a follower of Sadhguru, but believe him and his words. Have heard a lot of him from many of my patients!! What he is sharing here is absolute truth!! People value money more than their words, unfortunately it is the truth!!