Steve Jobs a Karma Yogi?

When a larger-than-life visionary passes away, we are truly struck by the power of a single individual to change humanity for good (pun intended!). Humanity does not come together over religion and politics, but it does through all the products created by Steve Jobs.

About two weeks ago I came across an interesting blog with the hypothesis that Steve Jobs is a karma yogi. It is backed by several quotes. I sent it out to my family and a few close yoga friends. Tonight it seems appropriate to post it for everyone. Visit the post on path2yoga.

Steve Jobs, the young adult, reminds me of the numerous young adults like him who flocked to India in the late 60s and 70s, lost, not knowing what to do with their lives, searching for something not knowing what it was. Some sought release from the prisons of their minds. Drugs gave them some relief, showed them a place beyond the mind prison. Some were lucky enough to replace drugs with yoga meditation and found their freedom as well as life’s purpose. Most went on to have families and lives back in their own home countries. A few continue to be karma yogis hidden in plain sight.

Do yogis have to come in a certain uniform, with a particular expression, jargon, Indian name, or setting? If so, we would be looking at many actors and missing many real ones. After reading the blog post (link above) and revisiting Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement speech, the best I have ever heard, I see Steve Jobs as a karma yogi. Who says yogis are calm, sweet-tempered? Read the life of many yogis/sages and there will be examples of terrible tempers.

The whole speech is worth a thoughtful read. Here are some excerpts:

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart….

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

These words strike me as those of a true yogi and you won’t find him in a yoga studio or a yoga/meditation magazine. May his spirit soar high into infinity and beyond.

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