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Religion 101: Sadhguru and Zakir Naik Compared

Sadhguru – “We don’t need more Hindus, more Christians, or more Muslims – we need more Buddhas, more Jesuses, and more Krishnas – then there will be true change. Every human being has that inner potential”

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(All the characteristics of a Yogi and more – Sadhguru has it all but he is also practical and a man who uses science as means to the end. He explains the basic of science & the impact clearer to a layman than in a science book – Image Source: Quora)

I have been following up with the teaching & speeches of Sadhguru in the past few years, not because he talks about Hinduism alone – most of the times he doesn’t even mention Hinduism – but rather he is one of the first Hindu Yogi who spoke more sense and does not shy away from the real issues that confront the world today – economy disparity, the abuse of power and worsening of the environment and the impact on humans.

Yes at the same time, he infuses the teachings and way of life as a Hindu in his talks but it is done very implicitly in forms of the laws of the universe, yoga, dharma and morality.

Watch this “Question and Answer” session held by UN in Geneva to see how practical and things making sense (by the way, when you last saw Zakir Naik at a function organised by the UN?)

YouTube player

Who is Sadhguru?

For those who do not know or have heard of Sadhguru, this is an entry on him in the Wikipedia (another source is here)

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev (born 3 September 1957), often referred to as simply Sadhguru is an Indian yogi, mystic and author.

He founded the Isha Foundation, a non-profit organization which offers Yoga programs around the world and is involved in social outreach, education and environmental initiatives. His books have appeared in The New York Times Best Seller list in multiple categories like “Health”, “Religion, Spirituality and Faith” and “Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous”.

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has been a primary speaker at the Headquarters of the United Nations, World Economic Forum, Australian Leadership Retreat, Indian Economic Summit and TED.

He has also spoken at various educational institutions including, Oxford University, Stanford University, Harvard University, Yale University, The Wharton School, London School of Economics and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He has also been a speaker at premier technology companies like Microsoft and Google. Sadhguru was conferred the Padma Vibhushan civilian award by the Government of India in 2017 in recognition of his contribution to the field of spirituality.


The Wikipedia entry on the fugitive Zakir Naik, on the other hand, shows this:-

Zakir Abdul Karim Naik (born 18 October 1965) is an Indian Islamic televangelist and Islamic preacher. He is the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF). He is also the founder of the Peace TV.

He has been called an “authority on comparative religion”, “perhaps the most influential Salafi ideologue in India”, “the rock star of tele-evangelism and a proponent of modern Islam” and “the world’s leading Salafi evangelist”.

Unlike many Islamic preachers, his lectures are colloquial, given in English, not Urdu or Arabic, and he usually wears a suit and tie.

Before becoming a public speaker, he trained as a physician. He has published booklet versions of lectures on Islam and comparative religion. Although he has publicly disclaimed sectarianism in Islam, he is regarded as an exponent of the Salafi ideology and by many sources as a radical Islamist promoting Wahhabism.

His preaching is currently banned in India, Bangladesh, Canada, the United Kingdom and Malaysia under anti-terrorism or anti-hate laws. His TV channel Peace TV is banned in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and is pending a ban by Ofcom in the United Kingdom.


One is invited all over the world to speak in prestigious organizations whilst another is banned from speaking and is tagged as someone who not many countries want. Does this itself show something?

Sadhguru vs Zakir Naik in Youtube videos

If you have noticed in the social media or even casual chat on Zakir Naik, the one who supports him blindly will always ask the question – why not just debate Zakir Naik?

In fact, this was even raised by one of the audience to the Zakir Naik directly and he openly said he is willing to debate Sadhguru – a point where you have yet to see Sadhguru taking up the challenge.

If one had followed Sadhguru speeches and talks, you will see how Zakir Naik’s contentions are impliedly replied by Sadhguru and in Youtube, such comparison was made:-

You can also read on some of the transcripts from some of his talks question & answer session here as well

Talking about a debate between Sadhguru and Zakir Naik, there are other reasons why such debates are pointless IF it is construed in line of religion:-

Wise people avoid debates, arguments or confrontation.

Neither Sadhguru is an expert on Islam nor Zakir Naik is an expert on Hinduism. What they are arguing about?

You can’t compare two things which has wide difference.

Religion is one such. Islam was found 1450 years before in a place where sand was spread for miles together. For them even potable water was a difficult thing. They were traveling miles to feed their families and livestock. Days were difficult weather was hostile.. The society lived on certain rules and regulations. There was constant movement here and there in the look out of food trade etc often confronting with similar groups. So their thinking was different.

Where as Hindu culture appeared way back and they were settled on river banks and cultivated their land took caterer of their families and livestock without moving out far except for famine or epidemic or natural calamity. Their life was smoother. So their thinking also was different.

It foolish to compare two religions which has a couple of similarities or differ on some things which are quite contrary.


Having said that guess who strive on making a living by doing comparative between religions?

Is there a need for a debate?

Interestingly even Sadhguru urges all to listen to our inner selves which is more potent and right as the essence of nature is already been built into us. That is a piece of very sound advice – in a nation where race and religion is a sensitive topic, we need more guiding principles that make one love and respect one another irrespective of culture, race, religion and background.

I am not saying that one needs to listen & follow Sadhguru but as I said, his talks make a lot of sense in particular to the modern world. Listening to him – there is a sense of us moving forward into the future instead of backwards, limited and suspicious.

Do we really need a debate between Sadhguru and Zakir Naik in the end?

No, we don’t need one. What we need is less tension between the various races and religions in this country. And yes, we need to send back the fugitive from India for him to answer the charges on money laundering and make his case in a court of law in his own country.

That is the rule of law that the Prime Minister chanted soon after Pakatan won the elections – the same rule of law and fairness that we are expecting to happen to the fugitive from Malaysia.

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