Ms. Barrymore melted into her seat as Mr. Jay Shetty, a 35-year-old former monk who is now a life coach and influencer, gave dating advise from his new book, “8 Rules of Love: How to Find It, Keep It, and Let It Go.” She remarked, “Jay shetty, I simply admire you so much I can’t even stand it!” when he clarified that a person should prioritise self-growth before entering a relationship. Jay, do you have any single friends? Phoebe Robinson, a comedian, producer, and actor who joined the two later in the programme, was also captivated. Connect us!”
His first book, “Think Like a Monk” Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day,” which became an instant New York Times best seller in 2020, lay out the lessons Mr. Jay Shetty learnt while residing at an ashram in India from 2010 to 2013. His book “8 Rules of Love,” which is likewise based on classical Hindu teachings, shot to the top of the New York Times best-seller list within a week of its release on January 31. His 30-stop globe tour, which will begin the next week, will promote the new book and has already sold out performances in Sydney and Los Angeles.
In an interview from his Los Angeles home, Mr. Jay Shetty described the amount of recognition he has attained after seven years of publishing brief self-improvement films online as “surreal.” His podcast, On Purpose, is downloaded approximately 20 million times every month and has included guests including John Legend, Khloé Kardashian, and Oprah Winfrey. He has accumulated about 50 million followers across social media platforms. He first met Jennifer Lopez during a Coach-sponsored online event they both organised, and she later requested him to officiate her marriage to Ben Affleck last October.
“Helping individuals discover their purpose,” Mr. Jay Shetty responded when asked what his formal title should be. He joins a long line of health authorities who are bringing Eastern ideas to the West’s notice, including Deepak Chopra and the Indian monk Swami Vivekananda, whose speech at the Parliament of the World’s Religions convention in Chicago in 1893 was met with a standing ovation.
Ronald Purser, a professor of corporate management at San Francisco State University and the author of “McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality,” is one of Mr. Shetty’s detractors. A multimillion dollar business that has “uprooted entire 2,600-year traditions” and transformed teachings historically rooted in generosity and selflessness, according to Mr. Purser, sees Mr. Shetty’s work as fuel.
The transition from a monastic life in which he forsook material comfort and personal gain to living in a mansion in Hollywood with his wife, Radhi Devlukia-Shetty, who has emerged as a social media star herself, and charging fans up to $300 for a private dinner and meditation session with him on tour, is uncomfortable, Mr. Jay Shetty acknowledges.
Mr. Jay Shetty stated, “I had to work through that dilemma in my own heart and head. It took me a lot of internal effort to process it. However, everything is done to forward his “vision,” or as his website puts it, “make wisdom go viral.”
Jay Shetty as an Influencer
Mr. Jay Shetty, who is of Indian origin, was raised in a middle-class, nonreligious home in north London. He signed up for a management programme at the renowned Bayes Business School at the age of 18 with the intention of working in finance. But he was moved when he attended a monk named Gauranga Das’ lecture on campus (enticed by the prospect of beers with pals afterwards).
“Gauranga Das talked about how using your skills in the service of others is the main goal of human life, and I was like, ‘Wait a minute everyone up to this point has been teaching me how to become a millionaire or a billionaire or how to start a new company, and he’s here talking about being happy and joyful,'” Mr. Jay Shetty said. “That circumstance was extremely crucial. I don’t believe I would have followed a spiritual path if I hadn’t met him.
Mr. Jay Shetty spent his free time between studying at a Mumbai ashram under Gauranga Das and interning at financial businesses in London while he completed his three-year degree. He founded the Think Out Loud group at his school, which brought together like-minded students to talk about philosophy, psychology, and spirituality. With only five to ten pupils attending each week, it wasn’t extremely well-liked. However, he said that “I was listening to them, addressing their queries, and recommending literature.” I was content and basically doing what I do now.
After receiving his degree in 2010, he declined finance job offers in favour of relocating to the ashram permanently. This required shaving his head, giving up his collection of business suits in favour of two robes (one to wear and one to wash), and sleeping on a thin mat on the floor in a shared living area. His close-knit family and neighbourhood didn’t understand his decision in life. Jay, you’ve been indoctrinated, they said. You will never again be employed. You’re enlisting in a cult,’ he said.
Three years later, amid a chorus of “told you so” from friends and family, he returned to London with about $25,000 in student loan debt and was forced to live back in with his parents. Mr.Jay Shetty remarked, “It was the most stressful and uncomfortable time in my life.He was accepted into a graduate training programme at Accenture after receiving several rejections, but he remained interested in pursuing his dharma, or vocation, which he had come to feel was promoting mindfulness. He thus started teaching meditation to his coworkers.
Soon after, a friend advised him to upload films on philosophy and meditation to YouTube. I really remarked to myself, “That only works for Justin Bieber,” according to Mr. Shetty. But he gave it a chance, hiring a wedding videographer to assist him in creating four brief movies; they quickly received thousands of views.
The Accenture human resources director saw his channel. She sent the movies to a friend who just so happened to be Arianna Huffington, the creator of Thrive Global and The Huffington Post. According to Ms. Huffington in an email, she was “so captivated with him and his cause” that she requested him to make three films for The Huffington Post to see if they would get any traction.
According to Ms. Huffington, they received over 20 million views all all. “It was obvious that Jay Shetty was something exceptional to us, to our viewers, and to the globe,” she added. She quickly made him an offer to work as a host and producer in New York City.Mr. Jay Shetty remarked, “My life transformed over night.”
What Does Love Have to Do with It?
Supporters of Mr. Jay Shetty emphasise his capacity to distil abstract philosophical ideas into bite-sized chunks. According to Ms. Huffington, he understands how to make such information “relevant to people’s daily lives.”His YouTube channel is bursting with names like “If Someone Broke Your Heart, Watch This” and “Husband Leaves Wife for Another Woman, THEN THIS HAPPENS,”
which are designed to grab the attention of millions of viewers. The movies skim the surface of the human experience and frequently conclude with canned lessons. In a video on how to refrain from passing judgement on someone too quickly, he asserts that “things are not always as they seem.” In another song on grief, he states, “When someone cheats on you, it reflects more of who they are and not who you are.”
Fariha Róisn, a poet, novelist, and author of “Who Is Wellness For? “, said of him: “He’s gorgeous, he’s charming, he’s educated, and he’s intelligent when he speaks.” An Analysis of Wellness Culture and Those It Ignores. She said that all of those characteristics are a part of his allure, which also makes him likeable.
In partnership with the meditation app Calm, he launched “The Daily Jay” last year. In it, he provides listeners a daily seven-minute breathing and meditation workout. He discusses neuroplasticity in one episode and examines a Hindu fable on changing one’s viewpoint in another. It has reportedly grown to be the app’s most well-known feature.
Mr. Jay Shetty claimed that his current emphasis on love is a logical progression of his work. Although he sprinkles in stories about his relationship with his wife, who doesn’t seem to be bothered by Mr. Shetty’s fame (she finished reading “Think Like a Monk” only this year and rarely listens to his podcast), he is not trained as a couples therapist or counsellor, and his personal life was not the inspiration for his advice on romantic relationships. Instead, he claimed, his guidance was intended to help individuals strengthen their bonds with themselves, and now all he was doing was instructing them on how to do the same with other people.
With easy activities and takeaways, the new book addresses the four Vedic phases of love getting ready for love, practising love, safeguarding love, and completing love. There is a list of opening questions for dates, such as, “What is on your mind the most right now?”
Additionally, there is a worksheet called a “social calendar” for readers who are in committed relationships to assist them schedule time for themselves away from time with their partner or friends. According to him, “the time and space we spend apart enriches the time we spend together.”Mr. Jay Shetty aims to organise a “interactive experience” designed to help the audience members better understand their relationships while on tour rather than reading an extract and signing copies of the book.
According to Ms. Roisn, the very accessibility of his work runs the risk of oversimplifying the problems that he and the health business as a whole are attempting to address.
She said that despite the widespread availability of meditation and spiritual thinking, society isn’t truly improving, in large part because the wellness practises advocated in the US don’t address the structural roots of the nation’s record-breaking levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. “How can we be collectively healthy if we are not individually healthy?”However, Mr. Jay Shetty made it clear that he is not attempting to alter the system: “I’m just a man who used to be a monk, studied a tonne of material, and I’m teaching what I learned.”