Question: Sadhguru, I’m a native of Kerala. So, in Kerala we had floods two to three weeks ago, and I always had my mother calling me up and telling about all her suffrage that she is going through this, she’s going through that. I obviously I’m disturbed because you are safe here and you… see your parents and your loved ones in there, and I had a thought, if had I been ignorant to this fact that my state is entirely drowned in water, I would have been happy, if I have not known that this fact. So, if ignorance is a bliss then why do people seek knowledge?
Sadhguru: Ignorance is bliss like this. You can do one thing…Okay you can come to Velliangiri Malai, go up there and there is a cliff. You jump off, it’s so wonderful – till you hit the ground (Laughter). Ignorance is like that, if you jump off…have you ever… you’ve never done sky diving? Tch! If you jump off an airplane, it’s so fantastic, really. Only thing is, if you look down, the damn planet is coming at you at great speed, that’s the only problem. Otherwise, falling is very nice, till you hit the ground. Ignorance is like that, it’ll catch up with you. It’ll catch up with you. Suppose it happened when you went for a vacation, it would have caught up with you, isn't it (Laughs) ?
And what guarantee that it won’t come here? Hmm? There is no guarantee, it can happen anywhere. So, ignorance is not a solution nor is it a bliss. Ignorance protects you from suffering a few things, but suffering will cumulate and come to you in large scale at some point (Laughs). Right now this flood itself is ignorance is bliss only (Laughs). Because people thought,“If you… if you don’t know anything, everything will be okay.” No you will drown!
Now the flood is happening for variety of reasons. We have not seen that kind of rains, particularly in this area, in the last eight to nine years. This is the first time I am seeing, after about nine years, full-fledged monsoon. This is how monsoon should be. You understand? There is no such thing as “bad rains”. They are all good rains. Only in England, rain is bad. Only they sang, “Rain, rain, go away,” okay?
In India, in a tropical country, rain is always good. Are we prepared to handle the rain or not? How can we prepare to handle the rain? Can we catch it in a bucket (Gestures)? No! When we live in a monsoon country, when we live in a tropical country, it is a simple thing that we must have a certain level of vegetation to hold the water.
In Tamil, there is some saying, I cannot repeat it verbatim. Something like, “Only if Kaveri comes walking, she is fortune. If she comes running, she is a disaster.” Why will a river run, tell me? How to make a river walk, not run? There must be vegetation. If there is substantial vegetation, the catchment areas, when they get it will hold and slowly it’ll come down to the river. Now there’s no vegetation, it’s coming straight in.
Similar situation happened in Coorg also now. In the last thirty years’ time, they’ve removed sixty-five percent of the vegetation in Coorg which is the catchment area for Kaveri. Now as a part of this, in collaboration with Karnataka government, we are planting twenty-five crore trees in the catchment areas of Kaveri. Now we are fighting for Kaveri between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu but the problem is this - that vegetation in the catchment areas have been removed sixty-five percent in the last thirty years.
At one time, I floated down Kaveri hundred-and-sixty-three kilometers over thirteen days, on just about six or seven bamboos and four truck tubes, I just floated down, lived off the river. At that time how I saw Kaveri, today it is only approximately forty percent of it. No wonder you will fight for water. But now when the flood comes, who can hold it? So, ignorance is bliss means, it’ll get you one day. It took some time, it took twenty-four years,but it got you.
The same is true with Kerala. In the Ganga banks…In the Ganga Basin – Ganga Basin accounts twenty-five percent of the nation’s geography and thirty-three percent of India’s agriculture. In the last seventy years, we removed ninety-four percent of vegetation in the Ganga basin, What is our plan? Ignorance is bliss is it? Yes it is. Bliss will get us (Laughs). Our ignorance may somehow make us escape, but it will get our children. They will not get away. Next generation will get it.