Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is a world-renowned mystic and yogi of Indian origin. The founder of Isha Yoga as well as of Isha Foundation, he is also a very famous poet. His aim in life is to help people in manifesting their own spirituality. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has several yoga centers, set up in the various cities of India as well as the United States. He was a delegate to the United Nations Millennium World Peace Summit and even participated at the World Economic Forum in 2006 & 2007. He was born on 3 September 1957 in Mysore city of India, to a physician father. Right from childhood, Vasudev was quite different from the others.
His father was an ophthalmologist with the Indian Railwaysand as a result, the family moved frequently. At a young age, Jagadish, or Jaggi as he came to be known, developed an interest in nature and would frequently go into nearby forests, sometimes for up to three days at a time. At the age of 12, he came in contact with Malladihalli Sri Raghavendra Swamiji who taught him a set of simple yoga asanas, the practice of which he regularly maintained. Sadhguru states that "without a single day's break, this simple yoga that was taught to him kept happening and led to a much deeper experience later.”After his schooling at Demonstration School, Mysore in 1973, he graduated from the University of Mysore with a bachelor's degree in English literature. During his college years, he developed an interest in travel and motorcycles. A frequent haunt of his and his friends was the Chamundi Hill near Mysore, where they often had gathered and went for nocturnal drives. He also traveled to various places in the country on his motorcycle. This experience made him resolve "to earn some quick money," and just ride off somewhere where people couldn't stop him. This led him to open several successful businesses after graduation, including a poultry farm, a brickworks and a construction business. He started conducting yoga classes in Mysore in 1983; there were just seven participants in his first class. Over the course of time he began conducting yoga classes across Karnataka and Hyderabad. He refused payment for the classes and managed his expenses from the proceeds he received from his poultry farm.In 1992, he founded Isha Foundation, a non-profit, spiritual organization for offering yoga programs under the name Isha Yoga. Founded near Coimbatore, the organization became very popular over the years and today offers yoga programs not only in India, but also in countries like United States, England, Lebanon, Singapore, Canada, Malaysia, Uganda, China, Nepal and Australia.
The Isha Foundation is also involved in various social and community development activities. In 2003, it established Action For Rural Rejuvenation (ARR) a multi-phased program aimed towards improving the overall health and quality of life of the rural poor. The program aims to benefit 70 million people in 54,000 villages across Tamil Nadu, South India. The foundation also established the Project Green Hands (PGH), a grassroots ecological initiative in Tamil Nadu in 2004. The aim of the project is to plant 114 million trees throughout Tamil Nadu as soon as possible and increase the forest cover in the state to 33 percent. Jaggi Vasudev is an internationally renowned figure and has spoken at the United Nations Millennium World Peace Summit in 2000. His speaking engagements take him around the world and he also addressed the World Economic Forum in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. A prolific author, he has penned over 100 titles in eight different languages. He is also a talented poet who loves to compose poems in his leisure time. On 25 January 2017, Government of India announced "Padma Vibhushan" award for his contribution towards spirituality.