June 29, 2023
“If you can build a muscle, you can build a mindset.” “Solitude is the strength of being alone.” “The power of love far outweighs the power of will.” “If you know what you need, you will find the answers when you read.” “Seek out the story you want to live, not the one you want to tell.”
These motivational statements might sound like your average bumper sticker, but they are just a fraction of former monk Jay Shetty’s most popular nuggets of wisdom. At 35, the British Indian self-help entrepreneur has created a multimillion-dollar wellness empire, encompassing two bestselling books, a podcast, coaching seminars, courses, speaking gigs, a video production company and, of course, an Ayurveda-inspired tea brand.
There’s no denying Shetty and his wife, fellow wellness sage Radhi Devlukia, are immensely popular. After publishing his second book this past January, 8 Rules of Love, he went on a sold-out world tour with over 30 stops, spreading his gospel from the U.S. to Asia to Europe, where just asking one question — “Anyone else here obsessed with and fascinated by love?” — elicited waves of applause. But in recent years, Shetty’s been accused of plagiarizing, exaggerating details of his spiritual past, and living a life antithetical to his monk past. Has he coasted on his Indian background and pretty privilege into becoming a false guru for the internet age, or is he the real thing?