Sachin Tendulkar & Sadhguru: How Sports Can Transform India


Sachin Tendulkar: Vanakkam (Applause). It’s been a sheer joy to be here, thank
you very much for this opportunity (Applause). Let me start by congratulating Shri Sadhguruji
and Isha Foundation for doing such a fantastic job And you all, by being here, it has made even
special. I noticed couple of matches here and what
I appreciated the most was in the spirit that both the matches were played. They were competitive but played in the right
spirit. If the referee gave a decision, they accepted,
so which was very, very good to see (Applause). More than 7,000 participants made this event
a special one and you can see the response, it’s been simply incredible. I’ve heard so much about this but to be
actually present here and to witness is even better Being a sportsman, sports mean everything
to me (Applause). ‘Sports for all’ is something that I encourage. Encourage everyone in India because sport
taught me lot of things in life to be disciplined, to be focused, to have your routine
organized. Not always I went out and I succeeded. There were number of occasions when I could
not do well. But sport taught me to get up on my feet again
and to compete in the right spirit. I really like this idea and that’s why when
I landed here and saw video again on this, I suggested to Sadhguruji ki (Hindi word meaning
that) – “Why don’t we start something like this in the village that I’ve adopted
near Nellore – Puttamraju Kandrika” (Applause) because it is helping the community to come
closer, stay tighter in difficult times and that is what sport teaches you. Sport teaches you teamwork and teamwork can
never fail. It teaches you to take care of one another,
to sacrifice for your colleague, to back him up when he is not doing well. And I saw that here as well – I mean, you
played in partnerships, there was lot of understanding when you played volleyball and handball. And that, if you apply it to your day-to-day’s
life, most of the problems are taken care of Sport is… is important… ‘Sports for all’ is important to me because
it is about changing our lifestyle. I find something that I am not really proud
of, is we are the diabetic capital of the world and that is all due to our lifestyle,
our habits. We had to… We have to change those habits. We have to learn to lead healthy lifestyle. And healthy lifestyle means going out and
engaging yourselves in some or the other outdoor activity some sporting activity which takes
care of your health because I still remember, as a youngster, my grandmother always told
me, “Take care of your health because health is your true wealth” (Applause). So in all, what I’m trying to tell you is,
if we all look after our health and respect what we’ve been blessed by the Almighty,
our nation will get healthier. And the healthier you are, better results
you’re going to expect and consistent performance in whatever you choose to be in life – be
it a lawyer, doctor or sportsman, engineer, whatever it is. Fitter you are, more consistent results. So, all I want is fitter and healthier India. In return, you know, we’ll… we’ll all
be smiling for times to come. I just want to share one more thing which
possibly most of you wouldn’t know. As a child, in my building, I did play volleyball
and I had lot of fun and that continued all the way. Even in Indian cricket team, before the game
started, we played volleyball. So, it’s all about playing sport and sport
is something which’ll give you a reason to smile And I’m smiling today because I’ve been
able to spend time with you. Once again, thank you very much for inviting
me here and to (Applause)… to all the… to all the champions – you’ve really done
well and to guys who have participated in this tournament, you’re all winners because
you’ve won my heart by participating and being here, playing sport in the right spirit. Continue to do so and give us all a reason
to smile. Namaskaram (Applause). Sadhguru: (I know this’s an unpopular thing
to do – trying to speak after Sachin (Laughs). So as all of you know, Sachin has become the
jewel of India (Applause). He is our Bharat Ratna and a cricketer without
compare – the only cricketer who has overshadowed… who has overshadowed Don Bradman (Applause). And above all, more than just being a cricketer,
he is a sporting phenomena who has inspired a whole generation, both in this country and
everywhere in the world – to what extent is quite immeasurable. Today, the people of Coimbatore, all of you
(Applause) are demonstrating how much he matters to all of us. There’re many, many things you can go on
saying about him because I think nearly two generations of people have had the joy of
watching him play. There’re many ways to describe him but I
think it was very amusing for me to see that the President of United States, Barack Obama,
said, “I know nothing about cricket but when Sachin plays, I watch” and (Applause)… Let me finish (Laughs). When s… “When Sachin plays, I watch but I still
don’t understand anything about cricket but I watch because whenever he plays, my
country’s productivity goes down by five percent It’s a… It’s a great privilege… It’s a great privilege that he has come
to inspire and to endorse the spirit of rural Tamil Nadu, to inspire sport in rural India. A ball can change the world and this change
is slowly happening. Last fifteen or sixteen years, the Gramotsavam
events have been happening, building from strength to strength. But we really want to take this to the very
roots of every village. Seventy percent of Indian population being
in the rural India, if they… if they do not play – or if they cannot play – we
have a nation which will become stagnant and sick over a period of time. So this Gramotsavam and Sachin being here
today, recognizing the spirit of rural India, revitalizing our villages through sporting
action. We have seen… We… I could say dozens of incredible stories of
youth transforming themselves simply because of these simple games. How many youth have transformed themselves,
situations in villages have transformed themselves, many conflicts in the villages have been overcome,
many people have come… overcome their addictions to alcohol and other substances. There are any number of stories that I could
say but the most important thing today is, the very jewel of India (Referring to Sachin
Tendulkar) is endorsing the spirit of rural Tamil Nadu. And from here on, there should be no looking
back for Gramotsavam. We don’t want to limit it to Tamil Nadu,
we want to take this across, as Sachin requested (Applause). In… He has only one village. I would like to see that he has at least a
hundred villages and we will make sure sport will be the fundamental of these villages
in the next coming years… in the next few years. This village in Andhra Pradesh, what? Sadhguru: Puttamraju Kandrika. That’s a village, he’s… he’s managed
to learn the name (Laughs). And we will make sure this village and the
surrounding areas there, will become basis of sport and Andhra Pradesh government has
already invited us to do this in that region and definitely we will start in this village. The most important thing of this event, all
of you, the people who love Sachin, who are screaming ‘Sachin’ all the time (Applause)
(People shouting slogans about Sachin)… Okay, I got it. Yes, yes, we know! We know you love Sachin but if you really…
if you really love the sportsperson that he is he is saying that all of you should at
least learn to hit a ball straight. Yes! Because Sachin is not Ph.D. in sports, he
just can hit a ball! Not a small thing (Laughs). Just hitting a ball seems like a child’s
play – you get into it, it will take all that you have and more to hit a ball where
you want it to go. So, the youth who’re jumping, “Sachin,
Sachin,” I want all of you to take to some sport You must be able to hit a ball or catch a
ball or throw a ball properly. All of you. Tell them – today, they must take a (an?)
oath they must take to some sport. Sachin: Of course. Sadhguru: Sachin is saying that all of you,
all the young people – if you are not dead, you are young – all of you (Laughs). If you are still alive, that means you are
young enough to live. Everybody should take to some simple sport
– hit a ball, throw a ball, catch a ball, do something. Every one of you must do this, not just shouting
‘Sachin.’ If you want to honor him, you have to take
to some simple sport. It need not necessarily be professional or
competitive but every one of you should take to some sport at least in your neighborhood. Tell me yes now! Participants: Yes! Sadhguru: That’s good (Applause)! Because a game… a game is like this – if
you want to play a game, you can…You can you can go to your job halfhearted, you can go to
your school and college halfhearted, you can even get married halfhearted but you can’t
play a game halfhearted. You have to be all out – hundred percent
or nothing (Applause). This is what it takes to make life happen,
that you’re hundred percent on everything that you do And the beauty of the game is you want to
win, you want to win like your life depends on it but if you lose, it’s okay with you. If you just get these two things, everything
that you do in your life, you’re one hundred percent not ninety-nine, one hundred percent
– and you want to win but if you lose it’s okay with you. If you just get this much, you got the fundamentals
of a good life. So, everyone should take to some simple sport
– every one of you. Don’t think somebody is too old. If you’re alive, you’re too young, otherwise
you wouldn’t be here. So too old, you have no business to be here. If you’re here, that means you are young
enough to live, young enough to play. Just bring this into your life – your lives
will change. If you can’t play in some other field, in
your own home, a simple game, throw a tennis throw a tennis ball at each other. I’m telling you – your relationships will
change at home. Especially if you have children, don’t try
to make them read a stupid book, play with the That’s what is needed (Applause). If you can play with your family, many things
will be ironed out. You can even play with your mother-in-law,
why not (Laughter/Applause)? A whole lot of things will be sorted out if
you just learn to play because that is the nature of a play, it makes everything light
and beautiful. This is what we need to do our li… to our
lives and a game is a way of practicing that aspect of life, that we know we want to win
– nobody wants to lose – but if we lose, it’s all right because we understand we
can’t determine the nature of the result before we play the game. This is something that people are struggling
with every day. Everything that you do, you want to fix the
result before you play the game – that’s called match-fixing (Laughs). That’s not a game. If you want to play a game, you don’t know
the result, that’s why it’s beautiful. It can go any way but the thing is you’re
still hundred percent. So I want all of you to make use of this iconic
presence of Sachin Tendulkar here in Coimbatore (Applause) to bring… to bring game, to bring
sport, to bring playfulness into your family, into your street, into your neighborhood,
into your villages and into your towns and make India a playful nation because this is
good… this is important for our physical health our mental health, for our presence
in the international committee… in the committee of nations. Above all, for your own physical, mental and
spiritual well-being, you need to learn to play. I hope this day will be an inspiration for
everybody to take up to a game. And just see, Sachin didn’t do anything
except hitting a ball from the age of fourteen or fifteen. See what’s happened to your man, so learn
to hit a ball, it’ll do things to you. You may not become a Sachin Tendulkar but
the joy of doing something with some precision is – it cannot be matched by anything. Money, wealth, food – these things won’t
do that. Just learn to do something in a precise way,
the way you want it. If you just throw a ball to exactly the place
that you want it to go, the joy of that is something that everybody must experience. Playfulness is not for children alone. It’s the adults, the grown-ups, who must
play. Children are anyway playful, it is you who
have to learn to play – both on the field, in your office, in your home, above all in
the world in which we live. Thank you very much for being here

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