Jaggi Vasudev (real name Jagadish Vasudev) is a mystic and yogi that is known for having founded the Isha Foundation. This is an NPO that offers yoga programs in various parts of the world. Vasudev won many with his personality, is a successful author, philanthropist and motivational speaker, together with being one of the most respected spiritual masters.
Vasudev was born in 1957, on September 3rd in Mysore, Karnataka. His father, Dr. Vasudev, was an ophthalmologist and worked with the Indian Railways. This made the entire family move often from one city to the next. Jaggi was a really curious, active and intelligent child. During his early years he developed a strong love for adventure and love. When he was eleven, he met Malladihalli Sri Raghavendra Swamiji, a popular yoga teacher of the time. He learned simple asanas and began to regularly practice, without breaks for any days. When he completed school, he became a student at University Of Mysore, earning the English Literature bachelor’s degree.
The first thing that Jaggi Vasudev was after college was start a business career. He was working hard, intelligent and smart, which led to opening various businesses. By the time he was mid twenty, he achieved the status of successful businessman. However, on September 23 of 1982, his life changed completely as he had a spiritual experience. That forced him to basically re-evaluate his entire life, including priorities. After the experience he left the business world and started travelling in order to gain mystical experience. One year later he started teaching yoga classes in the city of Mysore.
The Isha Foundation was started in 1992. The spiritual organization quickly gained popularity and now offers renowned yoga programs in India, Lebanon, England, US, Canada, Singapore, Australia and many other countries. At the same time, the foundation is involved in social work. Various programs were started that go way beyond yoga, like Action For Rural Rejuvenation and Project Green Hands.
Jaggi Vasudev is renowned all around the world now, appearing at the Peace Summit of the UN in 2000 and having spoken at the World Economic Forum on 4 different occasions. He wrote over 100 books so far, in 8 languages and even dabbles in poetry.
Because of the work he did, he received recognition all around the world. The Project Green Hands program received the Indira Gandhi Parayavaran Puraskar in 2010. Also, he is among the 100 most powerful people born in India, according to public vote.